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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.

Myths about Hair Loss

July 18th, 2014

Myths about Hair LossWe’ve all heard the many myths about hair loss. “If you keep wearing a hat, you’re going to go bald,” “If you’re going bald, you have too much testosterone,” or a family favorite, “Blame your mother.” However, none of these factors have to do with hair loss (not 100% anyways). Surprised? You’re about to learn the truth about these myths about what causes hair loss.

You get it from your Mom

This is not completely true. Yes, you will get some hair loss gene’s from your mother if her father is bald, no question about it. Surprisingly, your mother’s genes for hair loss are more dominant than your father’s. However, it’s also possible to inherit hair loss from your father’s side.

Wearing hats make you bald

People think wearing a hat makes you go bald because your head isn’t getting enough air, which doesn’t make sense because your scalp doesn’t breathe. If anything, wearing a hat protects your head and your hair from the sun.

Getting too much Sun

No, sun exposure won’t lead to baldness. Yes, too much sun exposure can cause your hair to get dry, frizzy, and dull, as discussed in this article about hair and sun damage. However, it will not cause baldness—just horrible sun burns.

Hair Styling

Hair care products and hardware are for styling, not for going bald. Using hair gels, pomade, or other similar items aren’t going to cause hair loss. However, be wary of some of the chemicals in gels and other products that can weaken or even damage hair. Moreover, over styling your hair with mechanical work i.e. flat irons. It’s hair, not an automobile.

Too much testosterone

This is the silliest one ever. The manlier you are, the less hair you have? Talk about reversing the cultural norm. Actually, most men link a lack of hair to sex appeal, but the two don’t go hand-in-hand. The real hormonal cause is an abundance of (Dihydrotestosterone) DHT, which is converted from testosterone. So, if you do have a lot of testosterone, you’re prone to having too much DHT, but too much testosterone does not equate to hair loss. A shampoo with ketoconazole will fix that though.

It’s a guy problem

Actually, it’s not just men who go bald. Have you seen those hair transplant commercials with women? Men make up about 60-70% of the hair loss population. The other 40-30% is coming from the female gender.

If you’re bald, then you’re old

Not necessarily true. Do the elderly have less hair than the youth? Yes, absolutely…most of the time. However, people can start going bald in their late teens, and 18 years old isn’t old. Wait until you’re 40 to start saying that.

Too much shampoo

This can be true depending on the shampoo you use. If it has harsh chemicals that can damage your hair, like sulfate, it’s likely that you may experience hair problems. But keeping your hair and scalp overly clean will not cause you to lose your hair. If anything, it will help get rid of the fungi and other buildup, which can cause dandruff and other problems. The only thing clean hair makes you prone to is lice.

Decreased blood flow to the scalp

Yes, the scalp needs good blood circulation to promote hair growth and thicker, fuller hair. But once you lose hair, stimulating your scalp isn’t going to magically cause hair to grow back. Decreased blood flow happens when you go bald because those areas of the scalp no longer need blood to keep the hair healthy. That’s why you may notice a lack of blood circulation in the scalp.

Trauma turns your hair grey

Physical and emotional stress can cause hair to turn grey and result in hair loss. However, if you’re not already at an age where you’re losing your hair, it will grow back once the things calm down.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

July 15th, 2014

Tea Tree OilThere are many causes of hair loss and everyone’s hair loss is different. However, ingredients like tea tree oil can help fight the issue directly from the roots.  Applying tea tree oil to the hair and scalp can have an effective result for various types of hair loss including hereditary, external and medical causes. This particular type of oil is obtained from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant which can be found in the northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia.  For many years, native aborigines have used tea tree oil to treat skin ailments such as fungal infections, burns, cuts and acne.  Used as an antiseptic, antibacterial, as well as an anti-fungal, tea tree oil also has the ability to encourage healthy hair and scalp by unclogging the hair follicles from excess oil, reducing dandruff and stimulating blood flow within the scalp.

Unclogs Hair Follicles

Hair grows from little pouches beneath the skin which are known as hair follicles. When hair follicles become clogged, they are unable to continue to produce strong hair strands.  Many who experience hair loss, also have build up on the scalp such as excess oil/sebum, which furthers the problem of hair fall.  Sebum is an oily substance that is produced on the scalp and when it is overproduced, the hair follicles can become clogged with hardened sebum resulting in weak and undernourished hair strands.  This is when tea tree oil comes into play.  Tea tree oil has the ability to dissolve the hardened sebum, freeing the follicle for healthy hair growth.

