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Hair Loss Concern Month.

Posted by Gary Heron, on May 29th, 2007, under TRICHOTALK

This month is the first ever National Hair For Life Month. A month totally dedicated to raising awareness of hair loss and the solutions available for the 4.8 million women and 7.9 million men in the UK who are currently suffering from thinning hair.

According to a new survey published during the month and carried out by Upjohns (Regaine), hair growth specialists, a staggering one in five adults (that’s men and women) aged 24 or under are concerned about losing their hair.

As a specialist in hair loss, trichologist, Andrew Bernie says: “Hair loss is not just something that affects older generations. It can strike at anytime and for a young person who is likely to care about their looks, it can be devastating.”

Interestingly, the survey also reveals that hair loss is not just an issue which concerns men. In fact, four times more women than men have worried about losing their hair enough to want to seek treatment.

“One in four women are likely to experience thinning hair at some point in their lives so it’s not surprising that women do worry about the issue of hair loss,” says Andrew. “In many cases, the cause will be hereditary but there are times when other factors such as nutrition, stress and hormones will come in to play.” The poll also showed a clear north, south divide in attitudes towards hair loss. People in the south worry far more about losing their hair than those in the north. Despite this, northerners are nearly nine times more likely to seek treatment.

Darius Hughes from Upjohns (Regaine) says: “The north south divide revealed within this survey is particularly interesting from a psychological viewpoint. Whilst those in the south appear more concerned with their looks, those in the north are more open to seek treatment and perhaps take a more pragmatic approach to the problem.”

On a more light hearted note but one which also indicates the national concern for hair loss, the survey revealed that the ‘comb over’ hairstyle was voted the least attractive style for a man to have. It was voted as being worse than the ‘mullet’, ‘skinhead’, ‘curtains’ and ‘kojak’ amongst others. David Beckham however, who is noted for sporting a wide range of hairstyles, was nominated as being the man with the most ‘mojo’ – his personal magnetism and charm putting him top of the poll.

National Hair For Life Month’s sole purpose is to provide advice to those who suffer or are concerned about thinning hair. As part of the activities during National Hair For Life Month, Regaine has teamed up with some top notch experts to give hints and tips on making the most of your locks.

Regaine is a clinically proven treatment for hereditary hair loss and when used as part of a daily grooming regime it stops further hair loss in eight out of 10 people. It is also clinically proven to regrow hair in three out of five people.

For further information and advice, log on to www.thickerhairadvice.co.uk

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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How To Look After Black Hair.

Posted by Gary Heron, on May 29th, 2007, under BLACK AFRO-CARIBBEAN HAIR LOSS

The typical hair and hair follicles of those of African descent are tightly curled, thus producing hair that spirals. Black hair also typically has a larger diameter than Caucasian hair and retains less water, thus its relative “kinkiness.” The many styling methods utilized on Black hair cause concern with hair loss. Black hair is very strong, fortunately so because Black hair styles cause a great deal of Stress on the hair and scalp.
For example, using a hair pick to pick the hair up to a bushy style is a very damaging process due to the constant pulling causing stress on the hair shaft as well as the follicle. In fact, combing Black hair in general can create high stress on Black hair and cause breakage, which perpetuates dryness. Conrowing and braiding are methods of hairstyling that pull the hair tight, and this can cause a great deal of stress on the hair and scalp resulting in hair loss. Braiding that results in the hair being pulled very tight can cause traumatic alopecia, a hair loss that is caused by trauma to the hair and scalp. Traumatic alopecia is usually reversible with proper hair care.

Hot combs and relaxers used to straighten hair can cause a great deal of heat and chemical damage to hair and scalp, which can also cause traumatic alopecia, and over time can cause permanent hair loss. This becomes especially true when the heat or chemically processed hair is pulled tight by rollers or a hot curling iron.

photo-0005.jpgHot oil conditioners are excellent for Black hair, as hot oil treatments contain proteins and polymers vital to repairing the hair cuticles. Hot oil treatments involve heating the oil and putting it into the hair and scalp, then covering the hair with a plastic cap to allow the oil to soak in. Follow the recommendations on the treatment you are using for the amount of time you should leave the treatment on the hair. This process can heal breakages and shinier stronger hair will be the result.

