Growing up, you must’ve been told by mothers, grandmas and aunts that washing your face with besan will lend it a youthful glow. Also, that colouring your hair with henna is better than colouring it with a chemical dye. But then your hair turned rough and dry (not to mention bright orange) when you used a henna pack, and zits came flying back after a besan scrub.
If old wives’ beauty advice is bad enough, the Internet makes them worse. To put an end to your dilemma, we got hair, beauty and skin experts to decode seven widely-held beauty myths. Read on to know if the truth behind these statements is stranger than fiction – or not.
1. Oily skin doesn’t need moisturiser
During the dry season, the outermost layer of oily skin is affected by superficial dryness. And washing with soap makes it taut and flaky. “The skin absorbs moisture in the form of an emulsion of oil and water. It cannot absorb water or oil by itself. So, the only way to deal with this is to apply moisturisers to replenish the loss of moisture and keep the skin soft and hydrated,” says beauty expert Shahnaz Husain.
2. Use anti-ageing creams only when you’re 30 and over
Once you cross the age of 30, the collagen and elasticin in the skin slowly start to break down. “The skin is at its peak till you’re 18 years old, and it plateaus till about you’re 28 to 30 years old, after which it starts declining,” explains beauty expert Blossom Kochhar.
3. Laser treatment helps you get rid of unwanted hair completely
Laser treatment is not aimed at complete removal. “After a number of sessions, you just get a reduction in the density of your hair,” says Dr Rohini Niraula, senior consultant and medical advisor, Kaya Skin Clinic. So if you have 100 unwanted hair strands before treatment, then after it you can hope for 50 or 30 strands. What you get is a reduction in the girth of hair: coarse hair becomes soft and soft hair even softer.
4. Plucking grey hair results in more growing back
Plucking grey hair doesn’t result in more growing back, but it is still not recommended. “It has no benefits, so why pluck it? Plus, plucking can damage the hair follicle to an extent that it doesn’t grow any hair. So use temporary colours, like hair mascaras, to streak the greys, which will last till you shampoo,” says Husain. The real cause of greying is not fully known, but trichologists and researchers attribute it to a weak immune system and hereditary factors. “Greying occurs because melanin (the colouring matter) does not get transferred to the hair follicle,” adds Husain.
5. Henna dries the hair out
A pack made only of henna has a drying effect on hair. “This is more so if the hair and scalp are dry. But if it is very oily, henna would help,” says Husain. However whether it is for conditioning or for colouring, she adds, henna is usually mixed with ingredients like eggs, yogurt and oil for a nourishing effect.
6. Once straightened or smoothened, hair must not be oiled
“Oil is not recommended by salons as it doesn’t allow the chemicals to stay in the hair for long. So, a gap of three to four months is ideal before you start to oil chemically treated hair,” says Dr Narula. Since straightening results in hair fall, after two to four months, she recommends warm oil therapy. Kochhar agrees and says: “The chemicals used to break the bonds cause the hair to dry. So, it needs lubrication and nourishment that only oil can give.”
7. Cucumber cools the eyes
“Yes, cucumber is a natural cooling agent for the eyes. It removes eye fatigue and brightens the skin around the eyes. Cucumber slices are applied on the eyes and its juice is used in eye pads. It can be used to cool burns on the skin too,” confirms Husain. Its astringent effect helps tighten the skin and delays formation of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.
From HT Brunch, February 19, 2017
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