Seeing the concern that hair represents, it is paradoxical or, at least, curious, that such crazy ideas about its care or treatment still circulate. Furthermore, it is also surprising that people are willing to try treatments, decorations, aesthetic procedures, and other experiments without having the slightest idea whether this will have any positive effect or, on the contrary, will harm them forever.
Some of the most widespread myths about hair are the following:
- 1. Wearing caps, hats or helmets very often causes hair loss
- 2. Washing your hair too often causes more hair loss
- 3. Dyes, straighteners, and dryers promote alopecia
- 4. Cutting your hair or shaving your head causes more hair to grow
- 5. Braids, pigtails, decorations, and dreadlocks promote baldness
- 6. If my father is bald, I will end up hairless too
- 7. Sandalwood oil ends baldness
- 8. Plasma is the best because it is natural
- 9. Castor oil makes eyelashes grow
- 10. Horse shampoo is ideal for achieving strong, thick, and shiny hair
- 11. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Panic
- 12. You have to try everything or try practically nothing. Fashion is not bad …
- 13. If you pluck out one gray hair you will get seven
- 14. Gray hair does not fall out
- 15. Stress makes gray hair appear
1. Wearing caps, hats or helmets very often causes hair loss
This erroneous belief is based on the idea that these clothes suffocate the scalp and for that reason, the hair ends up falling out. Well, oxygenation of the scalp is a much more complex process than all this and it is certainly not hindered by wearing caps, scarves, or hats which, regardless of fashion, are usually necessary to protect us from ultraviolet radiation. In this way, if you have ever considered turning a blind eye to the use of a helmet when riding a bicycle or motorcycle for fear of alopecia, forget it.
2. Washing your hair too often causes more hair loss
Hair can be washed as often as desired; daily, even. What you have to keep in mind is to use a suitable shampoo that is not too aggressive, but nothing more.
The function of shampoo is to clean the hair and make it beautiful. Some are formulated to treat scalp skin problems, such as dandruff, but do not affect hair loss.
3. Dyes, straighteners, and dryers promote alopecia
Thermal attacks caused by the frequent use of straightening irons, curling irons, or air dryers—if used in the hottest setting—can damage the hair fiber on the outside, but not the follicle, which is where hair is generated.
That is, with these devices we can burn our hair, but not go bald because of it. When we stop using them, our hair will regain its usual good appearance.
The same happens with dye, whose most feared negative effect is that it causes an allergic reaction on the scalp, causing irritation, peeling, and intense itching… Its frequent use, especially if it is formulations with ammonia or very aggressive bleaching, damages the hair fiber and worsens the hair cosmetically, but it does not cause it to fall out more.
All you need is a good cut, letting time pass, and going for a while without dying to see less damaged hair.
4. Cutting your hair or shaving your head causes more hair to grow
This is another widespread hair myth. If we apply the same reasoning that everything that happens from the scalp to the outside does not affect what happens from the scalp to the inside, there is no need to insist that cutting the ends does not increase hair density, nor does it the most drastic variant, which is to shave to zero.
As much as we have coined the term “cleansing” to the act of using scissors to end split ends, worn dyes, or hair damaged by chlorine, salt, or the sun, the truth is that the effect is only cosmetic.
5. Braids, pigtails, decorations, and dreadlocks promote baldness
Well no, but yes. That is, putting your hair up or adorning it with hairpins and barrettes does not cause your hair to fall out more, as happens with the rest of the external factors that we have mentioned. However, these variables that come from outside do influence so-called traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia is caused by twisting, stretching, rubbing, or constant pressure with hairstyles in which the hair is held very tightly, such as dreadlocks, braids with beads hanging from them, buns like those worn by ballerinas. or stewardesses of yesteryear and very stretched ponytails.
If this tension is constant and prolonged over time, the hair falls out in the area where it is pulled because it grows with excessive tension that ends up damaging the internal structure of the hair and the follicular root.
6. If my father is bald, I will end up hairless too
Indeed, this is one of the most widespread myths about alopecia, but the truth is that you have to stop looking at your father’s sparse crown thinking that the same thing is going to happen to you. Just as the name androgenetic alopecia can lead to the mistake of thinking that only men suffer from it because of androgens, genetics can also lead to the confusion that this pattern of hair loss is imprinted in our genetic code. inevitable way.
It is not like this. First, androgenic baldness is inherited maternally since androgen receptors are linked to the X chromosome, which we inherit from our mothers. Second, androgenic alopecia involves factors related to heredity but are fundamentally hormonal.
There is also the idea that this pattern—and many others, in fact—skips a generation and we do not have to “hate” our parents for our baldness, but rather our grandparents. It’s not true, so stop looking at your grandfather with suspicion and simply enjoy his wisdom.
7. Sandalwood oil ends baldness
It is one of the most surreal news that we have been forced to deny in recent years. This time it was a statement that started from a fact, but that degenerated to an insane conclusion. As a result of a very basic research study carried out with twenty patients and in just six months, it was discovered that a synthetic derivative of sandalwood stimulated an olfactory receptor, specifically OR2AT4, and this accelerated the natural hair cycle.
Apart from the fact that a single study carried out on twenty patients is not enough to establish definitive conclusions, we must ask ourselves whether these volunteers were not suffering from telogen effluvium that would have resolved itself regardless of whether they smelled sandalwood or not, and coincidentally in the period in which the rest of the ampoules, lotions, shampoos, vitamins and nutritional supplements that we find in any para pharmacy claiming to solve alopecia claim to take effect.
In this way, no matter how attractive it is to solve alopecia and perfume the environment at the same time without doing anything more than breathing, and although some headlines spoke of the end of baldness, the truth is that the solution is not in the sandalwood air freshener. , this is therefore another false myth about hair.
