Does shaving make hair grow back thicker? Does plucking white hair cause other neighbouring hairs to turn white?
There are many beliefs about hair, some true and some false. Test your knowledge of hair by marking each of the following statements is true or false.
Shaving your legs would make the hair grow back thicker and coarser
Common experience would suggest this statement to be true but it is a fallacy. The hair shaft tapers toward the end. When you cut it, you expose the thicker part of the shaft, thus making the hair feel thicker and coarser. It also feels prickly because the stubble is short and stiff. When the hair is allowed to grow longer, it would feel soft again. It’s wise to shave down the leg in the direction of the grain, particularly if you have sensitive skin. And shave at the end of a bath or shower; the warm water softens up the hair so it comes out easier.
Graying is a sign of ageing
This statement is true if it is simply taken to mean that as you grow older your hair would gradually turn gray. Hair colour is caused by the pigment melanin produced by hair follicles, and with ageing the follicles produce less melanin. The proposition is false, however, when it is interpreted to mean that a person with more gray hair is biologically older than another person with less gray hair. The age at which hair starts graying is determined in large part by genetics; so different individuals would gray at different ages.
Split ends can be repaired without trimming
The only successful treatment for removing split ends is cutting them with a pair of scissors. While some hair care products may temporarily merge split ends together, the fix only lasts until your next shampoo. Trimming is a better option because damaged ends tend to grow slower than healthy, trimmed hair.
Wearing tight braids, ponytails or buns causes baldness
True. This is called traction alopecia, a form of gradual hair loss, caused primarily by pulling force being applied to the hair. This commonly results from the sufferer frequently wearing his or her hair in a particularly tight ponytail, pigtails, or braids. Avoid this potential problem by opting for looser styles that minimize scalp tension.
Dandruff is contagious
No, you cannot get dandruff by using a comb or brush belonging to someone else who has it. Sharing combs and brushes can, however, spread other scalp diseases, for example, by transporting lice and other parasites from scalp to scalp.
Smoking cigarettes causes hair to turn gray
True. Smoking has also been associated with accelerated hair loss. The probable route through which smoking produces these effects is accelerated ageing that smoking causes. In other words, smoking makes you grow old and graying hair is one sign of it.
Plucking white hair would cause other hairs in the neighbourhood to grow white
There are many people who would swear this to be true citing their own personal experience, but it is a fallacy. Graying is a gradual process that accompanies ageing. It takes about three months to grow new hair and about an additional three months for that hair to achieve enough length for you to notice it. Therefore, by the time the gray hair you pulled outgrows back in, you’ve aged six months. Repeat this process twice and you’re a year older. During that stretch of time, more of your hair could have turned gray simply because you’re older.