Archive | Blog

Phases of Human Hair Growth

By now, it will be very obvious to us that human hair grows quite abundantly at almost all parts of our body. There are some parts of our body however, that represents an absence of hair growth, particularly the palms of our hands, the soles of our feet, the eye lids and the lips. Like that of our skin, hair is keratinized, made mostly of flat cells with overlayed keratin (keratin is a protein), which posses qualities similar to that of rope fabrics which give ample strength for the hair shaft. The human cycle of hair growth has three (3) phases that involve the growth of hair until it eventually falls of from our heads. These are the anagen phase, the catagen phase and the telogen phase. These three phases relatively determine the capacity and the length of your hair growth.

hair-loss

These phases all happen simultaneously at the same time. This is also the case regarding the other types of hair growing on our body, besides the hair on our scalp of course. There is also the vellus hair and the androgenic hair which serves both different purposes and functions in regards to giving our bodies the needed warmth and the ample protection from the elements. The three detailed stages of the development of human hair growth on our body which are the anagen, catagen and telogen phase all occur at the same time on each strand of hair in our human body. When one full cycle of each stage is complete, The cycle starts up again as soon as a new strand of hair begins to form and emerge from the follicles itself.

The average human hair grows to an estimated length of about 1.25 centimeters or about 0.5 inches in about a months time or if you would like to convert that to a yearly rate of 1.5 centimeters or about exactly 6 inches a year.

hair_growth_cycle1

The Anagen Phase

This phase represents the first time that the follicle will be growing a new strand of hair, though not yet visible on the scalp surface, it is already on it’s first stage of growth prior to emerging from the scalp. The growth cycle starts in the papilla of the inner follicle which can take to as much in between 2 to 6 years before even starting to come out from the scalp. Genetics place a crucial decisive roll on the progress of hair growth. It would be very interesting to know that the longer that the hair develops in the anagen phase, the faster it will grow. The development of the hair inside the follicle resembles like that of a ball of twine or string that when it has grown just enough, it will be eventually be making it’s way out of the follicles through the scalp which will give you an itchy sensation that will make you scratch your head. This simple stimuli of scratching your hair, will eventually pull out the newly developed hair strand from your scalp, completing the anagen stage of hair growth. The total number of anagen hair growths on a person is 85% of all hair on a persons head.

hair_follicle_01

The Catagen Phase

The catagen phase is also considered as the transitional phase of hair growth which the follicles are given the chance to rejuvenate or revitalize themselves. It is through the body’s natural enzymatic and hormonal functions that trigger this phase. It is during this stage of hair development that the follicles actually begin to shrink due to hormonal triggering mechanisms that make the papilla to detach itself, going into a sort of resting period, which results in the steady dwindling supply of the blood supply and the nutrients that nourishes the follicles. This resting stage of the papilla, reduces the size of the follicles by as much as 1/6th of it’s original size due to the lack of the much needed nutrients by the hair follicle. Though it is true that the papilla has regressed into a resting phase, the length of the fibers still remain the same.

The Telogen Phase

The telogen phase is the dormant phase of the human hair growth cycle and is also considered as the final stages of hair growth. What is actually fascinating about this stage is realizing that your hair once it has entered this phase of the cycle, has actually been dead for the past 1 to 4 months! This stage may result in almost 10 to 15 percent of the total hairs on your head are actually already in this stage for the past 4 months. Since this stage of hair development is on it’s final stages, the hormones in the body are once again triggered to restart the anagen phase in order to instruct the papilla to produce new hair strands. The newly produced hair strands that are developing inside the papilla will now start to push out and eject the old hair strands on your scalp, eventually dislodging it to give way to newly grown hair strands, therefore completing the three cycles oh human hair growth. This results in the shedding of hair in a daily basis.

To think that everyday of our lives as we groom ourselves when we brush or comb our hair, we shed off so much hair on our scalp thinking that there must be something wrong with our follicular hair growth. As it came out to be a natural occurrence within the cycle of our development of hair growth. It can be considered that our daily reason for shedding hair means that there are already new sets of hair that are now replacing the old hair strands that have already fallen off our scalp.

Posted in Blog0 Comments

An Infants Condition Called Cradle Cap

Most of the time, babies are already born with quite a distinguished tuft of hair on their soft and fragile head and parents usually take a very careful approach while giving their babies a bath for the first time of it’s first few months of life. All seems to be going well the first 6 months when you suddenly see something quite peculiar about your baby’s scalp. You may be mortified to find out that your baby’s scalp is starting to somewhat peel off! Now, before you panic, which is really quite normal for first time parents that have not had the chance to experience this, we will try to discover what is really happening to your baby’s head.

