Myth: Washing your hair too much will make it fall out:
Not true. Washing your hair is singularly the best thing you can do for it. Your hair and scalp, just like the rest of your body, benefits from the removal of dirt, oil and dead skin cells.
When you wash your hair, of course, you notice more hair falling out, but these are only hairs which are ready to come out anyway. Not washing your hair will not prevent this; indeed, leaving your hair unwashed is likely to result in a greater hair loss in time. The only hair that will fall out when you wash it is hair that is ready to leave the follicle either because it has come to the end of its genetically determined growing phase or because of ill-health, stress, poor diet or some other causative factor that is interfering with the life cycle of the hair. It is totally counterproductive not to wash your hair for fear of it falling out. Not only will hair that is ready to fall out, fall out anyway, the hair loss may be greater by not washing your hair. This is because when the hair/scalp is greasy follicles become saturated with sebum (the skin’s natural oil) which contains substances that can cause the hair to loosen in the follicles and fall out.
Myth: Cutting hair will make it grow stronger:
Not true. This works well in the garden but not on the scalp. Unlike the stem and branches of a shrub the shaft of the hair is not alive so ‘cutting back’ will have no effect except to sometimes give the appearance of thicker hair when it is shorter. Once hair is visible on the surface of the scalp all you can influence is its condition and appearance. Hair grows from the dermal papilla, or hair root, which is located at the base of the hair follicle and only factors which influence the forming hair cells within the root, such as a genetic predisposition, diet, illness, physical trauma etc., will determine how strong or weak the hair will be. Once hair has emerged from the follicle its ‘strength’ has been determined by its diameter, elasticity and tensile properties are set and cannot be influenced by cutting it. What does now start to influence the newly emerged hair is the environment and the things we do to it such as washing, colouring, straightening etc., and if weakness and damage is caused to the hair from these factors then cutting off any split or broken hair certainly is advantageous. The primary job of a shampoo is to remove dirt and oil from the hair and scalp, this it will do time after time with no diminishing effect, so there is no reason to change your shampoo for this reason. Some shampoos, however, particularly those with high levels of silicone can cause build up on the hair which can influence the texture and manageability of the hair and give it a slightly unnatural feel.Shampoos that contain a high level of water insoluble silicones such as Dimethicone, a common ingredient in ‘conditioning shampoos’, particularly 2-in-1 shampoos, can build up on hair. Silicones can coat the hair shaft to such an extent that the hair feels weighed down and limp. In some cases the hair can start to feel more like a nylon wig rather than real hair because when you touch your hair your fingers are not coming into contact with the hair itself, but the synthetic silicone which is coating it. This build up of silicone on hair can also be a problem for hairdressers trying to colour a client’s hair because the silicone barrier can interfere with the penetration of colour molecules into the cortex of the hair leaving the new hair colour patchy. Where a build-up of silicone does occur the hair should be washed using a silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. To find one look at the ingredient list and avoid hair products that contain substances such as ‘dimethicone’ and ‘cyclopentasiloxane’, which are likely to interfere with the hair colouring process.