Mythbusters: Does Switching Hair Products Damage Hair?

When I was in high school, I was quite particular about my shampoo. I wanted one with a scent that would last for the entire school day, so I kept trying different shampoos to find the perfect one for me.

Until one day, when one of my grandmother’s sisters told me not to keep switching shampoos. Apparently, switching shampoos, and hair products in general, too often can damage my strands. 

A quick search on the internet tells me that I wasn’t the only one who got that lecture from my elders. That’s why today, on ZALA Mythbusters, we’re here to see if switching hair products can really damage hair.

zala-switching-hair-products

The myth: switching hair products

The full story actually goes longer and far more interesting than what I shared above. Although you’re not supposed to switch hair products too often, you’re also not supposed to stick to the same brand for too long.

Back in the 1990s when I was growing up, people were encouraged to swap brands every few months or so, because apparently, our strands will get used to the formula and thus will no longer benefit from it.

Confusing, isn’t it? Basically, you can’t stick to the same brand for long, but you also shouldn’t swap it out for a new product too soon. If you stick to the same brand for too long, your hair will apparently become immune to it and thus will no longer see positive effects.

And if you swap your product for a new one too soon, your hair will be damaged due to the change in formula. Apparently, you’re supposed to correctly guess when the best time to switch is, and it has to happen at least once or twice a year.

At least, that’s how the myth goes.

Is switching hair products really necessary?

I won’t even give a long answer to this one, because surprise–it’s not.

There’s no such thing as your strands becoming immune to a certain hair product. If your hair condition suddenly changes after 8 months of using your current product, it’s more likely that something else changed, not that your hair is immune to the product itself. 

For instance, people who experience this change after a couple of months automatically assume that it’s because their strands are already immune to their shampoo, conditioner, or hair serum.

What they failed to realize is that after a couple of months, the weather has already changed. Colder months usually start at the latter parts of the year, and this is also the driest time for many places in the world.

If your hair suddenly becomes duller and limper around this time of the year, perhaps it’s simply because it’s getting colder and drier, hence the effect. How long you’ve been using your products has nothing to do with it.

Does switching hair products damage hair?

As for the main question in this article, I’ll give you a short answer as well. No, switching hair products does not damage hair. Even if you use different hair products every day, just like this woman did as an experiment, your hair probably won’t become worse than it was when you started.

Also, trying out different hair products can help you see which one suits you best. Remember, different hair types take to different hair products. Don’t be scared to give different brands a try. It’s the best way to find the perfect match for you. If only I could tell that to my high school self!

For more ZALA Mythbusters articles, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!

PUBLISHED 29TH FEBRUARY 2020

Mythbusters: Are Microfiber Towels Good For Hair?

It’s common for people not to give a second thought to their hair towels. After all, it’s just for drying hair, right? How important could that be?

The thing is, towels are actually pretty important for hair care. Either it’s bad and shouldn’t be used again, or it’s good and you should keep using it. There’s no such thing as an in between.

Microfiber towels are presumably some of the most purchased kinds of towels these days. That’s why, in today’s ZALA Mythbusters, we’ll discuss the answer to the question: are microfiber towels good for hair?

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History of microfiber towels

Microfiber is a kind of synthetic fiber that has gained popularity for its use in the auto industry. The material itself was first discovered back in the 1950s, but people back then weren’t really sure where to use the new invention. In the 1960s, however, a Japanese scientist found a use for it in industrial applications. The first successful product was launched in the 1970s, and by the late 1990s, the public was already fully accustomed to microfiber products.

Aside from automobiles, microfiber towels were also found to be quite effective for hair. Dozens and dozens of companies have already released their own microfiber product for hair, most notably DuraComfort who developed the best-selling hair towel on Amazon. That’s because microfiber has fast-drying properties, which is very helpful for drying hair.

Effects of using microfiber towels on hair

Microfiber towels are said to be some of the best towels that you can use for hair. Aside from its fast-drying properties, microfiber towels are also not as rough as other types of towels. 

So basically, microfiber towels can dry your hair much faster, and they also absorb the wetness without getting too wet themselves. Plus, microfiber towels tend to stay on top of your hair if you have the habit of wrapping it around. Other towels slip and fall, but microfiber towels stay.

Also, many reviewers on Amazon consistently say that microfiber towels have reduced their hair frizz. Some brands even promote towels that can add volume, although we can’t really find any scientific evidence of that.

Are microfiber towels good for hair?

Based on anecdotes by thousands of reviewers, it does seem like microfiber towels can be good for hair. These towels are said to be able to cut back frizz and add volume.

