"Pulling out a grey hair will cause three more to grow" and other grandma wisdom: Decoded


“Pulling out a grey hair will cause three more to grow” and other grandma wisdom: Decoded

Does that mole on your foot actually mean you'll travel the world?

By Salva Mubarak  July 7th, 2017

We, as a country, are divided on most issues. But if there’s one thing that unites us, it’s the regular life and beauty hacks drilled into our brains by our grandmothers. While eating yoghurt mixed with copious amounts of sugar might not be the solution to crack your interview or ace that test, grandmothers are usually not that far off. 

Should you have listened to your grandmother and not tanked out that first grey? Should you have let her douse your paratha with ghee that time you insisted it would ruin your life? We attempt to answer all your questions…

Popular life hacks by grandmothers: Facts or myth?


The more you care, the more you’ll have to pay- Fact

While this might easily be mistaken for an angsty Tumblr post (superimposed on top of a scenic sunset, no doubt), your grandmother was referring to your skin rather than your love life. Dermatologist Kiran Lohia backs your grandmother’s claim. According to her, you should identify the basic skincare products that work for your skin type and stick with them. While it's good to treat your skin to a sheet mask or beauty treatment on occasion, it's best to stick to the basics when it comes to your daily skincare routine. Read our guide to finding the correct skincare routine for your skin type.


Ghee is good for you- Fact

If no conversation on your dinner table was complete without you complaining while ineffectually dabbing at your parathas to absorb excess ghee and your grandmother countering it with a lengthy ode to its virtues, then listen up. And listen good.

Ghee. Is. Good. For. You.

Ghee (or clarified butter, as it’s known amongst fancy folk) is becoming a fixture in new diet movements around the world. Dave Asprey, author of Bulletproof Diet, claims that ghee is actually a healthier alternative to other fats as it does not get easily damaged by heat or oxygen. “Ayurvedic medicine has known for a long time that if you remove all the compounds from butter, it’s just pure butter fat and it’s easy to assimilate,” he says. 


Drinking tea will make you darker- Myth

While your daily cup of tea can contribute to staving off heart disease (or causing brittle bones, according to this study), there is no evidence available that suggests a relation between tea and your complexion. The colour of your skin depends on the melanin in your skin. High counts of the pigment cause darker complexions. Tea has no direct effect on activating melanin. Rest assured, grandma.


If you have a mole on your foot, you’ll travel a lot- Myth

Moles occur because of concentration of melanin in a particular area of your skin. So far there have been no studies that support the theory that your skin’s melanin has clairvoyant abilities to foresee your future. So it's safe to say that the location they choose to form clusters has no effect on whether you will travel or not. Your grandma's prediction based on the position of your mole might have been debunked, but there's no need to despair. Here are some of the best paying jobs that allow you to travel the world


Pull out one grey hair and two will start growing in its place- Myth

While having a head full of silver strands is not necessarily a bad thing, in grandmother speak, it is equivalent to ‘eventual spinsterhood’. You know this is true because at one point or the other your grandmother has stopped you from attempting to pull out an inoffensive grey strand with the same intensity as someone stopping Harry from saying ‘Voldermort’ at Hogwarts.’

But the next time this happens you can assure your dadi ma that plucking it out would not result in two taking its place, you have cosmetic scientist, and author of beauty myths busting book It’s OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick, Randy Schueller’s word for it. While he cautions against pulling out the grey hair (the hair-producing follicle will still remain unaffected), it would not affect surrounding follicles at all. It would definitely not cause them to start producing grey hairs all of a sudden. 


You will get fat if you slouch-Arguable

Whether emulating Quasimodo will make you put on weight or not is unclear, celebrity trainer Yasmin Karachiwala revealed in her book Sculpt and Shape that fixing your posture can actually make you look better. When you are hunched over, and rounded, it makes you look wider and larger. The woman who has whipped Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt into enviable shape says that when the lower body (pelvis) is in the incorrect position, it can make your hips look wider and larger. So listen to your grandmother next time and sit up 


A hiccup means someone is missing you- Myth

The actual reason why you get hiccups is slightly less romantic than your grandmother’s insistence that they’re caused because someone is missing you. Hiccups are usually caused by spasms in your diaphragm. This can happen because of a number of reasons, including change in temperature, shock, stress or excitement. If you’ve got a sudden case of hiccups, best solution is to take deep breaths and drink some water. If it still doesn’t stop then it’s best to consult a doctor.


Don’t drink water during meals-Arguable

While health coach Robyn Youlikis, author of Go With Your Gut, will agree with your grandmother when she stops you from chugging water in between dinner courses, Roshini Rajapaksa, assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine, disagrees. Youlikis claims that drinking water with your meal dilutes your stomach’s hydrochloric acid that aids in breaking down your food for proper digestion and make you feel bloated. Rajapaksa, on the other hand, encourages this habit as, according to her, it keeps you from overeating and possibly help in preventing constipation. While the experts squabble over the issue, it's best to avoid the practice as it does more harm than good. 


A pimple on your nose means someone has a crush on you-Myth (sadly)

While we’re sure the cute guy you sat across from in the train five years ago had a crush on you, and is probably still pining for you, the zit on your nose has, sadly, nothing to do with that. While grandmothers across the country probably used this trick to pacify teens who equated a zit on the nose with the end of the world, here are some plausible explanations to why you might be breaking out (regardless of the location of the pimple).