If you want a glossy hairstyle to rival Kate Middleton's (hey, who doesn't?), we're here to help. We've enlisted the best hair experts in the business to run us through the biggest hair myths and separate the fact from the fiction. Step this way for perfect hair...
Q. You should leave your hair to dry naturally after a shower.
We've long been told that leaving our hair to air dry after a shower is the best way to protect it from heat damage, but ditching your hairdryer could actually be doing you more harm than good.
According to the Australian Vice President of Smart Devices, Dr Tim Moore, leaving your hair wet could actually be damaging it and causing split ends. How? Wet hair swells, which puts pressure on the cuticles and causes them to break.
Speaking to , he said: "The hair is made up of a cortex, which is the area that pulls the shape of your hair and then cuticles around the side, which are a bit like roof tiles.
"The other thing is that when the hair is wet it loses its strength. So, the hair is half as strong when it's wet."
Sorry, lazy girls, it's time to bring out the hairdryer.
Q. The sun damages your hair.
"Your hair can burn just like your skin – you simply can’t feel it," says Annabel Kingsley, Trichologist at . "UV rays act on hair in a similar way to bleach; they degrade its protein structure, leaving strands weaker and more vulnerable to breakage and further damage. Whilst in the sun, you should apply asun protective spray to your hairliberally to lightly coat each strand that contains ingredients that protect the hair from the sun. Anabel suggests using a daily sun-protective mist, like the . It works to guard hair from UV ray damage and is also incredibly lightweight so it won’t affect your style."
"When hair becomes damaged by the sun, its physical and aesthetic properties are adversely affected. Moisture content is low, the outer cuticle is raised and perhaps broken, and strands are therefore left dry, inelastic, dull, overly porous, hard to manage and more susceptible to environmental damage."
And if you're unsure as to your hair health, she has a nifty trick to test its wellbeing: "It should be able to stretch to a 3rd of its length when wet before breaking."
Why your hair needs a UV spray this summer
Q. You CAN counter these effects.
To repair damaged hair, Anabel Kingsley suggests using a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, like the Philip Kingsley Coconut Breeze Elasticizer. "This plumps strands with moisture to add bounce, manageability and strength, smoothes the hair cuticle to create shine, and leaves hair looking much more vibrant."
“Yes - deep conditioning mask treatments are great," explains Syd Hayes, Hairstylist & Ambassador at L’Oreal Paris. "Botanicals Coriander Strength Cure Shampoo by L’Oreal Paris is epic for strengthening your hair and revitalising the hair from root to tip. Also Kerastase have an amazing spray called Soleil Aqua Seal with UV filters to protect against sun sea and chlorine. Make sure to turn down the heat on your electrical hair tools!”
Q. Vitamin D is good for hair.
As hair expert Anabel Kingsley explains, "Vitamin Ddeficiency can, and often does, disrupt the hair growth cycle resulting in hair loss. Vitamin D is key to hair growth as each hair follicle has a Vitamin D receptor attached to it. A deficiency is very common - I would say at least 80% of my clients are lacking – most notably those who work in an office or live in a city, like London, where the sun is a rare commodity. I therefore always send clients to have a blood test to check their Vitamin D level.
I suggest most people do this once yearly. To boost Vitamin D levels, The NHS has some good advice and recommends “regularly going outside for a few minutes around the middle of the day without sunscreen… the more skin that is exposed the greater the chance of producing sufficient vitamin D before burning”. Many people find it helpful, and indeed necessary if they already have a deficiency, to take a daily Vitamin D3 Supplement. You can buy these in almost any pharmacy."
Here’s exactly what each vitamin does for your skin
Q. Using heated tools damages hair.
Provided the temperature is controlled - under 185 degrees - the damage is minimum. Anything above 185 is considered to destroy the keratin within your hair strands, resulting in broken, dead hair.
Q. Shampooing your hair everyday is good for you.
In general, if you clean you hair every day, it strips the follicles of their natural oils, leading to split ends and dull looking hair. Your scalp can also dry out, causing dandruff and hair loss, while colour fades at a faster rate when washed everyday.
"You wash your face frequently to remove dirt and oil; do the same for your hair but your exact regime and frequency of wash should depend on your hair texture and the specific needs of your scalp," says Kingsley. "If you have fine hair, choose a body-building shampoo and conditioner to gently cleanse and moisturise. If you have an itchy or flaky scalp, use products that will counteract this, such as a soothing anti-microbial flaky/itchy scalp toner and an exfoliating scalp mask. If your scalp has a tendency to get greasy, use a toning tonic after every shampoo. For dry hair, apply an intensive weekly pre-shampoo conditioner once weekly to restore elasticity, bounce and shine.”