A baby’s hair starts to grow as soon as a mother is passing through her 6th month of term. From thereon, the infant inside the womb continues slowly to develop it’s follicular tissues except for one difference, due to the fact that babies are conceived inside the womb, the follicular growth is very different from ordinary human hair growth. To put the facts in order, due to the embryonic fluid in which the baby was conceived, the baby’s hair tends to be more thinner like our skin hair.

Cradle_cap_on_a_baby_s_scalp

After a baby is born we can see that it already has those hair present on it’s scalp and it looks like those hairs will be it’s permanent growth for the duration of up to one year. A baby’s hair is more thinner, softer and more delicate than that of an adult’s solely because it still retains some of that embryonic fluid still inside it’s follicular tissues. There are even cases of slight to moderate signs of pattern baldness, sometimes manifesting irregular hair growth which tends to show on your baby’s head. This may cause some distress on the part of some parents but be rest assured that it is just a normal phase in which your baby normally goes through. There are however physiological causes to some babies continually loosing their hair on the back part of their heads as a result of constantly being rubbed against a pillow while sleeping.

If using any infant formula in lieu of traditional breast feeding, just make sure that the infant formula that you are giving your child has no harmful ingredients that may cause allergic reactions to affect your baby’s scalp. It is advised to consult a pediatrician if this will happen. There is also the issue of sweat that can cause allergies on your baby’s scalp which may affect the way it’s hair is growing. The acidic reaction of sweat can sometimes be caused by your hands being contaminated with irritants that can cause adverse reactions on your baby’s scalp. It is best practice to always wash your hands and use germ killing soap before handling your baby’s head.

cradle_cap1360038366974

Always remember to avoid letting your infants head be irritated with any form of fabric that you use as sheetings or beddings that contain questionable materials that may cause skin and scalp irritations. When bathing your infant, always make sure to use the most mildest shampoo that a pediatrician may recommend, as to avoid any adverse irritation of your baby’s skin and scalp. From a time of 6 months to about 1 year, you will start to notice signs of flaking and shedding of hair from your baby’s scalp, as said before, there is no need to panic as it is a normal stage of what a baby’s hair growth goes through.

Cradle cap is usually a harmless issue when it comes to a baby’s natural manner of shedding their old scalp tissue which is being changed by new ones. A baby’s scalp undergoes these changes in relation to the closing up of it’s cranial cavity. Once the cranial cavity starts the process of closing up, the scalp begins to retract and stretch out, causing the old scalp tissue along with the original follicular hair growth to peel off. The amount of old scalp tissue which is being removed contains the entire follicles and roots of the original hair growth that was propagated during the baby’s conception in the mother’s womb.

The changing temperature along with hormonal changes being made to the baby’s skin and scalp also contributes to this change. The dead scalp tissue that is being replaced by new ones should never be forcibly pulled of since this stage of tissue change is quite similar to that of a dried up scab that is naturally being removed from the skin. Applying unnecessary methods of removal might cause wounding on your infants scalp. It is on these delicate changes that you should keep an observant eye out for any signs of infection as bacterial build up may propagate inside the open scalp tissues of your baby’s head.

cradle-cap

Psoriasis and eczema might have a chance to propagate in between the skin tissues as moisture from bathing may not be completely removed, causing bacteria to develop. It is advised to use an antibacterial shampoo that is effective in making sure that there will be no chance of any unwanted irritants that can cause any complications to your infants scalp. Along with this, you should always make sure that you completely dry off your baby’s head as to assure that there is no more moisture that can lead to bacterial growth. The use of mild baby oil can help a great deal in hastening your baby’s cradle cap condition as mild baby oil can greatly soften the old follicular tissue, eventually peeling it off away without harming your baby’s newly developing scalp. Using a very soft baby’s hair brush can also help in brushing off any excess skin and a gentle upward stroke is recommended in order to effectively remove those dead follicular tissues.

Always make sure that your baby’s head is well ventilated in order to avoid sweat to develop on their scalp, as it can cause great discomfort on your baby’s part, causing irritation in between the scalp area. Eventually, after completely shedding off their old scalp, a baby will now regenerate new hair growth, however there are some cases in where babies still remain quite bald even though they already have undergone the rejuvenation of their scalp growth, though it is really nothing to worry about as most babies really start to grow their hair naturally after that stage.

