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9 Oils that Help Promote Healthy Hair Growth

July 29th, 2014

Natural Oils for Hair Growth

You may have heard of it before—natural oils help hair growth. They’re talked about like it’s an ancient secret passed down across generations. Some believe it started with the Indians, while others think it was the Egyptians. However, what matters most is that the secret is out! We’ve done some research and found the nine most talked about oils to help you grow your hair out, while making it healthier than ever.

Avocado Oil – This is one of the most recommended oils to use on your hair, which is why it’s at the top of our list. Loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and a few other essentials, Avocado Oil does your hair a huge favor. Great for moisturizing dry or damaged hair, this oil can give your hair increased strength and shine, without making it oily. Its vitamins and nutrients also help in feeding the hair follicles in the scalp to promote hair growth, while maintaining scalp health.

Castor Oil – Found in some shampoos, Castor Oil is another great oil for promoting hair growth and moisturizing the hair strands. If you’re looking for thicker hair, especially if your hair is thinning, you may want to put a dab of Castor Oil in your hands and rub it all around your scalp. Plus, if you have hair that’s hard to tame, this oil will take care of the job. Moreover, like some shampoos, you can help prevent scalp infections with Castor Oil as well.

Coconut Oil – People all over the web are raving about the benefits of Coconut Oil. This is one of those top secrets believed to originate within the Native American tribes. However, the secret has slipped a while ago, and thankfully, the news has spread. Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, Coconut Oil is a powerhouse for promoting hair growth, a healthy scalp, and beautiful hair. Natural oils always get the job done without introducing your hair to harmful chemicals, and if your hair is brittle or prone to breakage, a little bit of Coconut Oil treatment will clear that up.

Olive Oil – Yes, you read that right: Olive Oil. It sounds a bit odd, since this is an oil we humans tend to consume. It’s found in every grocery store, and yet it might just be better for your hair than your body. Great for moisturizing, rubbing some olive oil into your scalp will promote a healthy scalp, and also helps to fight dandruff. Rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, Olive Oil can help fight hair loss while growing stronger, healthier hair.

Rosemary – This oil has been used in many cultures worldwide to help stimulate hair follicles in the scalp and promote hair growth, as well as prevent early hair loss and greying. Surprisingly, Rosemary Oil is actually a good catalyst for blood circulation on the scalp, so if you’re a fan of scalp massages (which also promote hair growth), next time use some Rosemary Oil and rub it in well, before you hit the shower.

Peppermint Oil – I know what you’re thinking: “Peppermint Oil? Peppermints go in your mouth, not on your head.” However, you might be surprised to find a type of mint oil is found in a few shampoos and other hair products that are au naturel. Peppermint Oil is great for stimulating the scalp, another oil good for your next scalp massage. However, if we know anything, people eat mints to kill germs in the mouth. So, it is suggested to first dilute the oil in water, or it could prove to be too harsh.

Jojoba Oil ­– Now this is a big one, and if you haven’t heard of it, prepare to be amazed. Jojoba Oil isn’t very new to the hair growth scene, but it isn’t found in many places around the world. Used to moisturize and grow hair, Jojoba Oil is perfect for promoting healthy hair. Found in shampoos that aim to help hair growth, Jojoba Oil is actually pretty similar to the natural oils that the scalp produces. By applying some of this directly to your scalp, you’re basically tricking your body into promoting healthy hair growth.

Emu Oil – Another little secret, Emu Oil is found in a number of shampoos that help promote hair growth. This one is a little different, because not only has it been found to help grow hair, but it helps to revive hair follicles that have gone dormant. Emu Oil basically gives your scalp a kick start to get your hair growing thicker and healthier. Additionally, Emu Oil has proven to help men suffering from male pattern baldness (MPB), and is a great ingredient for alleviating a dry scalp.

Tea Tree – Last but not least, we’ve got Tea Tree Oil. Another natural oil for helping to soothe a dry, itchy scalp, for fighting bacteria and fungi, for keeping your scalp and hair healthy and clean—Tea Tree Oil does the job. There are many benefits of Tea Tree Oil, aside from keeping a clean scalp, it also helps to unclog hair follicles that could be curbing hair growth. Plus, when rubbed on the scalp, tea Tree Oil helps to stimulate blood flow, and we’ve discussed how helpful that can be when looking to promote hair growth.

There you have it! Nine natural oils that are great for promoting hair growth, as well as growing healthy, shiny hair. Moreover, if you have a dry or messy scalp, these oils will be sure to clear it up. Just don’t ingest any of these that aren’t already edible—a few can be pretty toxic, so be ware and be safe when promoting healthy hair.