However, due to the lack of scientific evidence, what we can instead safely say is that microfiber towels are very absorbent. With a microfiber towel, you can cut your overall styling time since you wouldn’t need to wait for too long for your hair to dry completely.

So are microfiber towels good for hair? Better than your regular hair towel, that’s for sure.
For more ZALA mythbusters, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!

PUBLISHED 17TH FEBRUARY 2020

Mythbusters: Does Pulling Your Hair Make It Grow Faster?

We’ve all heard plenty of hair practices before, but one of the strangest we’ve heard is that pulling hair makes it grow faster. Apparently, some women even see it as the secret to having long hair. Have you heard of that practice before? Is it really nothing but an old wives’ tale? 

In today’s ZALA mythbusters, we’ll explore the answer to the question: Does hair grow if you pull it? 

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History of pulling hair

If you’ve checked forums and threads around the internet, you can see that the practice of hair pulling for growth has been making rounds in several parts of the world for quite some time now. 

One forum post alleged that it was her friend from India who shared the tip with her, saying that hair pulling is good for blood circulation on the scalp. 

Another claims that she saw the tip from a book called Super Hair Savers, written by a woman named Oleda Baker. Baker was a model and author back in the 1960s who also founded Oleda, a beauty company. The book claimed that pulling on hair strengthens it and promotes additional hair growth. 

Another post says that ‘tugging’ on hair gently is a form of a scalp massage that helps hair grow faster and longer, although it did warn against pulling hair too roughly.

The truth behind pulling hair

So, does picking your hair help it grow? The truth is, pulling hair for faster hair growth is a rather controversial topic, mainly because it’s hard to determine exactly what people mean when they say ‘pulling hair’.

If the term merely refers to gentle tugs, especially when done to hair close to the scalp, then it might be classified under a type of scalp massage. This is indeed helpful when it comes to scalp health. Scalp massages can help improve blood circulation on the scalp and also to stimulate the hair follicles, encouraging healthy hair growth in the process.

However, if the practice requires you to pull hard enough to actually pull the strands out of your scalp, then it’s a huge no-no. Pulling hair to that extent can lead to bald patches and even hair loss, or alopecia. Too much force can damage your hair follicles, impeding their job to grow hair. This often happens to people who suffer from trichotillomania, which makes up roughly 2%-5% of the US population. The results are the same with normal hair pulling although people who suffer from trich, as it’s commonly called, also have a tendency to swallow their pulled hair.

https://mosaicscience.com/story/compulsive-hair-pulling-skin-picking-trichotillomania-bfrbs-ocd/

Effects of pulling hair

In a nutshell, pulling hair gently can:

  • act like a good scalp massage
  • improve blood circulation
  • help stimulate hair follicles
  • encourage healthy hair growth

On the other hand, pulling hair too roughly or pulling hair out can:

  • cause bald patches
  • lead to partial or total hair loss

Does pulling your hair make it grow faster?

In a way, it can be said that yes, pulling your hair in the context of a scalp massage does help encourage hair growth, therefore making hair grow ‘faster’. However, it’s important to note that yanking your hair or pulling strands out can lead to major problems, including hair loss. So keep this in mind if you want to try this method out.

For more ZALA Mythbusters, don’t forget to check out our blog!

PUBLISHED 3RD FEBRUARY 2020

Mythbusters: Myths About Grey Hair

Grey hairs can be quite a hassle, that we know for sure. However, it’s also true that not everything we read about grey hair is 100% true.

In fact, here are some myths about grey hair that you should probably think twice about!

Mythbusters: Grey Hair Myths

Your lifestyle has nothing to do with grey hair

For people in their younger years, it’s not uncommon to imagine them partying, going out with friends, and maybe even indulging in a few vices here and there. After all, YOLO, right?

Indeed, you only live once, which is probably why you should start taking care of your health more. Contrary to some beliefs, your lifestyle has a lot to do with how your body turns out as you grow older. Smoked like a fish when you were younger? Partied harder than any of your peers? Drank to your heart’s content more times than you can remember? Probably not a surprise that you’ve got a few grey hairs, then. 

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with trying out a few darts in your youth, but as with everything, stay on the safe, and moderate, side.

Your diet doesn’t affect grey hair

You are what you eat, or so they say. Uh-oh, worried now?

Early greying of hair is sometimes attributed to poor diet and nutrition. Some of the common nutrients that are said to be lacking from people experiencing early greying are biotin, vitamin B, and folic acid. These all contribute to beautiful, youthful hair, so without them, your hair may suffer. You might want to be more conscious of what you put in your body from now on.

