No matter your hair type or texture, there are some challenges that are experienced by everyone with a head of hair.
Challenge #1 – DRY/DULL/FRIZZY HAIR
These are the most common complaints amongst individuals when it comes to their hair. Dry hair is a problem that every one of us has experienced at one time or another. Causes of dry hair can range from a too little water intake to too much product buildup to harsh chemicals in hair products. The first question I ask of persons who complain about dry hair is “are you drinking enough water?” To which most people answer “I don’t really drink water”. If this is you and you are experiencing dry hair, this is where you need to start. According to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D, the average adult human body is comprised of on average 50 – 65% water. The percent of water depends on your hydration level. Thirst is a key indicator that you have already lost 2 – 3% of your body’s water. If your body is dehydrated, so is your hair… as within, so without. Remember water = moisture.
If you know you are consuming adequate amounts of water and are still experiencing dry hair try the following:
- Be careful not to use too many alcohol based products.
- Deep condition regularly.
- Read your product ingredients and investigate if your hair might be having a negative reaction to one or more of them (for me personally Shea butter and my hair do not combine well)
- Add natural oils to your styling regimen. I always apply my oil to wet hair either before or after my leave in conditioner. The oils I have found work well for me are coconut, jojoba, sweet almond, avocado and grapeseed.
- Clarify when necessary to dissolve product build-up which can make the hair appear dull and dry.
- When using protein treatments, be sure to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment.
Challenge #2 – HAIR GROWTH
When it comes to hair growth, I believe that less is more… the less you do to your hair the more it will grow. Remember that hair normally grows ¼ to ½ an inch a month. These are the key practices that can aid in regular hair growth:
- Maintaining a clean scalp.
- A healthy diet and proper nutrition consumption
- Handling your hair gently
- Proper hydration (drink 8-10 glasses of water a day)
- Trim hair to avoid split ends
Challenge #3 – SPLIT ENDS
Scheduling a regular trim (every 3 – 4 months) with your stylist will help you to prevent split ends and also aid in maintaining the shape and style of your hair. In between trims it’s a good idea to protect your ends by sealing them daily and wearing protective styles when necessary.
Challenge #4 – DAMAGED HAIR
Your hair is your crowning glory, it is precious and so you must handle it carefully. When detangling your hair be gentle. I recommend using your fingers to detangle but if this seems like an impossibility for you, you want to remember to detangle gently using a wide tooth comb. Be sure to start at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the roots. Remember that hair is more fragile when it is wet so take care to be gentle with it.
Author: Denika Penn Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products available at Amazon or at http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com
Hair follicles on the scalp do not continuously produce hair. They cycle through a growth stage that can last two or more years then regress to a resting stage for up to two months before starting to grow a new hair fiber again. At any time on a healthy human scalp, about 80% to 90% of the hair follicles are growing hair. These active follicles are in what is called the anagen phase.
Hair loss is what we refer to when the hair has stopped growing. The medical term associated with this condition is anagen effluvium. The most common causes of hair loss include:
- Hereditary hair loss
- Immune system overreacts
- Some drugs and treatments
- Hairstyles that pull on the hair
- Harsh hair care products
- Compulsion to pull one’s hair out
If you are experiencing “hair loss”, your hair will cease to grow until the cause for the hair loss stops. Persons that undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments often lose a lot, if not all of their hair. When the treatment stops however their hair tends to grow back. Likewise persons on certain types of medications, for example antidepressants or thyroid medication, tend to lose hair which may appear to stay lost as long as they are on the medication.
However, hair normally sheds 50 to 100 strands of per day. If you are a “naturalista” and you do not comb or brush your hair in between washes, the amount of hair shed you experience during your washes might frighten you. You have to remember that if you do not comb your hair in between washes for 7 days, you have shed 350 – 700 strands of hair, which might appear to be a lot. However in these cases there is probably no need for alarm because it’s probably just a normal shed. Additionally if your hair strand density is more on the thicker side, 100 strands could look like 300.
If you are concerned by the amount of hair falling out, you don’t need to suffer in silence. You can turn to a dermatologist or more specifically a trichologist (one who specializes in the hair and scalp) for help. A dermatologist or trichologist can tell you whether you have hair loss or excessive hair shedding.
Author: Denika Penn-Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products,