Hair scientist debunks myths about baldness, nits, shampoo, and dyeing
- Does our hair carry on growing after we die?
- Do nits really prefer cleaner hair?
- Is dyeing your hair actually bad for it?
- Can I tell if I'm going to be bald?
- Is it healthier not to use shampoo?
- Are McDonald's fries the answer to baldness?
Business Insider UK spoke to trichologist Shirley MacDonald about the validity of some common hair myths.
Does our hair carry on growing after we die?
When we die there is a myth that our hair continues to grow and it is actually a complete myth. What happens is the scalp shrinks and so it appears that the hair is growing. Hair grows roughly a centimetre a month, and when you die that skin sort of shrinks and pulls back, then it would seem as if the hair has grown. But no, when you die the hair doesn't continue growing.
Do nits really prefer cleaner hair?
Nits and headlice was always thought to be something that only people with non-hygienic tendencies would suffer, but in fact nits and lice like clean hair because they can move around the scalp much more easier and drink your blood.
Is dyeing your hair actually bad for it?
Dyeing your hair is not the greatest thing for it. But general weathering, just day to day, will also affect hair you know we'll have split ends and so on. Diet is key, keep your hair strong and healthy by ingesting the right nutritional foods and drinking plenty of water. The lighter the colour, the more hydrogen peroxide that's in there so that's going to be more damaging. So yes in short dyeing is bad, but it's not the worst thing, what you need to do is make sure that you look after your hair from within.
Can I tell if I'm going to be bald?
If you want to know how your, whether you're going to become bald or not. Then you need to look at who you take after the most in your family, do you look more like mum or do you look more like dad. So if you have the genes more like your mum and then you look at mums brother and he's bald then the likelihood that you may take after them.
Is it healthier not to use shampoo?
The truth is the lipids that are in the hair shaft cannot be washed out, what you are washing off is the excess bacteria and yeast so that the hair can grow out more healthy. So it is better to wash your hair. There is also a belief that hair will self clean, in actual fact what's happening is the build up of the grease and the bacteria becomes, if you like, I'm using the word crystallised, but it dries out. So it then forms scales which then brush out of the hair so I think that's more why people talk about it being self cleaning.
Are McDonald's fries the answer to baldness?
It seems an important finding if they have found something, but transferring that from mice to humans will be the real test. So I'll wait and see, there have been over the many years lots of people coming out with research where they think they've found the cure so I think this one is a wait and see.
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