Whether you heard it from your mother, your best friend or your stylist, chances are you’re following somebody’s advice when it comes to managing your tresses. And just like with every other area in your life, some of the guidance might not be working out so well. If you're frustrated with your locks and can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong, it may be time to get some beauty information straight. Here are five common hair-care myths and why it's time to rethink them.
Myth #1: Brushing 100 Strokes a Day Why you should rethink it: Instead of making your mane shinier and stronger, this old wives’ tale can actually lead to greasy locks and split ends, especially if your hair is thin. “When you brush your hair, the bristles rub hard against the scalp, opening oil glands,” says Nicholas Penna Jr., hairstylist and owner of SalonCapri. To avoid the oil slick, gently stroke your hair a few times to remove tangles and knots. You can avoid breakage by making sure your hair is completely dry.
Myth #2: Shampooing in the Shower Is All You Need to Clean Your Hair Why you should rethink it: To get rid of hair spray and other heavier styling products that are loaded with harsh chemicals, it can take more than just sudsing up in the shower.Dennis Roche, hairstylist and owner of Roche Salon, recommends this weekly treatment to keep your mane from becoming knotty and brittle from all that buildup: Before stepping into the shower, comb dry hair to break down the buildup. Then apply your regular shampoo while your hair is still dry. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing. “This helps break down the stubborn polymers they’re leaving behind, and leaves hair truly clean and shiny,” Roche says.
Myth #3:Blow-Dry Your Hair in the Bathroom Why you should rethink it: Just because it’s convenient doesn’t mean it’s the best bet for your locks. “The leftover shower steam actually creates frizz,” Penna says. Instead, move to a dryer and cooler place, such as your bedroom. Hair can then get the voluminous and smooth look of a blowout without becoming a puffy mess.
Myth #4: Apply Product From Your Roots to Ends Why you should rethink it: Starting at the top is a surefire way to overapply product and leave locks looking limp. “Your ends are the most damaged and usually require the most product,” Roche says. He recommends applying a small amount of product to towel-dried hair, starting at the bottom and working your way up to the roots so that the top of your hair can retain its volume. If you need more, just start all over again. “This reduces wear and tear and friction," he says. "Plus you’ll get consistent results every time, without bare patches.”
Myth #5: Turn Down the Heat Why you should rethink it: Lowering the temperature setting on your flatiron sounds like a safer bet for your strands, but it can actually do more harm than good, Penna says. A lower setting forces you to keep going over the same section of hair again and again, which weakens and dulls locks. Instead, apply a heat protectant spray like Matrix Biolage Thermal-Activating Spray each time you reach for your iron. Set the iron to its highest setting (400 degrees or so), and slowly apply pressure from roots to ends. With this technique, you should only need to take one pass per every 2-inch section.
Have you relied on any of these hair-care myths?