Mythbusters: Is Mayonnaise Good For Hair?

If you’re a fan of reality TV, maybe you’re familiar with Big Ed, one of the men in the third season of 90-Day-Fiance. And if you’re familiar with Big Ed, you’re probably also familiar with a weird DIY hair treatment he featured on the show. Want a hint? Well, it involved mayonnaise.

A lot of people may have given him flak for it, but we’re here to see if his unconventional hair treatment does have some merits. In today’s ZALA Mythbusters, we’ll answer the question: Is mayonnaise good for hair?

Mayonnaise Good For Hair

The myth

Although it may seem hard to believe, using mayonnaise as a hair mask was already around long before Big Ed featured it on TLC. Many people, mostly those with wavy and curly strands, have been touting the use of mayonnaise as an alternative treatment for soft and smooth hair.

Another claim is that mayonnaise can solve issues like dandruff, itchy scalp, and even hair loss. This, in addition to stories saying that mayonnaise masks can instantly turn even the limpest and dullest hair into shiny and glossy strands, makes mayonnaise a rather popular alternative hair treatment even in recent times.

What is mayonnaise made of?

Mayonnaise, also known as mayo, is primarily made of oil, egg yolks, vinegar, and lemon juice. The exact ingredients vary per manufacturer though, since some brands use olive oil instead of canola oil, some add mustard, etc.

Why mayonnaise?

If you think about it, this ‘myth’ is not entirely baseless, especially for people who have wavy or curly hair types.

For one, mayonnaise has oil, which is something that wavy or curly hair typically lacks. Many wavy or curly-haired people suffer from dry hair due to a lack of natural sebum.

Two, mayonnaise contains egg yolks. Eggs are very good for the hair because they contain plenty of amino acids including collagen and protein, which can help with hair growth.

Three, vinegar has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce dandruff. Vinegar can also balance the pH levels on your scalp, which helps your hair follicles become stronger and tighter.

That said, there’s no study that says mayonnaise itself can improve your hair’s condition.

DIY Mayonnaise Hair Mask

Ingredients

  • One cup of mayonnaise
  • One egg

Steps

  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together one cup of mayonnaise and one egg until the mixture becomes creamy.
  • Apply the mixture to your hair evenly using a wide-toothed comb.
  • Cover your hair with a plastic shower cap for at least 30 minutes.
  • Rinse your hair with lukewarm water to get all the mayonnaise out.
  • Afterward, use a sulfate-free shampoo and then condition your hair as usual.

Conclusion: Is mayonnaise good for hair?

As of writing, there’s still no scientific basis for this claim. Although the individual ingredients in mayonnaise are theoretically good for hair, you might be better off just using those ingredients as a standalone rather than using them when they’re already in mayonnaise form.

However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the good effects of mayonnaise for hair. Many wavy and curly-haired individuals online have gone public saying that mayonnaise does work for them.

Honestly, in our opinion, there’s nothing wrong with trying it out to see if it works for you. Mayonnaise is non-toxic and completely safe to use, so if it works, then it’s all good. If it doesn’t, there are still plenty of other DIY treatments out there.

For more ZALA Mythbuster articles, don’t forget to check out the ZALA blog!

PUBLISHED 18TH JUNE 2020

Mythbusters: Do Hair Vitamins Work?

If you’ve spent a good amount of time on social media like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, then you’ve probably already seen advertisements related to hair vitamins.

These days, hair vitamins are all the rage. Plenty of celebrities and social media influencers are showing off gorgeous before and after photos of their locks after using hair vitamins. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never been interested in trying out those vitamins myself.

But in today’s ZALA Mythbusters, we’ll explore the real answer to the question: do hair vitamins work?

Hair Vitamins Work

The myth

Nobody has the exact same genetic makeup of another person. Other people may have too much of something, while others may be lacking in something.

For people who are lacking certain vitamins or nutrients in their bodies, doctors will typically recommend that they take supplements. For instance, people who don’t get enough sunlight typically need Vitamin D supplements to make up for it. People who don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables may need Vitamin C supplements. And vegans who lack vitamin B12, which is normally only found in animal products, should sometimes also take B12 supplements to prevent vitamin deficiency.

Basically, modern medicine has improved so much that we already have alternatives to everything. Since our hair also needs plenty of vitamins and nutrients, it only makes sense for hair vitamins to work, right?

What do hair vitamins contain?

Hair vitamins contain, as the name implies, vitamins – the very things that our hair needs to be healthy.

The most common vitamins in hair supplements include:

  • Vitamin A is normally associated with good vision, but it can also help with cell regrowth, which can affect hair growth as well.
  • Vitamin B complex makes up a group of B-vitamins that are commonly found in animal products. The only one that can be produced by our own body is B7, also known as Biotin. Biotin, like many other B-vitamins, has plenty of good effects on hair and nails.
  • Vitamin D. Low levels of this vitamin can cause hair fall and even hair loss.
  • Iron and selenium can help determine the graying or whitening of hair. Having enough of these vitamins can help prevent premature graying of hair.