Hair across the Ages

July 25th, 2014

Greek Hair WomanPeople have had hair since the dawn of time, since the era of cavemen, once we evolved and learned to walk. Human hair has been through a lot over the years, and it hasn’t been the same since. Take a look at everything we go through just to fix a bad hair day in these modern times; all the styling, the waxes and machinery, and of course we hit the salon now and then to spruce it up a bit. What did they do back in the day, once humans survived the first couple hundred (or thousand) years? Let’s take a look.

Egypt

Back in the days of Egypt, the most common hair color was a very dark brown or black, and the hair itself was usually curly. Any type of old art, or even modern images of Egyptians will make that clear. Their hairstyles back then mainly depended on age, not gender. Children, from birth until they hit puberty, were clean shaven and generally kept bald. Once they hit puberty, they were given a choice to let it grow to shoulder-length or to the nape of the neck.

In the later years, when age starts to weigh down on the body, one tends to lose their hair. To keep up appearances, henna was used to dye greying hair. If one was losing their hair, they made wigs out of real hair and/or black sheep wool. They also designed false braids and hair extensions to increase their own beauty/appearance, a common practice still found today. When Egyptians came into contact with the Greek, their hairstyles started to mix a bit, lending themselves to short and wavy hair, and the addition of wearing bands in one’s hair—possibly the first type of hair scrunchy made.

They say the Egyptians were ahead of their time, and when it came to hair treatment, they were definitely ahead of the pack. Here are a few of the things we may have picked up from them:

–Washing and cleaning hair and/or wigs – A mix of water and citric juices; the citric acid would dissolve fatty oils, leaving hair smooth and shiny. They also used almond oil as a hair conditioner.

–Hair removal or shaving – Sharpened blades made of copper or bronze

–Coloring or dying hair – As mentioned, they made use of henna to dye hair. The henna was usually a hue of orange or red, but the Egyptians would mix it with cow’s blood and crushed tadpoles for different variations of color.

–Early hair gel – Following some grooming and manually setting up their hair for the style they wanted, they would put beeswax in their hair and then sit out in the sun until it hardened.

–How to strengthen hair – Egyptians used different types of oils (almond, rosemary, or castor oil) in their hair to stimulate hair growth and to make it stronger.

Ancient Hebrews

Like the Egyptians, early Hebrews also had mainly dark or black hair that was usually very curly. They wore it long, mainly because they were forbidden to shave their heads or face in honor of the Gods; the only exceptions were in a time of mourning, or if they had their head shaved as a punishment for sinning. This is because baldness was believed to be a curse back then, so the longer someone’s hair was, the more it was esteemed or cherished. Not much has changed since then, wouldn’t you say (cue rock star head banging)?

To give their hair some shine, early Hebrews would powder their hair with golden dust. They also used oils for a variety of uses—possibly the oddest one was spilling perfumed oils onto visitors as a sign of welcome. That doesn’t sound like the best idea in the hot sun; thankfully the Hawaiians figured out a good ol’ fashioned lay was a bit more welcoming. Later, Hebrews got mixed in with Central Europe, North Africa, and Spain. This led to Hebrews with different hair colors, such as brown, blonde, and red.

Greece

Greeks were known worldwide for their hairstyles. The Greeks actually revolutionized a lot of things, sex being one of them. Their hairstyles resembled the ever-changing world, so it was mostly styled with waves or loose curls to symbolize impermanence. Greek hairstyles were mostly based on gender and social status. Slaves had their heads shaved, whilst those of higher class had elaborated hairstyles, and put dressings in their hair. Men tended to have naturally wavy hair on their heads and in their beards, whilst women had long, shoulder-length hair, or past the back. Interestingly enough, women wore their hair in long braids to signify they were married.

It wasn’t until later that the Greeks started to tamper with their hair, artificially curling or straightening it. They had a variety of hairstyles to choose from once they started experimenting:

–Worn with braids, and/or bangs
–“Melon hairstyle” where the hair is pulled back and set with a pin, tied into a bun at the back of the head. Sometimes, women tied their hair with tiaras or other jeweled crowns.
–“The Bartlett Head” – Hair tied in two knots atop the head
–Men’s hair was still wavy, but they were no longer unkempt. Some men started to curl their hair at this time.

Back in the day, being a barber was an important profession in Ancient Greece. Taking care of other people’s hair was a big deal. Then, these barbershops eventually turned into the first ever “Man-Caves”, where men would gather around and commune. The Greeks also invented some fascinating uses for oils and plants for hair treatment:

–Perfumes – Made of flowers, spices, and olive oil blends. These were applied to the body as well as the hair.
–Softening hair – They mainly made use of brushes and scalp massages to make their hair soft
–Hair dye – Gold was at one point very desirable (as was the usual illustration for the hair of the Gods), and could be achieved by mixing saffron flowers and potassium water to make the dye.

Rome

Rome had some similarities with Greece, as the pattern goes. Their hairstyles varied more depending on the time of the age and society. Throughout the different empires and rulers of Rome, Romans constantly went from keeping their heads and face shaved to letting it grow out. At first, men had long hair and beards until Greek influence brought the clean shaven look, along with a type of bowl cut. As noted, this only lasted as long as the empire did. Baldness wasn’t seen as a curse, but viewed as less physically appealing/attractive.

