Myth Busting, Hair Edition
It's a new year, and a new decade!
In keeping with the spirit of new starts, I thought I would compile a list of some of my favorite hair myths, so that we can all resolve to start a new beauty regimen in 2020.
Myth 1: My hair is too oily, I have to wash every day!
Truth: Yes, some of us do produce more hair oils that others....but we can train our scalps to stop over-producing oil.
Every time we wash, we strip our scalp of its natural oils. Because that skin is now dry, the sebaceous glands that live just under the skin go into hyper-production in order to protect and re-hydrate that extra-thin skin on the scalp.
It may be a frustrating six months, but I promise that if you stop washing your hair daily, those glands will understand that they don't have to work so hard, and that your hair will become significantly less oily. I also promise that there is a dry shampoo out there for you that will make this transition far less painful.
Myth 2: My hair needs to be dirty (or clean) for my salon visit.
That one is a bit of a yes, and a bit of a no.
Are you coming in for an on-the-scalp global lightening service? If so, please don't wash your hair for 1-2 days prior to the appointment. The oils will help protect your skin, and not blow drying will ensure you don't have an abrasion from using a brush (trust me, those micro-scratches sting once the lightener hits them).
If you're coming in for any other type of coloring service, ensuring your hair doesn't have a ton of oil or product buildup is best, that way the chemicals can be as effective as possible. Washing your hair within 1-2 days of your appointment is very helpful.
Regardless, please don't come to your hair appointment with wet hair. Damp hair is saturated with water, and it will reject color or lightener....just think, if your hair cells are already full, they don't have the ability to "drink up" any of the chemicals we hairdressers use to create your new look...which can result in a color misfire.
Myth 3: I already used a heat protectant, so I don't need to reapply.
That one is a HARD NO.
Blow dryers work at about 140 degrees, curling irons work best between 200-300 degrees, and *most* of us are guilty of flat ironing our hair between 375-450 degrees. The next time you're baking, think about that level of heat cooking your hair. Every day. And sometimes going over that same strand 2-3 times. Every day.
Hot tools will absolutely scorch hair, and once that's happened there is absolutely no way to Olaplex/deep condition/keratin treat that hair back to health.
Please apply a heat protectant every time you use heat on your hair. Once it's buffered your hair from the first heat source, there is zero product left on your hair to protect it from the next heat source.
Are you blow drying and then flat ironing? That's a two-time application.
Are you touching up the wavy bits for day-two hair? That's another application there.
It's day three and you're deciding you'd like to curl it -- do you reapply again? YES.
Personally I like to use a serum as it's a double-duty product: I can use it on wet hair, and again on dry hair before I heat style.
Heat protectant sprays are great, but they can only be used on wet hair. If you apply a spray on dry hair, and then flat iron or curl it, it will only intensify the scorching. Think about the last time you put water on a hot frying pan. That's your hair. YIKES.
If you'd like to use two different products, please go right ahead -- there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just please use some sort of heat protectant when you use a hot tool. Each. And. Every. Time.
Myth 4: Olaplex treatments really dries my hair out!
Okay, also bit of a yes-and-no answer.
Olaplex No 3 was designed to rebuild disulfide bonds in the hair. Every time your hair is colored, bleached, heat styled, brushed too hard when wet, etc., those bonds are broken. Break enough of those, and your hair breaks off. Olaplex No 3 rejoins the sulfur and oxygen molecules in the hair strand, making them strong and damage-resistant again.
In no way is it a conditioner or hydrating product.
If you read the exceptionally teeny-tiny print on the back of the bottle, it says to use Olaplex No 3 in between shampooing and conditioning. Meaning one needs to condition after doing an Olaplex No 3 treatment.
Using Olaplex No 5 (their conditioner) is a great way to hydrate your hair after a treatment -- or reeeaaaaally treat yourself and use any deep conditioning treatment balm following the No 3. You won't believe how amazing your hair will look and feel!
Myth 5: That perm I got in middle school made my hair permanently curly.
Hair is hair is hair, but the shape (or curl) of the hair strand is due to shape of the follicle. A perfect sphere is responsible for straight hair, and the tiniest sliver of a crescent moon created the tightest coils possible. Most of us live somewhere between those two extremes.
Here's the funky thing -- hormone fluctuations are 100% responsible for the changing shape of your hair follicle. Estrogen, specifically.
Every time you get a significant change in your estrogen levels, there is a good chance your hair texture may change, too.
Can you think of anything that may have coincided with that perm is middle school.....like, say, puberty? I can guarantee that it was the hormones -- and not the perm -- that was the guilty party.
Fair warning: we women also experience HUGE hormone shifts during each pregnancy, so be prepared for both postpartum alopecia and for the hair that grows back in to be a different texture.
Peri-menopause also likes to shake things up one last time, so don't be surprised if you have to relearn your hair texture again in-between those hot flashes.