The Top 10 Hair Myths Debunked

Don't believe the hype when it comes to your hair! Women will never tire of new 'dos. From cutting to coloring to styling, we're brave enough to dye at home, and maybe even shave the sides of our heads. Rules are made to be broken! Washing hair every day? Says who! A trim every six weeks? Pssht! There are plenty of follicle fallacies out there, including these 10 bogus myths below.

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1. Hair must be washed every day. Bathing your body daily is good idea but your hair? Not so much. Experts recommend only doing so three to four times per week to avoid drying out and damaging your strands. "Hair is a fiber," Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a Vallejo, Calif. specialist in hair research told webmd.com. "Think of a wool fiber: the more you wash it, the worse it's going to look. There's no need to wash your hair every day either." Those with long, thick, naturally curly hair can stand to go even longer than a week without washing. This hair type tends to be dry since oils from the scalp don't travel down the hair shaft as quickly. If you have an oily scalp though, continue your daily routine or try using a suds-less shampoo that won't strip your hair of moisture. (Pantene Pro-V Truly Natural Hair Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner, $4.97, walmart.com)

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2. Trimming your ends will make your hair grow faster. Regular trims are important to keep hair looking and feeling healthy, but they won't make your hair grow any faster if you do. According to foss.com, regardless of whether you trim your hair or not, it grows around half an inch every month. The only factors that have been proven to affect hair growth are genetics, hormones, and diets. To minimize those unsightly ends, avoid applying heat. If you simply must flat iron or blow dry your hair daily, use a heat protectant. (TRESemme Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Shine Spray, $5.29, drugstore.com)

Split end menders can also double as a great leave-in conditioner. 3. Split ends can be mended with use of the right products. There are plenty of new products on the market claiming to repair split ends. The only surefire way to get rid of them? Cutting them off. But don't feel duped if you purchased these hair products--they can serve as moisturizing leave-ins to prevent further damage until you make it to the salon for a trim. (TIGI Bed Head Ego Boost Split End Mender, Leave-In Conditioner, $14.40, drugstore.com)

4. Brushing your hair 100 times per day will make it shinier. Remember how Marcia Brady believed in brushing her hair multiple times per day? Girlfriend had it all wrong! Christopher Mackin, a trichologist at the Gil Ferrer Salon in New York City, says that 100 daily strokes is way too much for fragile strands. "You'll do more damage than good," he told realsimple.com. If you tug and pull on it often, especially when it's wet, you'll tear the hair. However, light, gently brushing will help to make the hair shiny by distributing the natural oils from the scalp down the hair shafts and flattening the cuticles to make them reflect more light.

5. Wearing ponytails will cause bald spots. The occasional ponytail won't do any harm, but if this is a style that you wear daily (especially if it's super tight) then beware: it could lead to traction alopecia. This form of gradual hair loss is caused by tension, stress, and pulling on the scalp and hair fibers. Although it can occur in any race, it's most common among women of color who wear their hair pulled back in braids, extensions, or other tight styles away from the face. If you frequently part your hair in the same direction, this can cause a widening of the part which is technically another form of traction alopecia. Headbands, chemical relaxers, and excessive heat are also factors that can eventually lead to this condition over time. Consider this an excuse to frequently change up your look.

6. If you use the same shampoo and conditioner, eventually they will stop working. While it's always fun to try new products, don't expect different results. The real reason your hair may be a bit lackluster is from product build-up. "Some shampoos and conditioners can leave behind residue, which might make it difficult to see results over the long term," Doug DiCanio, a stylist at Blow in New York City, told womansday.com. "Use a clarifying shampoo once every two weeks to remove excess build-up in your hair, and you should be able to see continued great results from your favorite products." (Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo, $5.59, drugstore.com)

7. Always comb your hair from top to bottom. Brushing your hair from top to bottom will lead to exactly the opposite of what you're trying to avoid: serious snags and breakage. Instead, grab sections of the hair a few inches from the bottom and brush down to where your hand is. Repeat the process until you get to the roots. This will not only help to detangle, but will also prevent knots. Try brushing before you shower to prevent breaking hair when it's vulnerable.

8. You can't dye your hair while pregnant. Contrary to popular belief, no studies have proven that hair dye is dangerous for a developing fetus. "In general, pregnant women need to be concerned with what they're exposing their body to," Amy Burkett, MD, Ob-Gyn Residency Director at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio, told Women's Day. "The big concern for me is that some hair products contain formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen that I'd recommend any woman, pregnant or not, steer clear of." When in doubt, stick with hair dyes that contain as many natural hair ingredients as possible. (Rainbow Research Henna, $6.99, drugstore.com)

If you have oily strands, let Tea Tree Oil be your secret conditioning weapon! 9. People with oily hair should skip the hair conditioner. Excessive amounts of oil on the scalp actually come from other factors such as genetics, hormones, and diet; not conditioner. The conditioner works to add shine and prevent your hair from drying out so if you do use it, there are few things to keep in mind: -Always stick with a lightweight formula. -Avoid massaging it into the scalp. Instead, apply a bit only to the ends and immediately rinse. -Look for products with tea tree oil, which helps absorb oil from the scalp. (Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Conditioner, $23.69, drugstore.com)

10. Rinsing your hair in cold water will make your hair shinier. According to most hairstylists, the icy water will make the cuticle of your hair close so it's flat, which will help to reflect light. Unfortunately this is so not true. Hair contains no living cells, which means it doesn't react to cold or hot water, chemist Mort Westman told oprah.com. If you're looking for high shine, try conditioners and styling products that contain silicones and oils to smooth cuticles. (Nexxus Frizz Defy Leave In Oil Shine Treatment, $15.69, drugstore.com)