Later, it was common to see men with long hair and beards in braids and ponytails. Those of high social status in Rome had complex and sophisticated styles, usually tended to by servants. Those of low status had simple styles, typically kept short. Many curled their hair with a heated, hollow, iron tube—sound familiar? Wigs were also worn to augment the look and size of one’s hair, much like hair extensions. Wigs in Rome were also made with human hair, and oddly enough, blonde hair came from German slaves and black hair came from India.

Romans also discovered hair dying, done with henna. To achieve different colors, they mixed herbs/flowers together; herbs for red, saffron flowers for gold. Black hair was made with rotten leeches mixed with red wine for a little over a month, and then dousing the head/hair with the solution. Bleached hair could be achieved by washing it with potassium water and hydrogen peroxide.

Barbershops were also a popular place in Rome, specifically for men to commune. Although the hairstyles changed throughout the time, primarily for men, women had a little more variety. They had three main hairstyles to choose from:

–Tutulus – This was a maternal hairstyle, or a style worn by the mother in a family. The hair was sectioned and shaped into a bun. They tied it with fillets of wool, and the end result would be hair that was conical in shape.
–Nodus – The hair was parted into three sections; the hair at the sides was tied to the back in a bun, whereas the middle section was tied in a knot at the top of the head.
–Sine Crine – Six locks of hair, independently braided, usually worn by brides and virgins

Hairstyles and hair treatment have evolved a lot since then. We’ve also improved upon a lot of what humans did back in the day. Other things, such as attitudes towards hair or a lack thereof, have changed as well, and change is usually a good thing.

Stimulating Hair Growth

July 22nd, 2014

Stimulating Hair Growth

When people start to lose their hair, many of them react in different ways. Some of us just ignore it, and let Mother Nature get to work. Others tend to panic and look for ways to stop hair loss before it gets worse. These days, many of us would prefer to keep our hair for as long as possible, and there are a few things we can do to accomplish this task. What it all boils down to is how you treat your hair, and what you put in your body.

External

Physical activity is a great way to keep your body healthy, and surprisingly enough, it can also benefit your hair. There are a few things you can do to help keep your hair healthy, and to promote hair growth, that don’t require a lot of physical labor. Plus, there are a few things you may want to avoid when looking for hair loss treatments.

Physical Exercise – This activity is almost a given. Everyone benefits from a little physical exercise, be it going for a jog or pumping iron. A little known secret about keeping your hair growing and healthy is blood circulation in the scalp, and what does exercise do? It gets your blood pumping all over the body! If your main focus is blood circulation of the scalp, read on.

Manually stimulate your scalp – Aside from blood circulation being increased via exercise, stimulating your scalp doesn’t require you to break a sweat. Basically, give yourself a nice little deep-tissue head massage. Be sure to focus on the areas around the hair line and the crown, as those are usually the first places to go. If you really want to jazz it up, some people suggest using a few drops of olive oil with your scalp massage, and then really working it in there. Just don’t be too aggressive, or you could up root your hair follicles. If you use olive oil, you may want to stay indoors for a while—things could get a little messy.

Avoid styling your hair too often – Yes, we all love to get dolled up. Who hasn’t straightened their hair “just to see how it looks”? Put your hand down, we all have. However, doing this a lot will cause some major hair damage with all that heat application. Not to mention using gooey gels and smelly sprays to obtain that cool hairdo. The myth about your hair needing to breathe has been debunked, but you’re still introducing a lot of foreign chemicals to your hair and scalp.

Shampoo – Keeping your hair clean is of course necessary for having healthy hair. However, not all shampoos are free of harmful chemicals. Many of them contain ingredients like sulfates and paraben that damage hair. If you want to promote hair growth, and keep your scalp healthy, look into shampoos made with saw palmetto extract and natural oils such as emu and jojoba.

Internal

It may not surprise you that what you put in your body has an effect on it. After all, the body absorbs whatever it can in terms of nutrients from everything you eat. Once metabolized and stored, these nutrients will directly affect everything from your immune system to your hair. So, if you are thinking of trying out a new diet, or wondering what to eat to stimulate hair growth, we have a few suggestions for you to try.

Vitamins – Many of us don’t get enough vitamins, and although not overly detrimental to one’s health, not enough vitamins will give us a lack of nutrients, and a lack of nutrients can cause a lack of hair.

Vitamin C – Found in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, vitamin C is necessary for healthy hair. Increasing your intake of vitamin C will help your body absorb iron, a nutrient essential for increasing hair growth and reducing hair loss. In addition, vitamin c helps to build up collagen, a major structural protein that surrounds hair follicles, keeping them strong and healthy.

