From Black Voices – We’ve all heard our share of old wives’ tales when it comes to beauty, but what’s actually fact and fiction? We asked, and you shared some of the hair secrets that you swear by. Whether you grew up brushing your locks exactly 50 times because Grandma said it would make your hair shiny, or spent hours parting and greasing, here’s some truths to put the traditions to bed.
MYTH #1: Twirling your hair will cause you to lose hair in that spot quicker.
THE REAL DEAL: According to the American Hair Loss Association, hair loss resulting from constant twirling is called trichotillomania. The constant tug weakens the follicles resulting in patchy hair loss and broken strands. However, if you can get a grip on your hair twirling habit before it’s becomes a chronic compulsion, your hair will re-grow. If not, see a therapist ASAP to get to the root of the problem.
MYTH #2: Braids can cause the hairline to recede.
THE REAL DEAL: It’s true! If we didn’t learn anything from Brandy‘s braid-wearing days, let’s set the record straight. Continuous hair pulling for extended periods of time can in fact lead to hair loss. It can cause damage to the roots that may or may not be reversible, and you might start to see your hairline recede like your dad’s. Give your hair scalp a rest by alternating braided styles with loose ones every few weeks.
MYTH #3: Greasing your hair/scalp every night will keep it healthy.
THE REAL DEAL: The answer is two-fold. We all need keep our mane moisturized, and grease can provide that, but using products that are too heavy will actually do more bad than good. Steer clear of products that contain mineral oil and petroleum jelly; these actually clog pores, and greasy build-up prevents hair growth. Once a week, wash out buildup with a clarifying shampoo like hair rules Aloe Grapefruit Purifying Shampoo ($9.50-$20, hairrules.com)
MYTH #4: Dying hair will cause it to lose its texture and shine; you will also go grey faster.
THE REAL DEAL: Hair color affects everyone differently, but when dye is applied, no matter what your hair type, the hair cuticles are being striped so that the color sticks. “Color actually thins hair because it’s stripping as it colors,” says celebrity hair stylistSuzette Boozer of SuLon Hair Studio in Brooklyn, NY.
“Think of split ends – it’s taking one layer off of the strand,” she says. The texture is changing as we dye and if not moisturized properly after coloring, shine will disappear too. As for the grays, factors like genetics, smoking, and stress causes this, so unless you’re stressing about your hue, the dye itself will not make you gray faster.
MYTH #5: Wearing a satin or silk scarf and sleeping on a satin pillowcase prevents split ends and overdrying.
THE REAL DEAL: It’s true! Sleeping on a satin pillowcase or with a satin scarf, especially if your hair breaks easily, will help prevent snags and friction that cotton causes. Constant rubbing wreaks havoc on hair cuticles, leaving it in a tangled mess come morning. Also, try wearing a satin scarf under winter hats to avoid hair breakage.