Don’t shampoo everyday. Don’t pluck out your grey hairs. If these sound familiar, you’re probably one of the many Singaporeans scratching their heads at the long list of old-school hair myths we’ve heard from our parents, friends and the good ol’ internet.
From sleeping with wet hair to stress-related greying, it can be hard to tell science from superstition. To debunk these hair myths once and for all, we spoke to Joanna, a hair care expert at Jonsson Protein with over a decade of experience under her belt.
Turns out, our mums weren’t wrong about instant noodles leading to hair loss – but contrary to popular belief, the real culprit isn’t monosodium glutamate – also known as MSG. Instead, some experts say excessive salt content can affect scalp blood circulation and prevent nutrients from reaching the hair.
But more importantly, an imbalanced diet that’s low in iron or protein might just cause your hair to drop like grapes, according to Joanna.
As an alternative, Joanna advises maintaining a nutritious diet with plenty of protein-rich foods like eggs and fatty fish. These boost the production of the protein keratin, the building blocks of your hair strands, which help to prevent brittle, weakened follicles that can lead to further hair loss.
Growing up, many of us may take for granted that sleeping with wet hair will cause us to catch a cold – but scientifically speaking, colds and the flu are caused by viruses, solidly debunking this as a myth.
However, before you dunk your head in water before hitting the sack each night, Joanna warns that sleeping with wet hair can damage your scalp. Wet hair can cause a build-up of chemical products on your pillow, leading to oil clogs and dandruff. Instead, Joanna specifically recommends drying your scalp in particular before bedtime to minimise the risk of hair breakage.
Anyone who has studied biology would know that both your parents are equally responsible for all your physical traits – decisively debunking the myth that hair loss is passed from your mother’s side.
However, Joanna, our resident hair care expert, noted that genetics is only part of the problem. In fact, hair loss is also a result of stress, diet, and overexposure to the chemicals used during excessive rebonding or perming.
So, if you find yourself sweeping up a mountain of strands daily, it might be because of the above reasons. To help reduce hair fall, Joanna recommends minimising rebonding and perming, and altering your diet to include foods with more vitamin C like berries and spinach. These protect your hair follicles from harmful molecules that could result in hair loss.
Image credit: LisaRedfern
If you ever noticed an increase of grey hair during particularly overwhelming periods, that’s because studies have shown that grey hair can actually be stress-related. But there’s a more scientific reason behind your grey hair other than just having to deal with long hours of work and incessant emails.
Turns out, the growth of grey hair is actually a result of our bodies’ fight-or-flight response, which triggers a strong reaction in our nervous system. So, while this means you can’t quite use your new shiny strands to excuse yourself from work, it does mean that you should try to manage your anxiety levels to help reduce greying.
But apart from your mental health, Joanna also warns that smoking can cause grey hair – a warning echoed by doctors and scientists too. So, if you’re looking to keep your hair jet black, you might have to make some lifestyle changes.
Image credit: Eatbook.sg
If you’re a little sceptical like me, you might be equally surprised that this “myth” is actually true. It might seem that the link between black sesame and black hair may seem a little too simple, but as it turns out, centuries-old traditions of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) hold plenty of wisdom.
While Ayurveda uses sesame to nourish the scalp and control dandruff, Joanna shares that TCM similarly touts this wonder seed for its ability to promote hair growth and hair colour.
Additionally, research has also shown that sesame seeds are high in nutrients like Omega 3, 6 and 9, along with vitamins and antioxidants like sesamolin, sesamin and sesmol. These compounds have anti-aging properties that slow the onset of greying hair – but also hair loss and wrinkles – which is likely where the myth came from.
Image credit: @mk.sg
Especially during rainy seasons, concerned parents often insist that we pack an umbrella when we head out, as they’re afraid that we’ll get caught in the rain and fall sick as a result. However, just like falling asleep with wet hair, this is a myth.
That said, it’s still probably a good idea to bring your brolly along as rain can be bad for your scalp. Rainwater contains traces of harsh chemicals and pollutants that may weaken your follicles and hair, resulting in dullness and lifelessness.
No worries if you’re caught in a sudden downpour, however – Joanna recommends washing your hair ASAP once you’re home to wash away all the impurities.