Vitamin B – The B vitamin group does a lot more than play a role in cell metabolism. Blood circulation is a large part of hair loss; we need something to keep the cells in the scalp active. Vitamin B3 is widely known for its promotion of blood circulation in the scalp to prevent hair loss. Moreover, a vitamin like B6 can help stop the conversion of testosterone to DHT, a hormone that causes major hair loss.

Hormones – Oh boy, do these cause some problems, and more than just feeling all “icky” in our teen years. An imbalance of hormones can be a huge factor of hair loss for men and women. Hormones influence hair growth, and their production slows down as we age. However, there are a few things we can do to take care of that.

Increase your intake – It’s a common act for men and women to ingest hormone supplements for a variety of reasons. One of these is hair loss. For women, many of them take prenatal vitamins when expecting, and some increase their estrogen during menopause to balance things out. However, if you’re a lady, and not a fan of vitamins, you can eat some wild yam or have a soy protein shake.

Reduce DHT – Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a major culprit of hair loss in men and women. Over time, the body converts testosterone into DHT, and this abundance tends to build up around hair follicles, ultimately suffocating them. Your best bet is to either take some DHT blockers, or use some shampoo that inhibits DHT absorption in the skin.

Liquids – We all need to drink liquids to keep our body lubricated and functioning. Water makes up about 60% of water in the body, so it’s clearly a big factor in keeping healthy. The suggested amount of water is 4-8 cups a day to keep regularly hydrated, more if you like salty snacks. If you like to have an occasional alcoholic beverage, you definitely want to increase your water intake to avoid a hangover. Additionally, alcohol increases body fat and hair loss in tiny ways that are unnoticeable until it becomes a problem.

These are just a few of the ways you can stimulate hair growth and avoid major hair loss. We will always reap what we sow, whether we do something to our hair or put something in it. The best thing you can do is keep your scalp stimulated and clean, and keep an eye on what you eat and drink. Just remember that hair loss isn’t the end of the world, but you can promote hair growth by treating your hair right.

Eat Your Way Towards Healthier Hair

July 11th, 2014

Healthy Eating for Your HairIt’s pretty well known that your diet can have a direct effect on your skin. Poor diet can change the way your skin produces oil or even effect break outs. But did you know that your hair is effected by your diet as well? Although your hair may not react as quickly to your diet changes, your scalp, hair follicles & hair depend on the nutrients in your diet.

There are many other factors other than what you eat that make up how your hair reacts. Stress, sleep, medical conditions and many other sources play into the health of your hair. Why not use your diet to help your hair & keep it as healthy as you can? Below are some ‘super foods’ that will help you eat your way towards healthier hair.

Cantaloupe & Mangos

These flavorsome fruits are ripe with antioxidant beta carotene. Once consumed our bodies convert it into vitamin A, which helps products the oils that keep your scalp healthy. Being low on this vitamin can dry out your scalp & even cause dandruff.

Kale

The newly popular foodie green, kale, isn’t just good for spicing up a menu, it’s also packed with iron, beta carotene, and vitamin C. These elements help keep hair follicles healthy and oils on the scalp balanced. Don’t like kale? Try spinach!

Eggs

Get your protein here! Eggs are filled with minerals that help your hair & scalp. Iron & zinc are two of the stars in this super food. Iron helps deliver oxygen to the follicles. If you’re low on iron, it can be a cause for hair loss.

Lentils

Craving soup? Try making one with lentils. These legumes are potent with iron, zinc & even biotin. This trio of vitamins helps protect the scalp & disrupt DHT in skin.

Walnuts

These nuts are not only delicious, but rich in biotin & vitamin E. Biotin helps to repair & strengthen hair proteins. A deficiency in biotin can cause shedding issues & hair loss.

Salmon

Get fat! Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for your hair’s health. Since we as humans can’t product it, we need to take it in through our diet. Our hair is partially made of fatty acids & it is important to take them in.

Kiwis

Kiwis are chock full of vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin in your hair’s health. Vitamin C is helpful in circulation & supports blood vessels that nourish the follicles.

Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt

Both of these dairy products are rich in vitamin B5, which improves hair shine. Some studies have even suggested that vitamin B5 may have additional anti-inflammatory properties.

Hairstyling Tips for Men with Thinning Hair

July 3rd, 2014

Fashion portrait of young man in black shirtHair loss can affect people of all ages for a number of different reasons, while you may be using hair loss shampoos and treatments to regrow your hair, we all know it doesn’t happen overnight.  So while your hair is in the process of re-growing, chances are you will still have to deal with the look of thin or thinning hair.  Luckily there are some hairstyling tips that can help reduce the appearance of thinning hair and instead give it a fuller look. Check out some of these hairstyling tips for men with thinning hair.

