Good Hair

Good hair is healthy hair

Hair can be intrinsic to our image, so ageing changes may diminish our confidence. It’s a shock when we find our first silver strand. A sure sign that ageing is underway is hair greying and thinning. Tresses undergo torture from chemicals, heat, friction and more over their typical seven-year life cycle. Everybody’s hair becomes finer, lighter and drier over time. Deficiencies, genetics, hormones, illness, lifestyle, pharmaceuticals and the products you use all play a part in hair colour, quality and thickness.

Hair goes through growing and falling phases as follicles sprout around 20 hairs in a lifetime. Through the three hair cycles — anagen (growth), catagen (regression) and telogen (rest and shedding) — it’s estimated that 10 per cent is in the telogen phase most of the time.

Women while in menopause or post-partum are particularly prone to hair loss as oestrogen and progesterone plummets. Men are susceptible to hair loss due to male hormones testosterone, androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone, with approximately two thirds of men suffering male pattern baldness by age 60.

Some people go grey very suddenly from shock or environmental influences. Apparently, Marie Antoinette’s hair turned grey overnight just before her beheading in 1791. Generally, greys gradually take grip when the pigment melanin reduces. Some trichologists theorise that oxidative stress depletes hair’s melanin, thus stripping the colour. Keratinocytes that build the hair shaft also become sparser over time so hair follicles get smaller and the growth cycle shortens. Scalps get drier as lipid production wanes, resulting in less shine, smoothness and softness. Dandruff or a flaky scalp can also increase due to dryness and UV damage.

Harmful hair habits

Hair endures years of washing, teasing, colouring, spraying, curling and straightening. Avoid the following to maintain your mane:

• Heat on hair and scalp from electrical devices, heating, sun, water or products
• Heating foods
• Using chemical products
• Stress
• Harsh brushing, especially when wet
• Wearing hair accessories that strain hair strands
• Not brushing hair
• An imbalanced diet
• Smoking
• Washing hair too frequently
• Chlorine swimming pools
• Taking medication that affects hair adversely
• Excess alcohol, dairy, gluten and dairy can aggravate scalp conditions such as dandruff and psoriasis

15 hair dos

Regular care can keep your locks happy for longer. Try these tips to preserve your lovely locks:

1 Address hormone imbalances
2 Apply a hydrating pack weekly
3 Avoid tangles by wearing hair in a plait or loose bun
4 Comb ends first followed by roots to ends
5 Brush when dry with bristle brush, or wide-tooth comb gently when wet
6 Do a hair and scalp cleansing treatment once a month
7 Get regular trims
8 Have a healthy, balanced diet
9 Keep the hairdryer on a medium heat and at least 15cm from your head
10 Massage scalp daily with or without oil
11 Reduce stress
12 Rinse with cool water
13 Use a shower head filter
14 Prefer natural products
15 Wear a hat in the sun

