Friday, December 12, 2008

Hair and your Health

Hair and your Health

Hair and your HealthHair is a complex and delicate part of your body. Keeping it healthy and beautiful is a challenge. Here's a guide that will help you do just that

Hair is cylinder of dead tissue. Damaged hair can never be fully restored to its original condition. The main factor in growth of the hair is the kind of cells that exit in the hair follicles from which the hair grows in the individual person. Each individual hair is also different in one individual .Hair- care products are intended to promote certain favorable conditions of hair and to reduce of eliminate properties of hair, which are regarded as undesirable.

Causes and symptoms:

Reasons for Hair Loss

Both men and women lose hair for similar reasons. Hair loss in men is often more dramatic, and follows a specific pattern of loss which has been termed "Male Pattern Baldness". This loss is caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Factors for male hair loss include: heredity, hormones, and aging. This may also apply to women but to a lesser degree. Women may experience loss of hair after menopause and 2-3 months after having a baby. Other contributing factors include: poor diet, poor circulation, acute illness, radiation, chemotherapy, high stress, thyroid imbalance, certain drugs, coming off the contraceptive pill, diabetes, high doses of vitamin A (more than 100,000 IU), sudden weight loss, high fever, iron deficiency, ringworm, some fungal infections, chemicals and hair dyes, vitamin deficiencies, and lack of proper nutrition

Drastic or premature hair loss may be caused by:

1. Stress and bodily weakness from overwork.
2. Dietary imbalances or nutritional deficiency.
3. Using abrasive shampoos, hair lacquers, dyes and bleaching, etc.
4. Endocrine disorder.
5. Genetic factors.
6. Infectious diseases.
7. Hormonal metabolic changes in lactating women.
8. Nutrient and protein deficiencies in the hair cells.


The normal life span for each hair is from three to six years. Each hair grows in a hair cycle that can be divided into three stages: the growing stage (Anacin) lasting from two to six years, the partial degeneration stage (Catalan) lasting between 10 and 14 days, and finally the resting phase (Telogen) during which time the hair is shed and there is an involution of the hair follicles lasting about one hundred days.

Routine care of scalp and Hair:

It is very important to have day to day care given to hair and scalp to maintain its health and to increase its beauty. This routine includes brushing, combing, cutting, shampooing, massaging and application of hair dressing/lotion.

Brushing & Combing:

Importance of brushing and combing

Many sebaceous glands are distributed over the scalp. When the hair is brushed, sedum secreted from these glands spreads over the surface of the hair and makes it glossy and supple.

Brushing and combing temporarily affects the blood circulation of the scalp.

Care in selection and use of brush and comb

Well spaced bristles.

Easy Cleaning

Individual use to avoid spread of disease.

For long hairs brushing should begin at near the bottom of each strand and slowly reaching the top and then beginning from scalp and sweep down the entire strand of hair without encountering any tangle. Careful treatment of this nature excludes the breaking and tearing of hair.

When the hair is weakened and its attachment is less the normal, frequent and vigorous brushing may increase hair fall resulting in further damage. Under such condition gentle massage of the scalp could be done and daily vigorous brushing should be avoided.

Massage with Hair oil:

Hair oils especially those containing herbs are one of very important in hair care. They should be used once every week and left overnight.

Oils penetrate into the surface of the scalp with nutrients. Any oil soluble active substances then get dissolved in fatty covering on the scalp skin when gently massaged. This also helps in increasing the blood circulation. These nutrients along with various vitamins are then transported into the deeper layers. From the blood capillaries are then transported into the deeper layers. From the blood capillaries are then transported to the cells involved in the syntheses of keratin (hair protein) and thus increasing the hair growth.


Primary objective is to clean hair and scalp of all foreign matters. The ideal shampoo should clean the scalp without producing irritation or causing excessive reduction of the natural oils, they should have pH less then 7(acidic)

Importance of pH for hair shampoos:

Dry hair has no pH. Only when the hairs are wet and in water they have acidic pH (between 4.5 to 5.5). Acidic products give astringent effect on the hair outer layer-cuticle.

Decreasing the evaporation of moisture and dissolution of proteins.
Imparts natural shine to the hair.
Increases elasticity.
Decreases tangling.

After shampooing proper drying is necessary since the tensile strength of hair is at its lowest when it is wet. Brisk rubbing should be avoided. Idealy hair should be exposed to low heat such as sun or mild heat of drier.

After shampoo appropriate hair dressing lotion should be used to put the hair bark into condition with regards to manageability and luster.

After shampoo hair preparations(Hair dressing / Hair lotion)

A good antiseptic, conditioning and stimulating hair product is helpful in the maintenance of healthy scalp. The use of such preparation with ordinary scalp hygiene may help to clean the hair and scalp as bacteria free as possible and improves the appearance of hair.

