For beauty and self-care, there’s perhaps no more influential figure than our mothers.

The hair secrets passed down in childhood will impact the way we take care of our hair in adulthood, sometimes not necessarily for the better.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we’ve scoured social media platforms like Reddit and TikTok to reveal the best and worst haircare hacks our mothers have shared with us.

Here’s some of the best we’ve discovered:

#1 Use a hair oil before washing your hair

It turns out that some mothers were tuned in to the pre-poo trend before we were.

According to one TikToker, applying argan oil to their hair before washing has helped add extra shine and lustre to their locks.

Argan oil is packed with fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E, making it excellent for hydrating and moisturising hair while nourishing the scalp to improve overall hair health and reducing breakage.

Its lightweight nature makes it suitable for all hair types, including fine hair. However, if you have thicker, coarser hair, you might opt for a heavier oil like castor oil for deeper nourishment along your lengths.

#2 Clean your shower while your hair mask works

Mothers, if nothing else, are multi-taskers, as this one Redditor proves when their mother recommended: “storing some basic cleaning supplies in the shower and clean some stains while waiting for your hair mask to work.”

This practical hack is not only a great way to ensure your shower stays pristine but is also beneficial for your hair.

That’s because allowing a hair mask to sit on your hair for an extended period allows the ingredients to penetrate the hair shaft more deeply, with most masks recommending you leave them in for a minimum of five minutes before rinsing out – the perfect amount of time to give your shower a quick scrub!

#3 Wrap your hair with ribbon overnight

Another TikToker shared her mother’s expertise of tightly wrapping wavy hair with ribbon before bed to naturally straighten hair and prevent damage.

This Algerian practice traditionally uses a Kardoune – a long piece of fabric that helps relax the hair while you sleep. It also prevents hair from rubbing against your pillow, avoiding any overnight breakage.

Use a silk or satin ribbon to smooth your hair, leaving a long enough length to fully wrap your hair and tie the ends together.

So, what about some of the worst tips?

#1 Add birth control to shampoo

One mother’s bizarre recommendation is to add crushed-up birth control pills to your shampoo to encourage faster hair growth.

Alarmingly, many commenters on the viral video expressed they were eager to try the hack. But not only is this a waste of medication, with no scientific evidence to support the idea, it could also be harmful.

Topically applying hormones like oestrogen and progestin to the scalp may lead to adverse effects such as irritation, allergies or even hormonal imbalances.

#2 Brush curly hair 20 times a day

Brushing curly hair tops the list of many mothers’ haircare blunders according to this Redditor:

“My Mum told me the best thing I could do for my hair was to brush it. Preferably 20 times on each side. This would bring the oils down from my roots.”

While distributing natural oils is important, excessive brushing, like “20 times on each side,” isn’t necessary and can do more harm than good for drier curly hair.

Instead, curly hair benefits from using a wide-tooth comb and conditioning products like oils and creams to maintain health and hydration.

#3 Heat protectant instead of detangler

According to one Redditor, forgoing detangling spray in favour of a heat protectant was a top tip from their mother:

“If I don’t wear my hair wavy, I spray a super fine mist heat protectant on it before I brush it and it helps immensely with tangles while damp.”

While heat protectants safeguard hair integrity, they may not be as effective as dedicated detangling sprays. These sprays are formulated with ingredients like silicones and oils to smooth the hair cuticle and ease the detangling process.

By Hair Expert Alice Dawkins of Milk + Blush

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