Myth Busters

Healthy Scalp for Healthy Hair: Nourishing and growing your hair from the roots

Flowing tresses, healthy shining hair, abundant volume….all of these are very desirable whether one has hair problems or not. And when one actually has problems of hair fall and hair loss, these may even feel much more desirable but feel unattainable.

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Let us understand what is needed for those enviable hair.

Hair as we see is only the dead part of hair. The actual living part of hair is the hair root or follicle. The hair root takes its nourishment from the deep scalp skin.

Just like when we want to grow a beautiful plant, we need nutrient-rich, healthy soil, one needs healthy nutrient-rich scalp skin around the hair root for shining abundant hair. To achieve this, the scalp skin needs to be healthy.

Unfortunately, it is one of the most neglected areas of hair care today, as people are not aware of the need. The only time it gets attention is when there is a problem like dandruff or boils. In fact, most people associate scalp care with only right shampoo usage. But actually, shampoos only cleanse the scalp and hair. They cannot affect the hair follicle or deeper scalp skin in any way.  As the ageing of hair begins from the scalp, hence early treatment and prevention goes a long way in ensuring the rich healthy hair.

How to keep the scalp healthy?

Three Step Mantra – Protect, Nourish and Regenerate

Protect from dehydration and irritation, use the right shampoo and conditioner, and drink 10-12 glasses of water a day. One may need scalp moisturisers at times. Treat scalp problems, if any, like dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, folliculitis promptly. Delaying treatments can weaken the hair roots.

Nourish from within. Eat healthy foods – rich in anti-oxidants and minerals, avoid food rich in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and preservatives, Infuse vitamins, minerals and growth factors in the scalp. Include scalp nourishment a part of your regular hair care regime.

Regenerate – stimulate scalp regeneration by special scalp health treatments that help in loosening and removing excess dead skin along with infusion of antimicrobials and natural growth factors. If done regularly, prevents and reduces hair fall and other hair and scalp problems.

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Hair Care

Monsoon Hair Care

Gone the oppressive heat of summer, the first rain drops bring joy, cheer, freshness, even romance. Unfortunately our hair does not share that enthusiasm. Come rainy season, problems of hair fall, dandruff and lifeless, worn out, brittle hair start.

Here are a few tips to ensure that your hair stays happy and fresh this monsoon.

  • Wash Hair and Scalp Frequently: This tip sounds counter-intuitive looking at all the wetness around.

    The reality is, as the humidity soars and the hair gets wet frequently, we tend to reduce the frequency of shampooing and conditioning. This actually is detrimental to your scalp and hair. As the dead skin builds up, fungus and other microbes multiply on the scalp, leading to dandruff. Also, the environmental pollutants and dirt coming down with the rain are not washed off, increasing toxic build-up. All these increase the chances of wear and tear and brittleness.

    A good practice is to wash the scalp and hair at least alternate days using a mild shampoo. You may shampoo daily if you are exposed to rain water daily. Again avoid very hot water as it will increase dehydration of hair. Use only lukewarm water.

  • Condition them well: Use a gentle conditioner after each shampoo. Too thick a conditioner and the hair may go limp. If the hair is already getting brittle and worn-out, use a hair mask containing natural fruit and aromatic oil extracts. Apply the mask instead of your conditioner, leave it on for 5-10 minutes and rinse off.
  • Avoid oiling during monsoons: Oil clogs the pores increasing the chances of dandruff and itching. Also the quantity of shampoo required to wash off the oil leaves the hair dry and frizzy.

    If you can’t avoid hair oils, use only natural oils like coconut, olive or almond oil. Avoid perfumed oils and mineral oils. Use the natural oils in very small quantities, applying mostly on the hair and not on the scalp.

  • Groom your hair right: Change your hair grooming practices in monsoon. Drink that hot tea but avoid heating your hair – ie avoid blow drying in hot mode as well as hot ironing. Also avoid brushing wet hair. All these may weaken the hair further. Use dryers in cold mode, wide toothed comb – preferably wooden, to detangle the hair.
  • Avoid / tone down the hair styling products: They make the hair limp and clog the pores giving rise to dandruff and microbial growth. Pure aloe vera gel can be a good option instead.
  • Use anti-microbial shampoo, if you already have dandruff / itching / boils. Apply it with the pulp of fingers and leave it on for at least 5 minutes before rinsing off. Repeat at least 2-3 times a week. For severe or resistant dandruff, you may need further treatment and it is advisable to consult your hair doctor for it.
  • Eat hair-wellness diet: Diet containing Zinc, anti-oxidants and proteins help in keeping the hair healthy in monsoon. Ensure one helping of sprouts – sprouted moong, chana, soaked methi seeds, wheat germs along with 4 almonds or 3 walnuts daily.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water daily: This is very important as it helps carrying the nutrients to the hair roots. In addition, it prevents dehydration of hair.

