The 17 Biggest Hair Myths of All Time, According to Stylists
Hair is a very personal topic. We all have different textures, lengths, and various nuances that account for our own unique preferences, which is what makes each person's mane so distinct and beautiful. No, really: Hair is empowering. Some choose to make transformational chops, a decision not marked by bravery but by liberation. Other women have had difficult journeys with their hair—journeys within a society that didn't understand their natural texture and placed them in a box because of it. Hair is so much more than the stuff that grows out of our heads—it's who we are as individuals.
While hair, in general, can't be placed into one category, we've learned from stylists that there are some overarching, constantly perpetuated "hair myths" that need some clearing up, all for the sake of having your best hair possible. Below, take a look at the common misconceptions we need to put to bed.
Myth 1: Dry Hair Only Needs Moisture
"This is actually a fun contradiction," jokes Michael Shaun Corby, Living Proof's global creative director. "To help make hair feel moisturized, you should use ingredients which lubricate and smooth hair, but they don’t have to be actual moisture. Moisture actually weakens your hair, makes it frizzy and ruins your style. Just think about really humid days—there's a ton of moisture in the air and your hair, and it ain’t pretty. That’s what adding moisture to your hair actually does.
"If you really want hair that's strong, soft, smooth, and easy to style, that’s where our Restore Perfecting Spray comes in. It’s a health shot for your hair that goes beyond moisture and gives you beautiful, healthy hair—plain and simple."
2. Wearing a Hat Causes Hair to Thin
"While I'm not sure where this rumor started, it couldn't be further from the truth," says Marin. "Wearing a hat actually protects hair from direct sunlight, which can cause hair to become dry and sun-faded over time, especially if hair is colored or chemically treated."
3. Heat Tools Are Bad for Your Hair
Sure, cranking up the heat on your straightener and using it religiously is bad for your hair, but with today's technology and increasing awareness about giving your strands a break, it's much less en vogue to iron your hair into oblivion. Explains Marin, "With new styling products such as ions in dryers, ceramics, and vitamin-infused plates in straight irons, it's not an issue anymore. The new Remington Pro 1" Straightener With SmartPRO Technology is a great example: It features patented sensor technology that monitors the temperature and moisture of your hair, and automatically adjusts heat levels to help prevent damage."
Adds Potempa, "Investing in tools like the Beachwaver and Coast Pro ensure that the hair is exposed to consistent heat throughout the rod and will not damage the hair, due to the amazing technology in these tools. There are also heat protectants that protect the hair and help form a barrier. This allows you to style the hair every day without the damage."
4. Your Hair Needs Frequent Trims in Order to Grow
"Contrary to what you have been told, you actually don't have to trim your hair as often as you may think," says Potempa. "Hair growth starts from the root and not at the ends, so focusing on the health of your scalp is most important. Your split ends can cause your hair to look thinner at the ends, but it isn't causing your hair to stop growing. You can go as long as six months before getting your hair trimmed if you take good care of your hair."
5. Your Hair Needs to Be Parted in a Certain Area
Some women feel that their hair won't cooperate if parted in the middle or on either side, but it's all about training it to lie properly. "You may say that you have to wear your part in a certain spot, but with the right styling tools, you can create a part wherever you like," says Potempa. "To do this, create the part while the hair is wet adding a mousse to help mold the hair. Simply blow-dry your hair in the direction that you want it to fall."
6. The Idea of the "Perfect Cut"
"So many women spend time and money trying to form their hair into what they think it should look like—straight, curly, wavy, etc.—but usually your hair actually looks its best when you embrace its natural texture and style," says Leo Izquierdo, co-founder of IGK Hair Care. "I always encourage women to work with their natural hair, and once they find the right cut and products, they always end up loving it and feeling confident in their new look. They're also always surprised by how easy it is to style—working with your natural hair is much easier than trying to force your hair into something completely different.
"First, with the cut: You want a cut that works with your hair, considering its natural bend, part, and how you like to style it. From there, you can play with the style with different products. For instance, if you have curly hair and you want to air-dry, you can mist Sold Out Curl Priming Basecoat over your curls for hold, definition, and shine and add Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm to the ends for extra moisture. If you have straight or wavy hair, you can apply dry styler from mid-lengths to ends for a tousled undone look. You can also use texture spray for allover beachy waves.
"The possibilities are endless—you can try different products and looks, but it's just so much easier to have a style you love when you're working with your hair's natural texture. You can still dress your hair up or do something special for a night out, but it's empowering to see women embrace their hair as it is, learn to work with it, and love it. And it makes mornings way easier."
7. The more conditioner you apply, the better
"You only need to coat your strands," says Vernon François, celebrity hairstylist and founder of the Vernon François Collection. Over-saturating it can weigh hair down. My spray conditioners are great for managing this. [Heavy products] can minimize the bounce, movement, and shape of your kinks and curls," explains François. I deliberately made my conditioners and moisture sprays light and sprayable so that the goodness can be easily absorbed by the hair, instead of thickly coating strands and weighing hair down."
