There’s an Austrian Empress who used to spend an entire day soaking her floor-length hair in a bath of milk and eggs. Catherine Zeta-Jones swears by conditioning her hair with beer. Lately, oils are called hair cure-alls, helping with length, shine, and even the strength of your locks. But what really works? We asked one of Hollywood’s best-loved colorists, Tracey Cunningham, to weigh in on ten urban hair myths. Find out what the woman responsible for Gwyneth, Cate, and Drew’s color says really matters.
Fact or Fiction: 10 Hair Myths Debunked
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Beer makes your hair shiny.
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Cunningham suggests reaching for a lager. “The richness will help,” she says. “It has a bunch of natural proteins and vitamins so the hair will cling to the conditioning elements much better. Maybe your significant other will like it too!”
Pick up a six pack of Guiness Draught ($10) next time you’re at the grocery store and pour a bottle over damp, freshly-washed hair (skip conditioner). Let it sit for a minute or two before rinsing out with warm water. Style as usual.
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There’s no difference between a straw and cotton hat when it comes to protecting my hair from the sun.
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“I think it depends more on the width of the brim,” Cunningham says. “Both are breathable natural materials.”
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Baking soda removes build-up just as effectively as a fancy clarifying shampoo.
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Looking for an alternative use for baking soda? Put it in the fridge to absorb any funky smells.
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Conditioning hair with eggs will make it stronger.
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But egg whites do make a great face mask!
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The more I trim my hair, the faster it will grow.
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But regularly caring for split ends—whether via trim or moisture mask—will make your hair looks significantly healthier.
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Purple shampoo won't do anything for blonde highlights.
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Any bit of blonde in your hair will benefit from the toning effects of purple shampoo. Try Clairol’s Shimmer Lights Original Conditioning Shampoo ($9).
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Pre-natal vitamins will make my hair grow super long, super fast.
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Cunningham says this is the truest statement on our list! “Hair, nails, skin—it helps all of them—but consult your doctor first!”
Once you do, we love NatureMade’s Prenatal Multi + DHA Liquid Softgels ($19).
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If I run out of deep conditioner, maple syrup is just as hydrating.
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Rinsing with apple cider vinegar will cure dandruff.
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Anti-dandruff shampoos can be pretty harsh on your scalp (not to mention color), but Cunnigham calls apple cider vinegar “the perfect natural rememdy.”
Pictured, Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar ($5).
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Sleeping with olive oil in my hair will make everything about it better.
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Olive oil will make your hair softer, stronger, and significantly shinier. Cunnigham recommends warming the oil before putting it on dry hair or, if you want to soak your damp locks, wrapping a hot towel around your head after applying the oil. Heat helps the oil penetrate the cuticle.
Pictured, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($33).