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Caffeine and Hair Growth

September 30th, 2014

Benefits_of_Coffee_for_Hair_Growth_imageA Brief Look at DHT

Dihydrotestosterone also known as DHT, is a hormone that is derived from testosterone. This particular hormone is known for its contribution to hair loss, more specifically androgenic alopecia (Male Pattern Baldness). When DHT reaches the hair follicles it actually shrinks them, making it progressively more difficult for the hairs to grow; this process is known as miniaturization. When miniaturization takes place it not only makes it more difficult for hair to grow, but when it does, it tends to grow for shorter periods and becomes finer and thinner.

Although DHT can be a huge culprit of hair loss, there are ingredients you can use to prevent it from reaching your hair follicles. Some of these DHT blocking ingredients include minoxidil, ketoconazole and even caffeine.  According to a study issued in the 2007 International Journal of Dermatology, caffeine can actually increase hair growth between 33-39.4%.

How to get Caffeine to Your Follicles

While the study performed by German researches concluded that caffeine can benefit hair growth by a significant amount, it is important to note how to get caffeine to your hair follicles in the most practical and safest way.  In order to achieve hair growth by blocking DHT with caffeine, you aren’t going to want to do it by ingesting loads of coffee and other caffeinated foods and beverages. Studies have shown that in order for an ample amount of caffeine to reach your hair follicles for hair growth, one would have to consume about 60 cups of coffee a day.

We all know that consuming 60 cups of coffee a day could end in disaster, so instead of consuming caffeine, apply it topically to your scalp. There are plenty of hair loss shampoos that are formulated with caffeine that will safely block the DHT and awaken your hair follicles for healthy hair growth. If hair growth is your ultimate goal, you will also want to look for other beneficial ingredients like ketoconazole and copper peptides.

How to use Shampoo with Caffeine

When applying the shampoo to your hair, make sure to massage it into your scalp thoroughly.  This will not only ensure that the shampoo covers all areas of the scalp, but it will also help improve the circulation within the scalp, which has also been shown to help with hair growth.  Additionally, once the hair loss shampoo is massaged into all areas of the scalp, make sure to leave it on the skin for about 3-5 minutes before rinsing. Leaving the shampoo on the scalp for a few minutes will give the caffeine and the other DHT blocking ingredients time to be able to absorb deep within the follicle.

How to Tell If You’re Going Bald

September 24th, 2014

iStock_000022264449_Small

Aging is something that is very difficult to fathom as you get older. No one likes to grow up, especially if that involves hair loss. There are some symptoms that you might experience, but it is important to properly diagnose your issue before taking any new medications or health regimens. Here are some steps in taking control of your hair loss.

First things first, don’t panic. Your hair loss could be a result of numerous things. According to studies, most people lose between 50-100 hairs a day, a measly amount compared to the 100,000 hairs on your head.  However, the most normal factors of hair loss are your genetics and your age. You can see your chances of going bald based on the number of people who experienced hair loss in your family tree. Another common cause of balding is the amount of testosterone you have in your body. This can be controlled by the amount of stress you have in your life. Reduce how stressed you are and you will see a decrease in the balding process.

Secondly, be easy on your hair. Taking hot irons and blow-dryers to your scalp can damage the hair follicle and make the hair break and fall off. Also, if you are frequently tying back your hair into a tight pony tail, you can be causing your hair to slowly be pulled from the roots. If you must put your hair up, make sure it’s a little loose so it has some room to breathe. Don’t overdo it with the hair dyes, perms, or treatments, for that can cause extremely hair loss if you’re sensitive to these products.

If you don’t have any hair loss in your family tree, make sure to check out all other parts of your body to see if anything else is out of whack. As mentioned before, genetics isn’t the only cause of hair loss, just the most common one. Hormonal factors play a pivotal role in male or female pattern baldness. Your sex hormones can trigger a permanent pattern of hair loss if you don’t stop it in time. Other causes of hair loss include thyroid problems, alopecia areata or scalp infections.

Check your blood to be sure that there isn’t anything wrong going on internally in your body. If you’re treating an issue like high blood pressure, heart problems, depression or arthritis, some drugs used to help these issues out can cause hair loss. If you’re one of these people that are experiencing hair loss due to a medication you’re taking, speak to your doctor about taking an alternate prescription with minimal side effects.

Eating healthy is also an important factor in maintaining a healthy body that is functioning in its best shape. A diet that is depleted of iron or protein can cause a scalp that is susceptible to damage and further complicate your issue. Make sure to get your daily dose of exercise as well.

These ideas are simply advice tips. They are not meant to treat or diagnose any issue. Consult with your doctor before making any changes in your health regimen.

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.

How to Use Castor Oil as Hair Growth Treatment

September 19th, 2014

Castor Oil for Hair Growth

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

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

Benefits of Jojoba Oil

September 16th, 2014

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

What is jojoba oil?

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

How does jojoba oil work?

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

Jojoba Oil Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

5 Hair Mistakes to Avoid

September 12th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keratin and Hair Health

September 9th, 2014

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

What is Keratin?

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

Where is Keratin found?

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

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

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Keratin

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

Three Ways to Style Your Hair without Heat

September 5th, 2014

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

No Heat Beach Waves

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Farrah Fawcett

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

1) First, wet your hair completely.

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

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

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

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

Upside Down Bun Braid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hydrolyzed Silk Protein and Hair Health

September 2nd, 2014

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

What does “hydrolyzed” mean?

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

Protein and Hair

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

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

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Silk Protein

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

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

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