Mythbusters: Are Essential Oils Good For Hair?

If you’ve ever spent a good amount of time online and especially on social media, you’ve probably already heard of essential oils before. Essential oils are usually touted as a cure-all for a whole slew of issues, from sleeping problems to allergies.

While the effectivity of essential oils for non-therapeutic purposes is still up for debate, they’ve actually been used as an important ingredient in many hair products for many years now.

In today’s ZALA Mythbusters, we’ll discuss the answer to the question: are essential oils good for hair?

ZALA Essential Oils

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are extracted from plants in order to gain a highly concentrated version of the said plant. They’re usually associated with fragrances since many people use them with a humidifier. However, many companies claim that essential oils can do more than just make the environment smell good.

Simply put, essential oils are also said to be very beneficial for one’s health, depending on the specific oil. When it comes to hair, especially, some oils are said to offer benefits that no other product can in a way that’s both easy and affordable.

The Myth

Using essential oils on hair is certainly not a new or unique concept. Healers from as early as 1000 AD have been known to use presses or steam in order to get fragrant plant extracts – the early version of the essential oils that we see and use today.

Here are some of the benefits that essential oils are said to have and the specific EO that apparently causes them:

  • Smoothens and softens hair – coconut oil, geranium oil, lavender oil.
  • Promotes healthy hair growth – cedarwood oil, clary sage oil, rosemary oil.
  • Stimulates the scalp – Almond oil, chamomile oil jojoba oil.
  • Increases hair shine – Chamomile oil, lavender oil.
  • Greatly moisturizes the scalp – Jojoba oil, rosemary oil.

The Truth

Essential oils are in no way a new discovery. Even way back in 1000 AD, healers have already been using steam or presses in order to collect fragrant plant extracts.

These days, essential oils usually undergo a process called distillation. The final product is very concentrated, which is why you should always use your EO wisely.

That said, EOs are actually completely harmless to any person with no underlying health issue. You could try them all you want and you won’t see any negative effects.

The only reason why you should probably not use EOs too much is due to environmental sustainability. It takes roughly 250 flowers to get 1 ml of EO, so imagine how many flowers had to be sacrificed just to prepare this small but very special ingredient.

DIY Essential Oil Treatments for Hair

essential oils good
(c) Unsplash

If you’ve got essential oils lying around, you might want to try using them as a DIY treatment for your hair.

You can mix them with your regular hair masks or even your shampoos to improve the effects on your hair.

Some of the best essential oils for hair are jojoba oil, clary sage, cedarwood, and lavender.

You can also leave these essential oils on your strands for 30 minutes or even overnight. Wash them in the morning and you’ll notice an improvement in your hair texture.

Are essential oils good for hair?

So, are essential oils good for hair?

Essential oils can be an affordable and easy way to improve your hair’s condition in just a few drops. Depending on the specific oil you use, your hair could improve in shine, strength, and growth.

That said, do know that there is such a thing as using them the wrong way. According to WebMD, overusing EOs or not diluting them enough can cause harmful effects like skin rashes, burns, swelling, and even sores. Some people have also experienced allergies after using certain essential oils. Make sure that you do a small patch test first before using the oil on your entire hair.

Are you interested in using essential oils now? Have you already used them before? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

And of course, for more hair tips and tricks, don’t forget to check out our ZALA blog!

PUBLISHED 6TH JULY 2020

Mythbusters: Can Wearing Hats Cause Hair Loss?

If you’ve ever worn a hat in front of a relative before, especially if it’s an older relative, you’ve probably already heard a variation of this statement: “Stop wearing a hat so much, you’ll go bald.”

But here’s the thing. Although we’ve heard that time and time again, we have to wonder, how accurate is it, really? Is hair loss from hats real? Is there a hidden danger to this innocuous activity? How can doing something that’s seemingly so harmless, such as wearing a hat, cause you to go bald?

In today’s ZALA Mythbusters, we’ll answer the question: Can wearing hats cause hair loss?

zala mythbusters wearing hats cause hair loss

The myth: wearing hats can cause hair loss

One very common hair loss myth is that wearing hats can cause hair loss, especially in men.

The myth is often attributed to the fact that men are known to suffer from baldness in their later years, usually referred to as “male pattern baldness”.

Male Pattern Baldness Often Attributed to Wearing Hats
Male Pattern Baldness often attributed to wearing hats (c) Pinterest

Some women also believe that wearing hats can make their hair grow thinner. According to the myth, this is because hats can suppress the strands, therefore flattening it and making it look worse as it grows out.

Lastly, there are some people who believe that wearing hats can restrict oxygen to the scalp, which causes harm to hair follicles. This, in turn, allegedly leads to hair loss in the future.

The truth

So, will hats cause hair loss? Well, hair loss is usually caused by a variety of factors, including age, genetics, lifestyle, medication, medical changes, and hormonal changes.

For women specifically, there are a couple more things that can cause hair loss over time.

Overtstyling hair and using hairstyles such as tight ponytails and braids can trigger a form of alopecia, called traction alopecia, caused by the continuous pulling on the roots.

Doing too many harsh treatments such as perms and hot oil frequently can also cause hair loss due to follicle damage. If a follicle gets damaged, it develops a scar. That scar prevents new hair from growing back.

Can wearing hats cause traction alopecia?

Wearing Hats Cause Traction Alopecia
(c) Unsplash

Traction alopecia refers to the type of alopecia that usually develops when your hair is continuously pulled over time. It is not hair loss from wearing hats!

While wearing tight hats isn’t good for your well-being, they rarely, if ever, create enough tension to pull your hair tight. You’re more at risk for traction alopecia if you wear cornrows than if you wear hats.

Can wearing hats cause friction alopecia?

Do hats affect hair growth or trigger friction alopecia? There is another form of alopecia that is usually linked to wearing hats, and that is called friction alopecia.

Friction alopecia refers to the kind of alopecia that develops due to hat stress. This typically happens if you’re wearing a hat that is much too tight for you. The hair follicles get damaged, resulting in bald patches.

However, unlike traction alopecia, this type of alopecia is temporary. Once you stop putting too much stress on your head, your hair will grow back. Of course, if you don’t stop it, your hair may never grow back, but chances of this are quite slim.

Conclusion: can wearing hats cause hair loss?

Luckily for you, it appears that this is actually just a myth, at least most of it. While wearing hats too often can result in some temporary physical changes to your hair, there are no scientific studies that prove that it can cause hair loss in the long run.

That said, you shouldn’t completely rule out the idea that hats cause baldness. Although hats won’t cause you to lose your hair in 20 years’ time, wearing hats that are too tight can in fact be a contributing factor. You might want to stick to loose-fitting hats that will actually let your scalp breathe. Besides, they feel better on your head anyway, don’t they?

For more ZALA Mythbusters articles, don’t forget to check out this tag!

PUBLISHED 30TH JUNE 2020

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