Essential Oils and Your Hair

Essential Oils and Your Hair

Essential oils are beneficial for many things, one of them being our hair. The best thing about essential oils for me is that they are all natural. They come from the heart of nature and I am a firm believer that everything we need for health, and cures for sickness, disease and ailments can be found in nature.

Some of the best essential oils and their benefits for hair are:

  • Chamomile Oil – Is considered to be one of the most soothing essential oils for hair and scalp. It keeps the scalp from drying out and is great for dry brittle hair.
  • Peppermint Oil – Stimulates circulation and blood flow to the scalp, improves hair growth and is very nourishing.
  • Myrrh Oil – Great for dry scalp and helps to treat dandruff. It is also great for the skin.
  • Lavender Oil – Helps with itchy scalp and aids in preventing dandruff; helps to prevent breakage and improves hair growth as it conditions.
  • Rosemary Oil – Stimulates the hair roots, promotes healthy growth and increases circulation to the scalp.
  • Tea Tree Oil – A natural hair tonic that helps prevent bacterial and fungal problems. It unblocks sebaceous glands and stimulates the scalp.

There are some key things to know when working with essential oils:

  • Most essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin. Instead they should be combined with carrier oils.
  • There are a few essential oils that are generally recognized as safe to use undiluted. Lavender and tea tree oil are two of them.
  • Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
  • Never use an undiluted essential oil on a baby or child as children have much more delicate skin than adults have and tend to be sensitive to the potency of essential oils.
  • Avoid the following essential oils while pregnant or nursing and skip using them completely in your first trimester: Aniseed, cedarwood, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, ginger, jasmine, lemon, rosemary & sage (this is only a partial list. Do your research).
  • To test if you’re sensitive to an essential oil combine one drop with ½ tsp carrier oil and rub on the inside of your arm. Wait a few hours and if no redness or itching develops you’re most likely okay to use it.
  • Do not take E/O’s internally, especially oils like wintergreen and eucalyptus. In fact there are some essential oils that are considered toxic and should be avoided even through skin contact so it’s best to do your own research. Luckily though these are NOT common E/O’s.
  • Keep all E/O’s out of the reach of children and avoid eye contact.

Author: Denika Penn Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products available at Amazon or at http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com

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My Hair Is Challenged!

frizzy hair 1

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

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Hair Loss & Iron Deficiency

Hair loss is quickly becoming a growing (no pun intended) and major concern for many women and men. The truth is that hair loss can cause a great deal of insecurity within the person having the experience.

The bottom line truth is that hair loss is usually caused by some form of deficiency occurring within the body. It is not a “normal” thing that comes with getting older. Most people shed 50 to 100 strands of hair daily. With about 100,000 hairs in the scalp, this amount of hair loss shouldn’t cause noticeable thinning of the scalp hair.

One of the most common causes of hair loss in pre-menopausal women is not hormones, but a nutritional deficiency, with depleted iron stores being the most important factor. However, there are many factors that can contribute to hair loss in both men and women.

Iron is a mineral that is a necessary nutrient needed in the blood. The most important function of iron in the human body is helping the production of both hemoglobin (the substance that carries oxygen within red blood cells) and myoglobin. Myoglobin is a form of hemoglobin found in muscles. Iron is also involved in the oxygenation of your body’s red blood cells.

It is understood that levels of iron play a significant role in various body functions however, it is also essential for the normal growth and maintenance of hair. If the amount of energy used up by the body is not replaced by food intake, then other non-essential stores will be used up. Unfortunately, this means the hair cells, as they are not a vital part of living.

In order to maintain an adequate balance of iron in the body, the amount excreted must be replaced by the amount ingested. When the amount of dietary iron absorbed is insufficient, a negative iron imbalance occurs, and consequently, iron stores are called upon to make up the deficit.

The fall of iron stores normally passes through several stages: lowered iron stores, iron depletion and iron deficiency anemia.

  1. Lowered iron stores: This is indicated when the iron stores are reduced but not exhausted. No clinical effects are detected.
  2. Iron depletion: Shows up in laboratory tests. Hemoglobin concentration may be well below ‘normal’ for that individual’s reference range. If the patient increases their iron intake, the hemoglobin may respond by increasing.
  3. Iron deficiency anemia: No iron is left remaining in the bone marrow. Hemoglobin production falls to the point where concentration is well below the reference range. It is important to note therefore that iron deficiency (low iron stores, i.e. low ferritin) can occur even if the patient is not clinically anemic and has normal hemoglobin levels.

Excellent natural sources of iron are

  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards)
  • Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
  • Iron-enriched cereals and grains
  • Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
  • Turkey or chicken giblets
  • Beans, lentils, chick peas
  • Liver
  • Artichokes

Your body is better able to absorb iron if you eat these foods along with foods that provide.

Author: Denika Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products available on Amazon. http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com

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What Is The Difference Between Hair Loss and Hair Shedding

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,

http:// http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com

 

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