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Keratin and Hair Health

September 9th, 2014

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

What is Keratin?

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

Where is Keratin found?

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

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

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Keratin

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

Three Ways to Style Your Hair without Heat

September 5th, 2014

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

No Heat Beach Waves

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Farrah Fawcett

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

1) First, wet your hair completely.

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

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

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

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

Upside Down Bun Braid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hydrolyzed Silk Protein and Hair Health

September 2nd, 2014

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

What does “hydrolyzed” mean?

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

Protein and Hair

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

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

Benefits of Hydrolyzed Silk Protein

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

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

How to Apply Almond Oil to Hair

August 28th, 2014

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

Applying Almond Oil on Damp/Wet Hair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Enjoy your silky hair and healthy scalp!

Applying Almond Oil to Dry Hair

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

1. Make sure your hair is completely dry.

2. Gently comb or brush your hair.

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

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

5. Style your as desired.

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

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

Related Articles:

Emu Oil: A Natural Solution for Hair Regrowth

9 Oils that Help Promote Healthy Hair Growth

All About Biotin

August 26th, 2014

Biotin for Hair GrowthAll about Biotin

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

What is Biotin?

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

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

What Does the Body Use Biotin For?

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

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

Health benefits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Natural Vitamins in Food That Help Regrow Hair

August 22nd, 2014

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

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

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

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

Main Types of Hair Loss

August 19th, 2014

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

Androgenic Alopecia

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

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

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

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

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

Alopecia Areata

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

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

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

Traction Alopecia

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

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

Telogen Effluvium

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

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

Dihydrotestosterone and Hair Loss

August 15th, 2014

Dihydrotestosterone and Hair LossDihydrotestosterone is a chemical we have referred to in several of our articles. Commonly abbreviated as DHT, this chemical is a male hormone, converted from testosterone. High levels of it are the main cause of hair loss in men and women. However, there is more to it than just that.

DHT Love

Before we get into why an abundance of DHT is bad for those of us who want to keep our hair, there are actually DHT enthusiasts out there.  As we all have come to know, there are two populations among hair loss: those who are reluctant, and those that don’t care. A percentage of the latter makes up the enthusiasts. According to some possibly biased research, DHT is a “stronger” form of testosterone.

DHT is synthesized from testosterone daily, in both men and women. 5-10% of a male’s testosterone will be converted until their genetics or glands cause an increase of testosterone for conversion. In both sexes, a higher conversion rate begins around the time of puberty, however there is a large defining feature of it in males. DHT is what causes the formation of the male genitalia during fetal development. A lack of it throughout ontogeny will cause underdeveloped genitalia, as well as an underdeveloped prostate.

Knowing how important DHT is to the development of the male body, it is clear why many men don’t take it for granted. Those that embrace DHT have done their share of research on its benefits, and without a guess, you can find a few body building articles on it. Heralded as “3 or more times as powerful of regular testosterone,” DHT is cherished by those looking to build strength and muscle. DHT is known to play a role in not only sexual development, but also the enhancement of muscles, and hair loss.

DHT vs Hair

An abundance of DHT has a variety of effects on both genders of the human population. Although mainly active during and after puberty, it is present in the body prior to this. In terms of puberty, it controls the production of body hair, hormonal processes such as menstruation (women) and sperm production (men), amongst other hormonal changes. Later, if an abundance occurs, balding can arise.

Male Pattern Baldness, or MPB, is the corner stone result of an abundance of DHT. Hair follicles are sensitized when presented to DHT, causing them to shrink and having a shorter lifespan as opposed to the normal hair growth cycle of several years.  Hair has three phases in its life cycle: growing, resting, and dying. During MPB, the growing phase fades as the resting phase increases in duration.

Since baldness happens mostly on the scalp, this is the main area scientists and researchers study when exploring the causes and cures for baldness.  The follicle bulb, containing the dermal papilla, is responsible for hair growth. It produces and divides the cells that make up hair follicles, and although hair is dead flesh, it is a result of the papilla getting nutrients from surrounding blood capillaries beneath the scalp.

When there is an abundance of DHT, it can block or implicate the absorption of nutrients to the dermal papilla. Once this happens, MPB or other forms of baldness can occur. Hair thinning is another effect that can result from DHT. As the hair follicle weakens and shrinks, the hair will also shrink and have a thin appearance. It can also fade in color, becoming lighter until hits the point of near transparency like the small furs that cover a majority of the human body.

