Doc­tor de­bunks the 15 most com­mon beauty and health myths

Wet hair doesn't make you sick and hair does not grow back darker af­ter shav­ing

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIONAL - By Bil­lie Sch­wab Dunn (© Daily Mail, Lon­don)

From a young age we are told things not to go out­side with wet hair to avoid catch­ing a cold - but how many of these health and beauty myths are ac­tu­ally true?

To put these myths to rest Eng­land based GP, Dr Haider Al-Hi­laly, re­vealed the truth be­hind some of the most well-known ones.

Here are 15 pop­u­lar myths that she has de­bunked - and you may be sur­prised by the re­sults.

1. If you go out­side with wet hair you can catch a cold – False

Many moth­ers have told their chil­dren that if they go out­side when their hair is wet they'll fall ill but Dr Al-Hi­laly said this is ac­tu­ally un­true.

'Colds are viruses and can be con­tracted at any time, in­clud­ing in the sum­mer,' she said.

'The rea­son we as­so­ciate them with cold weather is be­cause peo­ple tend to con­gre­gate in small spa­ces for warmth and cold viruses are then more likely to be passed around.'

2. Hair and nails grow af­ter you die – False Ac­cord­ing to Dr Al-Hi­laly there is no ev­i­dence that hair and nails grow af­ter you die.

Af­ter death, dead skin re­tracts so that if you ob­serve a dead body, even af­ter three to four days, it may look like the hair and nails have grown even though they haven't.

3. If you shave, the hair grows back thicker and darker – False

'This is false. Shav­ing (as op­posed to wax­ing from the root) can make re­grow­ing hair feel blunter and look thicker, but the act of shav­ing has no ef­fect on the hair it­self,' she said.

4. Eat­ing fatty food gives you acne – Neu­tral This idea is con­sid­ered to be neu­tral as there is some ev­i­dence that points it to be­ing true and some of it false. 'Whilst acne is as­so­ci­ated with eat­ing a Western-style diet high in calo­ries, fats and re­fined sug­ars, this may in­crease acne risk while not di­rectly caus­ing it,' Dr Al-Hi­laly said.

5. When women live to­gether their pe­ri­ods sync up – False

Al­though many women claim that when they're liv­ing to­gether or trav­el­ling to­gether for a long pe­riod of time their pe­ri­ods sync up the doc­tor said that there is no ev­i­dence to sup­port this. The myth is based on a 1971 study which ini­tially ap­peared to prove this, how­ever it's now widely un­der­stood not to be true.

6. Juice cleanses rid your body of tox­ins – False

Many health con­scious peo­ple may be happy to know that they don't need to starve them­selves on a juice cleanse to detox­ify them­selves.

'Our body detox­i­fies it­self through the di­ges­tive tract, liver, lungs and kid­neys,' Dr Al-Hi­laly said.

'Juice cleanses may con­tain less calo­ries and fat than nor­mal meals and make us lose weight, but they don't "detox­ify" any­thing.'

7. Get­ting a base tan can pre­vent sun­burns – False

' There has never been any ev­i­dence to sug­gest that a base tan pro­tects against a sun­burn. It is not a sub­sti­tute for good SPF pro­tec­tion,' she said.

8. Tooth­paste can help heal spots – Neu­tral Tooth­paste as a way to heal acne is an­other health and beauty myth that remains neu­tral as some ev­i­dence points to it be­ing true, some of it false.

Dr Al- Hi­laly said it all de­pends on the type of tooth­paste be­ing used.

Most con­tain sev­eral chem­i­cals which can re­duce in­flam­ma­tion, how­ever, it is not as kind on your skin as proper spot med­i­ca­tion.

9. Choco­late re­lieves pe­riod pains – Neu­tral Choco­late re­liev­ing pe­riod pains has also had some ev­i­dence point­ing it to be­ing true and some of it false.

'This is based on a num­ber of ob­ser­va­tions. Choco­late with a high per­cent­age of ca­cao can con­tain mag­ne­sium, which can be used to help with cramps,' she said.

'Many on pain path­ways have sug­gested that choco­late is a nat­u­ral mood booster and painkiller.'

10. De­odor­ants cause cancer – False 'The myth is thought to orig­i­nate from an email hoax. Cancer Re­search UK has stated that there is no con­vinc­ing ev­i­dence be­hind it,' she said.

11. Eat­ing bread crusts can turn your hair curly – False Un­for­tu­nately for those who are af­ter some added bounce, eat­ing crusts won't make your hair curly as hair and how it looks - curly or not - is a ge­net­i­cally in­her­ited char­ac­ter­is­tic.

This means in­gest­ing par­tic­u­lar foods can­not in­flu­ence this in­nate char­ac­ter­is­tic.

Dr Al- Hi­laly ex­plained that be­ing ex­posed to weather con­di­tions, such as hu­mid­ity or heat, can turn your hair curly but only if you are ge­net­i­cally pre­dis­posed to it.

12. Eat­ing late at night makes you gain weight – False

Dr Al-Hi­laly said there is no ev­i­dence to sup­port the myth that eat­ing late at night will make peo­ple put on weight. 'Calo­ries are calo­ries re­gard­less of when eaten, how­ever eat­ing late at night can cause prob­lems such as in­di­ges­tion/ heart burn,' she ex­plained.

13. The most skin dam­age by the sun is done be­fore age 18 – False

Some may be­lieve that most sun dam­age hap­pens be­fore the age of 18 but this is com­pletely false.

Ev­ery­one al­ways need to be sen­si­ble in the sun and wear ad­e­quate SPF pro­tec­tion.

'Older peo­ple may be more sus­cep­ti­ble to skin dam­age in the sun be­cause skin thins with age and loses its abil­ity to hold mois­ture,' she ex­plained.

14. Sleep­ing with a bra on can give you breast cancer – False

The myth that sleep­ing with a bra on can cause cancer is a myth that orig­i­nated from an Amer­i­can study.

It pro­posed that wear­ing a bra cut off lymph drainage from the breasts. How­ever, the stud­ies com­par­a­tively showed no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence be­tween the two test groups.

15. Pull out a grey hair and two grow in its place – False

' Hair fol­li­cles con­tain one hair and an­chor it into the skin. They help hair grow in this area for years, then can take a break,' Dr Al-Hi­laly said.

' The act of pulling out a hair forcibly does not cause two to de­velop in its place, and the colour of the hair makes no dif­fer­ence to this.'

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