Men's Grooming Myths Busted

Lloyd Hughes Creative Director and
Male grooming has never been so popular, with men paying more and more attention to their appearance.

Male grooming has never been so popular, with men paying more and more attention to their appearance. Despite this, there remains a few lingering grooming misconceptions that require clarification!

Stress turns hair grey

It is a common belief that hair can be turned grey due to increased levels of stress, whilst there is an element of truth to this, it is not quite that simple. Although stress can be a contributing factor to hair turning grey it is by no means the central cause. Most of us can expect our hair to be around 50% grey by the time we turn 50, and this is a natural occurrence, regardless of any additional factors playing a part.

There is a further misconception that men with dark hair are more likely to go grey than fair-headed men, or that they will turn grey more quickly. This absolutely is a myth, men with darker hair may appear to be turning grey faster than light-headed men but this is just because grey hair stands out and more against dark hair.

Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker

Most of us will be familiar with the theory that the more you shave, the thicker hair will grow back. This is due to the thick, sharp feeling of newly grown stubble compared to how the hair feels once it has grown out. The thickness of a man's beard is not affected by the regularity with which he shaves.

Stubble is minute in length and only just emerged from the follicle it therefore grows outwards and straight, causing it to feel thick and spikey. But once the hair grows out and lies flat against the skin, the impression of thickness goes and the hair feels much softer.

I won't lose my hair, because my Dad didn't

Men often ask whether their parents, particularly their Father's hair, is a reflection of what they can expect in later life. There are aspects of your parent's hair that you can expect to inherit. Thinning hair amongst men is of course extremely common, and can begin anytime from teen years through to middle aged. However, the age at which your Father started to lose his hair is not necessarily a reflection of when or if you will lose yours. Hair loss is a consequence of your entire genetic background, not simply that of your parents. It is influenced by generations of family and ancestors, so is a little more complex than just looking at your Dad.

It can tell you more about colour though. If your parents started to go grey in their mid-thirties for example, it is quite likely that you can expect to do the same. This is not an exact science but you will get more of an indication from your parents when it comes to greying hair than thinning. Chocolate gives you spots

Chocolate is often accused of causing break outs, with little or no evidence to support the claim. It is much more accurate to say that an unhealthy diet in general is not good for the skin.

Diets high in sugar and fats can increase the body's sebum production, which can in turn lead to spots. Most chocolate does contain sugar and fats, so could affect skin health if eaten in excessive amounts. This isn't due to the chocolate or cocoa content, but rather by everything else added to the kind of chocolate we buy in the supermarkets.

Towel drying leads to hair loss

Clients often enquire as to the best way of drying hair, normally through worry that by rubbing dry with a towel, they are damaging their hair and even promoting thinning. In my salons, we always aim to cut the hair from wet to dry, allowing it to dry naturally. This is the best way for hair to dry, however is of course impractical for those getting ready in a hurry.

Firstly, using a hair dryer is actually far worse than towel drying. The heat generated can be highly damaging to hair and can cause it to become dry. Rigorous towel drying can also damage hair, but to a lesser extent.

Hair that isn't washed regularly enough can build grease and oils which, once hardened, can weaken hair and lead to thinning. Towel drying hair can speed this process, in the same manner that wearing helmets would. Men who work in an environment that requires them to be wearing a hard helmet for prolonged periods of time are likely to experience thinning at an increased rate.

This is why daily shampoo and conditioner is key, by cleansing the hair and scalp of grease and oil, this process can be slowed right down.