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Hairdressing myths: busted

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Hair has a lot of myths about it. There aren’t actually many scientific papers on the topic – it’s clearly not something that researchers, except those who seek to promote certain products, focus on – but I spoke to Kelly Munt, assistant manager at the award winning Anne Veck Salon (which does a 20% student discount every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) whilst I got my hair cut to find out whether any of the most common hair myths might have some truth to them.

Does cutting your hair make it grow faster? Sort of, yes. Cutting your hair every eight weeks – or six if you’re trying to grow it – stops the split ends that accumulate from travelling up the hair. Your hair won’t technically grow faster from the root, but it will look healthier and you’ll be able to keep it longer. If you let your hair grow for a long time without getting it cut, the split ends start breaking and this gives the illusion that the hair has stopped growing altogether.

The copper, because of the chlorine, makes blonde hair go that khaki green colour

Can you make your hair grow faster by eating certain foods? There is an idea that certain vitamins are good for hair and nail growth – I can’t guarantee that this works but I think it can make some improvement.

Why does blonde hair go green in swimming pools? It’s the chlorine – it oxidises the copper in the water, while then binds to the hair strands (which are made of protein). The copper, because of the chlorine, makes blonde hair go that khaki green colour.

Does worrying make your hair go grey? There is an element of that – I’ve heard accounts of those who’ve had traumatic experiences, for example in hospital, who have found that after that experience they’ve had a big increase in their grey hair growth. We know that stress has a significant influence over your physical health, so it makes sense that it would influence your hair as well as the rest of your body.

Does using the same shampoo often lessen its effect? No. Some people like to mix their shampoos up every now and then – you can get used to a product so it feels like it’s not doing as much but it’s still doing the same thing for your hair.

Is colouring your hair bound to make it dry? It depends what colour – bleaching will definitely dry your hair out especially without the proper care, however coloured dye, because it’s lifting the hair as much as bleach, shouldn’t dry the hair out. It’s often not the immediate effect of bleach that dries out your hair, and it doesn’t happen on the day you get it done. It’s the way you treat your hair afterwards, such as by exposing it to the sun or pool water, washing it, or using heat appliances that dry the hair out.

In most cases, dandruff is just caused by a dry scalp

Is some hair really more static than other hair? It depends on the texture – people with very fine hair often find it gets quite static. Thicker hair doesn’t tend to have such a flyaway texture because each strand is thicker and heavier.

Washing your hair every day makes it get more greasy. Yes – the reason why you shouldn’t wash your hair every day is because you’re not just washing away natural hair oils but you are, in simple terms, telling your scalp that you need to produce even more oil. This can become a habit because once you start washing your hair every day you have to continue or it’ll look greasy, but I usually recommend using dry shampoo to get out of that habit.

Pulling out grey hairs makes more grow back. No, that’s just painful.

Does dandruff mean you are unhealthy? In most cases, dandruff is just caused by a dry scalp. Occasionally there is an underlying medical issue, but 9 times out of 10 it’s because of a dehydrated scalp, and there’s nothing to worry about medically.

Brushing your hair when wet is bad for it. It depends what brush you use – if you were to use a wide-tooth comb or a tangle-teaser (which is recommended), you won’t damage your hair. However if you use a fine-tooth comb it pulls at the knots rather than detangling them, which can cause damage.

Just washing your hair with conditioner won’t cleanse it properly

If you leave your hair for long enough, it will self-clean. To my knowledge, this doesn’t happen. And I can’t say much more I’m afraid – until I see it I won’t believe it.

Shampoo is bad for your hair, and you should just use conditioner. We use shampoo to cleanse the scalp and hair. The first shampoo is to loosen any dirt or debris on the scalp and hair, and the second removes this. The conditioner is designed to hydrate the hair and to start closing the cuticle once it has been cleansed – so just washing your hair with conditioner won’t cleanse it properly.

Hair extensions make your hair fall out afterwards. No. This isn’t true, but there is a reason that people think it is. Usually, you will lose between 50-100 strands of hair a day. This seems like quite a lot but in comparison to the rest of your hair, it’s not very much. When you have extensions, the hairs that are meant to have fallen out are trapped within the hair extensions themselves. This means that when you get your extensions removed or refitted, it looks like you’re losing a lot of hair in the process because the trapped hair is only now visible.

Curly hair is drier than straight hair. This is true. Curly hair is drier and needs more added moisture than straight hair.

Anne Veck is the Eco salon of the year, and is close to to the Iffley sports centre.

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