10 Popular Hair Care Myths Busted! (PHOTOS)

Maressa Brown | Oct 17, 2014 Beauty & Style

closeup woman getting hair trimmedPerhaps even more than any other aspect of beauty, myths about our hair seem to absolutely abound! From how we ought to wear our locks to bed to the best ways to dye, cut, or style it and keep it healthy, we often believe a bevy of misconceptions about our manes.

For that reason, we spoke with experts who handle women's hair on the regular and asked that they please bust 10 of the biggest hair styling and care myths out there. You may never approach how you address your tresses the same way again!

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Be honest: Which of these myths did you believe?


Image via Patrick Lane/Somos Images/Corbis

  • Myth: You Should Wear Your Hair Up to Bed

    Image via IAN HOOTON/Science Photo Library/Corbis

    "People think [wearing their hair up to bed] is good for them, because it keeps hair intact and not all over the place," explains Oscar-winning hairstylist Mitch Stone, whose client list includes Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Davis, and George Clooney. "But you're better off leaving it loose than constricting it for hours on end, especially if you toss and turn a lot."

    The reason: "If hair is tied up tightly for eight hours in bed, it's got nowhere to go," he says. "It gets tangled, and that can cause breakage." 

  • Myth: You Should Go Days Between Shampoos


    Image via Corbis

    "People think they shouldn't wash their hair for days upon days, because they think the shampoo can be over-drying," explains Gabriela Sussman, master stylist and Redken certified colorist at David Michael Hair Studio in New Jersey.

    The facts: "Just like our skin requires different care from person to person, so does our hair," says Sussman. "The amount of sebum (oil) from the scalp determines how often you should wash your hair. Your hair texture is also a factor. Finer textures generally find they need to wash more often, where as courser textures tend to take longer for the natural oils to set in.

    The bottom-line: "A good rule of thumb, if your hair looks or feels greasy, wash it!" advises Sussman. "And to avoid drying out your hair, consult with your hair stylist on the proper prescription of shampoo and conditioner for your specific hair type."

  • Myth: Certain Lightening Products Will Be Less Damaging


    Image via Peter Muller/cultura/Corbis

    Although some highlighting or hair-lightening products claim to inflict less harm to your hair than others, the fact is that they're all working the same way.

    "I firmly believe there is no such thing as lightening the hair without damage," says Stone. "Some products carry claims that they have less ammonia. But the hair [color] needs to be 'lifted' until it is blond. However you get there -- stripping, lifting, bleaching, lightening, call it what you will -- it still damages the hair to a degree."

    One way to safeguard your mane: "If you're going to use any of these products, get the color off as soon as it's ready!" notes Stone.

  • Myth: Hair Is Best Styled When Dirty


    Image via Helen King/Corbis

    Most of us believe we shouldn't enter the salon with squeaky-clean hair when we're getting it dyed or styled, because we believe dirty hair will "take" a style better.

    "This is an absolute MYTH!" says Sussman. "If you scratch too roughly with your fingernails during shampooing, it could create an uncomfortable irritation at the scalp during the hair color application. But think of hair coloring from an artistic point of view. When a painter paints, they work on a clean canvas to get the most out of the paint they are using. The same goes with the hair. If the hair is clean, without any residue from products and pollutants, the hair color will be more rich and will take more evenly on the hair."

    If you are going to wash your hair at home the night before or even morning of a hair coloring service, Sussman recommends using a mild clarifying shampoo (like Hair Cleansing Cream by Redken, $15.99, Amazon.com).

  • Myth: Moisturizing Shampoo Is Best


    Image via Simon Marcus/Corbis

    We seem to think that if we want silky, soft hair, defaulting to a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is the way to go. Not so, says Sussman.

    "Over-moisturizing when not necessary can leave your hair with build-up," she says. "People who get highlights may need a shampoo and conditioner for repairing the broken protein bonds, and a lot of people mistake this feeling in the hair for dryness. Others may need a lightweight shampoo and conditioner for keeping the most amount of fullness in the hair, but that also creates shine without weighing the hair down. There are a wide variety of shampoos and conditioners available for every client, so it's best to use a salon professional's recommendation."

  • Myth: Coloring Your Hair Causes Irreversible Damage


    Image via I Love Images/Corbis

    People who have never dyed their hair may worry that any sort of coloring service will forever tarnish their tresses, particularly when it comes to its texture. But this is a myth, says Mia Moore of Pierre Michel Salon in New York.

    "Coloring your hair is a chemical process, but that doesn't mean it is bad for the hair," she explains. "Semi-permanent color, or what is often referred to as a 'gloss,' is a deposit-only color with little or no peroxide. Therefore, the color is only being deposited to the outside of the hair strand, evening the porosity and creating shine."

  • Myth: Don't Cut Your Hair If You Want It to Grow


    Image via I Love Images/Corbis

    You may believe it's best to steer clear of the salon while growing out your mane. But "split ends are the mortal enemy of long hair," warns Moore. "When the ends are split, the separation continues up the hair shaft, weakening the hair."

    The solution: "If you want to grow quality hair, go for regular 'micro-trims' to a stylist that isn't scissor-happy and is capable of just taking off what needs to be [taken off]. And yes, a 'dusting' or 'trim' is the same price as a haircut, because the same amount of work and cross-checking goes into both."

  • Myth: You Should Switch Shampoos Every So Often


    Image via Tetra Images/Corbis

    "People innately believe that their [hair] might just start assimilating to [shampoo], and then, it's less effective," explains Stone. "But my thinking is that if a shampoo or conditioner works for you, keep using it only until the circumstances/condition of your hair change -- and then adapt accordingly. It's the same way with a skin cream or diet. If it works, it works, until the body or skin maybe needs something else. Let your hair be your guide."

  • Myth: The More Conditioner, the Better


    Image via Jerome Tisne/Corbis

    When it comes to conditioner, more is more -- no matter your hair type, right? Not quite.

    "Shampoo is for cleansing the scalp, and conditioner is for moisturizing dry ends," explains Sussman. "Only a dime- to quarter-size amount of conditioner is appropriate for most hair textures. Finer hair in the extreme (or very short hair) may only need a pea-size amount of conditioner, whereas extremely course, dense hair may need more like two quarter-size amounts. Believe it or not, some hair textures may not even need conditioner with every shampoo!"

    To apply, Sussman recommends splitting your hair in half, from front to back, separating each section, and pulling to the front. Then, apply the conditioner on the ends, so as to avoid the root area.

  • Myth: Argan Oil Is a Good Conditioner


    Image via Foodfolio/the food passionates/Corbis

    Argan oil has gotten extremely trendy in the last few years, leaving many under the impression that it works like a deep conditioning treatment. But that's not the case.

    "It is a topical styling oil with silicon," Moore explains. "I use the product in the salon to decrease the friction and add shine to my styles, but this does not replace deep conditioners or more intense products designed to re-hydrate the hair."


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