The Biggest Hair Myths – Busted By The Pros

Does cold water give your hair shine? Can too much shampoo cause damage? And does stress really cause grey hairs? To help you sort fact from fiction, we asked two industry pros to debunk some of the most common haircare claims out there…
By Rebecca Hull /
01

Washing Your Hair Too Much Causes More Grease

FACT: “Washing your hair daily won’t make your scalp greasier. Shampoo isn’t there to produce oil – it’s designed to cleanse and remove dirt, oil and other build up from your scalp. The only things that will make your hair greasy is overusing certain styling products and touching it too much with your fingers during the day.” Syd Hayes, international session stylist

02

Silicones Aren’t That Bad For Your Hair

FACT: “They’re not great either. Originally, they were added to hair products to increase shine, but over time, silicones can build up on your hair shaft and become difficult to remove. The result is dull-looking hair. Most silicones are derived from plastic, so they stop any natural oils from penetrating your strands. Silicones aren’t good for the environment either. Look for naturally derived ones if you can – which is what we use in the Larry King formulations.” Larry King, A-list hairdresser

03

Wearing A Hat Can Cause Hair Thinning

FACT: “There is no scientific research to prove this. It’s a rumour that’s done the rounds, but there has never been any evidence to back it up – what can cause thinning, however, is the sun, so wearing a hat for sun protection is essential.” – Syd

04

Bleach Helps Hair Appear Full

FACT: “This is actually true. Any colour that ‘lightens’ hair will give the illusion of fullness because it makes hair a bit more ‘wirey’. Taking the hair darker will tend to make it softer by comparison. There have been occasions in my salon where our colourists will bleach a very fine, limp fringe and recolour to its natural shade to add body. My wife also relies on bleach to lift her curls from the root.” – Larry 

05

Rinsing Hair With Cold Water Boosts Shine

FACT: “This is a complete myth. For years, I thought it helped seal the hair cuticle, thus giving it better shine and gloss. However, cold water stops the blood from flowing freely, which in turn stops vital hair growth ingredients from getting to the scalp. If you do the maths, you’ll realise better shine would therefore be hard to come by.” – Syd

06

Regular Trims Help Hair Grow

FACT: “The truth is, haircuts alone won’t actually make your hair grow, as this process comes from the root of your scalp – that said, a good cut can help. If you don’t have regular trims, you’ll start to have problems with the hair’s condition and you’ll get more breakage further up the hair shaft. A regular trim will stop this happening, and long term it’ll keep ends healthy for longer. The answer isn’t black or white, but preventing damage is always important.” – Larry

07

Stress Can Cause Grey Hairs

FACT: “This isn’t a myth – at least in my opinion. Generally, lifestyle factors have a huge impact on the appearance of your hair, and that includes stress, nutrition, illness and a lack of sleep. All of this can play a part in the increasing appearance of grey hair – I’ve seen it first-hand.” – Syd

08

Split Ends Can Be Repaired At Home

FACT: “Not true. Only regular trims by a professional can help with split ends. It’s why you should book in every six to eight weeks. Use a gentle wash cycle in between appointments and go easy on the brushing – especially when your hair is wet as this is when it is most prone to breakage.” – Larry

09

Your Hair Can Clean Itself In Time

FACT: “Hair does not self-clean. If you don’t wash your scalp, grease will build up and start to smell. It’s important to look after your scalp the same way you would your skin. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a great ingredient that will benefit both your scalp and hair. It has anti-bacterial properties and acts like an astringent because of its acidic pH. ACV deep-cleans the follicles, removes topical build-up, reduces inflammation on the scalp, kills bacteria that can cause oily dandruff, tightens the cuticle on hair strands, and helps to naturally regulate the body’s pH, which can cause dry scalp and flaking (which is a different condition to oily dandruff).” – Syd

10

Your Scalp Doesn’t Need Special Attention

FACT: “Think about cleansing your skin. Your scalp is very similar. If you were to use a daily cleanser that was harsh and stripping, your skin would begin to produce oils to combat that effect – and your scalp is no different. The products you use are essential to maintaining healthy hair and the natural balance of your scalp. It’s why it’s important to take care and use shampoos that are sulphate-free – they’re known to be gentler. The more time and effort you put into maintaining a healthy scalp, the better your hair will look hair overall.” – Larry

11

It’s A Good Idea To Shampoo Daily

FACT: “There are a lot of variables to consider when it comes to ‘how often’ you should be shampooing. It all depends on your individual hair type and needs. For instance, if you’re concerned about hair loss, it’s common sense to cleanse it daily. This is because you want to keep it as clean as possible and free from any dirt that prevents healthy regrowth. For dry or damaged hair, however, it’s worth holding off. Instead, leave a couple of days in between washes to allow your natural oils a chance to travel further down the hair shaft. It’s definitely a case-by-case situation.” – Larry

12

Hair Colouring Should Be Avoided When Pregnant

FACT: “Doctors would advise against putting any chemicals onto your scalp or skin during pregnancy to protect both yours and your baby’s health. That said, there are options. That includes balayage where the colour doesn’t actually sit on or even touch the scalp, meaning the risks are minimal. Your hairdresser will always be able to advise what is best.” – Syd

13

Everyone Should Brush Regularly

FACT: “Brushing your hair too vigorously and regularly can actually be quite damaging – especially if you are using the wrong type of brush. It’s important not to overdo it. Being kind to your scalp and hair is of utmost importance to overall hair health. To ensure you’re brushing right, I recommend investing in a brush with long, widely spaced plastic bristles. They are smoother and kinder, so you can’t go too far wrong – and never brush hair wet.” – Syd

14

All Shampoos Are Created Equal

FACT: “Shampoo is like the skincare of haircare, yet we think of it in quite basic terms. We often choose one based on what it smells like, and our hair type. But shampoo forms the bases of all good hair days, and they are not all created equal. Other than a good haircut, shampoos are the best primers for your hair. A big mistake people make is using the same one every day. Hair needs different things at different times depending on things like weather, whether you’re on holiday, hormones, hard water and so on. All of that is before you even think about your scalp. My advice? You need three different types of shampoos. First, a cleansing shampoo which will combat hard water, get rid of pollutants and provide a deep but gentle clean. Secondly, a formula that contains proteins to renew the hair. These work to fix the structure of your hair from within, flooding it with moisture. Finally, a shampoo designed to boost volume and shine. That way, you have shampoos that cover all the bases.” – Larry

15

Conditioner Needs To Be Applied All Over

FACT: “Conditioner should be restricted to the mid lengths and the ends. I would always advise keeping it away from your roots. Conditioner is thick and it can weigh your hair down at the top, causing a lack of volume and a lank appearance. Try to use it sparingly and only where it’s needed. You don’t want to clog up the follicles on your scalp unnecessarily.” – Syd

16

The Sun Can Burn Your Hair

FACT: “It absolutely can. Like our skin, we need to be using sun protection on both the hair and scalp to keep UV damage at bay. Not only can the sun damage hair, it can also dull your colour as it overprocesses (oxidises) the tones, causing highlighted hair to go brassy and frazzled. It’s worth investing in the right products to lock in this protection. I swear by R+CO – all the products in the range contain SPF and UV protection, so you’re covered at all times.” – Syd

Follow @SydHayesHair & @LarryKingHair for more tips, advice & product recommendations.

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