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Wet hair DOESN'T make you sick and hair does not grow back darker after shaving: Doctor debunks the 15 most common beauty and health myths

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 11/1/2019 Billie Schwab Dunn For Daily Mail Australia

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 © Getty 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 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.

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'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.

Many people believe that if they shave the hair will grow back thicker and darker © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Many people believe that if they shave the hair will grow back thicker and darker

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. 

a woman sitting on a table: Health conscious people will be happy to know that they don't need to starve themselves on a juice cleanse © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Health conscious people will be happy to know that they don't need to starve themselves on a juice cleanse

9. Chocolate relieves period pains – Neutral

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

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.

Woman applying deodorant © Getty Woman applying deodorant

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

Sun protection cream © Getty Sun protection cream 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 placeFalse

'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.'

Gallery: 10 common skin-care mistakes that you're making without realizing it  (Insider)

What are the 15 myths?

- If you go outside with wet hair you'll catch a cold

- Hair and nails grow after you die

- If you shave, the hair grows back thicker and darker

- Eating fatty foods can give you acne

- When women live together their periods sync up

- Juice cleanses rid your body of toxins

- Getting a base tan can prevent sunburns

- Toothpaste can heal pimples

- Chocolate relieve period pains

- Deodorants can cause cancer

- Eating bread crusts can make your hair curly

- Eating late at night makes you gain weight

- The most skin damage by the sun is done before age 18

- Sleeping with a bra on can give you breast cancer

- Pull out a grey hair and two grow in its place

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