Friday, September 13, 2019

Factors That Affect the Health of Your Hair

Original photo: Trifonov Igo | Shutterstock

In our eblast newsletters to Salon 1580 clients and friends, we feature a monthly “Q&A” column with hair professional Pat Alessi. This month’s question is:
“Dear Pat, I seem to have more bad hair days lately than good hair days. I try to take care of my hair. But it’s becoming lackluster and not growing as fast as it always has. Any suggestions? Your Client & Friend, Judi S.”

Thanks, Judi, for asking, and I am pleased to share with our regular readers and those who have checked out this blog post. (Additional information to our article below can be found in our blog post “18 New Year's Resolutions for Healthy Hair.” )

Factors That Affect the Health of Your Hair, Including Hair Growth and Loss

The Environment, Climate, and Seasonal Changes:
Your hair, as well as your skin, needs to be protected from the sun. If you’re going have outside activities for hours, remember to wear a hat. Free radicals formed in the hair fibers due to UV rays induces keratin impairment, protein degradation, tryptophan degradation and lipids peroxidation, which makes hair dry, fragile, dull.
Cigarette smoke and other pollutants are other negative factors that affect your hair. In this case, vitamins E and C can be helpful as they are antioxidants which can provide some protection against free radicals. Cigarette smoke not only deprives your hair of the ability to generate new pigment cells but also make you turn gray faster.[1]
For seasonal changes affecting the health of your hair, be sure to read our Feb. 4, 2019 blogpost: 14 Tips for Protecting Against, and Repairing Winter Damage to Your Hair and our June 12, 2019 blogpost: Summer Hair Care Tips .

Hair Products:
Using the right products for your hair type is important to manage and nurture your hair, but if you get keratin treatments, you must regularly use authentic
keratin-infused hair products, especially shampoo free of sodium chloride and harsh sulfates that can strip the keratin from your hair. Be sure they are purchased from a hair salon not purchased online – see why, here! (Original post HERE.)

Frequency of Haircuts:
Regular haircuts help keep your hair strong and healthy. Hair grows on an average of a 1/2-inch every four weeks. Of course, some people's hair grows a little faster than others.  Chemical processes can cause hair to break, split or become dry. More frequent haircuts can help prevent over-drying and breakage. To maintain shorter hairstyles, every six weeks is a good rule of thumb. Long hair should be trimmed at least every 8-12 weeks; if you notice more breakage or split ends, it could be cut as frequently as every six to eight weeks.[2] 

Protect Hair During Chemical Treatments:
The Olaplex system is fantastic and affordable “insurance” against breakage/damage during chemical processing (especially from bleach and perming solution, but from all chemical processes, too). In addition to application with chemical processing, Olaplex can be used as a stand-alone treatment to restore compromised hair, giving you the softest, shiniest, and healthiest hair imaginable. Read more about this bond multiplier service on our web page
“OLAPLEX. One Ingredient Changes Everything.”

Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can contribute to hair loss by affecting the levels of hormones in the body. For example, human growth hormone (HGH) is produced when we progress through normal sleep cycles. In people who get irregular, interrupted, or limited sleep, they may have lower levels of HGH. Lower levels of HGH can contribute to numerous health issues including thinning hair. As a result, getting quality sleep may be able to help reduce thinning and loss of hair. In addition, sleep deprivation can cause both physical and emotional stress, which can increase the risk of telogen effluvium in which a person loses a significant amount of hair. A consistent sleep routine that helps to avoid major fluctuations in sleep quality and quantity may therefore be one way to help manage stress and decrease the likelihood of this condition.[3]
Johan Larson,

Eating the Right Foods.
Your hair is like a garden. Knowing clearly the soil type, fertilizers, weather, water, temperature, light, etc. is the best way to grow your garden every day. Make sure that you are providing your hair with all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs, especially vitamin A, B-vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, Iron, Protein and Zinc. Are your consuming enough carbohydrates, proteins such as eggs, milk, fish, green leafy vegetables and fruits? Above all, protein is what your hair needs the most because hair is made up almost entirely of protein. Take a daily supplement of vitamin B, as well as vitamins C, E and A or multivitamins is also a good idea if you are not sure about your diet. Do not forget to have adequate amounts of iron, zinc and magnesium in your diet (or via a supplement). Besides, it is notable that the other B vitamins that are critical for hair health and growth are vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Last but not least, Biotin (vitamin H) is considered to be “the king of vitamins for hair health”.[4]

And don't forget about drinking plenty of water! Read here about four ways that drinking water can promote hair growth.