The Shorter the Better

Don’t overlook the value of a good haircut.  Whether your hair loss is very noticeable or it is simply losing some of its lust, don’t be afraid to go shorter.  Shorter hair actually makes the hair look and feel thicker and fuller.  Once you decide to switch to a shorter haircut you want to make sure that your hair dresser makes clean, blunt lines and doesn’t cut the hair with a razor, as this thins out the ends of the hair. If you are just starting to notice hair thinning, you may not necessarily need to switch to a shorter “do” right away but instead try a shaggy or slick back look.  Regardless of your hair type, eliminating dead, scraggly limp hair, eliminates excess weight and is usually the way to go.

Use the Right Products

As you are discovering ways to make your hair look thicker, always use methods like hair loss shampoos with beneficial ingredients like ketoconazole to help tackle hair loss from the root.  In addition to hair loss shampoos and other topical treatment, make sure to use the right styling products for your hair.  Contrary to popular belief, gels and other similar styling products do not cause hair loss.  However, being too rough with the hair can lead to breakage.  A common mistake among many men is either using a styling product that is too thick or heavy, or simply just using too much a particular product.  Many styling products can weigh down the hair and can also cause separation, revealing more of the scalp. Your goal is to add structure and the appearance of thickness to the hair.  So when it comes to styling product, more times than not, less is more. Also, avoid shiny pomades and gels as this further enhances the appearance of hair loss and hair thinning.

Style Your Hair

Styling rule #1: NEVER execute a comb over.  For those who are unaware, a comb over is when the hair on the back or on the sides are left to grow out.  These longer hairs are then combed over the balding area and held in place with an overly generous amount of styling product.  This hairstyle doesn’t fool anyone because it typically doesn’t decrease the appearance of hair loss but instead makes it more noticeable.

Depending on your hair, another thing you may want to avoid are parts.  Adding parts to your hair allows the scalp to become visible increasing appearance of hair loss or thinning hair.  If you find that your hair is thinning in multiple areas, keep it short and use your fingertips to apply a lightweight product to add texture.  As previously mentioned, if you are in the beginning stages of hair loss and don’t wish to cut your hair short just yet, a slick back look is always a classic choice.  This doesn’t mean you have to go crazy with product and you certainly don’t want your hair to be shinning from miles away.  For this look try a water-based pomade.

What Causes Hair Loss?

July 1st, 2014

Hair Loss BrushBoth men and women tend to lose their hair as their age increases. However, some people tend to be more sensitive to hair loss depending on several environmental, health, and dietary factors. In order to fully understand what causes hair loss, there are several components to take into account.

Hair Loss Causes in Men and Women

Male Pattern Baldness (MPB), also known as Androgenetic alopecia, is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Although other factors, such as serious diseases and extremely stressful events, can cause hair loss, most hair loss in men is due to genetic factors.  Men who suffer from MPB usually have a genetic sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in their hair follicles. The follicles become weak and unable to produce hair within the scalp. MPB is generally categorized with the beginning stages being a receding hair line and thinning hair on the crown of the scalp. This eventually progresses, leaving fine strands of hair along the rim of the scalp. In addition to MPB, there are many different ways people are affected by hair loss. Some causes can be from external factors while others may be caused by an internal, medical reason.

External Causes:

Certain medication prescribed from your physician can also cause hair loss to occur. Pills that are classified as anti-depressants, blood thinners and anti-inflammatory drugs can slow the growth of your hair, while also possibly causing hair loss. It is necessary for your doctor to determine whether to not your medication is causing your hair loss, so it is pertinent that you do not stop taking prescribed medication without their consent.

Over-styling is a problem that women face all the time. Harsh hair treatments, such as Keratin or Brazilian straightening remedies can almost immediately cause chunks of hair to fall out if your scalp has a bad reaction to the chemicals used. You must be extremely careful when using hot oil treatments especially, because they can affect the root of your hair, making it a possibility that your hair might never grow back. The ways in which women style their hair can also cause a receding hair line and hair loss. These styles include extremely tight braids, hair weaves, and corn rows, among many others. Men can also suffer from a receding hair line if they consistently braid their hair back as well. Avoiding these specific hair styles can help a great deal, as well as using conditioner every day and letting your hair dry. If you are trying to grow your hair back after putting your hair in a harmful style, it is necessary to stop using products that emit heat, such as a curling or flat iron until your hair returns to its normal state of health.

Anabolic steroids like the ones that some athletes or bodybuilders use to gain muscle mass can really damage your hair and speed up hair loss. Using Anabolic steroids can have the same impact on the body as polycystic ovary disease (PCOS), which is only found in women. In order to gain your hair back, you must get off of the steroids to achieve maximum effect.

Medical Causes:

Another common cause of hair loss in men and women is a condition called Hypothyroidism, where your thyroid gland is underactive. The thyroid is a small gland in your neck that produces hormones that are vital to the regulation of your metabolism as well as human growth and development. When the thyroid is not producing the correct amount of hormones, your hair can begin to become thin and fall out. Taking a synthetic thyroid medication will take care of this condition, and once your thyroid levels become regulated back to normal, your hair should grow back and become thicker.