As you can see, hair vitamins contain necessary vitamins and nutrients that your hair needs to grow beautifully.

Scientific studies on hair supplements

In theory, hair vitamins do seem to contain helpful vitamins, don’t they?

Alopecia Areata is a disorder associated with vitamin D deficiency in hair. People who have Alopecia Areata are often found to have low Vitamin D levels. In this case,

Unfortunately, there’s no scientific basis as to how hair vitamins work. For many scientists, actually, hair supplements are rather unnecessary.

A trichologist and chief scientist from Evolis Professional named Dominic Burg says that most people don’t really need hair supplements since they can get all those vitamins in the supplements from the food they eat anyway.

Burg also says that most of the vitamins included in hair supplements just go to waste. Simply put, your body can only take so much of a certain vitamin. If you pump your body with excessive vitamins, it’s not going to make your hair look prettier or smoother. Actually, you’re likely just going to pee out all the excess.

Also, you also have to consider the fact that all hair found outside your body is already dead. It’s only the follicles that are actually alive. No amount of supplement you take can affect what your strands already look like now.

If anything, Dr. Vivian Bucay, a dermatologist and assistant professor from the University of Texas Health Science Center, says that it will take years to even show the effects of hair supplements on your hair. Why? Because supplements can only affect the hair that is yet to grow, if they even do anything at all.

Conclusion: do hair vitamins work?

Although it’s nice to believe in miracles, the truth is that there’s no such thing as a miracle pill. Based on our research, hair vitamins are mostly unnecessary and are simply a waste of money. You can get most of the vitamins contained in those supplements from your diet alone. See, nutrition does matter.

If you’re not vitamin deficient, it doesn’t make much sense to waste money on hair vitamins. You’re much better off buying good quality shampoo and conditioner to get your gain in proper shape in no time at all.

For more ZALA Mythbusters, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!

PUBLISHED 9TH JUNE 2020

Mythbusters: Does Hair Grow Faster In The Summer?

How’s your hair during the summer months? 

Maybe you’re getting ready to get a new haircut to escape the heat. Maybe you’re excited to get beach waves for your vacation. Or maybe, if you’ve heard the rumors, you’re looking forward to finally growing out your hair. Because hair grows faster in the summer, right?

Or does it really? In today’s ZALA Mythbusters, we’ll answer the question: does hair grow faster in the summer?

zala-mythbusters-hair-grow-faster-summer

Hair growth facts

Although hair grows at a different pace per person, the average growth is about half an inch a month or six inches per year. For some people, this number could be smaller. For others, it could be much more.

For over a thousand years, people have continuously experimented with their hair. This has resulted in dozens, if not hundreds, or myths, rumors, and beliefs. And one belief about hair growth is that hair grows fastest during the summer months.

Hair growth factors

Before we explore that myth, what are the different factors that affect our hair growth, anyway? Actually, there are many things that could affect how fast your hair grows, but here are some of the most common factors:

  • Age. Young people, especially teenagers, have the fastest rate of hair growth. As we grow older, our hair growth also tends to slow down due to age. This is the main reason why 
  • Sex. Males tend to grow hair faster than their female counterparts. Turns out it wasn’t just an illusion–men really do grow hair longer, faster.
  • Race. Researchers have found that African men grow hair slowest while Asian men grow hair fastest. This is due to the subtle differences in genetic makeup.

But is it true that the hot weather can really make hair grow faster? Many people will say that their hair seemed to have grown much faster over the summer, but there’s no proof that it’s a scientific fact and not just an observation bias. 

Seasonal changes in hair growth

hair grow faster in the summer
(c) Unsplash

In one study, researchers from the University of Bradford observed the hair growth of 14 Caucasian men. It was found that their hair grew faster in March. Hair growth then subsequently grew slower as September arrived, reaching peak hair loss in mid-September.

The difference in hair growth lies in the amount of time it takes each individual strand to reach the different hair growth phases. 

There are three phases of hair growth: 1) the anagen or the growth phase 2) the catagen or the slowing of growth 3) the telogen or the falling out phase. Each strand undergoes each phase at a different time, and how long your strand lasts in the specific stages also differs from person to person. 

During the study, the reason why hair seemed to grow faster in March was that 90% of the hair strands were in the anagen phase, which meant 9 out of 10 strands were still growing.

Does hair grow faster in the summer?

The result of the study suggests that warm weather does have an effect on how fast hair grows.

However, don’t disregard your hair care routine during this time! Summer months can be very drying on your hair, and the extra humidity could make your hair frizzy too. It’s very important to stay on top of your regimen during the summer months, especially when it comes to using hair sunscreen.

For more ZALA Mythbusters, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!

PUBLISHED 18TH MARCH 2020

Mythbusters: Does Switching Hair Products Damage Hair?

