The health of hair is of course very important but because 'what the hair is' is shrouded in mystery, again this topic is open to any tom, dick or harry putting their oar in and telling you what is best for your hair!
This page is to give you some straight facts about how to keep your hair as healthy as possible (even if you are suffering from a problem, which is causing your hair to thin, keeping the rest in top condition can really help you feel better.
Below are some FAQ's regarding how to look after your hair, click on each FAQ to expand it.
Is it true that your hair grows faster when you have it cut?
Absolutely not! Your hair is dead, it has no nerve ending or blood vessels, (this is why it doesn't hurt when you have your hair cut!), your hair cannot respond to things that happen to it, so when you cut the ends there is no way of the root knowing it has been cut.
If I stop washing my hair will it wash itself?
Let me ask you this...If you stop washing your face will it wash itself? Same thing!
Does brushing your hair 100 times before bed make it shinier?
No! It will rough up the cuticles unnecessarily and make it duller!
How often should I shampoo my hair?...Does Frequent shampooing dry the hair?
You can wash your hair as often as it feels right to do so…and No, you can quite happily shampoo your hair daily and not worry about the effects of the detergent upon it. Your main problem would be from styling your hair every day, if you use heated appliances on your hair such as straightening irons every day, this could seriously damage your hair, not the shampooing bit?
Is gray hair is thicker/coarser
White hair may feel thicker as the melanocytes which colour the hair has a conditioning effect on it, this being removed makes for 'marginally' drier hair, this may make it feel coarse and so thicker!
Cold rinses are good for your hair.
Again this is a good old wives tail perpetuated by hair dressers on people who they don't particularly like!...the cuticles are supposed to close and tighten and so produce shiny(er) hair but again the result will be minimal and all results lost when the hair 'warms' up again.
Head lice like [clean/dirty] hair.
Head lice don't care! They will happily breed on any ones head regardless of cleanliness...this myth was started by prissy mothers who needed to take some solace out of their children having head lice.
Is conditioner left on my hair overnight good for my hair?
Conditioner is basically an emollient (it does the job of our own sebum, just in a more cosmetically acceptable way) a conditioner will only penetrate so far into the hair, so there is a time limit on how effective it will be, but leaving it on overnight will ensure you get the maximum benefit from your conditioner.
Does rubbing my hair with a towel really damage it?
If you do it very vigorously yes, your hair is very prone to damage when it is wet because it is full of water and it's 'tensile' strength is depleted until it is dry, rubbing it will cause friction between the hairs and will rough up the cuticle causing the hair to become damaged (spilt ends, knotting etc..) so be gentle with your hair when wet!
Will anything mend split ends?
A good cut nothing else will mend split ends, which is when the cuticle of your hair is almost non-existent exposing the cortex of your hair which is unraveling causing a frayed end which can travel up the hair as a giant split.
Is coloring your hair during pregnancy bad for you?
Extensive investigations are ongoing but up to now have concluded that the risk of a foetus being contaminated by the chemical in hair dye is negligible, always ask the stylist to perform a patch test on you, as the body does react differently when pregnant, it's better to be safe than sorry and if in doubt have highlights so that no colour touches the scalp.
Colouring your hair can affect the growth of your hair/ cause thinning?
There are no links between hair loss and colouring your hair
Will lemon juice bleach my hair?
Not really, Lemon juice is a mild acid and acid has the effect of closing the cuticles of the hair making it more shiny and smooth.
Will the swimming pool turn my blonde hair green?
Depends what swimming pool...Indoor pools would not make your hair green, outdoor pools may. It's the copper in the pipes transporting the water to the pools which cause the hair to go green (not chlorine itself) so in hot countries, outdoor pools (due to evaporation) have a concentrate of Copper salts in the water which is easily absorbed by porous, damaged hair...then it goes green!
Will my hair develop 'product immunity' if I keep using the same shampoo and conditioner?
No. Your hair is dead, it does not know what you are using on it, what changes is your perception of the product you are using, so the first time you think "WOW this shampoo is wonderful, you don't expect the wow factor the both time you use it and by the 100th time you may think "it's not as good, my hair must be used to it"...it's all in your head!
And here are my top 10 tips for healthy hair:
Use products which are suitable for you hair type/condition, don't just go for the cheapest (nor the most expensive) on looks, price or smell alone.
Eat well! You are what you eat, if you have a restrictive diet you will most likely put extra strain on the hair, protein is especially important to hair as is Iron, zinc and Vit B12.
Get a good quality brush...poor quality ones will snag and tear your hair.
Restrict the use of heated appliances to weekend use only...and anything over 180°c will cause damage to the hair cuticle.
Don't use bleach or any other corrosive material repeatedly on the hair...it will break!
Find a good hairdresser who cares about the health of your hair as well as the style.
An (good quality) intensive treatment once a week will work wonders for damaged hair, this is where I would not buy cheap!
Do not constantly wear your hair up in one style...it will eventually cause traction alopecia.
If you 'must' wear hair extensions, go to a reputable salon, ask to see certificate of the person who will be putting them in, ask for a test bond first, and DO NOT wear them constantly for over 3 months without a break...it is usually the long term affects of hair extensions which are the worst (people who do not go back to the salon for 6 months at a time for them to be removed).
Remember...your hair is a dead material...once it is damaged you cannot fully repair it...so be kind to it!