There are several forms of baldness, not all caused by DHT:

-          MPB, sometimes referred to as Andogenetic Alopecia, is a form of baldness that miniaturizes hairs, and causes random areas of the scalp to become bald, tending to connect and create the “pattern” effect

-          Anagen Effluvium is rapid hair loss, usually caused by chemotherapy. The division of hair cells is halted, but as noted, an abundance of DHT can stop the dermal papilla from getting nutrition, thus also halting cell division

-          Telogen Effluvium is an extreme form of shedding, usually experienced as a result of trauma, infection, stress or surgery

-          Traction alopecia is hair loss from a constant pulling, such as intensive, excessive hair styling, braiding, etc

-          Regular balding, beginning with a receding hairline and a bald spot in the middle of the scalp

Although, not all baldness is caused by DHT, because DHT tends to affect the hair follicles and the division of hair cells beneath the scalp, many hair care and hair growth treatments target the scalp. Currently, the big chemical in the hair regrowth niche is Ketoconazole, an antifungal medication that cleanses the scalp of fungal infections, the fungi that causes dandruff, and DHT. These treatments are usually products such as shampoos and conditioners, but there are also topical solutions containing other chemicals.

DHT is a big problem when it comes to hair loss and baldness. However, it is also a main ingredient in the make-up of the human male. It’s not all bad, but just like most things, it’s best in moderation.

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.

Theories on Baldness

August 8th, 2014

DNAHave you ever wondered “Why humans become bald?” Hair loss is mainly hereditary, meaning it’s a trait passed down across the generations. However, many people today aren’t too fond of hair loss and becoming bald; yet, the trait still thrives. Heavily ingrained throughout evolution, there are many theories as to why this hair loss trait is still active today. Keep in mind, these are just theories, but they’re also some of our favorites.

Wise Men

Amongst many tribes and villages, there tends to be a group of males that the tribe looks up to for answers, guidance, and intelligence. These men are usually the Elders of the group/village, and most notably, are bald. As a sign of wisdom, the trait of baldness was passed down throughout the generations to highlight the “Wise Men” over time.

Longevity

In nature, the male of the species is usually the one doing the courting for a female partner. Sometimes they show off their colors, or whistle a tune; some capture large prey, whilst others beat up their own to show dominance. These are all seen as signs of attraction, and in human society, a percentage of people frown on baldness as “unattractive.” However, back then, living a long life was rare. If a man lived long enough to go bald, then he must have good genes for longevity, and that is attractive.

Discovery of Fire

Back when fire was first discovered, many people like to think of the Caveman era where humans weren’t as smart and still covered in body hair. If this were true, once fire was discovered, it wouldn’t take long to learn how quickly human hair catches fire. It is possible that with this new discovery, body hair diminished over time, as did the hair on the head, to keep oneself alive and protected from such a helpful yet dangerous element.

Soaking Up Some Vitamin D

When a man starts to go bald, more of his skin is exposed to the sunlight. Naturally, one would think this is a bad thing.  However, this also exposes man to a much larger percentage of Vitamin D. Studies have shown that absorbing solar ultraviolet radiation and vitamin D helps prevent prostate cancer. So, it is believed that balding is a trait or mechanism that evolved over time to protect against that particular disease.

Chrome Dome

This is probably the funniest one we read. It is theorized that when hunting in groups, at least one of the hunters were bald, and their head was heavily polished. This way, they could be used to blind predators during the hunt when preparing an attack. Not very likely, but an interesting concept nonetheless.

Trading Hair for What?

One interesting theory is about age and the deterioration of the body. As we get older, we become weaker, and yet we still wish to flourish with life. This concept theorizes that as the body aged, the need for hair was “ejected”, allowing the body to use less of its resources to grow healthy hair, and to focus its energy and resources on other traits such as physical strength and sexual potency.

Nurture

Two other traits many females look for in a partner are “maturity” and “capability to nurture”. Females would naturally desire a male that is less aggressive and more nurturing for their offspring. This would definitely decrease the chance of infanticide, and the offspring would benefit from these males as a parental figure. The theory suggests that baldness and hair loss continue because such traits were seen as desirable to both genders.

“Bada$$” Attitude

In modern times, there are some stigma that go with baldness. One of those are that a guy is “tough,” “mean,” or an “all around bada$$.” It is also believed that a bald head gives a “don’t mess with me” vibe. In the old days, being with a male who could chase away predators without having to attack would also be seen as a very desirable trait to both genders.

“Survival of the Fittest”?

Going bald though may not give that bada$$ vibe to every predator out there though. Animals aren’t smart, but they know how to pick out the weakest one in a group. If they notice most humans have hair atop their heads, then they may assume those without it are weak, and therefore, easier prey. Whether or not that is true has yet to be tested, as we don’t think anyone is volunteering to be locked up with a deadly animal to prove a point about going bald.

What do you think of these theories? Do you agree with some? Do they just not make sense? Let us know which ones are your favorites, or if you have a theory of your own, share it with us below.

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