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How to Use Castor Oil as Hair Growth Treatment

September 19th, 2014

Castor Oil for Hair Growth

Damaged hair isn’t fun. Whether it is your split ends or over-dyed locks, there are several natural masks that you can concoct to strengthen and condition your hair. Castor oil is one of them. This one step process has several benefits, including deeply moisturizing the scalp and prevents future damage. It is extremely easy to apply, but there are some crucial steps that need to be taken to ensure that you get the most out of your at home treatment.

  1. Get the necessary materials – First, wear an old t-shirt or some sort of protective clothing to avoid any stains. Also, make sure that you have a substantial amount of oil in a suitable container. You may use your hands or a brush for applying. Make sure you have a hair cap nearby.
  2. Split your hair in sections – Depending on how thick your hair is, ensure that your hair is split into sections to get to every part of your head.
  3. Put the oil on your head- If you are using your hands, scoop a palm sized amount of oil and evenly distribute it throughout your hair and scalp. If you decided to use a brush, dip the brush in the oil and apply it on your scalp first. Once you cover the scalp, work your way down the length of your hair. After applying the oil, wet your fingers in the oil and apply it by making small circles on the scalp. This will increase the blood circulation in this area for optimal absorption.
  4. Tie your hair up – It is recommended that you twist your hair into a bun towards the middle-back of the head. Once this is done, take your shower cap and securely cover your hair.
  5. Wait – Depending on how damaged your hair is, the longer you leave it on, the more moisturized your hair will get. It is recommended to leave it tied up for at least two hours.
  6. Wash – Once the time has passed, it is time to shower. Use a sulfate-free shampoo to get the healthiest, most radiant results. This will prevent any aggravation or inflammation on the scalp.
  7. Condition – Apply your favorite sulfate and paraben-free conditioner and wash out with cold water. This eliminates frizz.
  8. Air Dry – It is especially important to air dry rather than with a towel or t-shirt. This will help prevent split ends.

Benefits of Jojoba Oil

September 16th, 2014

iStock_000021664198SmallYou may have seen jojoba oil listed as an ingredient on many cosmetic products. One of the main reasons why many hair care and beauty products contain jojoba oil is for its moisturizing qualities. This week’s post will focus on jojoba oil and what it is, along with its beneficial properties and contribution to overall hair health.

What is jojoba oil?

Jojoba oil comes from the seed of the jojoba plant also known as the Simmondsia Chinensis plant, which can be found in Arizona, California and Mexico.  Although jojoba oil has the word “oil” in its name, it is actually a form of liquid wax.  This substance serves as a great addition for cosmetic products such as lotions, moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners, as it replenishes the hair and skin with the ample moisture they need and deserve.

How does jojoba oil work?

While jojoba oil can be found in hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners and serums, it can also be applied to the hair directly as a hair and scalp treatment because of it’s ability to easily penetrate the skin. According to acne.org, jojoba oil is very similar to the oil/sebum naturally produced in our scalp, which may help to create an even moisture balance.

Jojoba Oil Benefits

Adds Moisture: As previously mentioned, jojoba oil contains moisturizing properties.  Therefore, when applied to the hair, jojoba oil can reduce the feeling and appearance of a dry and flaky scalp while simultaneously replenishing the hair.  When jojoba is used as a means to improve hair health it actually develops a protective barrier on the hair shaft and scalp to seal moisture in.  This seal then protects them from damaging external factors.

Strengthens Hair: Jojoba improves hair elasticity by deeply penetrating the hair follicle from the outside in.  This increase in elasticity then reduces the chance of future damage and breakage.

Noncomedogenic: Jojoba oil is considered to be noncomedogenic which means that it does not clog pores. This is very important not only for avoiding pimples, but you also won’t have to worry about jojoba oil blocking your hair follicles which can affect healthy hair growth.

Encourages Hair Growth: According to Livestrong.com, jojoba oil is considered to be one of the best natural oils to encourage hair growth.   With its ability to easily absorb within the skin, jojoba oil can remove crusty build up on the scalp, which has been shown to block hair growth.

