Fake-outs. Folklore. Old wives’ tales. Call them what you want, but when they mess with you looking your best, we take them seriously. It turns out, though, that not every nugget of knowledge our parents told us was entirely accurate. So, in an effort to set the record straight, we’re debunking the most common grooming myths.
Neglecting to wash your face causes blackheads
Sure, never washing away the day can cause pores to clog up, collect dirt and form blackheads. But cleansing too much, especially with abrasive exfoliators, can actually make matters worse. The skin becomes irritated and overcompensates for the loss of moisture following a sink-side wash-up by producing even more oil. Bottom line: strike a balance by combining a gentle cleanser with a heavier scrub two or three times a week.
Anti-dandruff shampoos eliminate flakes
Indeed, they do. But using the same shampoo every day doesn’t effectively address the situation. An anti-dandruff treatment on a daily basis can dry the scalp, so it’s important to alternate your shampoo of choice with one from your regular routine. A persistent problem, however, could be the sign of an underlying factor, like a diet deficient in vitamin B.
Stress causes gray hair
Debatable. There is evidence that stress triggers free radicals, which can influence the production or promote the bleaching of melanin, the pigment responsible for hair color. But going gray won’t happen overnight. And even if such speculations are in fact true, stress will only slightly accelerate an inevitable process.
Brush your teeth after eating
Seems like a good idea to brush your teeth right after eating, right? In reality, brushing directly after a meal — particularly one with acidic foods and drinks — can increase enamel erosion. That’s why most dentists recommend waiting 30 minutes to an hour before going to town with a toothbrush.
More shaving cream results in a better shave
The fact is, less isn't better, either. The key is finding a product that effectively lathers and creates a single, uniform layer of protection between you and the blade._________________________________________________________________________
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Don’t use moisturizer if you have oily skin
Moisturizers aren’t what you think. Instead of imparting actual moisture, those helpful tubs and tubes help seal in the skin’s natural water content. It’s basically a barrier between you and the elements. But if you do happen to have overactive oil glands, make sure to cleanse before basting yourself in cream. Otherwise, you could just be locking in a lot of dirt and debris.
Hats cause hair loss
Unless you’re hat is sealed to your head and cuts off circulation (which we’re pretty sure would be outrageously uncomfortable), you can wear headgear 24/7/365. Balding is genetically programmed. And despite what you may have heard, the ones responsible for thinning come from both mom and dad.
Shave in a downward motion with long strokes to avoid irritation
Well, sort of. Downward is one part of the shaving story since, for most men, doing the deed upward will cause some serious razor burn. But it’s actually most important to shave with the direction of the hair. And that may require traveling down different paths. Long strokes neglect subtle variations in growth patterns, so keep your swipes short and sweet.
Eating chocolate leads to breakouts
Dead wrong. Most types of acne have absolutely nothing to do with diet. Changes in hormone levels (remember junior high?), stress and genetics are major factors for pizza face. So, feel free to chomp down on a big bar of chocolate. But like all things in life, don’t overdo it.
Shaving makes hair grow back faster and thicker
Hair characteristics are controlled by genetics, not shaving. While you may have tried staving off a shave in your early teens for fear that you’d eventually become a mountain man, your rate of beard growth and hair thickness is completely beyond your control. And, yes, we’re aware that stubble can certainly appear darker and thicker following a clean, close shave, but in reality, there’s no messing with DNA.