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Is that right? Milk makes hair shiny?

I have to confess, I think this new Mootopia ad from the California Milk Processor Board is hilarious.



But it takes more than humor to pass muster in the land of "Is That Right?" Right?

The ad -- which airs only in California but is available on line and, starting Monday, on the Mootopia Facebook page -- suggests that milk is responsible for these young ladies' vibrant, shiny hair.

But can milk really make your hair gleam? (For the purposes of this blog, I'll be sticking to the effects of drinking milk, not pouring it on your hair as one young woman does in the ad.) I couldn't find any sound studies to support that notion.

Neither could the expert I consulted. "I'm not aware of any solid science to link" hair health to milk consumption, says registered dietitian Marisa Moore, speaking for the American Dietetic Association. "But we know that milk is a good source of protein and carbohydrates, both of which are important for maintaining hair growth and healthy hair." (And both of which, by the way, are found in tons of other foods.)

The CMPB e-mailed me a list of sources that support the milk/hair-health connection; none were from peer-reviewed or even remotely scientific studies. They provide a shorter, and slightly more convincing, summation of milk's hair-healthy qualities on the organization's Web site.

If you're inclined to drink milk, it can be part of a healthful diet -- and a generally healthful diet benefits all of your body, including your hair. You can read more about hair health here, and check out a list of top 10 foods for healthy hair here. You'll note that the suggested foods -- including #9, low-fat dairy -- all fall easily into that overall healthful diet we just mentioned.

Look for me -- with my gleaming hair -- and the other Local Living writers at @wposthome/local-living. And keep track of my "Me Minus 10" effort to lose 10 pounds before I turn 50 at twitter.com/jhuget.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  April 2, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  General Health , Is That Right? , Nutrition and Fitness  
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Comments

Oddly, California milk ads seem to frequently both be humorous and make that claim about shiny hair. That claim was part of a viral advertising campaign with a fake rock star called "White Gold" a year or so ago. Still not sure who the target was of that campaign, but the main music video is here: http://googleads.sgdoubleclick.net/pagead/nclk?sa=L&ai=1&fadurl=googleads.g.doubleclick.net&u=http%3A%2F%2Fgoogleads.sgdoubleclick.net%2Fpagead%2Fnclk%3Fsa%3DL%26ai%3D1%26fadurl%3Dgoogleads.g.doubleclick.net%26u%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DrcAHx5SGWG8&aclck=http%3A%2F%2Fbaggageinc.com%2Findex.php

Posted by: jfphile | April 2, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Eh, it's an advertisement for the milk industry. Use of unsubstantiated health claims is to be expected.

Posted by: KS100H | April 2, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I think that it is on good authority that Cleopatra bathed in milk. I don't know if it made her look any better but she must have taste good. She died from a snake biting her; it doesn't say if he tried to eat her.

Posted by: OldCoot1 | April 2, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: plzzfjdsiao | April 3, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

This claim isn't new. Many years ago there was a shampoo called Milk Plus 6. It sold well, but disappeared from the market. Milk, when ingested, is good for bones and connective tissue.

Posted by: redd1 | April 3, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for pointing out that tons of other foods contain protein and carbohydrates. To argue that milk helps hair because it contains these macronutrients, is basically making the argument that if you drink milk as opposed to not eating at all, your hair will look better. Sure, starvation will take it's toll on your hair; better drink milk!

Posted by: Nutmeg2 | April 5, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

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