General Science

Every Day Myths, Busted: Hair

posted: 02/14/17
by: Mary Beth McAndrews

Whether you love your hair long or rock a short hair cut, there are a few prevailing hair myths out there that you may believe. So we've partnered with Great Clips to research those myths and find out if they're true or not!

Brush 100 times a day for healthier hair.

Sorry ladies, but brushing your hair 100 times a day will actually do more harm than good. While brushing your hair does redistribute natural oils from your scalp to the ends, tugging on your hair too much can cause breakage. In fact, brushing your hair too much could make it even greasier.


Worry brings gray hair.

The answer to this myth is a bit more complicated. Typically, stress is not thought to bring on gray hair. "Stress is more likely to cause hair loss and an increase in shedding than cause gray or white hair," Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in New York City, told the Huffington Post. "Gray hair is largely influenced by genetics and a complex series of cell chemistries."

However, according to Phillips, if someone is genetically predisposed to gray hair, stress can make it appear sooner. Stress, of course, is an objective term so it could mean anything from a traumatic event, a large emotional burden, surgery, and even nutritional deficiencies according to Sandra Gilman, trichologist and educational director for The Elan Center for Trichology in Alabama.

Unfortunately, the link between grey hair and stress is unclear. According to the Scientific American, "scientists are beginning to gather clues that stress can hasten the graying process, but there is no scientific evidence demonstrating a cause-and-effect relationship."

Grey Hair

Frequent trims makes hair grow faster.

Hair growth is affected by the follicles in your scalp, which means trimming the ends of your hair won't help with growth. Hair grows a quarter to half inch each month regardless of the number of trims you receive. However, hair trims do keep your hair healthy. Trims remove any dead ends, which reduces the risk of hair breakage. Breakage can make hair look thin and unhealthy, so a routine trim will help you achieve a fuller, healthier look.


A cold-water rinse makes your hair shinier.

Forget those freezing cold showers because there is no scientific evidence proving a correlation between a cold-water rinse and shinier hair. The myth for years was that cold water would cause hair cuticles to close, causing hair to lie flat and reflect more light. However, scientists from TRI Princeton, an independent research facility in New Jersey, found no correlation and even found that warm water can cause glossier hair. Joel Coret, one of researchers, told Allure, "Cold water may not rinse residue off strands as well as warm water can." So, no more ice-cold showers, unless you want to cool off!


Wearing a baseball cap eventually makes you go bald.

Don't worry about hanging up those hats, guys. Wearing hats has nothing to do with hair loss or baldness! "This is a common misconception and worry for many men who have worn hats over a long period of time," Anderson Hair Sciences Center Founder, Director, and Chief of Surgery Dr. Ken Anderson said in an article in Medical Daily. Unless you're wearing those hats so tight that you're cutting off circulation to your hair follicles, you have nothing to worry about.

Male pattern hair loss, or Androgenic alopecia, is caused by the gradual shrinking of hair follicles that are sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormone that is produced when testosterone breaks down. This shrinkage is hereditary.

However, a dirty hat can cause a scalp infection, which could lead to hair loss. Make sure to keep those hats clean and switch them out regularly to avoid infection.

About the blog:
Welcome to the inSCIder, where you can connect with the people who bring Science Channel to life. Find out what's in the works here at SCIENCE, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.
More on