Reduces Dandruff
Tea tree oil also reduces other build up on the scalp by removing bacteria and fungi which helps alleviate dandruff and other related skin ailments like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.  Tea tree oil is similar to the popular hair loss ingredient, Ketoconazole, as both are considered anti-fungals which help to eliminate scaly and itchy dry patches on the skin.  Studies have also shown that tea tree oil has the ability to improve the immune system which helps to combat infections that can result in hair loss.  While dandruff may just seem like an aesthetically unpleasing nuisance, if left untreated, the dead skin that then formulates on the scalp can negatively effect the hair follicles, making tea tree oil a great solution to combat such issues.

Stimulates Blood Flow

Massaging tea tree oil into the scalp can help increase the blood flow while reducing inflammation.  When the scalp is deprived of stimulation, the hair follicles do not receive an adequate amount of blood flow, which they need in order to thrive and produce healthy hair strands.  In fact, a study revealed that men who were experiencing androgenic alopecia and hair loss had significantly less blood flow to their scalps, than men who were not experiencing hair loss.

There are many ways to stimulate the blood circulation within the scalp, including making your own tea tree oil treatment.  When deciding to make a home remedy tea tree oil treatment it is important to dilute the tea tree oil as it is very strong on its own and can result in irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.  You can dilute the oil by mixing 1 part tea tree oil with 10 parts of any other oil like almond or jojoba oil.  Or you can always opt for an over the counter shampoo or sulfate-free conditioner that contains tea tree oil and other beneficial ingredients.

IMPORTANT: Tea tree oil should NEVER be ingested, as it is considered toxic when taken orally.

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.

How to Prevent Hair Loss

July 8th, 2014

iStock_000012115939SmallHair loss is a condition that countless people suffer from around the world. With society’s increased awareness of the importance of looking and feeling their best, finding preventative methods to stay as young as possible is of utmost importance to them. There are several methods to help prevent hair falling out from the scalp, both natural and chemical based. Below are some easy methods on how to prevent hair loss.

Do less to your hair:

It might seem like this is common knowledge, but sometimes, people end up doing too many things to their scalp to prevent hair loss that they end up causing more damage than before. Taking care of your hair to prevent hair falling out has several methods, like not exposing your scalp or hair to frequent heating and drying procedures. This means that in order for you to stop hair from falling out, you must slow down on dyeing hair, be very careful on how you style your hair, as well as spacing out the frequency you use heating tools and treatments on the scalp. Doing so will allow for the hair to breathe and in turn, become healthier because of the absence of harsh chemicals to the hair follicles.

Wash and dry your hair properly:

When washing your hair with shampoo, it is pertinent to use a sulfate and paraben-free shampoo, especially if you have a sensitive scalp. To avoid split ends and excessive hair falling out, do not rub your hair with a towel after washing it. Use a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel to prevent hair breakage. Try not to brush your hair when it is wet, because this can also cause your hair to fall out rapidly.

RELAX!

Getting your stress under control will help prevent self-damage to all parts of your body, especially your hair! Ensuring that you get adequate sleep and getting your physical activity in will help keep your hair strong and healthy.

Watch what you eat:

Believe it or not, eating specific foods can cause hair loss. For example, eating raw egg whites harbors bacteria in the body which can harm you. This food also contains a substance that binds to biotin, which prevents absorption, causing lifeless hair strands and an unhealthy diet.

Take Biotin supplements:

Taking Biotin is a widely popular method in helping prevent hair falling out. Biotin for hair loss also makes your hair thicker, stronger, and much less likely to break. People have reported fast hair growth as well as an improvement in the overall health of their hair strands.
In conjunction with addressing your hair loss issues with your doctor, these methods can prove to be beneficial for making sure your hair is in its best condition. These steps are how to prevent hair loss from occurring in the future, but nothing is guaranteed from your hair falling out if it is a genetic issue. Always make sure to consult your doctor before self-diagnosing your hair loss issues.

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.

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