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Three Old Wives’ Tales That Are Wrecking Your Hair

As cosmetic study, medicine, and science have all advanced, the conventional wisdom about so many different facets of our everyday lives has shifted considerably. Some things our parents and grandparents thought were true and held to believe have been proven false, and just because your grandmother or mother still believes something doesn’t make it true. Save your hair by throwing the following myths out the window— believe me, your hair will thank you for it.

Myth #1: Brush Your Hair 100 Strokes Before Bed Every Evening.

Don’t do it! DEFINITELY don’t do it! Over brushing your hair is a great way to invite split ends into your life. Your hair is incredibly fragile, and tugging a comb or brush through every tangle and snag without a care is a great way to break or splinter the hair shaft, leaving you with split ends. It won’t make your hair shinier; in fact, it can work against you and make your hair more dull and lifeless by over stimulating the oil glands in your scalp and by pulling up the scales on your hair shafts by accident.

Myth #2: Hair Should Be Squeaky Clean.

Some readers may have had a mother who ran their fingers tightly and sharply up and down a lock of their wet hair, listening for the telltale squeak of true cleanliness. While squeaky clean may have been good for floors and tables, any mother who looked for squeakiness in the clean surfaces of her daughter’s hair was doing more harm than good. In fact, the “squeak” is a sign of extremely dry hair that is in need of more conditioning in order to stay strong and not break. And the squeak test probably broke off scales on your hair shafts, as well.

Myth #3: Conditioner Is Only For Dry Hair, Or Else You’ll End Up Oily.

Some amount of healthy oil (called sebum) in your hair is an incredibly good thing. Sebum is what keeps your hair protected and shiny, strong and silky. Without sebum, your hair is a dull, dry mess. And commercial shampoos— especially ones with sulfates— get rid of every single drop of oil your scalp makes in a single lather. Not even counting the rinse and repeat. If you wash your hair more than 2-3 times a week and you’re using normal, sulfate-containing shampoo, your scalp is probably in overdrive trying to compensate for the dryness.

If you use conditioner (and a sulfate-free shampoo), your hair will get a chance to relax.

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