Growing up, mother always had our best interests at heart. Sure, she might’ve been too strict about curfew and too lenient about the car, but Mom got it right most of the time.
All throughout childhood, we were told countless times when (not) to do certain things, like leave your jacket open or eat chocolate before bed time. But as we got older, we realized they weren’t real, science-backed tips.
These were more so preventative measures to keep us from doing some really stupid things (like today, when it’s 55 degrees and I didn’t wear a jacket because it’s too tight from eating too much leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate…).
She’s your mother though, and thus we have dutifully listened to her advice to stir out the coke bubbles when we’re sick and zip our coats up.
Mom, we love you. But we also need to figure some things out on our own.
Here’s the truth behind mom’s advice:
1. Don’t go to bed (or out, for that matter) with a wet head
But the wet-haired look is so in, Mom!
It’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to going out with a wet head.
While you won’t necessarily catch a cold from having wet hair, if you’re feeling chilled, you might be more susceptible to igniting a virus (like the common cold) already inside you.
According to Britain’s Common Cold Centre based at Cardiff University, when the body’s surface temperature lowers in colder weather, it causes the blood vessels in your nose to constrict.
This makes an already-present virus capable of growing into a full-on cold -- kind of like how untalented celebrity kids still end up famous.
So, while mom may have not been totally right, she still fulfilled her Motherly Duties and protected you.
2. Don’t go into the pool after you’ve eaten
Your stomach will be so full, you’ll get a cramp and drown (or something like that, #momlogic).
Her logic isn’t too far off, though. Instead of blood and oxygen going to your stomach to aid the digestive process, vigorous swimming causes blood flow to be redirected to your muscles, which could cause cramping.
It should be noted that this is more likely to occur during aggressive, competition-style swimming and not recreational swimming.
To be clear, eating before swimming will not be the cause of your death (drinking, on the other hand, might be).
So if you just chowed down at the BBQ and are looking to cool off with a little dip, you can tell Mom to spare you the ribs and the bullsh*t.
3. If you swallow your gum, it will stay in your stomach for seven years
Just like guys have been telling you for years, it’s OK to swallow. While your body can’t fully break down the rubbery substance, the chewed gum is still pushed through the digestive tract and out the other side (time for a bathroom break?).
In small children, however, swallowing too much gum or too large pieces could, in rare cases, cause gastrointestinal blockage.
Chances are though, if mom was attentive enough to forbid you from swallowing your gum, she wouldn’t let you have a whole pack of it either.
4. Shaving hair makes it grow back thicker
Mom didn’t want you shaving above your knee…
It’s not just good ‘ol momma who's touting this one -- even your waxer is likely to tell you this, which is why we’re here to bare the truth. In a word: no.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your hair won’t grow back thicker or darker after shaving. Think about it, if that were true then we’d all look like orangutans after just several showers.
When you shave your hair, you’re really cutting it bluntly at the tip, which might make it feel coarse or stubbly.
The cut hairs poke out straight from the skin, making them also appear darker.
Only excessive waxing can change your hairs’ growth rates as repeated tear from the root can slow growth (See Ms. Brazilian, you have nothing to fear).
So go on, break mother’s rules. We promise you’ll get away with it.
5. Don’t forget to wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them!
Since leaving Mom’s home, most of us have gotten pretty lazy when it comes to cooking. Don’t wreck all the good of home-cooking by neglecting to rinse your produce beforehand.
Mom’s orders were totally right. Not only does the FDA strongly recommend washing your fruits and veggies before consuming them, scientists, as well, have found that the crucial step removes residual pesticides, even when the produce has been peeled.
There is a loophole though, according to The University of Maine researchers, you do not need to rewash packaged products labeled “ready-to-eat,” “washed” or “triple washed.” That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think twice about still doing it…
Oof, starting to sound like my mother.
6. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis
Let us give you a hand with this. Just like stepping on the crack won’t break your mother’s back, the cracks are safe again here.
According to Harvard researchers, cracking your knuckles will not cause you arthritis. Mom probably just couldn’t stand the gross sound.
That doesn’t mean you should stand in the subway collecting change for the musical stylings of your knuckles.
Chronic knuckle-crackers are more likely to have swollen hands and reduced grip strength (which doesn’t exactly go well with your tendency to hijack the bottle). Be kind to your hands and they will give you a helping one back.