Hair loss in men and women can also be caused by autoimmune diseases such as lupus. This condition causes the body to become confused and targets the hair on your scalp to be “foreign,” targeting it accidently. This problem, once confirmed that someone has it, can help their hair loss condition through steroid injections. Other treatments, such as Minoxidil, can also assist in making hair regrow at a faster rate.

Believe it or not, but a sudden, dramatic loss in weight is considered to be a form of physical trauma. As mentioned before, when you put your body in such a shock, it tends to freak out and not know what to do at first. The weight loss itself can put a tremendous amount of stress on your body, while not eating a healthy and balanced diet can cause vitamin deficiencies, which can make your hair fall out. To correct this, incorporating a healthy and balanced diet will help regrow your hair and ensure that you are getting all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients needed for optimal health.

A more rare condition that causes hair loss is Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is classified as an “impulse control disorder,” which causes people to compulsively pull their hair out. It is compared to having a tic, where you continue to do something although you might not enjoy it or know why. Constantly pulling at your hair can strip the scalp of hair, while damaging the follicles. Trichotillomania can start at the young age of 17 years old and is four times more common for women to have this issue than men. Some physicians recommend using an antidepressant to treat Trichotillomania, while other less vigorous solutions include behavioral modification therapy.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is caused by an excess of androgens in the female body that can lead to ovarian cysts, infertility, weight gain, changes in your menstrual period, a higher risk of diabetes, and hair loss. This imbalance of estrogen and testosterone can cause serious depression and is necessary to be treated by your physician. Treating PCOS can be done through a healthy diet and exercise, potentially going on birth control pills, and last but not least, getting specialized treatments to address infertility or diabetes issues.

Your thoughts and feelings regulate many more things in your body than just your mood. Emotional stress on the body as well as physical stress, can lead to hair loss in both men and women. For example, in the case of a death of a loved one or a parental divorce, can cause extreme anxiety, sometimes causing people to have panic attacks. This puts the body into shock, which may lead to hair loss. Taking the necessary steps in a positive direction, like going to therapy, practicing meditation, or getting more exercise can greatly help when faced with this issue.

According to a study in 2009, almost one in every ten women of ages 20-49 suffer from anemia. Anemia is caused by an iron deficiency in the blood, which can be what causes hair loss in men and women. Symptoms of Anemia include but are not limited to: hair loss, fatigue, headaches, pale skin, constantly being cold, and having dizziness. In order to determine whether or not you have Anemia, you must get a blood test by your doctor. If you do have Anemia, simply taking an iron supplement and incorporating more red meat into your diet can help you feel the best version of yourself.

A deficiency of Vitamin B in the body can be what causes hair loss. This is not necessarily a common cause of hair loss, but can definitely be an underlying factor. Like treating Anemia, taking a supplement of Vitamin B can help tremendously. If you are against taking supplements, a more natural route of correcting this issue is by eating foods that contain Vitamin B. These foods include fish, non-citrus fruits, meat, and vegetables that have a high starch content.

Although there are many possible hair loss causes, it is vital that you address any issues you may be facing with a physician before self-diagnosing, for this can cause more health issues in the future.

Care for Your Color

June 27th, 2014

Redhead Summer

Having color treated hair can be difficult to manage, especially during those summer months. It is always important to make sure that you are using products that are safe to use on color treated hair, but there are many other ways to ensure that your color stays healthy & vibrant all summer long.

Stay Moisturized: Don’t let the sun dry out your hair. Using oils & conditioners all summer long will give your hair protection from the sun as well as shine. Helping your hair stay moisturized also helps to extend the life of your color.

Cool before the pool: Wet your hair before diving in.  By doing this, your hair absorbs a minimal amount of chlorine, so it is less damaging to your locks. As soon as you get out, rinse your hair with fresh water to get the chlorine & other buildup out of your hair.

Go Clean: Shampoo before you color? It’s not as mad as it seems. Since you perspire more in the summer months, hair color can oxidize when it comes in contact with sweat. Shampooing before going to the salon can prevent this & it will help your hair color from fading early.

Cold Water: The cooler the temperature of water you use when shampooing your hair, the more the color sticks to your hair. Even if you don’t want to cool down the whole time you shower, make sure to use cold water when shampooing & conditioning your hair.

Blonde Tip:

  • Don’t go green. Before thinking of taking a dip, don’t forget about your locks! Blondes have a much easier time picking up harsh minerals & chlorine. Make sure to saturate your hair in fresh water before going swimming. When you get out, make sure to give you hair another rinse before you go back to relaxing poolside. However if you end up seeing green, there are products on the market to help take out those tints (mineral buildup) if you forget our tip.

