Follicly challenged: Exploding the myths that lie beyond the fringes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 May, 2007, 12:00am

According to Damien von Dahlem of Hair News Magazine, one of the many hair myths is that you can go grey overnight.

Von Dahlem says hair on your head and face have different properties, but that no matter what you do - or what you take - hair grows at a constant rate of exactly half an inch a month.

Split ends can't be repaired and should be cut off immediately or they'll split higher and do even more damage, he says.

Brushing your hair a lot is bad for it and a major cause of split ends and hair breakage.

'Hats also cause hair breakage and to a lesser degree, split ends,' he says.

'Hair receives its colour genetically and can only turn grey or white over very long periods of time, but not overnight, or even after a wild weekend. It actually loses colour rather than turns white.'

Male and female pattern hair loss can be inherited from either side of the family and any generation, he says. Male pattern hair loss usually begins about 18 to 20, whereas female hair loss occurs about 45 to 55.

Dandruff and dry scalp are different. A good shampoo and conditioner will take care of dry, flaking scalp, whereas dandruff is a more serious health issue and requires prescribed medication. Dandruff shampoos aren't necessary or advisable for a dry scalp, von Dahlem says.

'The flakes are actually oily, not dry. Very few people have actual dandruff and you would know it if you did.'