Know Your Hair

HAIR - THE BASICS TO KNOW

  • Anagen
  • Catagen
  • Telogen

Hair is a strand made up of tough protein called keratin. Each hair strand is anchored to a hair follicle in the skin. Hair follicles cover all your skin, except the pair of your hands and soles of your feet.

There is a bulb shaped structure at the base of the hair follicle, called hair-bulb. In the hair bulb, living cells divide and grow to build the hair shaft.

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Anagen

This is the stage when hair grows out from follicles and the hair shaft is continuously built. This is where hair keeps growing in length. This can last between 2-5 years.

Catagen

In this phase hair is stopped building from the follicle. This is the stage where hair follicles are prepared for the resting phase. This usually lasts for a couple of weeks.

Telogen

The hair follicle completely removes it selves from the bulb from which it gets its nutrition. This is the stage where hair falls out and new hair replaces it.

Completion

Hair loss happens when the hair falls before completing the three cycles.

THERE ARE VARIOUS REASONS FOR HAIRFALL

Hair fall is caused due to various reasons, including lack of nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, aggressive weight loss, hormonal changes, lack of sleep, physical and mental stress, hereditary and improper intake of medication. Although hereditary patterns cannot be modified easily, most often, hair problems can be prevented. It is necessary to have a clear understanding about Hair and Hair fall if you need to know how to prevent it.

Hormonal changes are present in both men and women, especially after 35-40 years. They increase the sensitivity of hair follicles, weaken hair roots, and cause excess hair fall. Treatments are available to curtail the hair fall induced by hormonal changes.

Thyroid disorders – Thyroid hormone disorders and anti-thyroid medication almost always lead to hair loss. The hair looks sparse and the hair loss is evenly distributed all over the scalp. Successful treatment often leads to the hair growing back, but in some cases the hair loss is permanent.
If your parents have a hair loss problem, there is a good chance its genetically passed on to you. Though it’s very prominent in men, women face the problems too.
An imbalanced diet leads to poor hair nutrition which lead to hair loss. Lack of B- vitamins, minerals like Zinc, copper and also inadequate intake of proteins hampers the hair growth gradually leading to hair loss problems. Deficiency of iron causes Anemia and it is likely to cause hair loss.
Crash dieting is a form of physical stress, where the body is deprived of essential vitamins and nutrients. Hair follicles are starved without proper nutrition leading to hair fall.
Lack of physical activity leads to poor blood supply to hair follicles which lead to poor nutrition and hence hair loss. Sedentary lifestyle can be a major contributor to premature hair loss.
Stress can be physical or mental. Physical stress like any kind of surgery, accident, severe illness or drastic weight loss can cause temporary hair loss. Stressful events like these can shock the hair cycle and push more hair into the shedding phase.

Emotional stress though does not directly cause hair loss, it is likely to exacerbate a problem that already exists that has not surfaced yet. Sleep deprivation also leads to mental stress and that in turn aggravates hair loss.
Scalp damage due to dandruff, pollution, dirt, heat causes dry scalp and that may lead to hair fall. Scalp hygiene is critical for healthy hair. Shampoos and hair oils are useful in maintaining scalp hygiene.
Certain medical conditions call for treatments and surgeries that help to cure the ailment but often damage the hair follicles and cause rapid hair fall. Treatments like chemotherapy to treat cancer, steroids, and medication for typhoid, heart diseases, depression, etc. are known to be responsible for extreme hair fall to the extent of causing baldness.
Over styling, vagarious hair combing, use of chemical hair dyes, bleach, heat treatments and harsh synthetic shampoos over years play a vital role in damaging your hair and scalp causing hair fall.

HOW TO PREVENT HAIRFALL?

Understanding Hair growth and Hair fall is the first step in preventing Hair fall. Once the reason for hair fall is identified, the necessary step to neutralize the effects should be carried out. Reasons for Hairfall vary with age, sex & lifestyle. Attention need to be given on two major areas:

External Hygiene

External Hygiene

Maintaining Scalp and Hair hygiene with proper use of oil, shampoo, moisturizers & combing are important to prevent hair damage. But seldom they are useful in impacting the hair growth or hair strength.