Whether you purchased a conditioner with jojoba oil or you choose to massage your scalp with a jojoba oil treatment, you are sure to notice a difference in your hair and scalp health over time.  By adding jojoba oil to your haircare routine you will be able to say “goodbye” to damage and dandruff, and say “hello” to healthy, strong, shiny and voluminous hair.

5 Hair Mistakes to Avoid

September 12th, 2014

hair mistakes 300x300Hair is a sensitive subject. Whether you’ve had your share of bad salon experiences or tried an at-home treatment that went awry, we have all been in a place of distress with our locks. However, after trial and tribulation, there are still some simple mistakes we make when it comes to maintaining hair health and beauty.

1) Using hot irons to damp hair- Yes, heat makes wetness disappear, but in this case, you will completely demolish your hair’s ends and break it in the process. Just wait until your hair dries fully or blow dry it to speed up the process, but whatever you do, do not iron wet hair. For more tips on hair styling visit our post on Three Ways to Your Style Hair Without Heat.

2) Intensely towel drying your hair – Doing this immediately causes split ends and damages your hair. Opt for a more simple routine, such as gently drying your hair with a cotton towel. By simply squeezing your hair with the towel as opposed to aggressively mangling it, you will minimize frizz and prevent breakage and hair damage.

3) Cutting your own bangs – Edward Scissorhands is your favorite movie. Scissors are not your favorite friend. Just don’t do it.

4) Over washing your hair – Clean hair is important, but sometimes, we tend to over wash our hair without knowing it. Doing so will strip the moisture from the scalp, leaving us with dry, frizzy hair. Load up on the moisturizing conditioner and products afterward to ensure that you don’t deal with this problem.

5) Using hairspray before styling- Think of hairspray as the finishing touch of your hair care. Never use it before using heating tools and always use it after applying gels or other holding sprays. Instead apply a heat protector before deciding to use any styling tools.

Following these simple hair care routine rules will rid you of split ends and keep your hair in the best condition possible. Simple changes, such as how you dry your hair, can make a world of difference.

Keratin and Hair Health

September 9th, 2014

keratinMaintaining hair health and providing your locks with the nutrients they need can sometimes be challenging.  However, there are many beneficial ingredients for your hair and scalp that you can look for when scanning product labels.  Some of these ingredients include jojoba oil, tea tree oil, silk proteins, and this article will delve more specifically into the importance of keratin and how sources that contain keratin can benefit your hair.

What is Keratin?

Keratin is made up of multiple structural proteins and is found in our hair, skin and nails. The word “keratin” comes from the Greek word “Keras” which translates to horn.  Keratin is a strong and resilient component in both humans and animals that serves as a protective barrier against external factors.  Hair is made up of about 88% Keratin so when someone is keratin deficient, they will more than likely experience a decrease in hair, skin and nail health.

Where is Keratin found?

Food: Keratin can be obtained from outside sources such as food.  When searching for keratin rich foods look for items that are high in vitamin C as well as foods that contain biotin.  Foods with biotin aid in protein metabolism which provides a foundation for keratin. Additionally, whole grains and lean protein are other good food sources for improving the keratin in your hair skin and nails.

Topical Products: Similarly to Biotin, keratin is naturally produced within the body, can be found in food, as well as in topical products.  Hydrolyzed keratin is very popular among over the counter topical treatments such as shampoos and conditioners, nail treatments, as well as lotions.

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Keratin

When keratin is hydrolyzed (broken down into smaller components) and placed in hair treatments, it actually creates a protective barrier on the hair while simultaneously imparting shine.  Hydrolyzed keratin has also been shown to replenish the hair and skin with moisture while also improving the skin’s elasticity. As a result of its moisturizing properties, shampoos and conditioners containing hydrolyzed keratin are a favorable option for those with limp, dry and brittle hair.  Shampoos and conditioners with hydrolyzed keratin are also great for making unruly hair more manageable.

