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Hair Care Quiz: The Truth About Your Tresses

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Getting your hair cut more often makes it grow faster.

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Getting your hair cut more often makes it grow faster.

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No matter how often you cut it, hair grows at the same rate -- usually about 1/2 inch per month. Hair may grow faster in summer when hormones can speed things up a little. But frequent trips to the salon won't help.

 

Cutting hair gets rid of split ends. Losing those frayed, broken ends can make your hair look fuller and healthier -- and maybe even a little longer!

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About how many hairs do you lose each day?

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About how many hairs do you lose each day?

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Most of us have about 100,000 hairs, and it's normal to lose as many as 100 of them every day. Shedding a lot more than that can be a sign of a physical problem, so call your doctor if your shower drain is clogged on a regular basis. Otherwise, don't fret over a few lost hairs after shampooing or brushing. New ones will grow in their place.

How often should most people shampoo?

How often should most people shampoo?

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Every other day is plenty for most people to promote a healthy scalp. But if you're an athlete, you sweat a lot, or your scalp is oily, you may need to lather up more often. If your scalp’s dry, you can probably wash your hair every few days. If you're African-American and have natural hair, you should wash it even less -- once a week, tops.

If you pull out a gray hair, two more will grow in its place.

If you pull out a gray hair, two more will grow in its place.

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Your grandma was wrong. There's no truth to the old wives’ tale, says Gerard Bollei, a gray hair color expert at his New York salon. Your hair won't go gray faster from plucking -- and you may end up liking the gray look. Bollei says these days more women who gray are keeping their hair that way.

How do you keep curly hair healthy?

How do you keep curly hair healthy?

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Chemical treatments put stress on your tresses. "My clients embrace their curls," says L.A. stylist Jon Buhek, who specializes in curly hair. The Onyx Salon owner has worked with Paula Abdul and the Jacksons and shows clients how to hold a diffuser under the curls to avoid frizz. He encourages them to regularly apply styling cream and let their hair dry naturally.

When can razor cutting hurt your hair?

When can razor cutting hurt your hair?

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If done with a new and sharp blade, razor cutting can give your style a softer look. You can tell whether your stylist is using a sharp blade by how much it pulls on your hair. Duller blades will tug on your hair and the haircut could be uncomfortable. Don't feel bad about pointing it out to your stylist. After all, you both want to make sure you walk out of there looking good!

 

Any type and length of hair can work with a razor cut as long as you have an experienced stylist.

It's not safe to dye your hair when you're pregnant.

It's not safe to dye your hair when you're pregnant.

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When you dye your hair, a little bit of chemical can get on your scalp and penetrate your skin. But most research suggests that this small amount of dye isn't harmful to a developing baby.

 

If you dye your hair yourself, use gloves, leave the dye on for the minimum time, and work in a well-ventilated room. You also may want to try pure vegetable dyes, like henna.

You can fix split ends.

You can fix split ends.

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Despite what some hair products may promise, you can’t fix ends once they split. To banish them, get regular trims and work on keeping your hair healthy.

It’s OK to sleep with hair in a braid or a ponytail.

It’s OK to sleep with hair in a braid or a ponytail.

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It is OK to sleep with a loose ponytail or braid once in a while as long as it’s only slightly damp or dry. Wearing a tight ponytail too often -- day or night -- can break off hair. Plus, it can give you a headache! Use covered elastic hair bands, not rubber bands, which can catch on hair and cause strands to pull and break.

Brushing 100 strokes a day keeps hair healthy.

Brushing 100 strokes a day keeps hair healthy.

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No need to be that dedicated! Overbrushing can cause wear and tear on your hair. You can end up with breakage and split ends. But gently brushing a few strokes a day helps stimulate your scalp and encourage healthy hair growth.

Keratin straightening treatments are completely safe.

Keratin straightening treatments are completely safe.

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It's the formaldehyde in these treatments that makes them iffy. Formaldehyde, which may cause cancer, has been linked to medical problems ranging from headache to sore throat. Some keratin treatments say they don't contain the chemical, but even that is questionable.

 

If you have a keratin treatment, ask what's in it. Better yet, consider investing in a good flat iron.

You should never use 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.

You should never use 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.

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What's important when choosing hair products is making sure you pick the ones for your type of hair: dry, curly, color-treated, etc. If you have damaged hair, try a 2-in-1 product followed by extra conditioner to really protect your hair.

If you're pregnant, your hair will most likely:

If you're pregnant, your hair will most likely:

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Like glowing skin, luxurious locks are a hallmark of pregnancy. A surge in hormones causes hair to grow faster and fall out less. So enjoy it! Six months after your baby is born, your hair will probably go back to its old self. You may even shed a lot of hair if you skip nursing or when you stop. This, too, will pass.

How do you protect hair from flat iron heat?

How do you protect hair from flat iron heat?

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Flat irons aren't the best thing for your hair, but that doesn't mean you should ban them from your bathroom. Just don't use them on wet hair or use them every day. Using a thermal protectant and a low heat setting will keep dry hair from being damaged. And using smaller sections of hair will help shorten heat exposure.

The only way to moisturize your hair is when it's wet.

The only way to moisturize your hair is when it's wet.

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The best way to truly moisturize your hair is when it's wet. Water causes the outer layer of hair (the cuticle) to open so moisturizer can get in and penetrate your hair's cortex, or inner layer. But for a quick fix when your locks need a little lubrication, try an oil-infused comb. These resin combs are filled with rich oils -- like macadamia and argan seed. The oils won't penetrate, but they'll coat your hair, making it look healthier while you de-tangle.

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