The 5 biggest hair myths

Frequent trims at the salon won't make your hair grow faster.

Story highlights

  • Cutting the ends of your hair doesn't affect the follicles in your scalp, which determines hair growth
  • Rather than making it shiny, cold or hot water rinses don't alter hair
  • No matter what, your scalp will always produce the same amount of oil
Switching shampoos often? Shivering through a cold rinse? It's time to rethink your routines.
Myth #1: Frequent trims make your hair grow faster.
Cutting the ends of your hair doesn't affect the follicles in your scalp, which determine how fast and how much your hair grows, says Paradi Mirmirani, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. Hair grows an average of a quarter-inch every month -- whether or not you cut it. Regular trims might make your hair look a little longer, though. Getting rid of split ends reduces hair breakage, and breakage is what makes hair look thinner at the ends (and shorter), says Matt Fugate, a hairstylist at Sally Hershberger Downtown in New York City. Every eight to 12 weeks, ask your stylist to take off the minimum necessary to eliminate split ends.
Myth #2: If you always use the same shampoo, eventually it will stop working.
You don't need to practice shampoo rotation to keep your hair clean. But if you've recently started coloring your hair or increased your use of hot tools, it might be a good idea to switch to a more moisturizing shampoo, says Mirmirani. Otherwise, stick with your favorite as long as you love it.
Myth #3: A cold-water rinse makes your hair shinier.
Hairstylists love to spread this gospel. Their rationale: The icy water will make the cuticle of your hair close so it's flat (and light-reflective), not ruffled (and dull-looking). Yo