Three Ways to Style Your Hair without Heat

September 5th, 2014

hair dryerExcessive blow-drying, ironing or curling may look nice, but it’s ultra-damaging to your hair. There are ways to achieve chic hair styles that will leave you confident and beautiful without the heat. Learn to create beach waves, a braided bun up-do and Farrah Fawcett’s signature voluminous hair in a few simple steps. See below!

No Heat Beach Waves

Want to look like you just stepped off of St. Tropez without the cost of the plane ticket? Now you can get beach waves with only three things- water, your hands, and small clips.

1) Start by separating your hair down the middle for a perfect part.

2) Take each part of hair, wet it, and twist it super tight.

3) Then, take the twisted piece of hair and bring it horizontally across the part, securing it to the opposite side of hair with your small clip.

4) Repeat this for the opposite side and leave on for about an hour.

5) After the time is up, unravel the twists and voila- beach waves without the mess of actually going to the beach.

The Farrah Fawcett

Everyone knows Farah Fawcett for her luxurious blonde curls. Most of the time, people use blow driers to gain the voluminous look that Farah made so iconic. Now, you can get the same beautiful curls without the heat.

1) First, wet your hair completely.

2) Then, towel dry your locks so they are still a little damp.

3) Next, section off your damp hair into twisted curls while pinning them all across your head.

4) Sleep the night away and release your tight curls the next morning.

5) Your hair will have dried into luscious curls that have body, shine, and luster.

Upside Down Bun Braid

Who says buns have to be boring? Now, you can add a fun braid into the mix in a few simple steps.

1) First, separate the lower layer of your hair from the top layer. This will help separate the bun from the braid.

2) Second, bend your head over and grab the lower layer of hair.

3) Begin to braid the hair upwards toward the top of your head. Secure the braid with a hair tie.

4) Then, take the upper layer of hair that was previously tied and join it with the braid.

5) Secure the bun with another hair tie and you’re good to go!

Hydrolyzed Silk Protein and Hair Health

September 2nd, 2014

High quality image. Woman with smooth hairThere are multiple ingredients and many ways that have been shown to improve overall hair health.  One of these ingredients is known as hydrolyzed silk protein. Silk is typically known for being soft and lustrous and when hydrolyzed silk protein is applied to brittle hair, the results are no different.  Hydrolyzed silk protein does indeed come from silk which is deemed to be one of the strongest fibers on the planet.

What does “hydrolyzed” mean?

In layman’s terms the word “hydrolysis” simply signifies when a chemical compound is divided into smaller components with the addition of water.  The reason why some products contain hydrolyzed proteins is so that they are easier to incorporate into formulas and so that the proteins are better able to be dissolved in water.

Protein and Hair

Hair is mostly made up of a protein known as keratin.  Protein provides the hair strands with strength, protection and structure.  While some may actually weaken the hair, when applying shampoos and conditioners enriched with proteins such as silk protein, they actually reinforce the strength and structure of weakened hair strands.

Everyone’s hair is different but typically those with color treated hair or those who have undergone similar hair treatments are at a greater need for added protein. Chemical treatments performed on the hair have been known to cause damage as they break up the protein bonds.  However, there are also other reasons for a needed boost of protein including, genetics, hormones and diet.  Whatever the case may be, it is very important to try and maintain a balance between protein and moisture within the hair because too much of one can also result in breakage.

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Silk Protein

Hydrolyzed silk protein has the ability to replenish the hair with cysteine which is one of the 4 amino acids needed to produce keratin. Additionally, as a result of hydrolysis, hydrolyzed silk protein has a low molecular weight which means it has a greater ability to infiltrate the hair strands.  As it penetrates the hair, it improves its elasticity against breakage while also forming a protective barrier on the hair.  This barrier or shield serves as a means to improve shine while also preventing the hair against moisture loss.

Tip: When searching for a shampoo or conditioner with hydrolyzed silk protein, also look for beneficial moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil to help keep the protein and moisture levels balanced.

