Our hair is our crowning glory and the haircare and beauty treatment industry is worth several billion in the UK, taking into account hairdressing and barber services as well as homecare products for washing, colouring and styling the hair.
For such a valuable industry, there are still some myths and as many of us experience changes in our hair as part of the ageing process, now is the time to separate fact from fiction.
Mad March Hair - 5 Common Myths
- "Don't pull out a grey hair as 3 will grow in its place" - It may feel that way, but removing a grey hair will not generate 3 more; it's simply that as we age, more hairs grow without colour. Excessive plucking can seriously damage the hair follicle and may inhibit regrowth altogether, leading to hair loss
- "Eating bread crusts will make hair curl" - Sorry, there is no connection between food and the curliness of hair, although a good diet will make hair look healthier and skin too
- "Stress or fear can make your hair go white" - It has been shown that stress can speed up greying or cause it prematurely. However, it will only be visible as new hair grows - the length of hair cannot turn white overnight
- "Regular trims stimulate hair growth" - Hair grows at the same rate whether it is cut or not; so cutting or even shaving the head doesn't make hair grow any better. However, split ends should be avoided as they cause the hair to break
- "Wearing hats causes hair loss" - Rarely - a very tight hat which cuts of blood circulation to the follicles may cause some hair loss, but this would also be causing a serious headache. However, many people do wear a hat to disguise the progression of hair loss which probably explains the association
When it comes to hair, we naturally dislike the signs of ageing and seek to delay them. For some people, the hair exhibits signs of age earlier than others and this can be quite noticeable.
Research has shown that women start to get their first white hairs at 33, although more and more are experiencing premature greying in their mid-twenties, an issue that has been ascribed to stress. Hair colouring either at home or in salon provides an easy solution enabling people to keep their 'real colour' a secret.
With regard to hair loss, approximately 70% of men and 30% of women will experience it. 2 out of 3 men experience can expect some degree of hair loss by the age of 35 According the American Hair Loss Association and some will find it in their twenties.
Hair loss is perhaps harder to hide than greying hair and many feel that they just need to live with it - hence wearing a hat or having it cut very short (see the myths above!). The prospect of surgery is unappealing or unaffordable.
As always, the key to successful treatment is to really understand the problem with any potential underlying causes that may be contributing to it before trying to treat the hair loss itself.
Depending on the cause, there are now a range of non-surgical hair treatment options intended to support the growth of hair on the head without using surgery from vitamins and topical products to mesotherapy and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy).