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Horsetail and Hair Health

October 7th, 2014

horsetailWhat is Horsetail?

Horsetail is a prehistoric plant that is also identified by its other names including puzzle grass, bottlebrush, snake grass and pewterwort and its botanical name, Equisetum Arvense. This tall green plant with its hollow bamboo like stems serves as a beneficial ingredient especially in regards to hair growth. Over the past few weeks we have gone more in depth into the benefits of a variety of different ingredients including caffeine, copper peptides, jojoba oil, keratin as well as others, and this week will be no different as we explore the benefits that horsetail extract has on hair.

The Benefits of Horsetail

Horsetail extract is believed to stimulate hair growth because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Horsetail contains selenium, cysteine and silica which are some of the reasons why this plant serves as a great ingredient for hair health and hair growth.

Selenium- Selenium is a chemical element that has the ability to create selenoproteins.  These proteins assist in stimulation of the hair follicles which can lead to hair growth. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, adding a daily multivitamin containing the mineral selenium can help to improve nutrition which can help with overall hair growth and hair health. Another benefit that selenium can have on hair, is its ability to reduce build up and dandruff on the scalp. This frees the hair follicles, allowing the hair to grow in more easily.

Cysteine- Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid which also serves as a means of contributing to healthy hair. Cysteine does its job for your hair by serving as one of the building blocks for proteins. The organs in our bodies thrive off of protein, and our hair is no different. Protein, especially keratin, is one of the main contributors to healthy hair growth and hair health and without the ample amount of protein, hair can appear to be dry, brittle and it may even result in hair loss.

Silica- This trace mineral has been shown to assist with strengthening blood vessels which results in improved circulation. As mentioned in a previous post, blood circulation is extremely important in regards to hair growth because with improved circulation comes improved oxygen output which can help stimulate hair growth on the scalp. Oxygen is crucial for our bodies to thrive, and our hair and scalp are no exception. Silica has also been shown to keep hair, skin and nails strong through its importance for the skin’s connective tissues.

As you can see, the many elements of horsetail come together to produce multiple benefits for hair growth and overall hair health. Horsetail can be found in both dried herb and liquid forms including hair care products such as the Regenepure DR hair loss shampoo and the Regenepure Intense Volumizing Biotin Conditioner.

Copper Peptides and Hair Growth

September 23rd, 2014

healthy hair

Past posts have gone into detail about the benefits of ingredients like silk protein, Keratin, jojoba oil and biotin. This post will continue the trend by highlighting the ingredient, copper peptides.  Copper peptides are yet another ingredient that can have a positive impact on not only hair and skin health, but hair growth as well. Continue reading to learn more about what copper peptides are, along with their benefits.

What are Copper Peptides?

GHK-Cu or Copper Tripeptide-1 can be found in the human body.  However, as we age the level drops from around 200ng/ml to 80 nl/ml.  This protein compound is made up of 3 amino acids and can be found in various cosmetic products.  Some of these include shampoos and conditioners as well as antiaging treatments.  The reason copper peptides are so popular among many topical treatments, is because of the multitude of benefits it provides for the skin and hair.

Benefits of Copper Peptides

Hair growth: As mentioned before, copper peptides have been shown to assist with hair growth.  Copper Tripeptide-1 has even been shown to have a similar result on hair growth as a 5% minoxidil treatment. Minoxidil treatments are used to treat hair loss, more specifically androgenic alopecia, more commonly known as male pattern baldness.

Copper Peptides help encourage hair growth by blocking the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which has been shown to curb hair growth. DHT is converted from testosterone thanks to the enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase.  Copper peptides however, can help to stop this process because of their ability to   obstruct the enzyme, therefore blocking the production of DHT and further hair loss.

Microcirculation: All the organs in our body need oxygen, and our hair follicles are no different. Without the ample amount of oxygen, our hair follicles are unable to thrive, and because our hair health and hair growth is determined by our hair follicles, it is extremely important that we address our hair troubles directly from the root.

