When it comes to the hair, most Singaporeans face one main issue: hair loss. We’d either ask around or search for tips on the Internet to save our precious tresses, but in the process, we end up believing the hair myths that we read or hear – even if they aren’t necessarily true.
If you’re one to believe that brushing your hair often or switching up your shampoo may reduce your hair loss, here are 7 common hair myths, debunked with evidence once and for all for you to do right by your hair.
1. Haircuts or shaving will make hair grow back thicker
For some reason, we seem to believe that the way to thicker hair is by cutting or shaving regularly, but there isn’t any scientific evidence behind this. It only seems that way because the coarser base grows out before the softer bits, and if the myth really was true, we’d be getting hairier and hairier by the day – which is a mildly horrifying thought.
Myth verdict: False, but do make sure to keep going for regular haircuts as snipping away the split ends will help make your locks healthier and more manageable.
2. Brushing your hair helps it grow faster
Brushing our hair often does have its benefits like improved blood circulation, but if you’re one of those who subscribe to the old wives’ tale of “brushing hair 100 times before going to bed”, you might want to put a stop to that habit.
Too much of a good thing can be bad, and that applies here as well. Brushing too often generates loads of friction, which damages the cuticle and makes it prone to breakage. Avoid this by stopping as soon as your locks are smooth and tangle-free, or invest in brushes with natural animal bristles that minimise friction.
Myth verdict: False.
3. Wearing hats often increases rate of hair fall
Snapbacks and bucket hats look cool and all, but some of us fear wearing them out too often because of one myth: wearing hats may increase the rate of hair fall. This isn’t actually true, as the hair you see clinging to your hat are most likely strands that were dislodged naturally, and not caused by the cap as previously thought.
There is, however, one small caveat. Wearing a cap that’s too tight or too often can still cause scalp irritation, so either keep your hat-wearing days to a minimum, or take extra care to keep your hair and scalp nice and clean.
Myth verdict: False.
4. Shampooing too frequently is bad for your scalp
With Singapore’s hot and humid climate, it’s important to shampoo our hair everyday to get rid of all the gunk on the scalp. In doing so, we probably freak out whenever we see a clump of hair clogging the drain after every shower – but that’s completely normal. You naturally lose around 100 hair strands every day, which is less than 0.01% of the 80,000 to 120,000 strands on your head.
Rest assured, the act of shampooing your scalp simply dislodges the hair strands that have already fallen out – unless you’re scrubbing your scalp to the point of redness. If you want to make sure you’re getting rid of as much gunk as possible, pick up a silicon shampoo brush as it does a gentler, more thorough job of cleansing than your fingers.
Myth verdict: False.
5. It’s better to air-dry your hair than to blow-dry it
Image credit: Jo_Johnston
While we’re aware by now that blow-drying can cause heat damage to the hair strand, little did we know that air-drying our hair can be equally damaging. The prolonged dampness you experience while air-drying puts pressure on the delicate proteins in each strand, making your tresses prone to breakage if done often enough.
Myth verdict: False. Switching to ceramic or ionic hair dryers can help you keep hair damage to a minimum as they do a better job of regulating the temperature and distributing heat.
6. Plucking a gray hair will cause two more to grow in its place
Image credit: LisaRedfern
No one really knows the origins of this silly myth, but from a scientific standpoint, this is completely untrue. Plucking those pesky grey hairs won’t cause more grey hairs to grow in its place, but what it can do is lead to scarring, which prevents hair regrowth from happening at that spot – so keep this in mind the next time you spot another stray grey hair.
Myth verdict: False.
7. You must switch up your shampoo every few months
Switching shampoos often may seem like the right thing to do – especially if you subscribe to the idea that your hair and scalp gets “used to it” and lessens the effectiveness of the formula.
But that’s not the real reason behind shampoo fatigue. Rather than your scalp getting used to it, the needs of your scalp can change following external factors like the climate and other lifestyle changes.
Myth verdict: False. Instead of buying a new shampoo every month, consider your current lifestyle before settling on a shampoo. Change your shampoo if you foresee a lifestyle shift – like using a clarifying product if you’re exercising more frequently. Otherwise, it’s alright to stick to your chosen product in the long run.
Debunking common hair myths
Information is aplenty on the Internet, and that includes the things that you should and shouldn’t do with your hair. It’s easy to believe the things you’ve read – but as these hair myths show, most aren’t backed by scientific evidence, and are precisely just that – myths.
But apart from proper habits, our regular habits also play a part in maintaining scalp and hair health. Lifestyle habits like diet and exercise are extremely important, as are the shampoo and conditioners we use on a daily basis.
To keep your hair healthy and prevent the dreaded onset of hair loss, give PHS HAIRSCIENCE’s Daily Regime a go. All of their products contain high concentrations of botanical essences and none of the yucky chemicals like paraben that lead to excessive hair loss.
Their regimes consist of 3 simple steps, which is the Double Cleanse, Moisturise, and Treat – all of are optimised to keep your scalp and hair at peak health. But if you’re looking for something specifically targeted at hair loss, be sure to try out their FEM & HOM Fortify range.
Kickstart the Double Cleanse step with the ADV Nutrition shampoo ($48), which removes all the gunk and sebum clogging up your hair follicles. Once your hair is clean, pull out the FEM or HOM Fortify shampoo ($48), which is another gentle cleanser that doubles up as a hair loss treatment by providing hair follicles with essential nutrients to treat thinning hair.
For the long-haired folk, you can give your locks some much-needed hydration and strength with the FEM Fortify Conditioner ($48). After washing it out and drying out excess water, you can then finish the process with the FEM or HOM Fortify Tonic ($120), which packs nutrients straight to your scalp and strengthens hair from the roots, making it a powerful formula to keep the hair loss at bay.
Apart from these products, they’ve also got specially formulated ranges designed to target everything from oily scalps to ageing hair, so you can easily pick out the products you need depending on your prevalent scalp condition.
This post was brought to you by PHS Hairscience.
Photography by Lance Leoh.
Originally published on 16th June 2020. Last updated by Renae Cheng on 7th July 2021.