Consider that hair relaxers commonly used on Black hair contain lye or similar chemicals that break down the hair shaft. Left on beyond the recommended time, these chemicals would eat right through the hair and cause it to fall out in clumps. This is why these same products are used in products like Drano® to clean clogged drains which often are clogged by hair. No-lye relaxers are very popular today, mainly because it leads people to believe that the product is not caustic. This is far from the truth. The combination of calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonate are combined to form guanidine hydroxide, which could just as easily clean a sink. Repeated use of such products can cause some degree of hair loss, and if scarring occurs while using these chemicals, the hair loss can be permanent in that area of the scalp. One must ask themselves is it wise to place such caustic chemicals in the hair on a regular basis for the sake of desired appearance? The question must be answered by each individual, however the facts should be known.

There is little that can be done to alleviate this syndrome without changing the typical hairstyles of African Americans. There is a catch-22 concerning relaxing Black hair, since combing natural Black hair causes so much stress and breakage of hair, while chemicals cause so much harm to the hair and scalp as well. There are a few hair-relaxing products on the market that use chemicals and are somewhat less harsh than sodium hydroxide (lye) or its popular equivalent in “no-lye” relaxers: calcium hydroxide (quicklime) mixed with guanidine carbonate. One such product is called Natural-Laxer® and Sahara Clay® by Baka ProductsTM that has been on the market since 1990. This product is all natural and because it does not contain many of the harsh chemicals of commercial relaxers and actually contains only a finely ground plant called Daphne Gnidium and clay from Africa it is figured to be relatively safe. Of course this product does not straighten hair in most instances the same way as commercial relaxers, however it does tend to make Black hair more manageable. There is yet another product on the market that is reported to be 92-96% natural which is called Naturalaxer Kit In A Jar™ that does not require the applicant to comb through the hair during the application, which results in a lot less damage.

photo5541.jpgOf course the bottom line is once again, if you can leave your hair in its natural state then you will experience less stress and damage to the hair and thus prevent at least one cause of hair loss. There is a growing segment of the Black population that is becoming comfortable with wearing their hair in natural styles. One such style is dreadlocks. There are many rumors and myths concerning dreadlocks, as there is little proper information available concerning this style, and as with anything that is misunderstood many myths arise around it. Dreadlocks can and must be washed; otherwise they will smell badly like any other dirty hair. The best process to use to wash dreadlocks is to use a residue-free shampoo. Most commercially made shampoos leave residue and can cause hair not to lock, lending fuel to the rumor that hair had to be dirty to form dreadlocks. Clean hair actually locks much better than dirty hair, as dirt is a residue in itself that will inhibit hair from locking. For best results one should use a fragrance free, conditioner free shampoo. Dreadlocks do not react well to oily and greasy substances, yet there are many good substances that are on the market today that will assist you in forming dreadlocks.

Dreadlocks are formed through a process, not simply by not combing or brushing the hair. Generally, one should start with hair about two inches in length, and the hair should be separated into even squares of hair and twisted gently together using a bonding or gel substance. Many use natural beeswax containing no petroleum, while others use loc and twist gels specifically formulated for locks. Once the hair is separated and twisted into small locks, it is important that they are left alone and allowed to bond naturally. The length of time it will take to lock will depend on the coarseness of your hair, but one can normally expect to wait several months before locks begin to form. While the hair is locking, it will need to be washed. Here is where washing should be extended for a while if possible, so that the hair can be allowed to lock for two weeks to about a month without manipulation. When you do wash your hair, use a stocking cap or “do-rag”, and low-pressure water to make sure that the newly forming locks do not come loose. It will be necessary to rinse for a much longer time than you normally do, because of the lower pressure of the water and the lack of direct manipulation of your hair with your hands. The water is good for your hair and locking process, so this is not a problem. It is also imperative as indicated before that you use a shampoo that does not contain a conditioner and leaves as little residue as possible. A little research on your part will be necessary here; your health food store should contain a variety of natural shampoos. Have a skilled professional or a friend re-twist the hair gently, reapplying the twist gel or beeswax that you used previously. Repeat this process every two weeks to a month, the longer you are able to wait the better, and within a few months your hair will begin to lock.