Copper peptides assist in this increase of oxygen with their ability to produce new blood vessels from previous vessels. This process is known as angiogenesis and is often associated with certain forms of exercise. Similarly to our bodies when we perform aerobic and endurance exercises, when copper peptides increase the amount of blood vessels in our hair follicles, the amount of nutrients and oxygen is also increased, ultimately leading to healthier circulation and hair growth.

Repairs Skin: Copper peptides are also popularly known for repairing skin.  Not only are copper peptides supposed to assist with hair growth and microcirculation, but they have also been shown to encourage the production of collagen and elastin.  Collagen and elastin are both structural proteins that can be found in connective tissue.  As we age, we start to lose both of these which results in saggy skin and wrinkles.  This is probably one of the main reasons why you will be able to find copper peptides on the ingredient list on many anti-aging products.

To bring this back to hair growth, because copper peptides help to boost collagen and elastin, they also increase the fat cells on the scalp.  According to study on hair growth performed at Yale University, an increase in fat cells on the scalp could significantly increase hair growth as it strengthens the hair follicles.

Tip: If you are looking for ways to regrow and nourish your hair, or repair your skin, look for Copper Tripeptide-1 when scanning product labels so you can achieve the above benefits.

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.

Shedding – A Natural Part of the Hair Growth Cycle

August 12th, 2014

Shedding Hair LossWhat is the hair cycle? In laymen’s terms, a hair cycle is “the lifespan of a hair from sprouting to shedding.” The normal hair growth cycle is broken into three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Hair growth is an ongoing process, and not every hair is growing or shedding at the same time. Makes you wonder how our hair doesn’t look uneven all the time, but the majority of our individual hairs are uneven anyways. 85% of our hair is growing, 15% is resting, and these percentages can vary on what stage it is in, and how far along in the stage it is.

Anagen – This is the growth phase of hair. Although the hair itself is dead and can’t really “grow”, the follicular bulb within the scalp is growing the hair out. This can last anywhere from 2-6 years.

Catagen – This is the resting phase of hair. Seeing as our hairs are almost always growing, when the hair enters this phase, it stops growing. During this stage, the hair turns into a “club hair”, or the tip becomes club-shaped. The follicle attaches to the shaft of the hair, cutting off its blood supply and suffocating it. This is a 2-3 week period of transition, however hair the can “rest” for up to four months.

Telogen – This is the last phase of a hair’s life cycle. It is known as the shedding and the hair growth phase. Hairs shed at a normal volume, about 10% of your total hair, nothing to be worried about. Following this stage, the anagen phase starts back up again. The telogen phase lasts between 2-4 months before the hair is shed completely, pushed out by a newly forming hair.

What is shedding?

As briefly noted in the telogen phase, shedding is the ejection of hair from the scalp wherein a new hair is forming/sprouting. The normal human sheds about 100 hairs a day between grooming, showering, and other daily activities. However, shedding can sometimes shift from an acute behavior that is normal, to a chronic behavior that tends to become a disorder.

The most common disorder of shedding is known as “Telogen effluvium.” It is a temporary increase in shedding, usually causing the telogen phase to last longer than normal. It can be an ongoing disorder, but in most cases it will work itself out. There is another form of hair loss that is chronic, known as “anagen effluvium,” or more commonly “alopecia areata,” when the growing phase of hair is interrupted due to an immune system disorder that attacks hair in the anagen stage. Hairs at this stage become very thin, but this is different from thinning hair.

Triggers

Just because someone is starting to shed though does not mean they should panic. As mentioned, shedding is a normal part of the hair life cycle. Only when it becomes a chronic condition, like in Telogen effluvium, should it cause concern. Furthermore, even in cases of Telogen effluvium, the disorder may work itself out pending on what has caused it. There are multiple triggers that can cause a temporary increase of hair loss:

-          Illnesses that come with a fever

-          Certain medications

-          Discontinued use of oral contraceptives

-          Surgery

-          Trauma

-          Childbirth

-          Stress

-          Sudden change in weight loss or diet

-          Jetlag

-          Excessive sun exposure

All of these triggers can cause a chronic shedding behavior. The best way to treat Telogen effluvium, or chronic shedding, is to take care of the hair during this time. Try intense hair care treatments designed to nourish the hair and give it the nutrients it needs. There are many hair care shampoos and conditioners out there, and you can always try more organic treatments such as herbal remedies or scalp massages with natural oils.

Hair Loss and Hair Regrowth

The biggest concern about chronic hair loss or shedding is when someone is trying to promote hair growth. Commonly, when someone has been balding, or their hair starts to thin, they turn to medications and hair care products to start growing their hair back. A common side-effect that may be experienced when using hair care treatments and/or products to regrow hair is shedding.

This side-effect should be more easily understood now that you know about the hair growth cycle. If you are balding, or your hair is thinning, and you decide to use a hair growth product, your weak/thin hairs will enter the shedding phase as new hair growth is stimulated beneath the scalp. During this transition, an increase of shedding will occur, with an initial large volume of hair loss. It may raise concern because a hair growth product is supposed to promote hair growth, but to grow hair, the weak hair needs to be ejected first so that it may be replaced by new, healthy hair.

Hair loss and shedding should be cleared up now. It’s usually not something to worry about, we lose 100 hairs a day, with 10% of our natural hair volume growing or shedding simultaneously. If your hair loss increases rapidly, evaluate the events in your life. Have you experienced stress or trauma, started a new died, or even a new hair care treatment? You need not worry unless the increase of shedding turns chronic. Then, consult a doctor.

What is Saw Palmetto?

August 5th, 2014

iStock_000011208457SmallThere are many interesting plants and herbs used for hair growth in these modern times. Many people tend to ingest the herbs or fruit of a plant for the benefits they offer. A current popular plant is Saw Palmetto, and its extracts have been added into hair loss shampoos for some time now. So, what makes this plant so special?

What is it?

Saw Palmetto is a plant, part of the Serenoa genus. It is sometimes known as “Serenoa repens,” or “Sabal serrulatum” when listed as an ingredient in medication. The plant is small, growing up to 3-6 ft, and grows in clumps. It is found mainly in the southeastern region of the United States, such as Florida. The plant has a long lifespan, and can live up to 700 years.

Saw Palmetto gets its name from its leaves. Armed with fine, sharp spines along the edges of a leaf, they act like the teeth of a saw and can cut through skin. Historically, it has been a great supply of food for wildlife and humankind, and has been known to have many proven (and some inconclusive) medicinal uses. Although the plant itself is edible, its fruit is the most common part of the plant used for treatments.

What medicinal uses does it have?

The fruit of the Saw Palmetto is a large, reddish type of peach. It is high in fatty acids and phytosterols, and its extracts are used in many types of treatments, medications, and even some hair products. One of its most known uses in medicine is for an enlarged prostate. Although intensive research has been conducted on this use, the evidence is still insufficient. It is believed to also be helpful for: increasing breast size, acting as an aphrodisiac, treating coughs, cold, sore throat, asthma, bronchitis, headaches, cancer, and hair loss. None of these are conclusive, however hair loss has had a lot of historical evidence, even if not proven via scientific methods.

Hair loss

Saw Palmetto is a popular herbal remedy for treating hair loss and androgenic alopecia (male/female pattern baldness), MPH). Although the evidence to support this is missing, what many have concluded is that Saw Palmetto extract blocks the enzyme that converts the hormone testosterone into DHT. This hormone is known as a key contributing factor that causes hair loss and MPH. We wouldn’t suggest taking some of the extract yourself though, as you’ll see below some of the problems that come with it.

Side effects

Many people take the extract as a supplement orally, and because of this, there have been many adverse side effects reported. The most common of these are all stomach related – abdominal pain, bathroom troubles, physical sickness, and bad breath. There have been other, more severe cases, such as liver inflammation, headaches, pancreatic, depression, breathing problems, heart troubles, blood clotting, and more.

The best way to use Saw Palmetto may not be orally. In fact, using topically or externally has yet to raise concern. Because of this, it is becoming a popular ingredient in hair loss shampoos and treatments. Due to the lack of evidence though, it would be good to couple this with another chemical, Ketoconazole, found in some hair loss shampoos. By combining the two, you can get rid of DHT and curb hair loss.

Myths About Hair Growth

August 1st, 2014

Trimming HairEarlier we made a blog post about the biggest myths about hair loss. That got us thinking…what are the myths about hair growth? Surely there are some. Have you heard the one about how standing on your head will make your hair grow faster? That would be funny to see. So, we decided to see what we could find, and you may be surprised at what we learned.

Trimming Your Hair Will Make it Grow Faster

Wrong! Trimming your hair won’t make it grow faster, that’s just silly. Hair is decaying flesh, cutting off the decay isn’t going to make a difference. The only thing trimming your hair is good for is keeping it healthy and maintaining appearances.

You Need to Change Your Shampoos Often

People adapt, it’s true. If you go to the gym and start working out, you’re going to be sore for the next few days. After a few weeks, you’re used to it. The same isn’t true for your hair though. Using the same shampoos over and over will continue to treat your hair the way they’re designed to. The only time you will need to change your shampoo is if your hair has recently been damaged and requires moisture.

Cold Water Makes Your Hair Shiny

You can’t really believe that can you? Your hair is dead, remember? You can’t make it shine with cold water. The only way to improve your hair is to directly treat the hair follicles and the scalp. However, you can damage your hair with high heat, such as blow drying often, straighteners, and constant hair coloring treatments.

100 Brushes a Day

No, brushing your hair often will not cause it to grow faster. It won’t stimulate your scalp and hair follicles, and give them a wakeup call. If anything, constant brushing of the hair can lead to damage, especially if you’re using a brush with harsh or sharp bristles. It is good to brush your hair before you sleep, to get rid of tangles and knots, but don’t force it. If you get stuck, use your fingers to work through this mess, or you’ll risk some wear and tear.

Shampoo Less Often for Less Oily Hair

This myth doesn’t make any sense. One of the main reasons people shampoo is to clean their hair and scalp. If you shampoo less, your hair and scalp is bound to get oilier. You can’t change your genetics with shampoo, so shampooing less will not stop oil production from the scalp. Have you ever gone without a shower for several days? By the 3rd or 5th day, your hair can be so oily, you can style it as if you were using hair gel.

Don’t Go Plucking Grey Hairs

Human hair starts to grey mostly due to genetics. Like a clock alarm going off, sooner or later our hair pigment starts to fade and we go grey. Plucking a grey hair to get rid of it because it’s “unsightly” isn’t going to cause more to spring up. However, plucking hairs irritates the follicle and those surrounding it, which can lead to unhealthy hair growth.

You Can Fix Split Ends

Oh how shampoo commercials love to pull this one. Nothing, and we mean nothing can fix a split end. No product, no tool, except for maybe glue, will fuse split ends back together. Once a hair splits, it’s a goner. The only way to fix a split end is to cut it off.

Stress Causes Grey Hair

This is actually a myth we all like. It’s funny to think someone could get so scared that their hair turns grey. That isn’t true. However, stress can have a physiological effect on the human body and mind. It is believed stress raises hydrogen peroxide levels in the hair follicles which leads to bleaching of the hair. We’re not sure how true that is, but either way, grey hairs still come down to genetics.

Comb Your Hair from Top to Bottom

This makes logical sense right? Start near the roots and work your way down. This isn’t a good idea though. Think of it like trying to undo a knot at its base—Impossible. The best way to undo a knot is to pull on the ends of it. Same thing with your hair. Start brushing from the ends and work your way up. This way, you will avoid breakage (especially if it’s wet), and you won’t put so much strain on your hair. If your hair is tangled or knotty, brushing your hair from the bottom up will fix them easier.

Hair Texture is the Same Forever

This one is such bull. The hair may be dead, but it isn’t stone. Many things can change the texture of your hair, such as medication, disease, hormones, etc. Hair styling treatments can also do a number on hair. Ever see someone who was naturally curly go through a couple of hair straightening treatments? Even when the treatment fades, their hair isn’t as curly as it was before.

Were you surprised to find out some of these favorite myths weren’t true? Let us know in the comments below!

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.

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