From shampoos and conditioners to even tonics and serums, many of us go to great lengths to ensure a full, healthy head of hair. But for a targeted, professional solution for everything from hair loss, to oily scalps and grey hair, Jonsson Protein gets to the root of your issues with their customised, effective treatments.
Heading down to the Jonsson Protein Paya Lebar (Singpost) outlet, we kickstarted our session with an in-depth consultation with our expert Joanna. After some questions about my lifestyle and a checkup with her scalp scanner, Joanna recommended a course of treatment for my oily scalp.
Joanna was quickly able to diagnose not only my oily scalp, but the oil clogs clogging my pores which are preventing hair growth and inflammation.
This treatment started with a thorough wash, before the application of a protein hair mask to help boost healthy hair growth, and a course of infrared steam treatment to target the pores on my scalp.
Armed with a squeeze bottle of water and shampoo, my hair consultant gently massaged my head and began applying the product. Throughout the treatment she was also careful to ensure that I was comfortable through the whole process, reminding me to let her know if I was uncomfortable at any point.
After a quick rinse and conditioner, Joanna gently wrapped my hair in a towel before showing me how much hair I had lost during the wash. Yikes.
After getting my hair washed, Joanna brought out the protein mask – containing hydrolysed protein to strengthen the hair follicles – that she was going to apply to my scalp. She also explained that the VE Protein mask is customised for oily scalps, containing Lavender Flower Extract, Salicylic Acid and Epilobium Extract to dissolve excessive oil and reduce scalp redness.
This translucent blue product was squeezed into a bowl before she sectioned my hair and spread it thoroughly on my scalp. As she gently applied the product, there was a super-shiok cooling sensation, and it immediately calmed all itching and sensitivity.
After coating my scalp with the mask, we headed off for the infrared steam treatment that would help improve the blood circulation of my scalp, while helping it absorb the rich protein gel.
After about 30 minutes under the steamer, came a second round of rinsing and conditioning to lock in the moisture and nutrients. My treatment also came with a styling session, where Joanna deftly curled my locks while coating it with extra serum.
Joanna also coated my ends with a Jonsson Protein serum for further protection after styling my hair
Then – the moment of truth. A glance at the mirror, and it was immediately apparent that there were instantaneous results merely within a single session. I’d never gone for hair treatments, and usually just wash my hair at home with off-the-shelf products – but this time, it was clear that my hair had more volume, a silky sheen, and felt way more supple and full of life.
The ‘after’ scan of my scalp on the right visibly revealed a cleaner, less inflamed scalp with no oil clogs.
A quick before and after scan of my scalp also showed what I had already suspected: the build up of oil clogs was gone. In fact I felt that the benefits of the treatment lasted even after several days. My scalp and hair were remarkably less greasy and oily even after a whole day spent outdoors, when things got extra humid and sweaty.
Left: before; right: after.
For first-timers, Jonsson Protein is offering a promotion on their Protein Hair Growth Treatment (U.P. $350) at only $28. Whether you’re struggling with a long list of hair issues or would like a quick boost for healthier hair and extra volume, this would be a great chance to hear from experts while seeing immediate results with low commitment.
From making the right changes to your lifestyle and diet to getting professional treatment, a healthy, full head of hair is just within reach. Armed with helpful tips from consultants at Jonsson Protein like Joanna, along with a better understanding of the long list of hair myths we’ve heard about, you’ll be on the fast track to better hair in no time.
Jonsson Protein Paya Lebar Singpost outlet
Address: 10 Eunos Road 8, #02-124/125, Singapore 408600
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 11AM-9PM | Sun 11AM-7PM
Telephone: 6584 6116
Jonsson Protein Plaza Singapura outlet
Address: 68 Orchard Road, #04-73A, Singapore 238839
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10AM-9PM | Sun & PH 10AM-7PM
Telephone: 6333 1661
Jonsson Protein Westgate outlet
Address: 3 Gateway Drive, #03-24, Singapore 608532
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10AM-9PM | Sun & PH 10AM-7PM
Telephone: 6908 1661
This post was brought to you by Jonsson Protein.
Photography by Huiwen Chan.
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