photo-0057.jpgAgain, if you have a fine grade of hair rather than a kinky grade of hair, a beautician skilled at forming locks (“locktitian”) or a friend who is very familiar with the hairstyle should be consulted. Even though dreadlocks are mainly a hairstyle for Blacks, there are other races that have people that enjoy the hairstyle. In general, it tends to be a style of hair that in the long run will give the hair and scalp needed rest from the rigors of chemical and heat treatments and rigorous combing and brushing, and therefore can contribute to longer life for your hair.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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Healthy Hair – We are what we eat!

Posted by Gary Heron, on May 24th, 2007, under HAIR LOSS SCIENCE

Healthy Hair

Hair that’s healthy and lustrous has always been highly desirable. Read on to find out how eating right can improve your appearance.

The condition of our hair depends very much on our genetic make-up. However, our diet also has some impact on the health of our hair.

Hair is primarily made up of protein. Adequate protein intake is therefore necessary to supply amino acids needed in the metabolic process for constant hair growth.

Chicken, beef, lamb, seafood, eggs all support health, providing the system much- needed protein. Soybean or other vegtables combined with grains also provide a complete set of proteins for vegetarians.

In addition to proteins, these foods also supply vitamin B, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids that play a role in preventing hair from becoming brittle or life less.

Hair colour and softness

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In our bodies, copper works as a coenzyme in our immune systems and is involved in bodily functions that involve energy produc tion. It works hand in hand with various metabolic enzymes especially cytochrome C oxidase, dopamine hydroxylase. If one lacks the mineral, he or she may feel weak and fatigued, have frequent infections, or skin problems.

More importantly, copper is also a mineral needed in the formation of haemoglobin, which flows in blood to the hair shaft and other parts of our bodies. A deficiency of copper may weaken the hair shaft and cause hair shedding. Furthermore, the production of the pigment melanin, that determines hair colour, requires the supportive function of copper enzyme.

Our diets should have sufficient intake of copper to effectively maintain the colour and softness of our hair, and lessen hair thinning.

This does not mean that we need to use copper utensils for cooking or ingest copper.

We can get the mineral from our daily nutritional intake. The following foods are good sources of dietary copper to meet the recommended daily intake of 0.9 mg for adults.

Meat, fish and other seafoods all supply copper. In particular, shellfish – such as oysters, crabs and clams – is known to be a good source of copper. Offal and liver have a higher copper content than cuts of meat. However, due to accumulation of toxins, liver is not a recommended food. If you like offal, the liver of younger chicken has a lower amount of toxins in it.

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In a vegetarian diet, nuts and seeds are the best source of copper. Copper content in a 100 gram portion: soybean 1.0 mg, chickpea (kacang kuda) 0.9 mg, yellow dhal 0.7 mg, orange dhal 0.7 mg, black gram 0.6 mg, mung bean 0.8 mg, red gram 0.7 mg.

The fresh ulam served in traditional Malay dishes are flavourful greens which supply copper needed for healthy hair. Copper in 100 grams portion: Indian pennywort (pegaga) 0.3 mg, laksa leaf (kesom) 0.3 mg, fern shoot 0.3 mg, ulam raja 0.2 mg, red chilli 0.2 mg, canned peas 0.2 mg, spinach (por choy) 0.2 mg, bamboo shoot 0.1 mg, betel leaf (sireh) 0.3 mg.

Zinc hinders copper absorption.

