These aren’t Carolyn Murphy’s Beauty Tips

If you truly believe a shampoo can make your hair thicker, a conditioner can cure your split ends or that overpriced salon products are always your best bet, consider yourself a possible brainwashed beauty victim.

The truth is, there are a lot of lies in advertising. Here, a myth-busting guide to a slew of ridiculous claims:

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MYTH #1: My shampoo says I can also wash my face with it
FACT: You could also lather your face with kitty litter if you were so inclined, but it probably wouldn’t be a great idea. True, some shampoos contain the same basic detergents as some facial cleansers, but those are generally really drying. Even if a shampoo is gentle enough to be used on your face, it probably won’t be strong enough to get rid of the grime. Best to stick with area-specific products.

MYTH #2: I should shampoo my oily hair often
FACT: Hyperwashing actually overstimulates the scalp, causing even more oil production. It’ll feel yucky for a while, but try to gradually decrease the frequency of your shampoo fests. In about a month or two, oil production should let up considerably and you may have just solved your problem.

MYTH #3: That second lather is what really gets my hair clean
FACT: Lather, rinse, repeat: This is basically manufacturer-speak for "Use lots and lots of this product so you have to buy more sooner." The truth is, the more you wash, the more you rough up the cuticle and dry out the ends. Find a shampoo made specifically for your hair type and one modest scrubbing will do the trick.

MYTH #4: Lots of lather means my hair is getting really clean
FACT: Only on opposite day. The amount of lather you get is inversely related to how much gunk you’ve got in there. The more oil, conditioner or styling product build-up, the less lather you’ll get. When hair’s relatively clean, you’ll suds up like a Maytag. Go figure.

MYTH #5: I can’t go wrong with a mild baby shampoo
FACT:
If you’re fearful of sobbing in the shower, you’re right on the money. Otherwise, since babies are generally a lot less vain than we are, shampoos made for wee ones aren’t designed to combat the damage inflicted by styling products, perming, coloring, and relentless blow-drying and curling. Act your (hair’s) age already.

MYTH #6: Cutting my hair will make it thicker
FACT:
Ooh! Good one! Unfortunately, unless you’re wielding a magical pair of shears, cutting only makes hair look and feel thicker because thin, scraggly ends are nixed. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, come to think of it.

MYTH #7: I should condition my hair right before a chemical process
FACT:
Yikes! Not in this lifetime. Conditioners are designed to stick to the cuticle and fill in any holes–the same holes that dyes and permanent wave solutions are trying to squirm into. Count on seriously uneven results if you slick on some gooey stuff before processing.

MYTH #8: Vitamin-enriched products will make my hair healthier
FACT:
Maybe if you ate them… kidding! Here’s the deal: The minute a hair sprouts out of your scalp, it’s dead (feel free to mourn). You can’t feed it. Sorry, but that’s just the way it goes.

MYTH #9: Exclusive, expensive salon lines are way superior
FACT:
You know those big name companies stocking the supermarket shelves with cheapie shampoos and conditioners? They’ve got tons more cash to devote to researching and developing new products than the smarmy salon owner who’s whipping up his own concoctions in the back room. An impressive price tag does not guarantee impressive results. Sure, the service is nice. And it helps to have a stylist recommend which products are particularly suited to your needs. But if money’s an issue, feel free to take her (free) advice and find a comparable drug store version. There are scores of excellent ones out there for the picking.

MYTH #10: My shampoo restructures my hair – it says so right on the bottle
FACT:
The fact is, the manufacturer could promise you a bigger bustline after two shampoos and probably get away with it. Because hair products are considered cosmetics, they’re not regulated by the FDA, meaning there’s no big guy with a clipboard waiting to disprove the claims. Remember, hair is dead. Wishful thinking aside, it cannot be rebuilt or reconstructed.