To no surprise, Instagram is brimming with haircare suggestions and techniques. From influencers praising “miraculous” serums to meticulously detailed routines, the suggestions are as diverse as they are plentiful. They pledge to change your locks, transforming even the flattest strands into a full-bodied mane that would make a lion envious. But how much truth is there behind these excessively optimistic captions? Do these hair growth suggestions that many people online refer to as game-changers actually work?
To assist you in navigating through this abundance of information, we’ve scrutinized some of the most popular hair growth tips on Instagram and reached out to an expert, internationally acclaimed, Board-Certified Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, to obtain professional advice. By delving deep into each practice, our aim is to distinguish fact from fiction and provide clear, practical guidance for your hair’s well-being. So, if you’re tired of the guesswork, continue reading as we unravel the truth from the trend, helping you comprehend which practices could genuinely improve the health and length of your hair.
Fact or Fiction: Scalp Health Is Essential
The Verdict: Fact. A healthy scalp is not only the basis for good hair—it’s the soil where your hair roots flourish. And just like plants, hair follicles thrive in a clean, nurtured environment. Regular cleansing, exfoliation, and minimizing the accumulation of products contribute to maintaining overall hair health.
Dr. Michele Green affirms, “On average, the scalp contains about 100,000 hair follicles, each producing a single strand of hair. Research has demonstrated that poor scalp health, characterized by clogged hair follicles, dead skin cells, dry skin, and insufficient circulation, can lead to weak and fragile hair, hair breakage, and lackluster appearance.” In other words, caring for your scalp is crucial for promoting healthy hair growth, and if anyone online suggests otherwise, it may be time to unfollow.
Fact or Fiction: Weekly Oil Treatments
The Verdict: It depends. Oil treatments for hair have been a part of beauty routines for centuries, but do they truly contribute to hair growth? Dr. Green says it varies, stating that “Our hair naturally secretes sebum to moisturize the hair shafts; however, our hair can still become dry and require additional moisture. Oil treatments before or after washing your hair can support your hair follicles, shield your scalp by forming a natural protective barrier, reduce dryness, and strengthen the hair shafts.” If you’re grappling with any of these conditions mentioned by Dr. Green, incorporating the appropriate oil into your haircare routine can do wonders for your hair growth journey.
However, as the old saying goes, “Too much of a good thing is bad.” Excessive use of hair oils can weigh down your hair. Additionally, excessive application of hair oil on the scalp can result in dandruff, flakes, and product buildup, which can hinder your hair growth in the long term.
Fact or Fiction: Limiting Hair Washing to 1-2 Times Per Week
The Final Verdict: It varies. Can washing your hair less frequently stimulate hair growth? According to Dr. Green, “The frequency at which you should cleanse your hair per week relies on several factors, including hair texture and length. Individuals with curly or coarse hair should reduce the frequency of hair washing, as their strands tend to be drier compared to those with straight hair.” This is primarily influenced by the production of natural oils (as previously mentioned by Dr. Green) and how these oils distribute across different hair types.
While individuals with finer or straight hair might experience oiliness within a day or two of washing, it takes longer for oil to travel from the scalp to the hair shafts of curly or coily strands, which is why individuals with these hair types can get away with washing their hair only once a week.
Truth or Fiction: Consuming Water Enhances Hair Growth
The Final Verdict: It’s plausible. Although no direct scientific evidence establishes a link between hydration and hair growth, Dr. Green highlights that sufficient hydration can decrease the likelihood of developing a dry or itchy scalp. Remember, your scalp is skin—proper water intake is just as crucial for the health of your facial and body skin as it is for your scalp.
Additionally, hydration can boost blood flow and circulation to your skin and scalp, according to Dr. Green. So, while drinking water may not directly accelerate hair growth, it still plays a vital role in overall health and well-being.
