Is That Really True? We Investigate Common Beauty Myths


Beauty Myths

“I’m trying to wash my hair less so it stops being so greasy.”

“Don’t put makeup on that zit, it’s gonna make it worse!”

“Once you shave it, it grows back twice as thick.”

Persistent and timeless, passed down from generation to generation, beauty myths dictate lots of our daily beauty routines. We’ve all heard them, we’ve all come to believe they’re true, but… are they? We took a closer look at five common beauty myths.

MYTH: You can “train” your hair to be less greasy.

This persistent hair myth that your locks can get “addicted” to shampoos has followed us around since middle school. The thinking behind it all is that your hair will produce more oil, the more you strip it of oil, thus forcing you to wash it more and more. That you can “break the cycle” by not washing it as much. But most hair experts agree that matter how much you wash your hair, whether it’s every day, every other day, or once every two weeks, your scalp pumps out oil at the rate your body tells it to. You cannot “train” your hair to produce less oil by shampooing your hair less. This will never happen. If you have fine hair, it’s going to get oiler faster than hair that is thicker or textured. And it will look better when it's freshly washed. And this will probably never change.

Verdict: NOT TRUE

MYTH: Chocolate, pizza, and French fries cause acne.

Hang on a sec, that’s the pizza guy downstairs. Okay: Chocolate, pizza, and French fries themselves don’t cause breakouts, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It’s not like you eat a French fry and BOOM!—get a zit. No. However, a diet based heavily on junky foods can definitely trigger breakouts, because the skin isn’t getting the nutrition it needs to keep its oil production regular, fight infections and bacteria, and be clear and glowing. And other dietary factors (including sensitivity to sugar or gluten) can impact your skin. So the moral of the story is: random pizza night? Chocolate binge? Your skin probably won't care. Pizza every night? Chocolate all day every day? You may pay for that with a breakout.

Verdict: NOT TRUE

MYTH: Hair grows back thicker after you shave it.

Would someone like to call my Nana and tell her this is a total myth? I’d do it, but she moves fast for someone her age and wears a lot of rings. Here’s the truth: the hair shaft tapers at the end. When we shave, we’re cutting into the middle of the hair shaft, creating a flat edge, so it feels thicker and stubblier when it grows back. We notice the stubbly regrowth a lot more than we did when we had a virgin forest of soft, long, tapered-at-the-end hair on our heads, crotches, or legs. Yes, I said a virgin forest of leg hair.

Verdict: NOT TRUE

MYTH: Putting makeup on zits makes them worse.

Depends on the makeup, darlin’. If you’ve got a big zit and are trying to cover it up with an oil-based or heavy cream concealer, it might piss the zit off even more. But if you’re using a noncomedogenic, nonacnegenic product, you should be just fine. Stage makeup and grease paint = bad. Light, acne-fighting coverage = no problem!


MYTH: Split ends can be repaired.

I know there are lots of shampoos and serums and conditioners out there that claim to “banish split ends!” but (I hope you’re sitting down) these products are telling you tales. There’s only one way to get rid of split ends, and that’s to cut them off.  Products that claim to banish split ends are misleading, promising that they can help prevent split ends from forming with special moisturizers and nutrients. Split ends are a natural part of life—the ends of your hair are the oldest parts of your hair, and they have gone through months of sun exposure, hot showers, and heat styling. Now, you can put serums and creams in hair to help it look healthier, but there is no product under the sun that can actually heal split ends. Hair is dead, friends. You cannot heal the dead.

Verdict: NOT TRUE

Photo: Emma Kim / Image Source