As long as we eat a balanced diet, research has shown that deficiency of copper in our bodies rarely comes from not getting enough dietary copper. Other than genetic factors, an overdose of zinc supplements would inhibit the absorption of copper in the body. This may result in copper deficiency and affect hair conditions.

In our diet, beef, lamb, chicken, pork, shrimp, oysters, eggs, milk, mushroom, oats, peas, sesame seeds and other grains, cereals, nuts and seeds all supply zinc. If you wish to include a zinc supplement in your diet, con sult a medical professional to ensure there isn’t an excessive intake. Zinc is an important regulator of many genetic activities. Zinc is essential for the body to read genetic instructions. When one does not have sufficient zinc, genetic activities may be impaired. Zinc is also responsible for cell production, tissue growth and repair.

Thus, to a certain extent, zinc is believed to have a role in hair maintenance.

Balancing oily and dry hair.

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In a hot and humid climate, we tend to per spire more. The acidic residue in the sweat may affect hair conditions. We need to con sume fruits and vegetables, especially the alkaline-producing foods to neutralise the acidic residue in our bodies. It is also impor tant to go easy on fatty and sugary foods, which the body will convert into acidic wastes.

Include generous portions of fruits and veg etable that are dark green, orange and yellow in your diet. Red and yellow plant pigments, vitamin A and carotenoids are required to maintain hair and ensure that it won’t become too oily or too dry.

While these are the nutrients that are inte gral to healthy hair, hair loss may not just be nutritionally related. For example, protein absorption can be hampered by low stomach acid and hair loss can be a symptom that accompanies other health problems. Low thy roid excretion, stress or drugs may also affect hair condition. Seek professional advice if necessary from a Trichologist.

Hard as nails.

photo3021.jpgA diet that’s good for hair maintenance will also sustain healthy nails. Eggs, seafood, meats and vegetables supply protein, biotin, vitamin A and calcium for the growth of firm, hard nails; thus, they are good for preventing brittle nails. White spots on nails could indi cate the need for more zinc while spoon- shaped nails could signal an iron deficiency.

Increasing the intake of red meat, seeds and nuts will be helpful to combat this. Horizontal or vertical ridges common among the elderly could be due to a vitamin B deficiency or stress that interferes with proper digestion and absorption.
The overall quality, and not quantity, of our diet is important, as we are what we eat.

We recommend having a close look at http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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Alopecia: What is it?

Posted by Gary Heron, on May 23rd, 2007, under ALOPECIA AREATA

Everyone is familiar with male pattern baldness, a condition that sooner or later catches up to at least two-thirds of men. But what about those three bald spots that appeared recently on the back of your head? You’ve recently noticed quite a few of your own hairs clogging up the shower.

What’s going on? What’s happening?

Alopecia: What is it?

The loss of some hair – about 80 to 120 a day – is normal, part of the natural process of growth and replacement cycle. At any given time, about 10 percent of hair on the scalp are in a resting (telogen) phase in preparation for being shed. A new hair then begins to grow in the same hair follicle. Excessive hair loss, partial or total, is known as alopecia. And it comes in many forms.

The male-type baldness that is most common typically occurs in certain patterns – a receding hairline, a bald patch at the crown or a completely bald top. This type of hair loss is primarily determined by genetics and male hormones.

In response to dihydrotestosterone, some hair follicles shrink or become miniaturized, producing progressively shorter, finer hair. Known as androgenetic alopecia, this type of progressive hair loss can begin as early as in your teens.

Women also suffer from androgenetic alopecia, although generally without a receding hair line or completely bald areas. A woman may notice general thinning on top with a more exaggerated part line, that can be masked through hair styling.

Women with androgenetic hair loss do not necessarily have higher levels of male hormone but rather more androgen receptors in hair follicles.

Similar appearing diffuse hair loss can be a result of telogen effluvium – a condition in which the normal growth cycle of hair become abnormally shortened, causing a predominance of hairs in the telogen or resting phase preparing to be shed.

