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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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Trimming Your Hair For Optimal Growth

Hair-and-scissors

When we are on a mission to grow our hair, trimming it is something that we might not “really” want to do. After all if you’re trying to grow it why would you cut it right? Wrong!

In order to achieve optimal growth to your hair you need to trim the “dead” or “old” ends periodically. It is important to understand that as the hair ages (the ends of the hair are the oldest hair on the head), it goes through a wearing and tearing so to speak, thus resulting in split ends. If these ends are not trimmed they will continue to travel up the hair shaft, thereby weakening the strands and increasing the chances of hair breakage. So if you allow them to remain without trimming, what will result is broken off hair, which defeats the effort to obtain growth. Whilst trimming your ends will not make your hair grow faster, it is a necessary part of a healthy hair regimen. Note: By the time your hair is showing signs of needing a trim, the damage has already been done.

Whether you are a “naturalista” or you chemically process your hair, hair naturally begins to split around 3 months. If you chemically process however you might want to consider having a trim every 2 months due to the fact that the chemical relaxers weaken the hair structure.

The hair grows about ¼ to ½ an inch every month. If you regularly clip your ends you will only remove about a ¼ of an inch or less, leaving you with noticeable growth and retention of length. In the winter months due to the friction caused by the ends of our hair rubbing on our winter clothing, combined with the dry winter air, you may find that your ends split more. This can be avoided if you opt to wear more protective styles or styles that keep your hair off of your clothing (a cute hat is always a good alternative). If you find that you have to trim your hair more in the winter months, it’s okay… it will grow back.

Ever heard of trimming your hair by the moon cycles? I am a firm believer in this and always trim my hair during the waxing of the new moon. For more information on this go here http://lunarinsight.com/id97.html

Scheduling a regular trim (every 3 – 4 months) with your stylist will help you to not only prevent split ends but also to maintain the shape and style of your hair giving your hair a healthy appearance at all times. In between trims it’s a good idea to protect your ends by sealing them and wearing protective styles when necessary.

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

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Why Should You Deep Condition Regularly?

Deep Conditioning Denika Penn Carothers

Let’s first address the difference between a regular or surface conditioner and a deep conditioner. A regular or surface conditioner is formulated and designed to smooth the surface of the hair shaft. A deep conditioner is formulated with ingredients that are able to penetrate the hair shaft and follicle to deliver moisture to the hair from the inside out.

Examples of Regular/Surface Condtioners are:

Aussie Moist Conditioner
Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Hair Conditioner
Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
Nzuri Kra-Z Hair Grow Conditioner

Examples of Deep Conditioning Conditioners are:

Palmers Coconut Oil Protein Pack
L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Smoothing Deep Conditioner
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner

The most essential benefit that your hair strands will get from regular deep conditioning treatments is an infusion of the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. Hair requires nourishment, just like any other part of your body. Your hair needs protein to replenish protein lost due to external conditions and the normal wear and tear that we put it through. Deep conditioning can provide the necessary vitamins and antioxidants needed to repair any damage sustained on a daily basis.

Each strand of hair on your head has an outer layer called the cuticle. The cuticle serves to protect the inner layer called the cortex. Another advantage that regular deep conditioning provides is to keep the overlapping scales of the hairs cuticle lying flat and properly sealed. By giving your cuticle what it needs your hair will have a more smooth and shiny appearance.

Because our hair goes through a rigorous experience of hair styling, from chemical and color treatments to excessive heat styling, deep conditioning can shield your hair from damage and aid in repairing whatever damage has been sustained.

Remember that it is just as important to supply the nutrients your body needs by consuming nutritious foods and supplements because what goes on inside of the body will also be experienced outside of the body. When your hair is well-nourished, it is stronger and healthier.

If you want to have beautiful hair, it is essential that you deep condition it regularly. Deep conditioning your hair keeps your tresses soft, shiny and healthy. My highest recommendation is weekly deep conditioning treatments however you should get into the habit of doing deep conditioning treatments at least twice a month.

Author: Denika Penn Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products available at Amazon or at http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com  http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com/companyspotlight2.html

 

 

What’s In Your Hair?

What I have found with my hair is that the way I combine my products is key and I need more moisture in the winter than I do in the summer, but when I use less products combined it works better for my type of hair. In the past when I used too many products at one time I would experience a very itchy scalp and slower growth. My current regimen is as follows:

1. Co-wash every other week with Pantene Pro-V Natural Hair Co-wash Conditioner and shampoo every other week with a moisturizing sulfate free shampoo.

2. If I co-wash I skip the conditioning step, however when I shampoo I ALWAYS use conditioner, even though I deep condition.

3. Deep condition every week with a store bought deep conditioner or my own homemade concoction that I always add honey and olive oil to. I separate my hair into four sections and apply my deep conditioner to each section and then I two strand twist the section ending up with four two stranded twists. You can sit under a hooded dryer or heat cap for 30 minutes to allow for deeper penetration of the product or you can follow my method which is two cover with a plastic shower cap and leave it on for at least an hour, but usually two.

4. I ALWAYS rinse the conditioner out in cold water (in the winter I usually do cool water lol). I then re-twist into either four twists or two twists (top half and bottom half) and use a microfiber towel that I twist turban style, to remove the excess water from my hair.

5. I then apply my styling products. When applying my styling products I work it in one section at a time. I firstly apply a leave-in spray conditioner.

6. My second step is to apply coconut oil (or my own homemade oil concoction). Some people don’t like the smell of coconut oil. If you are one who doesn’t, you can use either, grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond or avocado oil or a combination of them. You want to be sure to use an oil product that has a small molecular structure which will penetrate the shaft and not sit on top of the strands.

7. I then work a conditioner into the hair (this product can be either a “leave-in conditioner” or you can just use the regular/surface conditioner that you use after your shampoo. A dime to nickel size amount should be sufficient for each section. If you have longer hair you might need more. Let your hair tell you how much it needs and try not to get too much product on the scalp.

8. I then apply a gel product and smooth it through with my hands from root to tip to work it in there good. At this point, if I am working with four sections I will re-twist the section while I apply product to the rest of my hair. If I’m working in two sections (which is usually when I am short on time), I don’t re-twist. I will apply the product to the lower half of my hair first and then the top section.

9. Once all of my styling products are in, if working in four sections I will then un-twist each section and gently separate the hair (or just shake my head lol) to achieve great curl definition. In the summer months I usually just wear wash and go’s and this is my wash and go method.

For more tips and tricks follow me on Facebook @ gethealthyhairnow.

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

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