We’ve all heard people dish out daily advice on hair care; “don’t wash it every day, don’t use hair products, cutting it will make it grow thicker!” These hair “rules” have become so entrenched in our beauty psyches, that many of us have never stopped to question the logic behind them.
Mike Ryan, or the Dubai Hair Doctor as he’s come to be known, has over 16 years of experience as a trichologist in the UK, Japan, and for the last year in the UAE at a leading hair loss and hair care clinic, Hair Spa Dubai where he is the Middle East’s only board certified trichologist. Here, he debunks ten of the biggest hair care myths that we’ve all been following (some of us religiously, ahem, ahem) for years.
1. Hairstyles themselves do not cause hair loss: FALSE
Surprisingly, there are certain hairstyles which can in fact cause hair loss, and permanent hair loss at that. Some extreme hairstyles that place constant pressure on the hair follicles can cause problems with hair loss in both women and men. Hairstyles with cornrows and ponytails can put excessive pressure on your hair and cause a permanent hair loss condition known as traction alopecia.
2. Washing your hair every day makes it fall out: FALSE
Washing your hair regularly won’t make it fall out; those hairs at the bottom of the shower are already released strands that your shampoo has simply removed. A dirty head of hair may make for better bed head hairstyles, but it’s certainly not extending the life span of your follicles nor preventing hair loss and baldness.
3. Blow-drying makes your hair fall out: FALSE
While it can damage, burn or dry out your hair, blow-drying isn’t the root problem of hair loss. Hair that has been damaged by blow-drying may fall out, but unless you’re suffering from male pattern baldness, it will grow back almost immediately. The same applies to straightening your hair.
4. Cutting your hair short will make it grow back thicker: FALSE
While frequent haircuts do not prevent hair loss or male pattern baldness in men, hair does feel and look thicker after a haircut because your hair is naturally thicker at the base.
5. If your maternal grandfather is bald, you’ll go bald: FALSE
The old myth that you inherit baldness and fine hair from your mother’s side of the family is a total myth. The hair loss gene is hereditary but comes from either your maternal or paternal side. So you can stop blaming your mum and start putting some of the blame for having thinning hair onto your dad.
6. Dandruff is contagious: FALSE
This probably stems from the fact that a flaky, itchy scalp is influenced by the presence of bacteria (microorganisms) and many people associate these words with all things catching and contagious. However, this is a myth – you cannot catch dandruff as you already have the makings of it and all scalps are prone to it. The bacteria that causes dandruff is in fact found on everyone’s scalp. It’s part of your normal skin flora and is usually harmless.
Normally occurring bacteria can cause problems for your scalp and multiply for a number of reasons. For instance, dandruff often rears its head when there is an over-growth of bacteria due to poor hygiene or not washing your hair frequently enough. It can also occur when the resistance of your protective scalp secretions are disrupted, if there is an increase in the turnover of the skin on your scalp, or if you have a dairy intolerance.
7. Wearing hats or covering hair causes hair loss: FALSE
Unless you’re wearing a swimming hat on a daily basis or a hat that’s tight enough to put excessive tension on your hair, wearing hats and covering your hair shouldn’t be causing your hair to fall out even if you’re wearing one 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
8. Losing 100 strands of hair a day is normal: FALSE
Most of us have between 100,000 and 150,000 hair follicles in our scalp, 90% of which are, if you’re lucky, growing at any one time. The saying that we lose 100 of these hairs per day is a gross overestimate; it’s actually more like 20-50 a day. The upside is that those hairs you see in the bottom of the bath or shower every morning are totally normal.
9. Hair products cause hair loss: FALSE
Despite what people may say, the amount of product you put on your hair doesn’t affect hair loss. Gel, wax, mousse, hairspray… you can plaster as much on as you like and be safe in the knowledge that it isn’t going to make your perfectly styled hair fall out.
10. Stress causes hair loss: TRUE (but…)
Stress can cause hair loss, but this hair loss is temporary. Stressful events such as illness and money worries can cause hair production to stop temporarily, but stress is not the cause of genetic hair loss or male pattern baldness.
If you suffer from hair loss or baldness, this in itself can also cause stress, but removing the stress will unfortunately not stop the hair loss. Sorry guys!
For more information visit www.dubaihairdoctor.com
Which of these hair care myths did you think was true?
Thank you doctor Mike. Really good and informative. But you didn’t mention anything about applying Oil to hair. We Arabians used to believe that applying oil actually do no help with hair loss. But one of my neighbour who is from india had a very long argument with me last month and surprisingly she has very thick and black hair. She is arguing that her hair color is because of applying coconut oil everyday. How coconut oil helps preventing hair oil do you believe the vitamins in hair oil actually penetrates to the root of the hair or absorbed by skin? I am not a doctor and strongly disagreed with her, but couldn’t win her because the lack of my knowledge. I never applied oil all these years and facing hair loss over the last two years. As I can’t prove her wrong I started testing coconut oil myself for one month. currently i ordered some variation of coconut oil from an Indian company and using it everyday for the last two weeks. I saw some little improvements but I am not sure its permanent or temporary. I am a regular reader of this site and will definitely update this thread after two weeks. This is the oil I am using now: http://parachutegold.com and saw one other indian brands also in MOE mall. If you are reading this doctor, please provide us your thoughts about coconut oils.