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Internal Nutrition

Internal Nutrition

Regular intake of food or supplements rich in Biotin with few more vitamins and minerals are important in strengthening hair from within. Proper nutrition and improved blood supply are critical for strong hairs.

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TIPS TO PROMOTE HAIR GROWTH AND PREVENT HAIRFALL

I. EXTERNAL HYGIENE

Hair should be cleaned with the right shampoo twice a week to get rid of dirt, oil and bacteria build up. One should also be careful not to use too much of shampoo in one time or not to shampoo more than thrice a week, which will dehydrate the hair making it more brittle and prone to breakage. Using a proper conditioner after shampooing is also important.

II. INTERNAL NUTRITION

Researches have proven that individuals with sedentary life style often have poor blood supply to the Hair follicle leaving it weak and fragile. An active life style and physical activities like outdoor sports, gym workouts have better blood supply to the Hair Bulb, which is critical for strong Hair growth. But do remember to have adequate intake of Vitamins and minerals to fulfill additional requirements on work outs or else your muscles would take the best and starve your Hair for Nutrition.

DIETERY TIPS FOR HEALTHY OIL

Healthy and balanced diet is inevitable for healthy hair. Your hair texture only reflects the inner health of your body. Each hair strand is made up of tough proteins and needs persistent nourishment of vitamins and minerals that can only come from what you eat. So, let’s check what should fall on your plate that will lead you to healthy hair.

Get hair styling tips

It’s hard to avoid dryness and damage when you treat your hair like a science lab experiment. Experimenting with your look is good but the process often highly damages the hair strands. Heat, chemicals, hairbrushes, and hair styling tools are most likely to cause damage and lead to hair fall. There’s nothing more heart breaking than finding a huge chunk of hair tangled in the hairbrush and on the drain after a shower. You will be happy to know that there are still things you can do to protect and revive your hair while and after hair styling.

  • Shampoo well but not often – Frequent shampooing can strip away the natural oils from the hair making them dry and fizzy. Shampooing twice a week is ideal.
  • Handle wet hair with care – Towel-dry your hair after a shower. Do not comb wet hair or rub vigorously as freshly washed tresses are especially sensitive and need to be handled with care.
  • Avoid hot water for hair wash – Wash your hair with lukewarm water instead of a hot steaming shower. Rinsing them with cold-water post shower is a great way to combat the effects of damaged hair and produce the healthiest, shiniest strands possible.
  • Reduce the use of blow dryer – Air-drying your hair after a shower is ideal, but if time does not permit, set your dryer on the low or medium heat. Too much exposure to heat makes the hair strands dry and brittle.
  • Keep your hairstyles simple – Styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, and hot rollers can damage hair. Instead, you can choose the plastic or foam rollers to achieve desired results. You can also set your damp hair in braids for a pretty and natural wavy look. Use minimum pins and clips while styling as it might create tension and weaken the hair from its roots.
  • Using the wrong products - Shampoos with alcohol or sulphates can be really damaging to your hair. Choose your hair colour, bleaches, and perming gels very carefully as they damage the cuticles and makes the hair strands weak and prone to hair fall, breaking and split ends.
  • Getting addicted to updos – Putting your hair tied up tight in a pony for a long time can pull them at the roots and weaken them leading to hair fall.
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Hair Care! Know about topical application v/s oral supplements

Hair fall, hair thinning, fizzy hair and greying hair are very common problems among people of all age groups. These problems are caused due to varied reasons like imbalanced diet, sedentary lifestyle, pollution, stress, etc. There are numerous hair remedies that you hear and read about including herbal treatments, traditional home remedies, clinical treatments, hair spas, etc. The immediate and common remedies that people try when they experience hair fall are topical applicants like oils, lotions, serums, hair packs, herbs, etc. Topical applicants provide a temporary remedy for hair fall problem. They might give you some relief from the hair fall problem but it is definitely not a permanent solution for extreme cases. It becomes vital to tackle the problem by its roots, i.e. from within the body.

So who will come to the rescue in this crisis ?

The answer is oral supplements. These supplements provide your body with the required vitamins and minerals that your body lacks. The oral supplements get into the root cause of the problem and eliminate it permanently by supplying required nourishment. Hence, oral supplements are more trusted and reliable remedy for extreme and recurring hair fall problem. All you have to do is choose righteously.

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