Truth or Fiction: Regular Scalp Exfoliation Is Essential
The Final Verdict: It may be beneficial. Everyone seems to be obsessed with full-body exfoliation lately. When it comes to hair growth, there is some truth to the significance of scalp exfoliation. Regular scalp exfoliation twice a week could promote a healthier scalp, leading to improved hair growth. Dr. Green explains, “Scalp exfoliation purges the hair follicles by eliminating oils, impurities, and dead skin cells. It also stimulates circulation, turnover of skin cells, and growth of hair follicles.” So, if you have overlooked incorporating scalp exfoliation into your hair care routine, adding it could be a fantastic way to awaken your follicles.
Truth or Fiction: Silk Pillowcases Are Optimal For Hair Health
The Final Verdict: True. Some individuals have grown up being advised to never let their hair come into contact with bedding while sleeping and to instead use a bonnet or scarf to safeguard their locks during slumber.
In recent times, silk pillowcases have become Instagram’s preferred method of hair protection during sleep, and for good reason, as confirmed by Dr. Green. She states, “Silk pillowcases can encourage hair growth and prevent breakage since they do not absorb moisture like cotton pillowcases, allowing the hair to maintain its natural moisture and minimizing breakage. The smooth texture of silk pillowcases also reduces friction against the hair compared to cotton pillowcases, reducing the risk of tangles.”
Dr. Green adds that silk pillowcases, which can be relatively expensive compared to cotton, are not the only viable option. Cheaper alternatives such as satin and bamboo are available if you don’t want to drain your wallet when replacing your pillowcases.
Absolute Truth or Alternate Reality: Utilize a Daily Thickening Serum
The Verdict: Mostly fabrication. Regardless of whether you label it as a serum, potion, or enchantment in a container, hair-thickening serums are another overhyped product heavily promoted on Instagram that prompts numerous individuals to impulsively add them to their online shopping carts. The reality is that not all thickening serums (or hair growth serums in general) are made equal, and it is crucial to seek out those with the correct ingredients.
As stated by Dr. Green, “The success of the serum depends on its formulation and the concentration of its components. Clinically proven ingredients such as Minoxidil, biotin, vitamin C, and B vitamins all have the capacity to stimulate the growth of healthy hair.”
Understanding specific nuances about these ingredients is also essential. For instance, treatments containing minoxidil (which can be found in Dr. Green’s recommended Hair Revitalizing Serum) can be used by both men and women, while other topical treatments, like serums containing finasteride, are exclusively recommended for men. Therefore, as a consumer, it is imperative to be knowledgeable about your purchases and trust only the formulations created by professionals, rather than being enticed by any promises of incredible results or homemade concoctions conjured up by amateur beauty enthusiasts.
The Truth or a Figment of Imagination: Double Shampooing Enhances Your Hair’s Cleansing
The Verdict: It varies. Double shampooing, which involves washing your hair twice during one shower session, can be advantageous if your hair is burdened with a substantial accumulation of dirt, heavy styling products, and impurities, as each wash serves a distinct purpose. Dr. Green explains, “The initial wash eliminates the buildup and dirt, while the second wash purifies your hair strands and follicles. However, excessive cleansing can deplete your hair’s natural oils and cause long-term damage.” While double shampooing can serve as an effective method for deep cleansing, shampooing should be approached as a delicate balancing act, maintaining your hair’s natural oils while ridding it of grime—excessive washing can result in dry and fragile strands.
Delving into the insights shared by Dr. Green, it is evident that while certain hair growth tips found on Instagram do hold some merit, the key to hair health lies not in passing trends but in adopting a holistic and comprehensive approach to hair care. This encompasses maintaining a well-balanced diet, establishing suitable hair care routines, ensuring proper hydration, and seeking timely guidance from professionals.
Furthermore, it is important to realize that hair care does not follow a one-size-fits-all formula. Genetics, lifestyle choices, and overall well-being greatly influence what your hair requires to flourish. Before jumping on the bandwagon of the latest hair growth craze from Instagram, remember that hair care demands patience, consistent attention, and comprehension of your hair’s unique necessities. Always prioritize conducting personal research and seeking advice from experts before making significant alterations to your hair care regimen.