How to Apply Almond Oil to Hair

August 28th, 2014

oil of almond nutApplying an almond oil treatment to your hair can provide it with multiple benefits by nourishing it back to health.  Almond oil is chock full of vitamins including Vitamin E, D, B1, B2 and B6.  Together, these vitamins add moisture and conditioning qualities to the hair, while also encouraging the hair to grow healthier and stronger.  Almond oil has also been known to assist with hair loss while imparting shine for a healthy finish.

Applying Almond Oil on Damp/Wet Hair

1. Wet or dampen your hair before applying the almond oil.  Apply a small quantity of almond oil to your hand and place it as close to the roots and scalp as possible

2. Use your fingers to work the oil into your scalp, massaging it gently to encourage circulation.  Blood circulation within the scalp is very important when it comes to healthy hair growth.

3. Comb your hair gently to distribute the almond oil throughout all parts of the hair.

4. Next, take your shower cap and make sure all of your hair is tucked inside.  This will keep all of the moisture contained for maximum absorption of the almond oil.

5. If possible, leave the shower cap on overnight, if not a half an hour at the very least.

6. Wash your hair with a quality sulfate-free shampoo.

7. Be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly so your hair does not look very oily/greasy from the almond oil treatment

8. Carefully dry your hair with a towel to get any excess water out

9. Enjoy your silky hair and healthy scalp!

Applying Almond Oil to Dry Hair

While adding almond oil to damp or wet hair is a great hair treatment, you can also add it to dry hair to improve its manageability, shine and softness.  This treatment is very good for those who have dry, brittle or thick hair.

1. Make sure your hair is completely dry.

2. Gently comb or brush your hair.

3. Pour a nickel sized dollop of almond oil into your hand.  If you have thicker hair you may want to add a little bit more, or if your hair is very thin you may want to use a little bit less.

4. Rub your hands together and distribute the almond oil into your hair focusing more specifically on the middle to the ends of the hair.  Applying too much almond oil near the roots may make the hair look greasy/oily.

5. Style your as desired.

6. If you feel that the ends of your hair are exceptionally dry, feel free to apply more almond oil for added moisture and shine.

NOTE: According to WebMD, if you find that essential oils are irritating on your skin you can try to dilute them to reduce the concentration.

Related Articles:

Emu Oil: A Natural Solution for Hair Regrowth

9 Oils that Help Promote Healthy Hair Growth

All About Biotin

August 26th, 2014

Biotin for Hair GrowthAll about Biotin

Biotin has become a well-known word in the hair community, specifically when it comes to hair growth. This is because many studies have researched and tested biotin and its effects on the body, and the data shows there are a lot of benefits humans receive from ingesting biotin—hair growth being one of them. So what is biotin, and what else does it do for the body? Read on to find out.

What is Biotin?

Simply put, Biotin is a vitamin, part of the B-complex vitamin family, usually known as B7 and Vitamin H. It is water-soluble, meaning it dissolves in water, making for easy consumption; but this also means it’s easily diminished, and the body will need to replenish it. Luckily, biotin deficiency is rare in the majority of the human population. Unless born with a genetic mutation, or on antibiotics, most people do not need to worry about lacking biotin in the body. We get most of it in daily meals.

Many foods are a good source of biotin: egg yolks, fish, bread, milk, organ meats, peanut butter, poultry, the list goes on. However, notice the egg “yolks”; egg whites do not contain biotin, so if you eat them for your cholesterol, you can choose one of the many other foods to get biotin in the body. How much biotin the average human body needs varies from person to person, but overall the quantity is small. You may be wondering why you need all this biotin in the first place, and in fact, how your body makes great use out of it.

What Does the Body Use Biotin For?

The body uses biotin for many functions in the body. You can consume it as a supplement/pill, but as discussed, this isn’t necessary for people with a pretty good diet. Biotin is known as a “fat burner” because is plays a role in the metabolism of fats, amino acids, proteins, and carbs, but it also plays a role on smaller scales. Biotin is necessary for cell growth and replication, plays a part in the metabolic reactions that transfer carbon dioxide throughout the body, maintains a steady blood sugar level, and plays a role in the citric acid cycle, a process that generates the biochemical energy that keeps us breathing naturally.

