Hair Health – Maintaining a Full Head
As we cross the 50-year line, we all gradually start losing hair on our head. No big deal. What the heck! It may be the time to play Telly Savalas, or, with the ladies perspective, Sinéad O’Connor – whatever fits the profile! But, premature hair loss – at a younger age, is the cause of great concern, unless, of course, one is counting on receiving the ‘reduced-work discount’ from the barber.
If you really like to keep that glorious thick mane on top of your head, it may be a good idea to start taking care of your hair while you still have that full head.
Hair – rather the bulb of the hais, is a living thing, and, like all other living organs in our body, needs nourishment. Premature hair loss is an indicator of some serious underlying issue in the body or defficiencies in the nutrients. It must be taken care of at the first sign of hair loss.
The Anatoy of Hair – Understanding Our Hair
The Human hair follicle is a complex structure – with the ‘living’/ parts hidden beneath the surface of the skin. Hair Structure can be divided into 3 major sements:
- The middle segment (isthmus) extends from the insertion point of the erector pili muscle to the entrance of the sebaceous gland duct.
- The upper segment (infundibulum) extends from the entrance of the sebaceous gland duct to the follicular orifice at the skin surface.
Hair shaft is composed of keratin (a protein), which is the same protein that makes up nails and the outer layer of our skin. Human hair grows at the bulb as the cell there multiply to form and grow into hair fibre. This process is called keratinisation.
Hair growth is cyclical in nature. Hair, produced in the follicle, stay up for a few month to an year. Then the bulb of the follicle undergoes spontaneous involution and disappears. The follicle then goes in a dormant state for a couple of months and the hair in it is shed. In this pattern, we lose up to 100 hairs from your scalp every day.
After that period, the stem cells within the remnants of the follicle regenerate a new hair bulb. During this regeneration phase, an entirely new hair is formed.
On the scalp, most hairs grow continuously for 2-3 years and achieve a length of up to 10 inches (36 cm) – one centimetre every month.
Causes for Abnormal Hair Loss
On average, we have 100,000 – 140,000 hair on our head. We normally shed somewhere between 50 and 100 hairs every day, and gain the same by way of new hair growth. But, there are many factors, namely; severe dandruff, fungus and germs, toxic metal contamination, hormonal imbalance, iron deficiency, low protein intake, birth control pills, pregnancy and menopause, and rapid weight loss,etc., that can speed up the normal rate of hair loss and, at the same time, hinder the regrowth of hair at the rooting stage.
Nutritional deficiencies and hormonal problems are two main culprits to be blamed for such abnormal hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or under-active, you may start losing hair at a faster rate. This hair loss usually can be reversed by normalizing levels of thyroid hormone. Hair loss may also occur if male or female hormones are out of balance. Male pattern baldness develops when hair follicles are destroyed as a result of being exposed to too much dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a metabolite of the male sex hormone, testosterone. This is especially true when it runs in families.
☞ The condition of your skin and hair is the reflection of what is going on inside your body – With a healthy inside, you will have a blemish-free skin and a healthy and a lustrous mane.
Natural Remedies, and Herbs for Hair Health
The following hair maintenance and hair loss prevention remedies will help you keep you mane longer and in good shape. Further, you will enjoy the fringe benefits of good health with no side effects.
Let your Hair Enjoy the Onion and Garlic juice:
Infection, germs, fungus, and parasites are some of the main causes for hair loss. Onion juice helps treat hair loss due to its high sulfur content, which also helps improve blood circulation to the hair follicles, regenerate hair follicles, and reduce scalp inflammation.
The antibacterial properties in onion and garlic also help kill germs and parasites, and treat scalp infections that can cause hair loss. The element sulfur also increases the production of collagen which in turn helps the hair to grow.
Here is how to ‘feed’ your hair onion and garlic diet:
♦ Extract the juice of one medium onion by grating it and then strain it. Apply the juice directly onto the scalp. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, and then wash it off.
♦ Crush a few cloves of garlic, add in a little coconut oil and heat it up (on low heat) for a few minutes. When this mix cools down – warm to the touch, apply it on the scalp with a soft massaging action.
♦ Repeat these two treatments alternately – two to three times a week for the best result.
♦ After applying it for a period of two months, when the symptoms (infection, germs, fungus) have disappeared, you will need to repeat it only once a month for a period of a few months.
Horsetail – An Excellent Herb for Hair Health
Horsetail is very rich in silica and selenium – the two minerals essential to make hair strong and give it the sheen and texture. These minerals also support the growth of hair and helps the body process iodine properly, which in turn supports the hair growth.
Here is how to enjoy Horesetail:
Horsetail is normally available as a dried herb, which can be used to make tea, shampoo, or drinkable liquid.