Follow these simple tips and let your hair be happy this monsoon.

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Hair Trivia

7 Signs of Hair Ageing

Just like skin and other body parts, your hair ages too!

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  • Hair gets thinner
  • Hair fall
  • Slow growth
  • Looks dull and frail
  • Reduced hair density and volume
  • Scalp starts showing
  • Scalp feels dry

And you thought it was only greys that indicate hair ageing.

Ageing is inevitable and hair is no exception.

Between the ages of 15-30 years are the best years in terms of hair growth rate that is on an average 6 inches per year (1/2 an inch per month). Gradually hair growth slows down though it never ceases.  By and large hormonal changes are responsible for hair thinning. In men hair thinning is due action of DHT hormone  while in women it is the imbalance of hormones that causes hair thinning as evidenced in women with PCOD or menopausal women. Decreased hair volume and scalp visibility is a nightmare for any woman. Death of hair follicles results in failure of hair growth. A hair follicle has a lifespan of 20-25 hair cycles. (each cycle being 2-8 years, longer in women, shorter in men). Hence the reduction in hair density and volume.

Lack of hair nourishment is one of the main reasons for hair fall, besides medicines, illness and lifestyle.  “Weak” and thin hair looks dull and frail. Reduction in the production of lubricating sebum makes the hair and scalp dry, especially towards lower ends. It also tends to get brittle and ‘breaks’ or forms split ends.

Can we stop ageing? No. Can we defy ageing? Yes.

Infusing hair follicles with necessary nutrition and hormonal solutions can slow down and in many cases reverse the hair thinning by strengthening the hair follicles (where hair life begins). Growth factors and PEMF / Laser promote hair growth by stimulating new growth and enhancing the microcirculation. Scalp rejuvenation and hydration helps combat the dryness of scalp. You cannot stop aging but you can definitely control hair aging!

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Myth Busters

Demystifying hair – Part 1

In animals hair plays a major role as thermal protection as well as tactile sensation. As humans evolved the body hair started declining except on scalp. And the irony is while we want to further get rid of the body hair (we go through so much pain while waxing or lasing); we want more and more hair on our scalp.

Hair beautifies our face. Hair is transformational – have you noticed how a change in hair style can make or break your look.

All of us desire a beautiful and luscious mane. But first we ought to know our hair. Let us understand and demystify hair in this series of “Did you know”

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  • We have on an average 1,00,000 – 1,20,000, yes 1 – 1.2 lakh hair on our scalp
  • Men have denser hair than women.
  • Hair is a skin appendage; it is formed from specialized skin cells.
  • Hair is broadly divided into two parts – hair shaft and hair follicle.
  • Hair shaft is the part of the hair we see on surface.
  • Hair follicle is rooted deep into the skin, hence we cannot see it.
  • Hair is the second fastest growing tissue of our body; the first being bone marrow.

 

Food for thought…….

Hair is growing but is made of dead tissue!

Ever wondered why we do not feel any pain when we cut or iron our hair!!!

 

We will continue to unravel this mystique…..

Healthy hair = Happy luscious hair

 

…..your friendly Hair Expert

 

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Myth Busters

Demystifying Hair – Part 2

Continuing on our journey to understand our hair better, let’s begin with a quick recap of part 1 –
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  • We have on an average 1,00,000 – 1,20,000, yes 1 – 1.2 lakh hair on our scalp.
  • Hair is a skin appendage; it is formed from specialized skin cells.
  • Hair follicle (unit) is broadly divided into two parts – hair shaft and hair follicle.
  • Hair shaft is the part of the hair we see on surface.
  • Hair bulb is rooted deep into the skin, hence we cannot see it.

 

Hair is growing but is made of dead tissue!

Ever wondered why we do not feel any pain when we cut or iron our hair!!!

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Hair can basically be divided into 2 parts: Hair shaft and hair bulb or follicle

Hair shaft is the visible portion of hair – the thick dark strand that covers our scalp. This is formed of specialized skin cells. It does not have any blood supply or nerves – hence we neither bleed nor feel any pain when we cut our hair. This is made of compressed protein chains called Keratin.

Hair follicle that is the deeper portion of the hair (that we cannot see) is located deep into the skin. This is where the hair gets its blood supply and where new hair growth begins (hair bulb). Oil producing sebaceous gland is a part of hair follicle structure along with hair bulb. This helps lubricate hair and prevents it from getting dry and brittle.

Hair follicles are innate, we are all born with fixed number of hair follicles and no new hair follicles can be grown later in lifetime.

New hair growth means new hair shaft produced by the follicle.

This refers to Hair Cycle.

Till next time…..nurture your hair.

……yours friendly hair expert.

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