8. Plasma is the best because it is natural
Infiltration with plasma rich in growth factors is a very popular treatment because it is natural. It involves injecting a preparation obtained by centrifuging blood taken from the patient himself to accelerate and enhance the regenerative cascade that the human body sets in motion after an attack.
Although it is giving a lot of joy to dentists, maxillofacial surgeons, and traumatologists, the truth is that in the field of trichology, the results are not so spectacular. This does not mean that it is not effective, it just means that it is not the panacea for hair loss.
In reality, it is an alternative that we usually use in combination with other treatments and in very specific patients. Without a doubt, the fact that it is a safe product that does not cause rejection or severe side effects has an impact on it because “it will not do you harm.” However, trichology specialists tend to be more cautious because, at the end of the day, it is an expensive treatment that requires repetition over time. In addition, it requires local anesthesia in the scalp to infiltrate the preparation where it is needed, since without it it would be very painful due to the considerable number of punctures that have to be made.
9. Castor oil makes eyelashes grow
There is no scientific evidence that castor oil will make our eyelashes look long and lush. What’s more, this product, which is usually purchased in herbal stores and has formulations of different concentrations, can irritate the eyes. If this happens, a less beautifying effect is achieved. However, there are products capable of making eyelashes grow. They are those that are formulated from prostaglandin analogs, elements used in the treatment of glaucoma-intraocular hypertension.
The promoters of research with these compounds observed, as did ophthalmologists and patients themselves, that one of the side effects of the drug was the growth of eyelashes. In this way, in 2008 the first product formulated from prostaglandin analogs specific for this aesthetic purpose was approved. Since then, a few more have come on the market.
10. Horse shampoo is ideal for achieving strong, thick, and shiny hair
Regular readers of information on health and beauty probably remember the horse shampoo fad as a trick to make the mane grow faster and, in addition, do so with a body and volume never seen before. According to the promoters of this trend, the secret that horses have strong, thick, and shiny hair is not due to their nature or the care they receive in their stables, but to biotin, a group B vitamin that intervenes in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, among other elements.
Its deficiency is very rare and is found in such common foods as meat, liver, or milk, as well as in many fruits, nuts, and vegetables. In any case, biotin is not absorbed through the scalp, so, as with any shampoo, it can’t affect the hair follicle, which is where the key to hair quality and density lies.
In line with this myth about hair, there is no choice but to insist that animal shampoo is just that, for animals, and that the characteristics of human skin and hair are not the same as those of pets, so using this type of product, which may also contain active ingredients against insects and parasites, does not seem like the best idea.
In any case, the purpose of shampoo is to clean the hair and give it a good appearance. Some can help treat scalp problems, such as eczema or excess oil, but they do not serve to modify the structure of the hair fiber, the number of hairs, or the density of the hair… nor to accelerate hair loss. speed at which it grows.
11. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Panic
Also known by its acronym in English, SLS is an agent found in almost all personal hygiene products.
This ingredient is responsible for thickening the liquid element so that it can be handled and spread easily and is also responsible for making shampoos, bath gels, toothpaste… foam.
Defenders of natural products and those who promote the idea that anything containing chemical compounds is harmful use the argument that SLS is also harmful to people because it is also found in industrial detergents and degreasers and that, therefore, Therefore, it should not be included in the formulation of personal hygiene products.
12. You have to try everything or try practically nothing. Fashion is not bad …
For years we have heard the most diverse ideas about hair hygiene in terms of the mode, frequency, product… that is most convenient to use. The most common ones are located, curiously, at opposite poles. On the one hand, some maintain that you have to wash your head frequently, but you have to change shampoo periodically because your hair gets used to it and stops being effective.
On the other hand, we find the no poo trend, a name derived from the English no shampoo —without shampoo. As you may have already imagined, those who defend this trend claim that you should not use shampoo at all because this product is full of chemical elements and it is better to use a mixture based on water, baking soda, and/or vinegar from time to time.
According to them, conventional shampoos are harmful to health due to the presence of chemicals, but, in addition, they are very harmful to the hair, Since they destroy the fatty mantle that covers the scalp, they are too aggressive for the skin of the head. and they produce a kind of rebound effect that makes our hair greasy quickly. That is, normal shampoos are the result of a conspiracy by manufacturers to make us use them more than necessary.
This is not true for quite a few reasons. First of all, washing our hair is a necessary habit for our personal hygiene and physical appearance. Beyond appearance, shampoo serves to eliminate excess sebum produced by the sebaceous glands, environmental dirt, and remains of cosmetic products—hairspray, fixatives, gels, waxes, styling water, etc.—because its accumulation favors proliferation. of microorganisms and increase the risk of infections and irritations.
On the other hand, the mixture proposed by the defenders of the no poo fashion, made from baking soda, water, and vinegar, has a much more alkaline pH than that of the scalp, which contributes to drying it out excessively, in addition to causing irritation and changes in the color and quality of the hair fiber.
In this way, what we have to do is choose a good shampoo that we like and that works well for us, that is gentle and that can be used as often as we consider necessary or feel like.
13. If you pluck out one gray hair you will get seven
Gray hair does not have that ability to reproduce while it is anchored to the head, much less after it has been plucked.
14. Gray hair does not fall out
It’s not true either. Gray hair is, structurally, the same as pigmented hair that has lost color due to the oxidative process associated with age. In this way, the fact that someone who has lived long enough to have gray hair still has hair shows that that hair was already resistant and that is why it has not fallen out. That is to say, gray hair is strong hair in itself, but not because it is white or gray.
15. Stress makes gray hair appear
This statement has a certain scientific basis, given that these situations of emotional tension cause oxidative stress and a series of changes in the body that can induce grayness. Although there is not much evidence in this regard, nor definitive conclusions, the truth is that it is a myth about hair with some basis.