Fact or fiction? The truth about some hair and care myths

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Let's begin 2020 with some education on our hair and some myths and facts about our hair.

There are so many old wives tales that we just believe them and in retrospect realize how absurd they really are. For instance, "eating the crust on your sandwich will make your hair curly." That's so funny.

Our hair grows out of our follicles and the only thing that governs how curly or straight the hair is, is the shape of the hair follicle itself. If it is a completely round hole, the hair is straight. The more oval the follicles are the curlier the hair is. It has nothing to do with your sandwich crust.

Another unreasonable myth is that if you pull out a gray hair, two will grow out of the same follicle. That is impossible. We all have one hair per follicle. However, repeatedly pulling out a gray hair, or any color hair, could result in the follicle dying - thereby resulting in no hair growth at all.

The outside layers of the strand of hair are called cuticle layers. When those layers are lifted, especially on the end of the strand of hair, it is a split end. Nothing except trimming the frayed end will repair it.

There are "split end care" products that claim to repair the splits. Alas, they will not.

Some supposed "split end menders" can glue the frayed ends down, which will help keep them from getting worse and giving the appearance of repair. But nope, that's not a fix. You must trim those ends.

Brushing the hair 100 strokes a night will not make it shiny. It might make the scalp produce more oil, which could give the appearance of shine.

Brushing will definitely roughen the cuticle, which could damage the hair.

The outside cuticles also can be more rough, causing less shine and more damage by using a towel and vigorously rubbing wet hair. Wet hair is more elastic and can be damaged more easily.

Brushing and towel drying wet hair will damage and make the hair dull. If the outside layers are lifted then there's no reflection of light, and therefore no shine.

Chemicals and using incorrect products will, of course, damage the hair. A cool rinse will help those layers to close, making the hair reflect and shine.

Contrary to another myth, hair doesn't grow any faster if it's cut regularly. Rather, it will stay healthy and therefore not have breakage. This in turn will make the hair that grows stay on the head so it looks like it's growing faster.

It is a fact that TLC is important in keeping your hair healthy. Professional products are always best, and we as professionals are trained to help you maintain the integrity of your hair. Always call a pro.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton. styleitsalon.com

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