In the world of beauty, it’s ever-so-easy for fiction to become fact. These so-called “secrets” are passed down among generations, traded at beauty shops, touted on the pages of women’s magazines … but are they true?
From answering the great do-trims-help-it-grow-faster debate to shedding light on a myriad of other questions and unfamiliar terms, we’re here to help you take your locks to new lengths—and heights—with answers from our stylists.
#1: Do regular trims really help my hair grow faster?
We girls have heard that regular trims will actually make our hair grow faster since the day we were born. We’ve probably even dispensed the advice ourselves at some point, but based on what? Is there actually any science behind it?
The short answer is a no! Cutting the hair has no influence on its rate of growth—which is genetically predetermined.
While haircuts may not make our hair grow faster, there are a few other factors that can influence how quickly your can grow out that pixie: General health, dietary habits, even having an iron deficiency has the capacity to affect hair growth and loss cycles.
However, that doesn’t mean regular salon visits are for naught.
Routine trims help keep your ends from splitting and looking frayed, thereby giving the appearance of healthier and longer hair. That’s because, when ends split and are severely damaged, they can cause breakage that travels up the hair shaft—which leads to playing catch-up if you go too long between trims.
So, while ultimately regular trims don’t make hair grow any faster, routine salon visits are the fastest route to length without any damage. And if you’re really intent on going longer than six to eight weeks between trims? Be sure to keep your hair as healthy as possible, laying off heat styling and chemical processing, to minimize length-destroying damage.
#2: Are Salon-Bought Shampoos & Conditioners Really Better?
If you don’t dye your hair, don’t have sensitive skin, don’t chemically process your hair in any way and don’t have serious damage, you may not notice an immediate difference between using salon shampoos and conditioners or their cheaper alternatives—but, that doesn’t mean the drugstore versions are doing your hair any favors.
Drugstore products are made with inexpensive and not-so-good-for-you ingredients, the most common being wax, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and silicone.
Although these fillers will make your hair appear shiny and soft for the first few uses, they build up over time. This waxy buildup seals off your strands from getting any moisture from conditioners and can cause even bigger problems if you want to color or perm.
While price isn’t always indicative of quality, professional products do tend to use better ingredients and include added proteins.
Even if you have “normal” hair and don’t require products to treat specific problems, such as dryness or damage, salon grade shampoos and conditioners are simply way more effective at keeping your hair looking great. Plus, they tend to leave out any sulfates or alcohol that can make your hair brittle or frizzy over time.
#3. Is there a “proper” way to shampoo and condition my hair?
We all wash our hair, but did you know there’s a right way to cleanse your strands in the shower? Learning how to properly wash your hair will have a tremendous impact on the bounce and brilliance of your locks.
Step 1: Begin by brushing your hair before you get into the shower.
Not only with this help reduce the amount of hairs that get caught in your drain, but it will also reduce breakage as well as stimulate circulation in your scalp.
Step 2: Wet your hair thoroughly.
Then apply a quarter-sized dollop of shampoo to the palm of your hand. Start by lathering hair at the roots and working your way down. (If you hair is long, you might need to add some more shampoo.)
Step 3: Once you think your hair is fully lathered and you are ready to rinse, think again.
Start giving yourself a good two-minute scalp massage with your fingertips. Gently massage your head in circular motions and lift hair from time to time from the roots.
After about every 20 seconds, add just a little bit more water to your hands, and work it into your hair, gently running it down through ends with just your fingertips. What you are doing is emulsifying your shampoo so that it can reach its potential and improving scalp circulation.
Step 4: Now comes the time to rinse away all of the grimy residue in your hair.
Didn’t even know could accumulate so quickly, did you? To begin, set your water to more of a lukewarm temperature, and rinse, rinse, rinse!
Step 5: Once your hair is completely cleansed, you can go back and add conditioner.
Take a healthy dollop from the mid-lengths of your hair to the ends. This will help detangle hair, hydrate damaged ends, and even make your hair easier to manage. Don’t forget to rinse with cool water to seal the cuticles.
Got a hair related question or problem? Just ask one of Shades’ professional stylists in the comments below!