Stress and Exercise
Stress can make your hair dull, unhealthy, and contribute to dandruff, lack of hair growth and even balding. Exercise not only makes your entire body (including your hair) healthier from the inside out, it can also work the stress right out of your system, replacing it with endorphins - chemicals that help to relieve pain or stress, and boost happiness.
Jessamine |

Practice Good Hair Hygiene
Beautiful hair starts with a healthy foundation achieved by using the right cleansing techniques. As tempting as it can be to quickly shampoo, condition, and rinse, the truth is that taking the extra time to properly cleanse your hair can be worth it in the long run. To keep your hair looking its best, and your scalp healthy to promote hair growth, consider rethinking how you wash and condition your hair with the helpful tips found here in our May 2019 blog post.

Medical Treatments, Medicines, Illness, and Hormones
If you are having problems with your hair growth you should know that medications may prevent your hair from growing and may also cause hair loss. Are you using birth control pills, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants, gout medicine, anti-seizure medications, chemotherapy drugs or illicit street drugs? If your answer is “yes” for one of those above medications, maybe that’s why your hair seems not to grow. If you have iron-poor blood or are anemic, this is a big barrier for your hair growing. Underlying illness, such as thyroid malfunction, also keeps you from having an abundant head of hair.[5]
While the most common side effect of prescriptions drugs and even some vitamins and herbal remedies is hair loss, some medications may affect hair’s receptivity to hair chemical processing. Because medications are excreted through the hair, they can affect the outcome of chemical hair treatments, including keratin treatments, perms and body waves, and hair color. Over the years, hair stylists have come to learn that antidepressants can cause hair to dry out (needing deep conditioning and also requiring more product). Chemotherapy can cause hair to fall out and even grow back a different color. When a color doesn't "take" in a person's hair, or creates a different color than it should, it is likely because of some medication he or she is taking.  Medications for acne, thyroid conditions, heart failure, high blood pressure, cholesterol, pulmonary conditions, psoriasis, arthritis, and even antibiotics can change hair color. Medications for hormones and high blood pressure, as well as iron supplements can affect the outcome of a perm. Retin-A can cause the scalp to be more sensitive to chemicals resulting in a burning sensation during chemical treatments. Some drugs used for epilepsy, migraines, and psoriasis can make straight hair curly. Hair tends to yellow with hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, or hormone therapy medications).  Anesthesia can affect the health of your hair, too, for even several months after your surgical procedure. Before any chemical treatment, ALWAYS alert your stylist of any medications you may be taking, changes in health issues, recent surgeries, etc. All of this, and more, can be gleaned from our blog post “Is Your Hair On Drugs?!”

The Factors That Affect Hair Growth & Hair Loss ... 
and the ONE THING That Can Help Most
Pratima Raichur, a chemist and internationally recognized expert on Ayurvedic skin care, explains how outer beauty is a physical reflection of everything that happens within the body: the way we eat and breathe, as well as the thoughts and emotions that fill our mind and color our spirit. From her book Absolute Beauty, she states: "The factors that affect hair growth and hair loss include age, health, diet, hormones, seasonal changes, and climate. Trauma, stress, and anxiety also affect growth, because they reduce the blood and oxygen supply to the scalp, which is essential to healthy hair."[6]
"Weekly scalp massage is, therefore, one of the most beneficial treatments for maintaining beautiful hair and alleviating or reducing the symptoms of common hair problems, such as male pattern baldness, alopecia (hair loss), alopecia arebets (bald patches), dandruff, psoriasis, and premature greying. Scalp massage not only increases oxygen supply to the brain, it also improves circulation of the life-giving sap, cerebrospinal fluid, which stimulates brain development, relaxes the nerves and muscles, reduces fatigue, and loosens the scalp." 
Ian Hooton via Getty Images

 If you have enjoyed reading this blog post and can benefit from it, please share it with others, and leave a comment, too! 
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Pat Alessi - Salon 1580
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Created by:
Susan Leonard, Communications Marketing Specialist, Writer, and Graphic Designer

[1] Hair secrets: What are the most important factors influencing hair growth. Shinier Hair, 17 OCTOBER, 2018.

[3] Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Hair Loss?

[4] Hair secrets: What are the most important factors influencing hair growth. Shinier Hair, 17 OCTOBER, 2018.

[5] Hair secrets: What are the most important factors influencing hair growth. Shinier Hair, 17 OCTOBER, 2018.

[6] Raichur, Pratima, and Marian Cohn. Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda. William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.

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