Ever since the very beginning of civilization, people have sought for ways to combat hair loss. In fact, there are even documents detailing ancient hair loss remedies that date back to as far as 1550 B.C.E. Unfortunately, over this long history, a large amount of inaccurate information has become accepted as fact and many people are following hair care advice that actually causes more harm than good. At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we believe that educating our patients about proper hair care practices is one of the best ways to reduce hair loss and keep hair strong and healthy. Here are the facts behind some of the most common hair growth myths.
Myth: Hair grows faster when it’s trimmed frequently.
Reality: It is actually the follicles in your scalp that determine how hair grows, and trimming the ends has absolutely no impact on this growth rate However, since split ends lead to breakage of the hair, it will never grow as long if you do not regularly trim your hair. In addition, broken ends can lead to thinner appearing hair.
Myth: Brushing your hair with 100 strokes each day is important for hair health.
Reality: Gentle brushing helps distribute the healthy natural oils produced by the follicle, called sebum, throughout the hair, but excessive brushing can lead to cuticle damage and breakage that can make hair look frizzy. Moreover, if you are already experiencing thinning, brushing can add more stress to the already fragile follicle and accelerate hair loss.
Myth: If you pluck gray hair, two more will grow in its place.
Reality: Each hair follicle functions independently, growing and shedding hair on a regular schedule. While plucking a hair from an individual follicle may interrupt that growth cycle, it will not cause that follicle to start spontaneously producing more hair than it did previously, and it will have absolutely no effect on the follicles around it. However, plucking may cause scarring that can damage the follicle, leading to eventual thinning or patches of hair loss.
Myth: The sun is the best way to lighten to your hair.
Reality: The sun naturally lightens hair color because ultraviolet radiation damages the outside cover of the hair strand just like it damages the skin. While this process does discolor the hair, it also results in dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, and even hair thinning.
Myth: Sleeping with your hair down will make it grow faster.
Reality: There is no evidence to show that sleeping with your hair down will make it grow faster. However, certain tight hairstyles, like braids or pony-tails, worn for long periods can cause a condition called traction alopecia, where the tension at the root damages the hair follicle, contributing to hair loss.
If you have questions about your individual hair loss or any hair restoration treatments, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration to schedule a consultation. Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.