Brunette Tip:

  • Cover up! Although it is important for every hair type to cover up in the summer, it is especially important for darker hair colors to stay in the shade. Dark hair lightens in the sun. To make your color last longer, use hats and scarves to avoid bringing out unwanted red or brassy tones.

Auburn Tip:

  • Go more often. When the sun’s out, redheads should make sure they visit their salon a little more frequently. Since the sun accelerates the lightening of your color, you want to make sure your vibrant color doesn’t fade or turn brassy. Many salons have gloss treatments & shiner enhancers to help extend the life of your color.

How Hair Growth Works

June 24th, 2014

Hair AnatomyWhen experiencing thinning, shedding or hair loss issues, we sometimes become frustrated with our hair’s lack of growth. However, it is essential to understand the hair’s process before working towards regrowth. Educating yourself on how your hair works will not only assist you in choosing the proper products but motivate you to be consistent in your hair care regimen.

Formation of Hair

The formation of hair begins in the hair follicles which are located on the scalp. There are one hundred thousand hair follicles on the scalp alone at the time of birth. As we grow older, we do not regenerate new follicles so this number decreases over time.

Follicles can be seen on the scalp, but they extend below the dermis (lower layer) of the skin like small tubes. The bottom of the follicle meets the blood vessels in the head to promote the health of the follicles. Inside the hair follicle, there are the inner and outer sheaths which work to guide and protect the hair growth shaft that flows between them. At the top of the outer sheath you’ll find the sebaceous oil gland and attached to this gland is the erector pili muscle. The contraction of this muscle causes the hair to stand up and also produces oil. The oil that is released is called sebum, which is necessary for conditioning the hair and scalp. Men are shown to produce more sebum than women. Although sebum is vital to hair growth, excess sebum can lead to oily hair and clogged pores in the scalp. The hair shaft that protects the hair strands is created with a protein called keratin, which is a key element of hair growth and health.

Hair Growth Cycle

Hairs grow in cycles but when each phase of the cycle occurs is unknown. Therefore, the hair growth cycle can be very unpredictable. Hair on the head grows an average of .3 to .4mm a day, which equals about 6 inches a year. The 3 cycles your hair experiences are: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Each of these phases has a specific purpose in helping to maintain healthy hair growth.

Anagen

The anagen phase is when your hair is the most active. New hairs begin to grow caused by cells at the roots dividing at a rapid pace. When these new hairs form, they push out club hair (older hairs that formed and became dormant). The anagen phase ranges in time length. Those with longer hair experience a prolonged anagen phase. Hairs located on areas such as the arms and eyebrows have a shorter anagen phase causing these hairs to be shorter. Even though this phase is the most active of the three, only 80% of follicles participate in hair growth at once.

Catagen

The end of the active growing phase is signaled through the catagen transitional phase. This phase usually last 2- 3 weeks and only includes 3% of the hair at a time. Hair growths stops as the hair outer sheath shrinks and connects to the hair’s root.  This causes the root of the hair to lose its blood supply further delaying its growth. These hairs then become club hairs.

Telogen

This is the official resting stage that impact 6% to 8% of hairs on the scalp. Once the club hairs are fully formed, the Telogen phase begins for around 100 days. At this stage the hairs on your scalp are completely dormant. If you were to pull a strand of hair out during this stage, it would reveal a hard, white formation at the root. On average 25 to 100 hairs will shed daily during this phase.

How does this effect hair growth regimens?

Everyone’s hair goes through these repeated cycles. When dealing with hair loss, it is important to realize your hair grows in phases. You should maintain your hair loss regimen, such as hair loss shampoos, supplements and minoxidil, throughout these phases for the best results. Even though your hair may be in the telogen resting phase, the beneficial products for hair loss are still repairing your hair and promoting growth. Ingredients through all stages of the hair cycle, but your hair will still experience dormant periods of time. Due to this resting phase, hair growth results for hair loss products are usually visible within 6 months to a year. The best practices during your quest for hair growth are consistency and patience and knowing the cycle of hair growth will help you with those practices.

How to Protect Your Hair and Scalp from Sun Damage during the Summer

June 20th, 2014

Flirting beautySummer is around the corner and although most individuals are adequately prepared for sun exposure to their skin, many neglect the effect of sun damage to the hair. The sun has the ability to cause harm to hair strands and scalp that may leave your hair dull and lackluster. When venturing outdoors, there are precautions you can take to maintain your healthy hair throughout the summer.

How does the sun damage hair?

- Weak Hair: When your hair experiences an influx of heat and/or sun it may cause the vitamin in your strands to become brittle, which results in breakage and uneven hair length.

- Split Ends: Another common effect of sun exposure on hair is split ends. Excess heat will cause your hair to dry out and break at the ends leaving them split and unhealthy.

- Thinning: Excess exposure to the sun has the ability to remove the proteins from your hair, which causes thinning and sometimes even shedding due to its weak composition.

