By Leah Fletcher
Debbie Burrell loves her hairstylist.
He always makes her look like a star at a Red Carpet event and makes her feel like she’s on her way to Seventh Heaven when he massages her scalp. He’s constantly giving her compliments, accolades and even a little bit of local gossip. She thinks, “Oh, that “silver-tongued devil!”
Let’s not forget that he receives a handsome fee, not including the tip, for all of that flattery, so his wordplay might not be completely objective.
there things this stylist doesn’t want her to know?
The range of a stylist’s experience speaks to the validity of his or her knowledge base. Because of this, your hairstylist might not be well versed in what is fact or what is fiction, like for example, the contention that trimming your split ends will make your hair grow faster.
Here are a few facts that will help you be able to trust your own instincts when it comes to your hair.
Shorter doesn’t make it longer
It took years for Althea Smith to learn that hair is actually made up of dead skin cells, thus, cutting off split ends doesn’t necessarily speed up hair growth. “It made my hair shorter,” the stay-at-home Mother of two said.
Hair grows an average of ½ an inch a month, no matter how many times you visit the hair salon. The speed of growth can be impacted by pregnancy or the change of seasons, but cutting split ends doesn’t impact that.
What Smith did learn, however, is that getting rid of split ends can make your hair look a lot healthier and give it some extra bounce.
Plucking one doesn’t make two
The old wives’ tale says that plucking one gray hair causes two to grow in it’s place.
There appears to be no scientist basis to support that theory.
“If I have only a few gray hairs, I pluck them” Rose Morris said. “There’s no need to start the coloring process for a few hairs that lost their hue.”
Experience has taught the retired day-care manager that the only result of plucking gray hairs is that it can lead to your hair becoming uneven. “If I have more than a few, my defense is acceptance the gray until I can make an appointment with my hair dresser,” Morris said with a hearty laugh.
Home coloring can be great
Lots of people will tell you to avoid taking the do-it-yourself approach to coloring your hair.
That’s not necessarily true, either, Morris said. “You just have to know what you’re doing,” she said.
The big difference between you and a hair stylist is know-how and training.
Because the hair color options available in retail outlets are equal to those found in salons, she had no fear in traveling the DIY route, Morris said. While her results haven’t always been a success, she ultimately believes the key is how you use the product.
“I’ve had good luck and bad luck and I always used a dependable product, followed the directions and tried a number of products and eventually found the right one for me,” Morris said.
But when she made her mistakes, Morris admitted, she headed to her stylist.
Roots are easy
Stylists estimate that your hair color should last up to six weeks. More often, for the over-35 set, those gray roots start to show long before their salon appointments. If you need a quick touch-up, consider today’s home color kits that can cover basic gray and compete with salon colors.
However, if your hair is auburn or close to the blonde range and your dark roots are showing, you may want to get to the salon for a touch-up.
Hair does not adapt
Some women change their brand of shampoo every eight months, but there’s no evidence that hair benefits from changing products so frequently, stylist Angela Munn said. “Conditioners don’t build up a tolerance to hair. If it makes your hair look great, it should always make your hair look great.
Unless your hair changes, which may happen,” explained Munn.
Products can’t fuse your ends
There are a myriad of products that claim to treat split ends, which are a problem for many. They can be found on retail department store shelves and in salons and there is little they can do to correct split ends. There’s no product out there that can fuse the ends of your hair. The only thing you can do for split ends is cut them off.
You can cut your own ends
Split ends happen frequently, and they can ruin the look of your hair. And your edges can get fuzzy. If you are tempted to trim them yourself instead of making a costly trip to the hair salon, go right ahead.
If your hairstyle requires specific maintenance requirements due to the length or style of your hair, consider a stylist, if not, there is no reason you can deal with occasional split ends at home.
But if you have too many split ends, you’re actually talking about a haircut. Go to a stylist.
The Name Brand is The Name Brand
If your stylist has told you to never buy expensive shampoos at the grocery store because they’re “contaminated,” he or she is misinformed. You can get salon quality shampoos for less in supermarkets because, as always, big stores have larger inventories. On occasion, counterfeit bottles do show up, but that doesn’t usually happen at retail department stores because purchase from distributors.
Normal hair, normal price
Specialized, “professional” products can cost quite a bit, and while they may have some great ingredients that do wonders for your hair, they’re not always necessary, said James Yancey Hunter III, the stateside representative for a number of European hair products who has also represented domestic brands including Dudley Hair Products and Revlon.
“If you have perfectly healthy, “normal” hair that looks lovely using the simple, lower-cost stuff, you don’t need to switch to the expensive bottle your stylist recommends,” he said.
While salon-grade products can certainly higher-quality or special ingredients, not everyone needs them, Hunter said. “However, if you have damaged or color-treated hair or a condition like severe dry scalp, those expensive bottles can make a difference.”
Olive oil works
Deep-conditioning salon treatments can be heavenly.
“There’s just something about having someone else wash your hair with an aromatic shampoo, massage it in, then condition it and rinse it out,” said Hattie Walker.
But when it comes to costs, it’s tempting to go the DIY route.
Home remedies made from ingredients like avocado, olive oil and coconut oil condition hair wonderfully, and there’s even some evidence the latter two can make it stronger. So consider exploring your kitchen shelves for inexpensive products that can compete with those more expensive treatments offered by your stylist. The results can be marvelous.