LIFESTYLE

Beauty Myths Debunked

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When it comes to beauty tips, some advice defies logical explanation. And yet these beauty myths are widespread and continue to trip us up. With theories like facial yoga preventing wrinkles (cough, waste of time!) and feeling that you need to buy all your skincare products from the same line, here are the biggest beauty myths—and the truth behind each.

Dirt makes your hair grow faster
Um, no. All dirt does is make your hair dirty. That’s it, that’s all. The reality is your hair and scalp thrive when they are clean and not covered with residue or debris. Want to ensure that your hair grows? Properly clean your scalp and moisturize your hair, focusing on the ends and you’ll be good to go.

Alcohol is a good facial astringent
If you use alcohol on your face, I’m giving you a major side-eye right now. Alcohol is only good for killing bacteria and drying your skin out. It’s way too harsh to be used on our delicate skin. A great alternative would be witch hazel. It’s easy on the skin, very inexpensive, and is a great natural astringent.

Braiding or pulling your hair tight makes it grow faster
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this one. I even had a stylist tell me this as she proceeded to try to braid my then 3-year-old daughter’s hair clean out of her head. Listen and listen well—pulling one’s hair tight doesn’t make it grow. On the contrary, it can potentially cause permanent hair loss. Can you say traction alopecia?

Putting toothpaste on pimples makes them go away
If by “makes them go away” you mean “makes them grow three times larger” then, yes, toothpaste makes pimples “go away.” I’m sure I am not the only one that has tried to get rid of a pimple with toothpaste. I’ve tried it tons of times and each time was a complete fail. Toothpaste only irritates breakouts and oftentimes makes them worse.

You should never tweeze above the brow.

You don’t have to abandon all tweezing above your brow. “Go ahead and remove those hairs above the brow that are not part of the eyebrow and not quite part of your hairline,” says Ramy Gafni, a celebrity makeup artist and brow expert. “The key is not to remove hairs that are too close to the eyebrow, which can result in the brow looking too thin.” Not sure which hairs to pluck and which ones to keep? “Leave the serious above-the-brow shaping to a pro,” Gafni says.

Brows should always match your hair.

This is old-school thinking, Gafni says. “Brows can be two to three shades lighter or darker than your hair colour and still be extremely flattering,” she says. “It really depends on your taste and the look you’re trying to achieve.” As a rule, the darker the brow, the bolder and edgier the look.

You should never put oil on oily skin.

Not only does oil-prone skin need hydration, but adding oil can actually help the skin produce less oil in the long run. “When a person with oily skin uses a cleanser that removes all of the natural oils, the skin will overcompensate by producing more oil,” says Melissa Mitchel Willis, a makeup artist and image consultant in New Orleans. Add a little oil and the reverse will happen.

Facial exercises keep the skin taut.

Remember when the real housewives of New York did facial yoga to prevent wrinkles? Yeah, it was for no good reason, Bank says. “Exercise does strengthen, tighten, and tone muscles, but it will not do anything to tighten the skin,” he adds. “In fact, repetitive muscle contraction can actually lead to further collagen breakdown.”

All of your skincare needs to be from the same line.

Actually, different product lines may excel in different areas and use different ingredients that will benefit your skin, Bank says. “Highly qualified chemists are employed by virtually all of the major skincare brands and manufacturers,” he says. So, no matter what kind of marketing whiz tries to convince you that one particular brand has all the best science and chemists under one roof, it’s just not true.

You can get rid of cellulite.

Sadly, cellulite is a complicated problem (not to mention oh-so-unsightly). While cellulite may be improved temporarily by any number of products or treatments, there is currently nothing that will permanently get rid of it, Bank explains.

Cutting your hair will make it grow faster and thicker.

“Hair fibers are dead tissue,” says Alan J. Bauman, M.D., a board-certified hair restoration physician and hair science expert. “Your follicle doesn’t know when you cut your hair short.” If it seems like your hair grows like a weed after a trim, it’s an illusion. “When hair is shorter, it appears to grow faster because the added length over time is in greater proportion to the total length,” Bauman says. “Think about it: Adding one inch when the hair is five inches long looks like faster growth than adding one inch to 10-inch long hair.” Scott Fontana, a celebrity stylist and owner of Cristophe Salon in Newport Beach, Calif., agrees. “If you want to grow your hair faster, don’t cut it—take care of it,” Fontana advises.

If you pluck a gray hair, two will grow back.

Luckily, Bauman insists that getting rid of these first signs of old age will not make you look even older in the long run. Chalk this one up to an old wives’ tale!

Waxing makes hair grow back thinner in a matter of weeks.

While waxing does damage the hair follicle, which does lead to short-term thinning of the hair, that thinning is temporary, says David Goldberg, M.D., a physician in Boca Raton, Fla. “Within two to three months of waxing, the hair will be just as thick as it was before you waxed,” Goldberg says. “Only electrolysis and laser hair removal lead to permanent hair thinning and reduction.”

Women with darker skin can’t wear red lipstick
Lies, I tell you. All lies. All Black women, no matter how light or dark the complexion, can wear red lipstick. It’s all about finding the shade that best complements your skin tone. In my experience as a makeup artist, I’ve found that MAC Cosmetics’ Ruby Woo and Russian Red work on any shade of brown skin.

Black hair doesn’t grow long
There are a ton of myths surrounding Black hair. One of the biggest myths is that our hair doesn’t grow long—and if it does grow, it is because the Black person is mixed with another race. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Truth is, Black hair, no matter how kinky it may be, can and does grow long. There’s no genetic trait held only by Black people that keeps our hair from growing. Chemical overprocessing and improper haircare is what keeps some hair from growing. All hair grows. We have to protect and nourish it to keep it from breaking off.

Read the full article by Meghan Rabbitt and Briana McCarthy

Teni Beauty

Resident Chief Editor, Signature Reporter. Teniolami is an accomplished makeup artist and beauty therapist with almost 10years experience in the beauty industry. She is a full-time Beauty Business Coach, Brand & Product Developer, Educator and a soon to-be published Beauty Author

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