In my neck of the woods, I’ve heard it all about hair: New life-changing ingredients, hair hazards, and the perfect DIY fix. And I’ve tried most of it as well. While we are always getting better information about hair, there remain some persistent hair myths that I hear regularly in the salon. Let me debunk the most common ones so you won’t fall into these hairy traps.
Hair Myth #1 Pulling out grays make more grow in their place
Hear me out; I would never advocate pulling out grey hairs. Why? Because that grey hair is going to grow back and now it is one inch long and Alfalfa-ing out of the top of your head. And it is obviously an unsustainable system to deal with the continuing process of going grey. That being said, pulling out a grey hair will not make ten grey hairs grow back. It will not affect the follicle of your hair at all, much less multiply it. Otherwise, I would suggest the ol’ pull out as a hair loss solution. Let your grey hairs be, and color them if you like.
Hair Myth #2 Henna or other natural hair colors are safer to use than salon color. Chemical-free color sounds great, right? More and more people are tempted by color found in a natural foods store. The henna leaf comes in many variations, some more dangerous to your hair than others. Henna pulls metallics out of the soil it grows in. Those metallics do not react well with traditional haircolor, or any kind of perm or smoothing service. Chlorine, which is not just in swimming pools, but is also in our shower water, also can have unintentional reactions to henna in the hair. Some chemical reactions can cause the hair to disintegrate right off your head. This is a worst case scenario; however, always do a strand test prior to a haircolor service to ensure the integrity of the hair. The most common reaction when taking henna-colored hair lighter is that it turns hot flaming orange. This can be tone-corrected but it does limit your color options. Other strains of henna may be lightened to a lovely shade of green or not at all. Aveda color is 99% naturally derived hair color that produces essentially damage- free predictable results. Why choose anything else?
Hair Myth #3 Food oils work to condition hair.
Food grade oils like coconut, avocado, and olive may have a molecular size that is too big to penetrate the cuticle of the hair. The softness and shine achieved by these products is caused by residue left on top of the cuticle of the hair. Essentially it is a temporary fix, which can not actually change the internal health of the hair. Only products that are developed specifically for hair, such as the buriti oil in Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil, have the molecule size broken down so that it can truly make a change to hair that feels dry.
Hair Myth #4 Can I have three layers please?
There are few things harder than explaining a haircut to your stylist. Clients too often feel like they and their stylist have two different vocabularies. Clients often mistakenly believe haircuts to have a “number” of layers. No haircut has any number of layers. All layers are cut from short to long. While you may see one or two layers, there are actually hundreds all blended together. Instead ask for more, less, long, short, blended, or textured. And bring a picture!
Hair Myth #5 I don’t have curly hair, I have frizzy hair.
All curly hair is frizzy without product and the proper styling techniques. First, never brush your hair while dry! It breaks up your natural curl pattern and turns your pretty curls into frizz. The less curly hair is manipulated, the better. We are LOVING the new Aveda Co-Wash right now. This is a non-lathering shampoo that has a cult following among the curly girls out there. Ask your Atelier Artist all about it. Apply a curl cream like Be Curly Curl Enhancer to wet hair and let air dry or blow dry with a diffuser to see your natural, frizz-free curls come out. You may be surprised how curly your hair really is. Now hands off!
Stop the knotty nonsense! Remember to always research or ask your stylist about the latest hair craze to find the truth behind the hype. Now you’re armed with real knowledge to navigate the hairy waters and achieve salon satisfaction.
Anna Johnson, Atelier Salon Artist and ‘slogger’ (salon blogger)