When it comes to hair, you will be offered all kinds of advice, but what suits you is the question. This article discusses general hair care measures.
In most countries, women have long hair as a tradition. But, it has a few disadvantages. Hair becomes soiled due to the collection of dirt as a result of the shedding of the upper layer of skin or from dust from the atmosphere, salts from evaporated sweat, and bacteria. This dirt or dust is held on to the hair and scalp due to a film of greasy sebum and hair oils. In most cases, hair problems can be reversed when the right measures are taken.
Some of the commonly reported hair issues include:
Dandruff is a familiar hair problem that causes the skin on the scalp to flake. Though dandruff is not a serious condition, it can be embarrassing. Dandruff can have various causes like oily skin, dry skin, a fungus feeding on the oil present on the scalp, allergies to certain hair products, and other skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
2) Hair Loss:
Hair loss is one common historically discussed topic among men, commonly called male pattern hair loss. Hair loss is also common in women. Hair loss is caused due to factors like stress, hormonal changes, or using certain hair styling products. Hair loss can happen in different ways, depending on what is causing it.
3) Split Ends:
Split ends are when the ends of your hair become dry, brittle, and frayed. It is caused when you over brush your hair or use too much heat through blow drying, straightening, curling, lack of a good hair conditioner, or excessive perming. These split ends cannot be repaired and the only reliable method to get rid of them is by cutting them off.
4) Premature Graying:
Premature graying refers to a condition when the hair starts graying at a very early age. The hair color changes to gray or white before the age of 20 or 30 years. It is caused due to stress, genetics, hormonal imbalance, or smoking.
5) Dry Hair:
When the hair lacks natural oils and moisture, the hair becomes dry. It is caused due to exposure to the ultraviolet rays (UV) or the heat from the styling tools, lack of blood circulation, excessive hair washing, using hard water as the hard water soaks the natural oils from the hair leaving the hair dry and brittle and even nutritional deficiencies can cause dryness of hair.
Normal hair care includes keeping the scalp and hair free from this dirt and excess sebum or grease. To achieve this, the following general measures should be followed:
1. Avoid Certain Things:
Heat drying, combing wet hair, excessive perming, and coloring should be avoided as they lead to moisture and oil loss resulting in fracture of the hair shaft. A cool setting should be encouraged to minimize the risk of developing bubble hair. Damp hair is especially susceptible to environmental damage. So, gentle towel drying is recommended before blow-drying the hair.
Twice a week, shampooing keeps the scalp and hair healthy. Soaps should preferably be avoided as the pull on hair increases, producing more hair shaft breakage. Ketoconazole shampoo will help to eliminate the Malassezia species instrumental in seborrheic dermatitis, and it may also have a weak antiandrogenic effect.
Hair conditioners are used to restore the lost oil film after shampooing and provide gloss, bounce, and lubrication for combing.
4. Combing or Brushing:
Use of wide mounted and soft-bristled combs is advisable. They untangle the hair, dislodging the environmental dust, and reduce the greasiness of the scalp by spreading the oil over the hair shaft. Hair brushing should be done twice daily.
Though there are factors like age and genetics which cannot be controlled, diet is something you can have control over. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients can help promote hair growth and help prevent hair problems. Some of the foods you can take to have improved hair growth are:
Eggs - Eggs are a good source of protein and biotin, important elements required for hair growth.
Berries - Berries are filled with certain compounds that promote hair growth.
Spinach - Spinach contains folate, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C, which help in improved hair growth.
Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A helps in sebum production.
Fatty Fish - Fatty fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which improve hair density and growth.
6. Proper Oiling Your Hair:
Oiling and massaging improve the blood circulation to the scalp and also relax the muscles and nourish the hair. Oiling helps restore the moisture content and repairs the split ends.
7. Trim Your Hair Regularly:
Try to trim your hair at least every 6 weeks to 8 weeks to get rid of the split ends. Trimming does not actually make hair grow but improves the hair condition. It makes hair healthier.
8. Drink More Water:
Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining healthy hair. You may be using hydrating hair products but drink at least three liters of water every day to ensure healthy hair.
9. Avoid Taking Stress.
You may wonder what stress has to do with hair health? Stress can cause hair fall and unhealthy hair. You can manage stress by following stress management techniques such as:
Yoga and meditation.
Deep breathing exercises.
Spending time with loved ones.
Undergoing counseling or therapy.
It is totally normal to lose 100 to 150 strands of hair, so do not worry when you see a small bunch of hair across the floor. You cannot really control all the environmental factors, but you can improve the health of your hair by managing the factors that can be controlled. And most importantly, your hair needs the right nutrition to grow well, so take a diet rich in foods for healthy hair.
Last reviewed at:
13 Apr 2022 - 4 min read
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