Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hair Care

Hair loss is a big worry for many. If you find a large number of hair strands while
shampooing or combing, you may think that you are on the way to baldness.
But it’s not so. In this article, Dr. Praveen V. Shetty, Dermatologist and Cosmetologist of Sanjeevini Skin and Laser Centre, speaks about the do’s and don'ts.

Hair grows from a structure called hair follicle which is situated in the skin of the scalp. Each human head carries millions of hair follicles and the number varies from person to person and it can not be altered by medicines.
The growing and shedding of hair depends upon the number of follicles and its health. Each hair follicle has its own cycle. The follicle gives rise to a single strand of hair which grows for about 2-6 years, and later it will shed. Again after a few months a new strand of hair grows from the same follicle and it can grow a new hair strand around twenty times over a lifetime. The average growth rate of hair follicles is 0.05 cm per month. Hair growth is like a cycle that consists of three phases: Anagen (active growth), Catagen (transition) and Telogen (resting phase).
Every person loses around 50-70 hair strands per day which is normal. When it exceeds more than that, it is considered as abnormal. Generally, if you find more hairs on your comb or on pillow or in the bathroom, your hair loss is more than normal.
The most common cause for hair fall is stress and lack of nutrition.
If stress is reduced by providing sufficient nutrition, hair fall level comes down. But the present generation gorges on fast foods and junk food which will not provide a sufficient amount of nutrition. Other causes are dandruff, pollution, hormonal diseases, infections, antibiotic intake, scalp infections like lice, ringworm, excessive washing of the hair, blow drying, vigorous combing, using of harmful chemicals as hair dyes, hair straightening techniques, certain harmful shampoos, over-exposure to sun, etc.
Is hair-falling hereditary?
When does hair-falling start?
It can not be said exactly. In the older generations, hairs used to fall after 30 years, but in the present generation, we can find more hair fall in youngsters who are between 18-24 years.
Can density of hair be changed?
The number of hair strands from birth cannot be changed; it remains the same.
Does using gel or soap lead to hair fall?
Yes. Basically, when one applies gel, it should be washed off the next day. But avoid daily usage of gel. If you find bar soap is okay, stick to that. Make sure it should not be very harsh. Use a gentle soap and keep forehead clean all the time.
How should we use shampoo and comb our hair?
While shampooing, avoid piling your hair on top of your head as this causes tangles. Do not comb wet hair as it tends to break more easily. Use a broad brush. First, remove the tangles from the ends of your hair and then comb your hair from the entire length.
Is it harmful to wash hair daily?
If it is oily hair, have a daily wash using a mild shampoo. Don’t apply conditioner or oil. Use an anti-dandruff shampoo once a week and a regular shampoo. Don’t apply conditioner to the scalp, just apply it to the hair. If the scalp is dry, wash twice a week. Oil it regularly and apply egg to your hair once a week. Have a balanced diet.
Is using mehandi good for hair?
Mehandi is good, but it should be chemical free. Brown mehandi, kala mehendi are chemical-based and are not good.
Does dyeing cause hair fall?
Yes, of course, as a dye is made of harsh chemicals, it damages and dries the hair. It may also cause allergies sometimes. Basically, if one applies dye to the hair, some amount of dye will go to the roots, cause damage to the root and hair falls.
Is Homeopathy medicine safe?
Homeopathy medication is completely safe, without side effects, and does not affect your body in any adverse manner.
Will wearing a helmet lead to hair loss?
Wearing a helmet doesn’t lead to too much of hair loss but weakens the hair. It is also the same in the case of a cap or a hat.
Using shampoo and conditioner?
Stick to one shampoo. The basic purpose of a shampoo is to wash away the dirt and the oil, therefore, use a mild shampoo. Apply a good quality condi- tioner once you clean your hair with the shampoo, but do not over-condition your hair.
Food to be taken?
Good balanced food, more vegetables, fruits, green leafy vegetables, eggs, poultry, fish, broccoli, yeast, basically Vitamin B complex and minerals.
Will oil massage help? Use of oil?
Yes, an oil massage will help. In parlours, they massage oil well onto the scalp and later they steam. This rejuvenates cells and encourages hair growth and makes hair stronger. Once-in-a-week massage is ideal. If oil is used regularly, it works for dandruff as it is caused due to dryness and when you go out, the dust won’t stick straight onto the hair, it will stick to the oil, which can be washed off and the damage is less.
Will pregnancy cause more hair fall?
During pregnancy, hair condition improves. Hair loss is seen 2-4 months after delivery.
Some women also experience hair loss after stopping birth control pills. This is due to a change in hormonal balance. Hair fall will gradually decrease on its own.
Any exercise for hair problems?
Bend your fingers, hold them close and rub your finger-nails together for five minutes by the watch, twice a day. Apparently this yogic exercise solves most hair problems.
Does any application make hair white?
Hair turns white not due to application of any substance to it, but because the pigment (colour) producing cells stop doing their job. Even if one apply the harshest of chemicals, colours or bleach to hair, it turns dry and develop split ends and even fall out, but it will not cause white hairs.
Can improper care of hair cause hair loss?
Yes. If you wear pigtails or cornrows or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss. Some hair style can also cause hair loss.
Does sleeping pattern control hair loss?
Comb hair gently before going to bed, remove all bands or clips. Use a satin pillowcase, which allows your hair to move smoothly and thus cause less breakage.
How to avoid baldness?
Hair weaving or hair transplantation are both successful methods of avoiding baldness.
Precaution to reduce hair fall and strengthen hair:
• Apply, egg. It is one of the natural con-ditioners, nourishes the hair. It should be washed in normal temperature water. Do this once a week.
• Apply Curd and wash off after half an hour. Do this once a week.
• Deep condition of hair regularly is necessary.
• Avoid heat treatments like blow-drying, ironing, for some time.
• Use of mild shampoo.
• Drink plenty of juices, water and eat vegetables.
• Apply conditioner just to the hair, not to the scalp.
• Don’t comb wet hair and untangle knots very gently.
• Don’t keep on running fingers.
• Apply oil once a week
• Wash hair with warm water as far as possible.
• Trim hair regularly to avoid splits.
• Take up meditation and yoga to avoid stress.
• Use of too hot water also damages the hair.

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