Trichology tricks
Ageless icon Jennifer Lopez admits to going grey prematurely at age 23. “I have to have [my roots] touched up every couple of weeks,” she told People magazine. Who would’ve guessed this diva’s crowning glory was due to a hairdresser’s help? Anyone can improve their hair with a great coiffure and a little tender loving care.
It’s also very admirable when some embrace ageing without feeling they have to cover it up. Jane Fonda recently told Ellen DeGeneres about her decision to finally go grey at 83: “Enough already with so much time wasted, so much money spent, so many chemicals — I’m through with that,” she said.
Being bald can also be beautiful, as Yul Brynner and Sinead O’Connor exemplified. Mae West concurred: “A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald, but if he has fire, women will like him.” We exude appeal when we’re confident and comfortable.
Rather than competing with others, reflect on how your hair could be conditioned back to its glossy greatest.
Try these five tips for flair.
1 A cut above
A good cut and colour can completely transform your look. Make-over shows such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show how a new hairdo can enhance natural beauty and youthfulness. The days of blue rinses or grey buns for mature woman are long gone. Ageless icons exemplify how a haircut should be customised for your features, not your age. Draw celebrity inspiration from Halle Berry’s blonde undercut, Dame Judi Dench’s pixie cut, Helen Mirren’s bob with bangs and Michelle Pfeiffer’s tousled layers. If the thought of daily styling and products makes you panic, choose an effortless option that flows with your natural texture. A fringe can cover forehead wrinkles and frame sparkling eyes. A pixie cut is great to accentuate cheekbones and lift jowls. Long layers with highlights add depth and dimension while streaks give a sun-kissed look. A sophisticated French twist with wispy sides is timeless. Father Time can stop for men when they have a hairdresser who can camouflage balding, receding and thinning hair without resorting to a Mr Burns comb-over or a Trump toupee tragedy. A classic clipper cut keeping it longer and messy at the front can disguise a multitude of issues.
2 Follicle food
Hair needs fertilising nutrients and circulation. When we’re undernourished, our hair loses its lustre and volume. A well-known side effect of anorexia is hair loss. Balanced nutrition with wholegrains, protein, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and pure water will grow fringe benefits for healthy locks.
• Grab a banana to get your hair buddy biotin. This vitamin is essential for keratin, hair’s protein building block. Low biotin will increase hair loss, dryness and greying.
• Protein is pivotal to promoting keratin production.
• B vitamins help by boosting scalp circulation, strengthening roots, preventing greying and decreasing  hair loss.
• Enjoy apricots, black-strap molasses and spinach for iron to nourish follicle and shaft.
• Vitamin A intake is a fine balance — too much can cause hair loss and too little aggravates a dry scalp.
• Nourish the scalp by ensuring you have adequate vitamin E from food like almonds and sunflower seeds.
• Iodine deficiency can cause thyroid disorders which incite hair loss. Seaweed and leafy greens are a reliable source of iodine.
• Collagen can strengthen the cuticle, facilitating flowing long locks.
• Silicon ensures that hair is more elastic and shiny.
• Munch on pumpkin seeds for the zinc to strengthen strands.
• To guard against hair loss, a flaky and itchy scalp, and dry hair, moisturise from within with foods rich in essential fatty acids such as flax seed oil, walnuts, oily fish and olive oil.
Herbs and spices that enhance hair growth are black pepper, brahmi, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, gingko, nettles, and fenugreek. Fo-ti is a Chinese herb for growth and to restore natural colour.
3 Brainwashed
The state of our scalp directly influences the quality and quantity. With UK research indicating that 42 per cent of Brits are concerned about a scalp issue, keeping a clear head is important. Scalps get coated with bacteria, fungus, chemicals, dust, pollution, product, sebum and dead skin cells. Common culprits that block scalp pores include anything ending in ‘cones’ such as silicones, dimethicones and trimethicones. Also, dry shampoo, heavy gels, mousses and hairspray — particularly if they contain drying alcohol.
Removing residue from the hair follicle is essential to allow the hair to emerge in a healthy and unobstructed way. A suffocated scalp can cause hair loss and stunt growth. The crown can be cleared by brushing, washing, shampooing, massaging and a weekly exfoliation. Ideally, aim to wash your hair, if even just in water, every alternate day. Ironically, a lot of clarifying shampoos on the market currently are laden with chemicals. An effective natural cleaner is antibacterial borax followed by citric acid, as advocated in Hulda Clark’s classic The Cure for All Diseases. It leaves your scalp squeaky clean, though it doesn’t lather.
To create your own clarifying shampoo, mix 3.5 litres of cold water and ⅛ cup borax (or boric acid) powder in a bottle, seal the top, shake well and let settle. This should suffice for around 8 shampoos. Follow with a citric acid rinse of 400mL water and ¼ tsp citric acid crystals mixed well.
Once a week try a pre-shampoo exfoliating treatment. There are many options, but an Ayurvedic favourite is shikakai powder. Available from Indian grocers or online, this favourite is hailed as ‘fruit for the hair.” Shikakai has a mild pH, cleaning hair without stripping natural oils while nurturing a clean scalp and long, thick, strong hair. Massage into a wet scalp with circular strokes as you would a skin exfoliant. Leave on for a few minutes before rinsing in lukewarm water.
4 Saturate strands
Long, hot showers, UV exposure, chemicals and maturity make hair more coarse, dry and lifeless. Revive your hair with regular conditioners, moisturising masks or oil treatments. Oils such as argan, coconut or moringa massaged into the scalp and combed through will resurrect its shine and smoothness. Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint and rosemary encourage growth and natural oleation. After applying the mask or oil, sport a warm wet towel turban to promote penetration. Smooth cuticles by applying a light coat of oil to the ends after washing. Ayurvedic oils Kunthalakanthi or Neeli Bhringadi are excellent to deeply moisturise while reducing hair loss and greying.
5 Heavenly treatments
There are many options available to overcome hair loss, thinning, slow growth or dullness. Both natural and medical approaches can help. Permanent hair loss can be restored with a hair transplant such as micro-grafting, laser treatments and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Pharmaceuticals such as minoxidil and finasteride can promote new growth.
Diminish dandruff
The lamington look is more common in the elderly as seasoned scalps dry and shed skin. To reduce this, apply oil such as coconut once a week followed by a gentle chickweed shampoo with eucalyptus or tea tree oil.
Try this DIY recipe
• Make a chickweed decoction by simmering 500g chickweed in enough water to cover it for 10 minutes.
• Strain and mix 1 cup decoction with 1 cup shampoo base such as castile liquid soap.
• Add 3 drops of either eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil.
• Mix well and pour into a shampoo bottle.
• Lather and massage into scalp at least once a week
• If you make a big batch, store it in the fridge.
Nourishing egg rinse
For thicker, shinier hair, apply this egg rinse every second day.
1 Take 1 raw organic egg and whisk with 1 cup water
2 Apply to scalp and hair.
3 Massage gently
4 After 5 minutes, wash off with a natural shampoo

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

You May Also Like

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 05 21t142405.337

Botanical Beauty

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 22t140453.766

A healthy smile

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 17t135704.410

The Path to Body Neutrality

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 (1)

Beauty Secrets From Around The Globe