You may also notice a change in the health of your hair, skin, and nails if you’re missing biotin in your diet. Brittle hair, dry skin, muscular pain, and nausea are some of the symptoms of biotin deficiency. As noted, biotin deficiency is rare, and these symptoms can happen from disease too. However, the main use for biotin intake these days is its ability to fight progressive hair loss, treatment of alopecia, and even premature graying.

Health benefits

There are a great amount of health benefits associated with ingesting biotin, or even applying it topically. Some of these have been discussed, but we’ll go into a little more detail:

-          Skin care – Maintaining healthy skin and hair isn’t a terribly difficult task to achieve. However, if your bodily health has dropped recently, or you notice you suffer from dry skin, adding some extra biotin to your diet isn’t a bad idea.

-          Body Tissues – Interestingly enough, biotin plays a role in growing and maintaining muscle tissues. That’s why a lack of biotin can lead to muscular pain, and probably why it’s good to eat bananas after going to the gym. In addition to muscle tissue, biotin helps to ensure the functioning of nervous system tissues, and the growth of bone marrow.

-          Metabolism – As mentioned, biotin helps the body metabolize fats, amino acids, proteins, and carbs, and plays a part in many other metabolic processes. Moreover, some people use biotin to help with weight loss or to regulate their weight, and consume foods rich in biotin to help with this.

-          Blood Sugar – Biotin helps to maintain healthy levels of sugar in the blood, something diabetics battle every day. Coincidentally, biotin also helps regulate insulin in the body as well.

-          Heart Troubles – A functioning heart requires a lot of things; oxygen, biochemical energies, intact tissue, blood, and biotin. Who knew it could help prevent heart attacks and strokes?

-          Hair Loss – Biotin does wonders for growing healthy hair, whether male or female, and it’s starting to show up in many hair care products these days.

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits for consuming biotin, and not just for your hair. The body makes great use of it in nearly every which way possible. Although we don’t need a lot of biotin, it is a very necessary nutrient to have.

Three Natural Vitamins in Food That Help Regrow Hair

August 22nd, 2014

green and red healthy foodFruits are known for their healing properties, but did you know that they can also help stimulate hair growth? Due to the prominent amounts of Vitamin C in fruits such as grapefruit, strawberries and papayas, eating these nutrient rich foods will keep your hair strong, voluminous and rich in color. Of course, it’s important not to overdo it, but keeping a healthy diet while incorporating these particular fruits will cause you to see a dramatic change in hair quality. Other fruits rich in Vitamin C include oranges, lemons, kiwis and tomatoes.

To keep your scalp in pristine health, you have to load up on potassium. Foods that are rich in potassium include white beans, avocado, salmon, and bananas. Eating a balanced amount of potassium will also help prevent hair loss. You can speed up the hair growth process by using a hair loss shampoo combined with scalp treatments to see a major difference in less time!

If you have issues with your hair follicles, whether it be that they are weak, or lacking moisture, eating foods rich in iron will help solve this issue. Oysters, onions, raisins, apricots and pumpkins are great examples of iron-rich foods that taste good and are even better for you! Depending whether or not you are a vegetarian, eating meats can also aid in getting your iron count up.

When dealing with issues, especially dealing with the scalp or hair, it’s important to look within first before taking rash actions to correct it. Changing your diet and learning to incorporate healthier and nutrient-rich food will make a world of difference not only in your hair but also in your emotions and mentality.

Main Types of Hair Loss

August 19th, 2014

Main Types of Hair LossWe talk about hair loss and the different ways it can happen in our articles, but we’ve only skimmed the big names. It’s time we tell you more about the kinds of hair loss known to date, and their causes. It’s the classic “nature vs nurture” dilemma, because hair loss can happen genetically, or due to outside sources.

Androgenic Alopecia

This is the most common form of hair loss, due to the genes you inherit. Once thought to only come from the mother’s side of the family, you can inherit hair loss from either parent. It’s also known as “Male Pattern Baldness,” presumably because most men that go through hair loss follow a similar pattern.