Telogen effluvium is a temporary condition, usually caused by stress, either emotional or physical, or abnormalities of the thyroid, parathyroid or pituitary glands. It can be reversed by identifying and treating the underlying cause.

The patchy hair loss that are suffering is more than likely alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that affects about 2 percent of both men and women. Although it can occur at any age, this type of hair loss is actually more common in children and young adults.

There is usually no clear reason why the immune system starts to attack hair follicles, and the problem often goes away on its own, usually to recur later. In milder forms, no treatment may be necessary, but it is still a good idea to see a trichologist. In severe cases, the patient may lose every hair on the head or even every hair on the body.

Treatment may involve corticosteroids – taken orally, rubbed on the skin or injected into the scalp. Anthralin cream, a psoriasis medication, may also be used.

Treatment usually requires counseling, behavioral therapy and antidepressant medications. Damage to the scalp should also be repaired.

Traction alopecia refers to hair loss caused by hair styles such as ponytails or corn rows that put excessive pressure on hair follicles. With both trichotillomania and traction alopecia, it’s important to stop the damage before scarring of hair follicles occurs. Any disorder or infection that causes scarring of the scalp can cause irreversible hair loss.

In addition to treating the underlying cause, most types of hair loss can be reversed to some extent with minoxidil in a topical solution to apply to the scalp.

Minoxidil revitalizes and increases the size of hair follicles that are dwindling in size, creating increased hair density in a certain percentage of patients. Minoxodil should not be used on scalp areas that are inflamed, infected or irritated.

The other treatment for male pattern baldness, finasteride, works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. As an oral prescription medication, it is not approved for females. It’s too easy to dismiss thinning, receding or patchy hair as a cosmetic problem. Even though only about five percent of cases are caused by illness, hair loss can have a damaging effect on image and self confidence in social relationships.

Some persons have patchy hair because they can’t stop pulling it out. Trichotillomania is a compulsive hair pulling behavior that the individual may try to hide. Sometimes a response to stress, this disorder often starts in childhood. For further advice why not speak to one of our trichologists today.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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Hair Loss In Women – Causes And Treatment.

Posted by Gary Heron, on May 23rd, 2007, under FEMALE HAIR LOSS

Since the beginning of time, long, luxurious hair has been associated with female beauty. This stereotype puts great pressure on women to achieve this trait. Hair loss, although prevalent in men, is not rare in women. Most often hair loss in women has been concealed with wigs or weaves. Ironically, traction alopecia is a form of baldness which is caused by the physical stress and tension b the continued use of wigs, hair weaves or use of corn rows

Hair loss may be contributed by genetics, serious illness, prolonged use of medications, malnutrition or deficiency of vitamins. Hormonal changes due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy or menopause may also cause hair loss in women. Stress is yet another factor contributing to hair loss in women. Thyroid related problems have also been known to cause hair thinning in women. It is advised to consult a physician to identify the exact cause of hair loss in order to properly treat it.

Specific causes of hair loss in women may be chemotherapy used for the treatment of cancer, auto immune disorders and scalp yeast infections. Genetic factors cause a diffusing pattern of hair loss. This is caused by the actions of a pair of enzymes called aromatase and 5-a reductase. Prolonged use of certain medications can cause diffusion hair loss. Some of these medications are blood thinners, anti inflammatory drugs such as prednisone, medications for gout and thyroid medications.

An increase or overall volume of DHT might be the biggest, most common factor in pattern hair loss. DHT binds to the hair follicle and causes deterioration. Over time, the hair follicle degrades and the quality of hair which is able to grow in the shaft decreases until it is fully expired.

Whatever the cause, hair loss causes tremendous mental stress in women. Severe hair loss among women has not yet been socially acceptable as with men. Psychological counseling may be helpful to such women.

It should be understood that hair loss among women is far more common than most believe. For those suffering with such a condition, immediate medical consultation is suggested. The sooner the problem is identified the sooner and more effective the treatment will be.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help

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