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Unconditioned and Untreated Hair Myths Sorted!

Tuesday, 18 October 2005


Triona Mc Carthy is giving us a little truth serum about hair care and beauty myths! 

. 100 strokes a day will make hair shine.
Actually, it's best if you only brush your hair when styling it.  While a few strokes can make your hair shine by distributing the natural oils down the hair shafts, too much can also over-stimulate the production of sebum and make hair lank and oily.
Excessive brushing can do more damage than good by over-stretching the hair, ripping the cuticle cells and causing thinning, triggering added breakage and split ends in the long run.  Use a good quality brush like cult favourite Mason Pearsons.

Mason Pearsons - €80 - Terri Sales.

. Lemon juice will lighten your hair.
Who hasn't given this a go when they were young in an effort to have more fun by being blonde?  Lemon juice by itself will not lighten the hair, but lemon juice and the ultraviolet rays of the sun may slightly lighten your hair.
The drawback here is dryness and if your hair is dark to begin with, it will turn orangutan orange! This job is better done by a professional, or alternatively try Sun In.

Sun In - € 8.95 available pharmacies nationwide.

. Frequent trimmings can make hair grow faster.
Hairdressers always advise you to have your hair trimmed every 6 weeks because it's more business for them!  In actual fact, hair grows half-inch per month, whether it is cut or not.
Hair may grow slightly faster in the summer, but that has nothing to do with the stylist's scissors and everything to do with hormones, which do speed hair growth a little.  However, a good trim will eliminate split ends, making hair look healthier and livelier.

. Split ends can be repaired.
Unlike setting a broken bone in which the two parts of the break knit together to become one again, a split end remains a split end.  The only way to rid of split ends is to cut them off and prevent them in the future with good hair care, and not over brushing!
There are products on the market that can temporarily glue the errant ends to each other, but once those bonding agents are washed away the hair returns to its split state.  Try Kerastaste Resistance Programme, a 4 step programme designed to strengthen hair.

Kerastaste Resistance Programme -€14 available from selected salons, nationwide.

. Plucking one grey hair causes two to grow back.
You can't get 10 follicles where there was only one before.  Greying is a gradual process that naturally accompanies aging.  It takes about three months to grow a new hair and about an additional three months for that hair to achieve enough length for us to notice it. Therefore, by the time the grey hairs we pull out grow back in, we've aged six months; during that stretch more of our hair has turned grey, including hairs in the immediate area of the ones extracted.

. Shampoo loses its effectiveness as hair becomes accustomed to it.
The seemingly magic effects of a particular brand of shampoo don't wear off because the body builds up a resistance to it.  Again this is modern folklore.
Rather, our hair can react differently to a particular shampoo because it has been coloured or permed somewhere along the line, or the state of our general health has changed.

. Hair should be shampooed everyday.
Everyone is different but most people over wash their hair with shampoo that is full of detergents and chemicals.  Over-shampooing dries hair out.
Check out Batiste from Boots.  It's a dry shampoo for a BHD (Bad hair day).

Batiste - €2.98 - available from Boots

. Do Hair extensions make you go bald?
Yes the weight of the extension pulls on the follicle eventually causing the hair to fall out. Remember those rumours about Victoria Beckham's baldness?
Everyone is different and will react to hair extensions in a different way.  But it's a well known fact that hair extensions can do damage to your natural hair.  The glue that is attached to your natural hair can burn and split the ends of your hair.  This means that you will almost always have the ends of your hair cut after the extensions are removed.
A lot of long or heavy extensions can add additional pressure to the scalp.  One of the dangers of extra pressure to your scalp can be a thinning of your natural hair.  In some cases there have been reports of headaches from the added weight of the hair or allergies to the bonding glue that is used.

Tip: Febreeze is actually great for spraying on extensions if they get a bit whiffy!

. Is shampoo just washing-up liquid that smells nicer?
Washing-up liquid acts similarly to a clarifying shampoo like Neutrogena T-Gel which strips the hair of product build up.  Probably not a good idea for everyday use though!

Neutrogena Anti-Residue - €5.55 - available nationwide

. Does rinsing hair with beer make it shiny?
Yes, believe it or not beer really does make your hair shinier.  The proteins from the malt found in beer coat, rebuild and repair damaged hair.  The vitamin B and natural sugar add body and shine.
So the next time you have trouble finishing a bottle of beer, keep the leftovers for use as a hair tonic.  Choose a beer that does not have a strong odour.  Shampoo and rinse hair as usual then pour the beer on your hair and work it through.  Rinse with lukewarm, not hot, water. 

. Is Mayonnaise good for conditioning hair?
Yes, you can condition with a condiment.  Mayonnaise is one of the best deep conditioners you can find, it contains a lot of proteins and oil.
Simply apply the mayonnaise to the hair and scalp, cover your hair with a plastic cap then sit under a dryer, or wrap the head in a hot towel, then let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Thoroughly wash the hair until the mayonnaise is completely gone.

What and Where To Buy
Mason Pearsons Brush - €80 - Available from Terri Sales, 71. Middle Abbey St. Dublin 1.
Sun In - €8.95 - available pharmacies Nationwide.
Kerastaste Resistance Programme - €14 - available from selected salons, nationwide.
Batiste - €2.98 - from Boots.
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo - €5.55 - available pharmacies nationwide.