MPH usually begins with a receding hairline, beginning from the temples and diffusing across the scalp until a “wreath” of hair is left across the sides and the back of the skill. This can sometimes start atop the scalp with thinning hair that turns into a bald spot. There is a type of “Female Pattern Baldness” that also effects men, though more common in women. This type of Androgenic Alopecia has more thinning characteristics as the dominating feature, where the hair across the head becomes incredibly thin, but baldness and total hair loss do not occur.

The causes of MPH have mainly come down to hormones and genetics. Men and women with abnormally high volumes of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) suffer from hair loss because DHT directly effects the growth of hair. During times of puberty, DHT increases hair growth on the body, eventually slowing down. However, later in life, men specifically have higher levels of testosterone known as “free testosterone”, possibly due to the slowdown of development, and this free testosterone is converted into DHT. The scalp tends to have the highest volume of DHT secretion/conversion, and this abundance suffocates the hair follicles, causing hair loss.

In terms of genetics, it comes down to the “diathetic-stress” model, or more simply put it’s in the genes, but needs a catalyst. It’s been commonly said to come from maternal heritage, because the X chromosome contains the androgen receptor (AR) gene, or the receptor for testosterone. However, the variant of the AR that causes baldness is recessive, and there is still much research to be conducted on the multifactorial variables that come to play in genetics and hair loss.

The largest effects people have noticed with MPH are psychological. Men, and women, tend to become more stressed about their physical attractiveness and body image. They tend to find the experience distressing because it is unwanted, and nothing that they can directly control. Thankfully, these days there are multiple kinds of hair care treatment and hair loss shampoos in these modern times to fight hair loss.

Alopecia Areata

This type of hair loss is most commonly known as “Spot Baldness.” Hair loss starts with a bald spot on the head, and then depending on the classification of spot baldness, it can have multiple appearances. There are multiple kinds of spot baldness that can diffuse across the scalp, there can be one or multiple bald spots, the baldness can spread across the entirety of the head, and it can even happen along the beard or body hair.

Typically, spot baldness starts with small bald patches in the affected area. There are no visible underlying causes of the skin or the scalp, however there are psychosomatic symptoms such as a tingling or even painful sensation where the hair is lost. The causes are strictly genetic, and it comes down to two hereditary characteristics: the genotype itself, and an autoimmune disease. Spot baldness can happen through several genetic causes, but an autoimmune disorder is the most popular concept. It is believed that the body attacks its own anagen (growing) hair follicles, and eventually suppresses or completely stops hair growth.

Mild cases of spot baldness go untreated, because unless an autoimmune disorder, the body will balance things out and the hair will spontaneously start to grow back. However, in the more severe cases, there is no end-all treatment. The main medical treatments today are topical ointments and creams containing diphenylcyclopropenone. For most, the ending solution is a hair piece or wig.

Traction Alopecia

This is an explicitly external source form of hair loss that is an effect of consistent styling. Hairstyles that apply a puling force to the hair, such as braids, cornrows, and tight ponytails, will eventually wear down the hair follicles and lead to gradual hair loss. Another cause is tight fitting headgear, whether for safety or for fashion.

Being an externally caused form of hair loss, there is no medical treatment for it. The most common treatment is surgical to restore the hair that is lost. There could be a chance of restoring hair follicles with some forms of hair care treatment aimed at reactivating dormant hair follicles, such as minoxidil spray. However, this is simply speculation, and not tested.

Telogen Effluvium

Discussed in an earlier article, this type of hair loss is characterized by an increase of shedding or thinning of the hair. Typically caused by psychological stress, among other causes, this type of hair loss alters the normal hair growth cycle. However, removing the cause can undo the effects with high volumes of shedding. The most common form of shedding is “Anagen Effluvium,” caused typically by exposure to radiation, such as chemo therapy.

There are many ways hair loss can happen, and there are many different types and/or classifications of each form of hair loss. Not all types can be directly treated, but there is always a chance of balancing things out or reversing hair loss with hair care treatments.

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