Steep 2 tea spoon of dried horsetail powder in hot water – makes a cup of tea. Take up to two cups a day. To make a shampoo, steep 2 table spoon in 4 oz. of hot water, and then add the mixture into your herbal shampoo – or just rub it into your hair directly and wash out with shampoo or a good soap.
Fenugreek (Indian: Methi seeds):
Fenugreek, also known as methi, is highly effective in treating hair loss. Fenugreek seeds contain hormone antecedents that enhances hair growth and helps rebuild hair follicles. The seeds also contain proteins and nicotinic acid that stimulate the hair growth.
Here is how to apply fenugreek seeds to your hair:
♦ Grind 1/4 cup of fenugreek seeds and soak in water overnight.
♦ Apply the paste to your hair and cover with a shower cap. After about 1 hour, rinse your hair.
♦ Use it daily day for a month or two – once hair health established, make it once a week treat.
Coconut oil and hibiscus are the secrets to a thick mane of hair. Hibiscus has rejuvenating properties – Regular use of the hibiscus flowers nourish hair, prevent hair loss and premature graying, and also helps cure dandruff.
Here is how to apply hibiscus flowers to your hair:
♦ Crush a few flowers of hibiscus and mix with sesame oil or coconut oil to make a fine paste. Apply this to the scalp and hair, leave it on for a few hours, and then rinse it out – use a shampoo made with natural ingredients.
☞ You can buy organic hibiscus flowers at your local health store or online.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla) Oil Extract:
High contents of vitamin C and antioxidants in Amla are good for hair growth. It can be found in the frozen section in Indian stores (named as Indian Gooseberry), or as a dry powder.
Here is how to apply Amla extract to your hair:
♦ Heat lightly one cup of coconut oil in a pan, add 5-6 Indian gooseberries, cut into small pieces. Heat until the gooseberries turn dark brown or black. Use the oil 2-3 times a week for the scalp massage
Aloe Vera contains enzymes that directly promote healthy hair growth. Also, its alkalizing properties can help bring the scalp and hair’s pH to a more desirable level, which, in turn, can greatly promote hair growth.
Regular use can also relieve scalp itching, reduce scalp redness and inflammation, add strength and luster to hair, and alleviate dandruff. Both the aloe vera gel and juice will work.
♦ Apply aloe vera gel or juice onto the scalp. Leave it on for a few hours, and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat the process three to four times a week.
Saw Palmetto Extract:
Saw Palmetto Extract is used primarily for Prostate health. But, the fringe benefit of it is the prevention of hair loss. Saw palmetto may indeed promote hair growth since it inhibits conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a known culprit in abnormal and premature hair loss.
☞ The recommended dose is 160 mg of an extract standardized to 85-95% total fatty acids twice daily.
☞ Use only the Saw Palmetto oil extracted by Supercritical CO2 Method – it ensure the highest level of potency.
When it comes to caring for your hair, coconut provides a host of ingredients that naturally condition and promote growth of hair. The milk of the coconut contains proteins, essential fats, and minerals such as potassium and iron. Using it regularly can reduce the breakage of hair. Coconut oil also carries the same rich ingredients, plus a lot more of the fatty acids. Regular massage with the coconut oil helps strengthen the hair shaft, from its root to the tip. Regular massage of the scalp with the coconut oil will keep your hair very happy.
☞ Use only the Organic Virgin Cold-Pressed coconut oil.
Eggs are another rich source of sulfur; they also contain a lot of protein and minerals, such as selenium, iodine, phosphorus, iron and zinc. This powerhouse of nutrients makes it an excellent promoter of hair regrowth, especially when combined with virgin olive oil.
Here is how to let your hair enjoy eggs:
♦ Take the white of one egg and mix in a teaspoon of olive oil. Beat to give a paste-like consistency, and apply to the entire scalp and hair. Keep it on for about 30 minutes, and then rinse it out with a mild shampoo.
☞ Make sure to use only the ‘Free Range’ Eggs – Try your local farmers or the organic food stores.
Vitamin B Complex:
B-group of vitamins have a wide range of benefits in the body. In particular, Vitamin B-3 increases blood flow to the scalp. The best approach is to take the B-group of vitamins together – as B-Complex, it preserves the synergy of the group and provides the optimum benefit to the body.
GLA (gamma-linolenic acid):
Take the essential fatty acid called GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) in the form of ‘black currant oil or the evening primrose oil, available in capsules or as soft gels at health food stores.
☞ The recommended dose is 500 mg of either type taken twice a day.
Finally, Relax and Enjoy:
It will be months before you will notice the reversal in the trend, and an increase in the hair volume – Be patient. Relax and enjoy the life.
☞ Remember! Hot water showers are not good for the health of your hair and skin. Always take cold showers (unless there is a medical condition) — Water temprature should not be more than the body temperature (98℉ or 38℃).
— Enjoy a Wholesome Healthy Life Naturally —
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- The Dermatologist Alternative Treatments for Pattern Baldness: Do Any Work?
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