Shaving Your Legs Won’t Make Your Hair Thicker: 10 Broken Beauty Myths Reconcile


The myth: shaving your legs causes thicker, darker hair to grow back
No, says trichologist Anabel Kingsley. “Your hair is not like a lawn stimulated by the cut. If you cut your hair short, shave your head, legs, or anywhere else, the hair will not grow back thicker. It’s the short length and squared ends of the hair (rather than naturally tapered) that gives the illusion of greater thickness in the regrowth – which is why regular cuts make the hair out of your head (deceptively) denser and thicker. However, waxing the legs (where hair is pulled out at the root, sometimes disrupting hair production) can in some cases cause more scattered hair to grow back.

The myth: pulling out gray hair makes it grow more in its place

Photograph: Kellie French / The Guardian

People are generally warned that pulling out gray hair will only cause multiples to appear at their funeral. If only, says Anabel Kingsley, who treats clients with thinning hair and alopecia, “It would be a great way to get thicker hair. Unfortunately, it is not the case. And pulling out the hairs repeatedly can damage the follicle, creating areas of hair loss. “

Kingsley says this oft-repeated myth is most likely perpetuated by the fact that the discovery of gray hair usually results in a careful search for other hair.

The myth: dark skin tones don’t need sunscreen
It’s not just a myth that olive, brown, and black skin doesn’t need sunscreen – it’s a serious public health concern. While it is true that rates of melanoma and other skin cancers are lower in black and Asian populations, those that do occur tend to be diagnosed much later, reducing the survival rate.

Dija Ayodele, skin care expert and author of Black Skin: the Definitive Skincare Guide, says people of color need to be diligent in their sun protection: “Because black and darker skin is less likely to develop sun-induced skin cancer, the market for does not engage with this demographic. Colored skin needs to be included, with the explanation that, yes, melanin (more present in darker skin) does offer protection, but that doesn’t mean you have to be complacent and forgo sun protection altogether.

Ayodele adds that the trend for modern chemical peels and the residual popularity of bleaching products, along with a propensity for hyper-pigmentation and discoloration on darker skin, is all the more reason to apply SPF.

The myth: parabens are dangerous

Beauty myths debunked by Sali Hughes
Photograph: Kellie French / The Guardian

Nothing annoys a beauty expert more than the belief, widely popularized by the “clean beauty” movement, that these common preservatives are a health hazard. Cosmetic scientist Sam Farmer is no exception: “Parabens are ingested by most people every day from fruits and vegetables. They are safe, found in nature, gentle on the skin, and a fantastic preservative. Saying all parabens are bad is a bit like saying all mushrooms are bad.

Farmer says that instead of protecting us from harm, paraben replacement can actually put consumers at risk: “Dropping out of parabens has caused all kinds of problems with their replacements. Recent product failures, particularly in the United States, have led people to report mold growth in their cosmetics and have led to product recalls. “

The myth: washing your hair too often is bad for them
Not according to celebrity and fashion hairstylist Neil Moodie, who has worked with Kate Moss, Gemma Chan, Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. “Hair care depends on your hair type,” he says. “Straight, thin hair should be washed more frequently, as the natural sebum from the scalp travels more easily down the shaft, making the hair look and feel flatter and more oily. Thicker, more curly, coiled, or wavy hair can be left on for longer, giving the oil more time to get down to the ends and keep it from drying out. If you use gentle products, you can wash oily hair as often as you like; drier hair will benefit from washing less frequently, to allow time for the natural oils to travel down the shaft.

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Moodie says regular users of styling products should also intensify the shampoo, so that it can’t build up and irritate the scalp or damage the hair. For frequent washes, he recommends using an SLS-free / detergent-free shampoo to massage the scalp and roots, followed by conditioner only mid-length to ends.

The myth: sunscreen makes us deficient in vitamin D
Many have argued in recent years that our increased awareness of sun protection has led to widespread vitamin D deficiency. But many people living in Britain are already vitamin D deficient, with or without sunscreen. Dermatologist Sam Bunting says that for most of us that’s okay, “For the vast majority, vitamin D levels shouldn’t be a problem. [and sunscreen] because of “real world application” (which an ordinary person would apply to). But those who practice rigorous protection by wearing photo-protective clothing, hats, staying in the shade and applying sunscreen at the right dose (2 mg per cm²), have a higher risk, so supplementation oral is recommended. For others, sitting outside for a few minutes with unprotected forearms should increase vitamin D levels well, although dark-skinned people tend to need more exposure to generate. the same amount of vitamin D.

The myth: false eyelashes and extensions damage natural eyelashes

Photograph: Kellie French / The Guardian

Teresa Smith, the founder of the I Love Lash salon in central London, constantly encounters this belief and blames shoddy practitioners. “A skilled eyelash artist works meticulously, adding handcrafted extensions to one natural lash at a time,” she says. “I always pay attention to the length and thickness of the lashes applied, to make sure that they are not too heavy / long and that they are properly insulated, to allow the natural lashes to continue to grow healthily without no irritation. “

Extensions or not, she thinks lash maintenance starts at home: “Rubbing mascara every day damages natural lashes. Instead, gently scrub the lashes with cleanser or remover. “I often see the natural health of clients’ lashes improving with extensions because they encourage wearers to be softer. “

The myth: you can’t use active skincare ingredients when you’re pregnant
Information on skin care during pregnancy, especially those containing active ingredients such as vitamin C, B and ingredient of the day niacinamide (found in meat, poultry, fish, nuts and vegetables ), are some of the most contradictory and confusing online.

Physician and esthetician Ahmed El Muntasar clarifies: “You can absolutely use actives when you’re pregnant, and in fact a lot of my clients who get botox and filler with me before pregnancy are switching to some form of active. during pregnancy to preserve the skin. radiance and dynamism.

There are a few exceptions, he says: “With retinol and salicylic acid, there is a theoretical risk of developing pregnancy problems around bleeding and developing the placenta and fetus. These products have not been tested during pregnancy, because it is not possible, but in laboratory studies and in theory the risk is there, so we err on the side of caution.

The myth: never pick your own eyebrows

Photograph: Kellie French / The Guardian

That’s not entirely true, but expert Shavata Singh, CEO and founder of Shavata Brows, thinks DIY eyebrows should be about knowing your limits. “The best thing to do is to have a professional create the ideal brow shape for you first, and then follow their design at home, eliminating the latecomers,” she says. You will naturally lose your shape over time as the fine hairs grow, but this method will mean less frequent appointments. If you need to shape at home, Singh suggests sketching your design with an eyebrow pencil, not straying too far from the natural shape (anything under the arch is fair play), before taking the tweezers. Avoid picking from the top and be careful not to overdo it.

The myth: your skin gets used to care and it no longer works
This can be debunked by looking at the ingredients with substantial and extensive long-term clinical results (known as “long-term follow-up studies”).

Consulting dermatologist Dr. Jason Thomson of Skin + Me says: “Tretinoin, the most active form of retinoid, is a prescription-only and best-studied of all retinoids. Studies have been conducted where people have used tretinoin regularly for one to four years, and these have shown that clinical improvements (as well as improvements seen under a microscope from biopsies) are seen over long periods of time and that the benefits actually increase over time.

It therefore seems that the theory of “superfamiliarity” has little weight. Thomson says, “Studies show us the opposite is true and they form the basis of dermatologist advice that consistency is key to skin care. Sticking to ingredients that have been proven to work is the best approach, don’t cut and change your products and your routine.

This article was last modified on January 8, 2022. Sam Bunting is a dermatologist, but not a consulting dermatologist as stated in a previous version.


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