When it comes to beauty, there are very few rules that are one-size-fits-all. Lots of previously-held skincare myths—like the idea that putting oil on your face results in breakouts—have, in recent years, been debunked. The same can be said for hair myths (of which there are many). Still, with all the conflicting information out there, it can be tricky to distinguish fact from fiction if you’re not a seasoned expert yourself. And when it comes to haircare, you want to make sure that you’re getting the best possible advice for your strands—not following some half-baked advice.
To help you figure out what popular haircare tips are genuine and which are outright myths, we consulted with NYC-based hairstylist Dhiran Mistry. Ahead, Mistry reveals the most common hair myths that he’s come across in his career and spills on whether or not these long-held beliefs are true. Find out the answers to all of your burning hair-related questions, ahead.
Popular Hair Myths: Fact vs. Fiction
Myths and misconceptions usually have some basis in reality, making it all the more difficult to discern what’s real from what’s fake. Here, Mistry clears up the confusion around five popular—and persistent—haircare-related myths.
Is It a Myth That…Regular Trims Make Your Hair Grow Faster?
There’s an oft-repeated recommendation that says regular trims—roughly every four to six weeks—can help your hair grow faster. That’s not true, Mistry says: Hair grows from the root, and regular trims won’t change that. However, he explains, while trims won’t make your hair grow faster, they can “prevent that dry end from causing [more] damage.” When you’re prone to dry, split ends, the ends of your hair can continue to split upward, damaging your strands further up as well. The split ends can also fracture and break off entirely, making it appear as if your hair is not growing. Regular trims may help prevent this breakage and reduce split ends, which could make it appear as if your hair is growing faster. In reality, however, growth isn’t impacted.
Kiehl’s Tip: If you’re looking for help growing out your mane, check out our article The Kiehl’s Guide To Caring For Long Hair: Your Ultimate 6-Step Routine.
Is It a Myth That…Shaving Makes Hair Grow Back Thicker?
Another oft-repeated hair “fact” is that shaving makes your hair grow back thicker and darker. It’s a complete myth, Mistry says. “Hair growth is genetic. Determining how fast [it grows] or how healthy [it is] or any of that stuff, it comes from [your genes].” The myth probably stems from the fact that stubble grows back with a sharp angle, which can make it appear thicker than hair that tapers naturally at the ends. But the hair itself isn’t any different, and if it grows out, it’ll look just like any other hair in the area.
If you’re not a fan of stubble and don’t want to grow out your shaved hair, you can use Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream White Eagle to help prep your skin for an even shave. The gentle formula with menthol helps prime the skin for a close, comfortable shave—no brush needed.
Kiehl’s Tip: For those prone to razor bumps or razor burn, try adding Ultimate Razor Burn & Bump Relief to your post-shave routine. The mild formula with aloe vera and vitamin E helps calm irritation, leaving your just-shaved skin feeling smooth and comfortable.
Is It a Myth That…You Should Switch Your Shampoo and Conditioner Every Few Months?
There’s no need to reach for a new shampoo and conditioner every couple of months unless you want to, Mistry says. Hair is comprised entirely of dead cells—it can’t “get used” to a product, despite the persistent myth that it can. Using the same products day in and day out can, however, result in buildup, Mistry says, which may make it seem as though your go-to shampoo and conditioner aren’t working as well as they should.
Still, Mistry adds, “it’s good to mix it up” once in a while. If you find yourself feeling as if your shampoo isn’t quite doing the job, Mistry recommends reaching for a product designed to help remove product buildup and deep clean the scalp, such as a clarifying shampoo. We suggest Amino Acid Scalp Scrub Detox Treatment. Made with sea salt and a blend of 10 amino acids, the unique treatment helps exfoliate the scalp to remove product buildup and excess oil without drying out the skin. It’s suitable for all scalp and hair types and can be used once weekly in lieu of your regular shampoo for a clean, fresh-feeling scalp.
Is It a Myth That…100 Brush Strokes a Day Makes For Healthier Hair?
“Brushing your hair can be a preventative [measure],” Mistry says. Detangling your hair regularly helps prevent knots, which in turn, minimizes the chance of associated damage. With that said, brushing your hair 100 times per day isn’t strictly necessary, and in some cases—like if you have natural hair or curly hair—may be damaging since brushing your hair does introduce your strands to friction. Instead of aiming for 100 brush strokes per day, gently detangle your ends as necessary and brush your hair before showering. Doing this “isn’t going to make your hair healthier,” Mistry says, but it may “stop [damage] from getting worse.”
Is It a Myth That…Damaged Hair Can Be Fixed?
Sadly, yes, this one’s a myth. Once your hair is damaged, it’s damaged—there’s no reversing it. That’s because your hair, as we explained earlier, is dead; there are no living cells inside your hair to restore damaged areas. With that being said, Mistry notes that products—such as leave-in treatments, conditioners, and the like—can help make your hair appear healthier. Products can “smooth the cuticle [and] allow light to reflect off of” the hair, he says. “But that doesn’t mean it’s not damaged.”
To help give your damaged hair a healthier, smoother appearance, we recommend deep conditioning once weekly with Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Reparative Hair Mask. Made with olive and avocado oils, the creamy hair mask helps restore shine and a healthy appearance to hair. With regular use, it even helps protect your strands against further damage.
Kiehl’s Tip: Learn more about how to care for damaged hair in our article Try Our 5 Tips To Restore Your Damaged Hair.