- Skin Cancer: Although you are not at risk for skin cancer on your hair. Your scalp may be at risk because of the exposed skin to UV rays. Sun burns on the scalp can be very painful with burning and flaking side effects.

- Frizzy Hair: One of the least damaging effects of sun exposure is the development of uncontrollable frizz. Excess heat is known to cause frizz in hair and prolonged sun exposure may increase this frizz.

How can I protect my hair from the sun?

Where a hat

Hats are a stylish and serves as a preventative measure against sun damage on the hair and scalp. Wide brim hats are especially beneficial because they cover more of the hair than baseball caps. If using a baseball cap, try tucking your hair underneath your hat for added protection.

Use SPF product

Many individuals are not aware that there are serums, conditioners, and sprays specifically formulated to protect hair from the sun. These can be found at your local drugstores. Although there are shampoos and conditioners that provide UV protection, the protection is limited since it is being rinsed off.

You can also create your own SPF hair solution by mixing 2 teaspoons SPF 25 sunscreen with one cup of water. Mix the solution together in a spray bottle and apply lightly throughout the hair before going in the sun. Spray sunscreens also work well on the hair, but use them sparingly as they are sometimes greasy.

Beware of the part

Parting your hair exposes the scalp to the sun. If you are not using a hat or sunscreen to protect the exposed area, pull hair back so that no scalp areas are showing. For best results, apply sunscreen directly on the exposed scalp for the ultimate protection.

Plan out your outdoor activities

Studies show that the sun is at its peak from 10am to 3pm meaning the UV rays are at their highest. Avoiding those times will lessen your chances of sun damages. Even if you go outdoors after or before those times, you should still protect your hair as long as the sun is out.

How do you reverse previous sun damage to hair?

- No alcohol: When dealing with sun damaged hair and scalp, it’s best to stay away from irritant chemicals such as alcohol in hair products.

- No heat: Using heated styling tools will cause further damage to your strands and cause even more breakage to your already fragile hair.

- Treat peeling and burning: Apply vinegar to your scalp before your shampoo can reduce burning and peeling. Anti-dandruff shampoos are also very efficient when trying to treat scalp peeling. For burning it is best to use a minty or cooling shampoo to soothing the irritation.

- Use leave-in conditioner: Sun damage leaves hair extremely dry. In order to restore your hair’s moisture apply a leave-in moisturizing conditioner to lock in hydration.

- Examine your scalp: Scalp exposure to the sun may result in skin cancer.  It’s best to take precaution by inspecting your scalp for any unusual spots, moles or growths. If you notice something out of the ordinary, contact your dermatologist for further investigation.

This summer don’t neglect your locks! Protect you hair from sun damage to maintain healthy, full hair year round.

3 Protective Hairstyles for Healthier Hair

June 13th, 2014

Many hairstyles that are frequently use can be harmful for our hair causing severe damage. From overheating to tension on your strands, using hot irons, tight hair ties, and lots of harsh hair product will be detrimental to you hair’s health in the long run. We’ve created a list of 3 easy hairstyles you can try without harming your hair.

via pinterest

via Pinterest

The Side Braid:

Many hairstyles that are frequently use can be harmful for our hair causing severe damage. From overheating to tension on your strands, using hot irons, tight hair ties, and lots of harsh hair product will be detrimental to you hair’s health in the long run. We’ve created a list of 3 easy hairstyles you can try without harming your hair.

Here’s how you achieve this look:

1) part you hair to the desired side.

2) Begin braiding your hair from the parted area

3) Carry the braid down to the ends of hair

4) Secure loosely with a rubber band, hair tie, or ribbon.

(For fishtails, start the top portion as a regular braid, then switch to fishtail at the ends.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

The Beach Waves:

Everyone is envious of those perfect “beach waves” seen on celebrities, but sometimes it takes several hours with a curling wand or iron and an excess of hair spray. You can achieve this look by using natural salt water and twisting or braiding hair over night. It a protective solution to your yearning for a curly hair style.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Separate hair into at least five sections.

2) Create a combination of sea salt, water and a cream gel. (Be sure to choose one that is alcohol free to prevent damage.)

3) Put combination into a spray bottle.

4) Lightly Spray solution on each section of hair.

5) Braid or twist each section individually and secure the ends with a rubber band.

6) Sleep on it overnight.

7) In the morning, carefully remove hairbands and loosen braids. Style with fingers.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

The Braided Bun:

Braided buns are not only a fun twist on a updo its also better than a tight ponytail. The braids allow you to secure you hair with a few bobby pins instead of tight hair ties.

How to get this look:

1) Separate hair into two parts. (One towards the top and the other at the bottom.)

2) Braid both parts.

3) Twist into a desired bun.

4) Secure with bobby pins.

5) Use a soft styling cream to tame fly away strands. (It is healthier than hair spray.)

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