The line between science and myth is often blurred. With so much information available online it’s hard for clients to know what constitutes proper hair health and care Clients expect you to be their resource so it’s important for you to stay educated.
Myth #1: Biotin alone is enough to get my hair growing
Biotin is a B vitamin that’s often touted as a “one-stop shop” for hair growth. In rare cases, biotin deficiencies can occur with the synthesis or transport of the biotin vitamin. While some studies suggest that biotin helps people who are biotin deficient to grow hair, it is only one vitamin in a long list of vitamins and minerals that the body utilizes and needs. (Fun fact: Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin; it is not stored in the body. However, biotin can be manufactured by bacteria in the gut, taken as a dietary supplement, or obtained by eating certain foods.)
Myth #2: Hair shouldn’t be shampooed often
As a professional you know what best to recommend to your clients. If a guest’s hair starts to show signs of stress such as thinning or excessive dryness, it’s time to reevaluate their at-home hair-care regimen. Finding the right products with the best ingredients for your client’s hair type is sometimes difficult. Shampooing hair every day with harsh ingredients (like certain sulfates) can cause hair to dry out, become brittle, and even break, but lack of shampooing can cause build-up and congestion on the scalp. Finding a gentle cleanser without harmful sulfates and a regimen of 1-3 days between washes might be what’s needed.
Myth #3: Shampooing can make your hair shed
Remind clients that everyone’s hair sheds throughout the day, and on average, normal loss is 50 to 100 hairs per day. Shampooing doesn’t tend to be the culprit, in fact scalp massage can actually be invigorating for the scalp. Client’s who adapt poor styling practices and don’t use professional products might see more hair loss, but the shedding culprit that’s most frequently overlooked is stress.
Myth #4: Dandruff is caused by a dry scalp
Not always. There are a few causes attributed to dandruff, and dry skin is only one of them. For example, Malassezia, a yeast-like fungus, is found fairly commonly on an adult’s scalp. In some cases, Malassezia irritates the scalp, which can stimulate the growth of skin cells. When those skin cells flake off, they appear as white flakes on clothes. Other causes of dandruff may include: shampooing too infrequently, sensitivity to an ingredient in a hair care product (contact dermatitis), or having irritated, oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis). It is important for you to ask your client’s questions to discover the cause of the dandruff and offer a recommendation.
Myth #5: Wearing hats can cause hair loss
Not true, but wearing anything on the head that is tight can cause traction alopecia.Prolonged wearing of a tight hat could, over time, cause irritation to the hair follicle and lead to inflammation of the scalp as well, however hats tend to be protective from hair-harming factors like UV rays and environmental stress.
Myth #6: You’re client is going bald because of his genes
It is true that the primary baldness gene in men is found on the X chromosome, which is inherited from the mother, but there are many other genes that contribute to baldness and you get them from both your mother and your father. These genes can also be overexpressed or “turned on” based on your client’s lifestyle. For example, elevated stress levels “turn on” certain genes that have to do with inflammation, which can drive pathways that are tied to hair loss.
Myth #7: Avoid using conditioner on oily hair
If a client hair tends toward oiliness it can be helpful to use a clarifying shampoo and apply conditioner only on the ends of hair. Additionally, make sure clients are using a conditioner appropriate to their needs. Heavy conditioners can weigh down hair and cause thinner hair to separate. Offer a lightweight conditioner. Excess oil can also be a result of stress and hormone imbalance. Targeting these issues from the inside out can have added benefit.
Myth #8: A hair care routine needs to be changed often or it’ll stop working
Clients need help to assess their needs. It is not that the shampoo and conditioner are no longer working, but that the hair texture or condition has changed. Different seasons also call for different hair-care so requesting your client follows up with you in a few months can set them up for success.
Myth #9: Hair will grow faster if it’s trimmed frequently
Hair growth boils down to follicle health: When ends are frayed and splitting, they can break, causing the hair to be shorter. Well-trimmed and maintained hair looks healthier.
Myth #10: Brushing hair 100 times a day makes it healthier
This myth has been floating around since your grandmother was a little girl. Brushing hair excessively can be damaging to the hair and cause breakage. Make sure clients are using the right tool for at-home cate. A wide tooth comb or paddle brush with ball-tipped, plastic bristles are both good options.
Myth #11: Rinse hair with cold water for shinier strands
TRI Princeton, an independent, non-profit scientific research and education organization, found that cold water does not add shine to the hair. In fact, researchers found that warm water helps remove residue from hair strands, which in turn contributes to shininess.