8. Hair Loss Runs on Your Mother's Side
"One of the biggest hair myths I've heard during all my years in the industry is that your mother's father has an influence on your hair loss," says celebrity stylist and S.Oil co-founder Jordan Blackmore. "That is completely untrue. The genealogy of your hair comes half from your mother and half from your father."
9. Your Hair Becomes Immune to Shampoos and Conditioners
"The truth is that shampoo and conditioner all have different jobs," says Herbal Essences celebrity stylist Bridget Brager. "One could be volumizing, one softening, and one could be clarifying. In the end, they will all do different things. If you find a shampoo and conditioner that makes your hair feel fantastic, you do not have to change it! Keep using it—the longer you do it, the more benefits you'll see and feel. Sometimes, it takes a minute to reach a products' maximum—most products work over time. (Think eye cream or moisturizer.)
"One of my go-to shampoos and conditioners is The Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Naked Moisture Rosemary and Herbs collection. This collection has something for everyone, plus healthy ingredients to get hair in healthy shape."
10. Older Women Should Not Have Long Hair
Hair Food celebrity stylist Rebekah Forecast believes that length is not the issue as we age—it's the state of our hair. "As long as your hair is lustrous, then it can be a very individual look to have long hair later in life.'
11. If you pluck one gray hair, two more will appear in it's place
"This myth probably originated because gray hairs tend to show up gradually, and once you notice one, you’ll notice more and more. There's no merit for plucking a gray hair and two growing back, each strand is only attached to one hair follicle," says TRESemmé global stylist and ghd brand ambassador Justine Marjan.
12. Hair oils will make your hair greasy
"Oftentimes, people are afraid to use hair oil because they think it will make their hair feel greasy, but this is only true if you tend to have an oily scalp, explains Marjan. "Using an oil on the mid-lengths and ends can improve hair health and increase shine and luster. People are afraid of an oil sitting on the surface of the hair, but some hair oils can actually penetrate the strands and improve the overall quality of the hair. I suggest the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum as a lightweight finishing oil and a coconut oil and honey mask as a DIY hot oil treatment.”
13. You Need to Adjust the Heat Setting on Your Heat Tools Based on Your Hair Type
Says Janine Jennings, Ghd lead U.S. educator, "The truth is that hair is an organic fiber so setting the temperature of your tool to under 302 degrees Fahrenheit is not hot enough to style hair in one stroke, you would need to go over the hair several times to get your desired look. On the other end of the spectrum, setting the temperature to over 419 degrees Fahrenheit is extremely hot and will melt the natural keratin from the outside of the cuticle; this damage is irreversible.
"When it comes to my toolkit, I only use Ghd because their tools maintain the optimal temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the safest temperature to style all hair types. Styling with this temperature will seal the outside of the cuticle to retain the natural moisture in the hair, ensure a long lasting hairstyle, and will keep the hair healthy."
14. Deep conditioning treatments are time-consuming
Matt Fugate, Kérastase celebrity hairstylist, says the best and fastest deep treatment is the new Kérastase Fusio-Dose Homelab. "This is a five-minute beauty shot that completely changes the deep conditioning treatment game and concept," he explains. "Homelab channels the very best of hair technology and is specific to hair type. The treatment addresses the needs and wants of the hair so you can cocktail it to each individual's hair needs."
15. You should come in with dirty hair for an updo
"Sometimes this is true, but sometimes it's not," says Oribe educator Adam Livermore. "When it's true, it should be dirty within reason—not last week’s blowout with five days' worth of dry shampoo and hairspray. Whether freshly shampooed or day-old hair is needed depends on the texture of the hair and the desired result. If you're not certain, just ask."
16. Keratin is always a good idea
As much as it's touted as a hair-saving ingredient, just remember that too much of a good thing can turn bad. Explains Livermore, "I had a client who had beautiful, long blond hair that felt dry at the end of the summer, so she started using a popular keratin shampoo and conditioner without consulting me. Within eight weeks, all of her hair was broken off just below chin length. Keratin is a strengthening ingredient. If you overbuild the structural integrity of a fiber as slender as a hair strand it becomes rigid and brittle, and it will snap even more easily than if you'd left it in a weakened state."
17. Marcia Brady Knows How to Brush Hair Best
A hundred passes through your hair with a brush? It's a television cliché, but too many passes still aren't great for your mane, says Remington celebrity stylist Richard Marin. Brushing your hair several times over, he says, "was a concept before the invention of conditioners and was meant for hair that is coarse and dry that needed natural oils to be spread throughout the hair so that it could be styled the next morning."
Several brush strokes are not only unnecessary but damaging. Adds Head & Shoulders celebrity stylist Sunnie Brook Jones, "Too much brushing can cause damage to the cuticle of the hair leading to breakage." In other words, just enough strokes to detangle will do.
Have you believed any of these myths? Which one were you surprised to see? Please sound off below!