Modern Day problems Associated with Hair and Scalp:

For most hair related problems, internal medicine plays important role then external application. In recent times hair & scalp have become target of many ailments. There are many problems that can be associated with hair & scalp due to:

1. Air and water pollution.
2. Use of shampoos and conditioners containing harsh chemical.
3. Use of common combs and brushes in establishment such as
barbershops and beauty saloons. Problem associated with scalp arise
due to lowering of the resistance may be because, frequent washing
with the strong soaps and shampoos, excessive secretion of oil and
sweat glands, over exposure to sunlight. There are three common
diseases associated with scalp. 4. Seborrhea
5. Dandruff
6. Hair loss


It is an excessive secretion of sebaceous glands giving hair oily looks. This condition may also be related to the hormonal secretion of an individual. It is excellent medium for bacteria to grow the causing pathological conditions leading to dandruff and hair fall. The most important treat is the removal of excess fat and maintenance of clean scalp.


Cause of dandruff is still debatable. It may be due to :


Excessive sebum secretion (this leads to the growth of micro-organism irritating the scalp causing itching)

Physiological error in the shedding of the dead cells, which are then stick together and fall off in the form of flakes. Control of dandruff equires unique combination of different mode of action such as:

Effective removal of existing dandruff from the hair by use of good shampoo .

Inhibition of excessive production of new cells in the uppermost layer of the scalp.

Control of excessive sedum production .

Use of hair products with microbial, anti- inflammatory and soothing action.

Hair and your Health
Hair loss:

Hair loss can be repaid or gradual. With the healthy scalp loss of 50-100 hairs is normal. It is concern when it exceeds more than 100 hairs per day or hair no longer grows back on any part of the scalp. Loss of hair may be due to various causes.

Natural symptoms of aging.

1. Inherited baldness
2. Following infectious diseases.
3. Accompanying of following skin infections.
4. Following disturbance in the diet, digestion or metabolism.
5. As long as the roots of the hair remain healthy, there is chance of
6. Taking constant care can control hair fall
7. Determining the actual cause of hair loss.
8. Regular massage of the scalp using herbal hair oil.
9. Use the mild shampoo without harmful chemicals
10. Use of astringent scalp conditioner.
11. Application of hair packs with herbs providing nutrition, stimulation,
disinfecting etc.

When people reach there thirties, regardless of their gender, signs of aging begin to show on their scalp, with receding hairline, thinning hair, and especially in the crawl area. From the first hint of hair loss to complete baldness can take a long time, but it can also happen in just a few years.

How to achieve and maintain a healthy head of beautiful hair.

Three main things are needed for a good-looking head of hair -- good health, the right attention to cleanliness, and caution when using cosmetic treatments.

Hair and your Health

1. Adequate Diet

Hair growth depends on an adequate diet. A widespread diet problem, which causes loss of hair, is iron deficiency Anemia. The cause is too little iron in blood, brought on by a diet containing too little meat, eggs, cereals or peas and beans. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also needed to provide vitamin C, which enables the body to absorb iron.

2. Cutting the hair

Although cutting the hair is not essential to its well being, it is easier to keep the scalp clean if the hair is kept reasonably short. Regular cutting does not make the hair grow strong or faster.

3. How hair can be damaged

Although scalp hair is hardy, and can withstand a lot of abuse, it can be damaged by too much or inexpertly applied perming, dyeing, bleaching and massage. The amount of beautying the hair can take varies from person to person. Occasionally the scalp is allergic to the dye and becomes inflamed and swollen. To prevent this occurring, applying it to a small area on the arm should test the dye. If a patch of inflammation has developed, the dye must not be used on the hair.

Most people who bleach their hair do so with hydrogen peroxide. If the peroxide is repeatedly applied, it may make the hair brittle. If this happens the hair may turn rough, develop split ends, or become thinned or shortened.

How To Deal With Dandruff

Some are of the opinion that at the early stages of hair loss, dandruff begins to increase. However, an increase in the amount of dandruff does not necessarily mean that there is a "cause-effect" relationship resulting in the thinning of hair.

You should think of excessive dandruff as a warning sign as far as the health of the hair is concerned.

Dandruff is made up of bits of dead skin that peel away from the scalp as a result of the effects of metabolism. Normally, dandruff, in its early stages of growth, is not visible to the naked eye. It becomes visible only after enlarging into pieces of dead skin (what we normally call "dandruff") as a result of the propagation of bacteria and/or problems with seborrhea scalp conditions.

Persons suffering from prolonged dandruff are said to have a dandruff ailment. This type of ailment, accompanied by itchiness, can lead to eczema if it worsens. Suppressing the propagation of bacteria is one means of dealing with fatty dandruff. This is because bacteria are one of the causes of this condition.

If possible, try to shampoo on a daily basis to prevent bacterial propagation. One effective means of dealing with dandruff is to disinfect the scalp area with commercially available medicated shampoos specifically designed for dandruff removal. However, daily shampooing can lead to eczema for persons who suffer from dry scalps. Shampooing once every three days may be ideal for such persons.

Persons who suffer from persistent, hard-to-cure dandruff are urged to consult a skin specialist.

Life style:

·The foremost consideration in the treatment of this disorder is to keep the hair and scalp clean so as to minimise the accumulation of dead cells.

·The hair should be brushed daily to improve the circulation and remove any flakiness.

·The most effective way to brush the hair is to bend forward from the waist with the head down towards the ground and brush from the nape of the neck towards the top of the head.

Ayurvedic supplements:

Yoga to cure Hair Loss:


Dev from Kolkata

This message has been posted on HMGoogleGroup by: Dev from Kolkata
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ZealousHerbals said...

this good post for hair care such a great information thank you for sharing this article
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