When it comes to our hair, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there – not to mention, a whole load of myths that need some serious busting. So who better to ask than the expert team at Dyson? It only spent $66 million developing the incredible ‘Supersonic’ hair dryer that blows all others out of the water, so it’s safe to say it knows a thing or two about healthy, beautiful hair. From the best time to brush your hair to plucking gray strays, read on as the experts at Dyson debunk five of the biggest hair myths of all time.
"Hair is best brushed when wet."
Hair is actually 50 percent weaker when wet! Wet hair stretches more than dry hair before it breaks. It also has a co-efficient of friction that is significantly higher than that of dry hair, therefore combing/brushing it whilst wet will increase the amount of force applied, which in turn increases the likelihood of breaks occurring.
"Rinsing hair with cold water makes it shiny."
The general premise of this myth is that cold water will cause the cuticle layer (or surface) of the hair to close. Hair, however, is dead and there are no active mechanisms (e.g. opening and closing of cuticle layers) caused by either hot or cold water. The cortex swells slightly with water due to penetration into the hair, but this occurs with both hot and cold water.
"Cutting your hair often will make it grow faster."
No, it doesn’t! Hair grows from the root, and the body doesn’t know when it has been cut – shaving, plucking, and tweezing is a different story. Cutting the hair removes split ends, which helps the hair stay more aligned and look healthier. Perceptually, if you get your hair cut more frequently, you will probably be more aware of how quickly it grows.
"If you pluck a gray hair, more will grow back."
It’s true that when a hair follicle begins growing gray hair, all new hairs from this follicle will be gray. If you pluck the hair, the follicle will be forced back into the anagen growth phase and produce another gray hair. But there’s no clear evidence that plucking a single hair will cause other hair follicles to start producing gray hairs, too!
"The more you brush your hair, the healthier it will be."
Brushing the hair mechanically damages it, breaking bonds in the cortex that weakens it over time. The abrasion of hair will break off the small bits of the cuticle that stick up due to other damage, and this will enable the hair strands to align better, which does make it temporarily look healthier. However, it is still more damaged than before and less resistant to chemical, environmental, physical, and heat damage in the future.
Fun Fact: In general, the weight needed to produce a natural hair thread rupture is 50 to 100 grams. An average head has about 120,000 threads of hair and would support about 12 tonnes!