When I was in high school, I was quite particular about my shampoo. I wanted one with a scent that would last for the entire school day, so I kept trying different shampoos to find the perfect one for me.

Until one day, when one of my grandmother’s sisters told me not to keep switching shampoos. Apparently, switching shampoos, and hair products in general, too often can damage my strands. 

A quick search on the internet tells me that I wasn’t the only one who got that lecture from my elders. That’s why today, on ZALA Mythbusters, we’re here to see if switching hair products can really damage hair.

zala-switching-hair-products

The myth: switching hair products

The full story actually goes longer and far more interesting than what I shared above. Although you’re not supposed to switch hair products too often, you’re also not supposed to stick to the same brand for too long.

Back in the 1990s when I was growing up, people were encouraged to swap brands every few months or so, because apparently, our strands will get used to the formula and thus will no longer benefit from it.

Confusing, isn’t it? Basically, you can’t stick to the same brand for long, but you also shouldn’t swap it out for a new product too soon. If you stick to the same brand for too long, your hair will apparently become immune to it and thus will no longer see positive effects.

And if you swap your product for a new one too soon, your hair will be damaged due to the change in formula. Apparently, you’re supposed to correctly guess when the best time to switch is, and it has to happen at least once or twice a year.

At least, that’s how the myth goes.

Is switching hair products really necessary?

I won’t even give a long answer to this one, because surprise–it’s not.

There’s no such thing as your strands becoming immune to a certain hair product. If your hair condition suddenly changes after 8 months of using your current product, it’s more likely that something else changed, not that your hair is immune to the product itself. 

For instance, people who experience this change after a couple of months automatically assume that it’s because their strands are already immune to their shampoo, conditioner, or hair serum.

What they failed to realize is that after a couple of months, the weather has already changed. Colder months usually start at the latter parts of the year, and this is also the driest time for many places in the world.

If your hair suddenly becomes duller and limper around this time of the year, perhaps it’s simply because it’s getting colder and drier, hence the effect. How long you’ve been using your products has nothing to do with it.

Does switching hair products damage hair?

As for the main question in this article, I’ll give you a short answer as well. No, switching hair products does not damage hair. Even if you use different hair products every day, just like this woman did as an experiment, your hair probably won’t become worse than it was when you started.

Also, trying out different hair products can help you see which one suits you best. Remember, different hair types take to different hair products. Don’t be scared to give different brands a try. It’s the best way to find the perfect match for you. If only I could tell that to my high school self!

For more ZALA Mythbusters articles, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!

PUBLISHED 29TH FEBRUARY 2020

Mythbusters: Are Microfiber Towels Good For Hair?

It’s common for people not to give a second thought to their hair towels. After all, it’s just for drying hair, right? How important could that be?

The thing is, towels are actually pretty important for hair care. Either it’s bad and shouldn’t be used again, or it’s good and you should keep using it. There’s no such thing as an in between.

Microfiber towels are presumably some of the most purchased kinds of towels these days. That’s why, in today’s ZALA Mythbusters, we’ll discuss the answer to the question: are microfiber towels good for hair?

zala-mythbusters-microfiber-towels

History of microfiber towels

Microfiber is a kind of synthetic fiber that has gained popularity for its use in the auto industry. The material itself was first discovered back in the 1950s, but people back then weren’t really sure where to use the new invention. In the 1960s, however, a Japanese scientist found a use for it in industrial applications. The first successful product was launched in the 1970s, and by the late 1990s, the public was already fully accustomed to microfiber products.

Aside from automobiles, microfiber towels were also found to be quite effective for hair. Dozens and dozens of companies have already released their own microfiber product for hair, most notably DuraComfort who developed the best-selling hair towel on Amazon. That’s because microfiber has fast-drying properties, which is very helpful for drying hair.

Effects of using microfiber towels on hair

Microfiber towels are said to be some of the best towels that you can use for hair. Aside from its fast-drying properties, microfiber towels are also not as rough as other types of towels. 

So basically, microfiber towels can dry your hair much faster, and they also absorb the wetness without getting too wet themselves. Plus, microfiber towels tend to stay on top of your hair if you have the habit of wrapping it around. Other towels slip and fall, but microfiber towels stay.

Also, many reviewers on Amazon consistently say that microfiber towels have reduced their hair frizz. Some brands even promote towels that can add volume, although we can’t really find any scientific evidence of that.

Are microfiber towels good for hair?

Based on anecdotes by thousands of reviewers, it does seem like microfiber towels can be good for hair. These towels are said to be able to cut back frizz and add volume.

However, due to the lack of scientific evidence, what we can instead safely say is that microfiber towels are very absorbent. With a microfiber towel, you can cut your overall styling time since you wouldn’t need to wait for too long for your hair to dry completely.

So are microfiber towels good for hair? Better than your regular hair towel, that’s for sure.
For more ZALA mythbusters, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!

PUBLISHED 17TH FEBRUARY 2020