Plucking grey hair is bad

You’ve probably heard this before: don’t pluck your grey hair, or two will grow in its place! Honestly, we don’t know how many times we’ve heard a variation of that from our friends and family. It’s a scary thought, right? Are grey hairs like hydras that grow more the more we try to cut them down?

Actually, not really. There’s no scientific study that says that plucking grey hair will cause more grey hair. However, that’s not to say that plucking grey hair is good! The truth is, plucking any time of hair is not recommended, since the action of plucking can weaken your hair follicles and cause more harm than good. 

Stress causes grey hair

Now, this is something we’ve heard time and time again. Don’t ever stress yourself out, unless you want to get grey hair at a young age. If you’re unlucky, you may even get a full head of pure white hair early! Yikes!

Here’s the thing: it’s not exactly true. While constant stress can contribute to early aging, which includes early greying, it only happens over a relatively long period of time. Sure, too much stress could mean the difference between having grey hair at 40 instead of 50. But just because you had a stressful day of work, you don’t have to worry about seeing grey hairs pop up next week. It simply doesn’t happen that way.

Have you previously fallen for any of these grey hair myths? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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PUBLISHED 26TH JANUARY 2020

Mythbusters: Is Aloe Vera Good For Hair?

Aloe vera is widely known to be one of the most versatile ingredients out there. Women from all ages, even from centuries ago, often use aloe vera as an all-around fix for any beauty issue whatsoever. And that includes hair issues, from hairfall to extreme dryness.

In today’s ZALA Mythbusters, we’ll explore the answer to the question: is aloe vera good for hair?

Aloe Vera Good For Hair

History of Aloe Vera for Hair

Aloe vera, as mentioned above, has been used for all kinds of things way back during the olden times. 

In 50 B.C., aloe vera was heavily promoted by Dioscorides, a naturalist and physician under Nero’s empire who wrote several books on pharmaceutics. According to his book, aloe vera was one of the plants that could be used for its healing properties. Skin irritation, wounds, sunburn, and hair loss were just some of the things that Dioscorides claimed aloe vera could help with.

Aloe vera was also used in Oriental medicine, especially in China and Japan. The latter considered it as a “royal plant” and even used it as an elixir.

Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair

Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair
(c) Pixabay

The plant itself consists of more than 90% water and it also contains plenty of vitamins such as A, B, C, and E as well as amino acids and proteins with a chemical make up similar to keratin. It can heal various issues thanks to its antibacterial properties, and thanks to its water content, it’s also very moisturizing and hydrating, hence its widespread use in many hair and skin products.

Here are just some of aloe vera’s benefits for your hair.

Helps with itchy scalp and dandruff 

Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties can greatly help solve the problem of dandruff and itchy scalp, as found in a 1998 study.

Leaves hair smooth and shiny

Aloe vera has a lot of vitamins that are beneficial for healthy, beautiful hair. A, C, and E are all responsible for promoting cell turnover, which results to healthier and therefore smoother and shinier strands. 

Makes hair more elastic

Thanks to the keratin-like makeup of aloe vera, it can instantly make your hair more elastic and thus less prone to breakage.

Promotes hair growth

Did you know that aloe vera can also increase your blood circulation? This, along with its other healing properties, helps promote faster hair growth.

Cleans oily hair

If you’re suffering from oily scalp and hair, you should try using aloe vera as shampoo. Aloe vera can not only clean your hair thoroughly, it can also help reduce extra sebum on your scalp. Also, aloe vera is very gentle on your scalp, which means that it won’t strip off too much of the necessary oils on your head.

Risks Of Using Aloe Vera

As with everything, using aloe vera for your hair also comes with some risks. For one, aloe vera is known to be an irritant or allergen for some people. If, after using aloe vera, you experience red, dry, scaly skin, you should wash it off immediately and consult a doctor just to be sure.

Aloe vera also has to be washed thoroughly if you’re going to apply it to your hair. It can be quite hard to rinse off, which causes irritation in some people.

Is Aloe Vera Good For Hair?

So, is aloe vera really good for hair? In a way, yes, aloe vera is very good for your strands, thanks to all its healing properties.

However, if you’re unsure of any allergies you may have, you should probably do a patch test first. Also, although you can apply aloe vera extract directly on your hair, remember to wash it thoroughly afterwards so you don’t experience any irritation. Lastly, keep your expectations realistic! Aloe vera may be an amazing natural ingredient, but it’s not a miracle worker. Can’t expect results overnight!

Have you tried using aloe vera on your crowning glory? How was it? Let us know in the comments below!

And for more mythbuster articles, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!


PUBLISHED 18TH JANUARY 2020