Posted in Blog0 Comments

The Origin of Red Hair

Red hair color that is found mostly to people who live in the country of Britain and Ireland have been baffling scientists and geneticists for a long time now. It was thought so for a long time that the characteristics of red hair color had originated from a single gene that causes this. The most common hair color for the Caucasian race was the predominant blond color which has a varying combination of other sub characteristic hair colors such as platinum blond, dirty blond and hues of brown pigmentations. Hair color is really determined by the total amount of eumelanin (which has a dark brown pigment) and pheomelanin (which has a reddish pigment). The amount of these pigmentations vary in the amount that is produced in the hair strands which mean a light blond hair color is the result of very little amounts of eumelanin and that a lot of it causes it to produce a dark brown to black coloration of hair.

 outfit01c

In the case of people which have a large amount of pheomelanin in their hair, their hair coloration can range from red, pale red or even bright reddish brown colors. The need to categorize this characteristics in hair color led scientists and geneticists to divide hair color into small sub categories that start with the blond coloration, red and brown. Since the blond hair color represents hair types with less eumelanin, some researchers objectively rule it out otherwise. Some researchers believe that people with red, brown and black hair colors share common traits of pheomelanin with different degrees of pigmentation present in their hair strand and it was just a question of pigment distribution on the hair. There were some cases of Asian people who show certain red hair pigmentation on their hair, particularly on their side burns, mustaches and beards, that have strands of reddish to brown hair colors.

Red-Hair-Color-004

 

Recessive Genes

Geneticists have made appropriate studies in determining if red hair color is indeed caused by recessive genes. Scientists had found cases in where both parents had brown hair, presumably expecting that their offspring would inherit the same traits in regards to hair coloration. Unfortunately, they were surprised to see that they had children who came out to have red hair, making geneticists suggest that a gene that causes red hair coloration is a sign of genetic recessiveness. In 1995, DNA studies revealed that Melanocortin MC1R (this is the genetic receptor that receives the instruction on what kind of hair color will be produced), found in people with red hair, suggested that there was an indication of amino acid mutation that could have triggered the anomaly.

2174760229_97f4a24bc1

 

Evolutionary Development

The Northern European populations, particularly Britain and Ireland, have about around 10% of people that have red hair characteristics. Scientists believe that even though that red hair coloration is anomalous in a genetic sense it can also be the influence of various natural selective conditions such as geographic location and the effect of Ultra Violet rays on the geographical location, since the Northern European region is one of the places in the world that experiences very long and dark winters that obscure sunlight for most parts of the year, lack of sunlight may have played a key role in regards to the genetic evolution of people with red hair. Scientists also concur that red hair color is a very rare trait in regards to genetic characteristics of people that have them.

 

 

Posted in Blog0 Comments

The Truth About Head Lice

Head lice or head louse, whatever people tend to call them in different parts of the world, they are still, itchy, annoying scoundrels that feed off from your scalp! Ever since the time man has stalked the Earth, these little buggers had been dinning and defecating on our heads for too long a time! Is it not enough that these parasites had their fill on our heads, that they also have to “relieve” themselves, causing a somewhat pungent and rancid odor that causes apparent itchiness. Since these parasites feed off from our scalp, they do not cause any symptomatic form of illness except the apparent itchiness that causes discomfort when they move about on top of your scalp and the embarrassing thought if someone found out that you had them! Head lice are the direct evolutionary cousins of the common animal flea, which had evolved to it’s present state when man started to walk the Earth.

head_lice_3

The head lice evolved to adapt to survive on certain plant juices when the host that they were feeding upon died, requiring them to seek out other sources of sustenance. Upon years of evolution and the emergence of man, head lice soon found a new host to feed on. There is another variant of the head lice that resides on the lower extremities of the body and it has evolved to enable it to survive in areas with thicker hair growth, more particularly the pubic area. Pubic lice are as annoying as head lice themselves, in which they also cause itchiness that causes great discomfort. Fondly called “the crabs”, pubic lice have evolved to cling on to the more flatter fair strands of the pubic area, they are called “crabs” because of their distinct resemblance to the crustaceans with the same name. Though they come from the same specie, pubic lice can not propagate on the head because they can not grasp the finner, thinner hairs of the scalp, so much it is the other way around with head lice.

Mother treating daughter's hair against lice

How Does One Get Head Lice?

Head lice get around quite often by direct physical contact, usually a predominant case in children while playing or having direct contact in school. Usually, a dormant parasitic hitch hiker that it is, the head lice can wait itself out on couches, bed sheets or just anywhere an infected person might have scratched or combed their hair, displacing the head lice until such time that it gets picked up by a new host. Head lice are not limited to little children only, but are in fact a problem for some adults as well. Just think of a scenario where children infected with head lice visit their relatives, where every body shakes hands, giving each other warm and tender embrasures…and head lice.

Infestation usually begins with one head lice finding it’s way on top of you head. From there, it will begin to lay it’s eggs on the hair stems, securing it with it’s own adhesive, one that has a very strong bonding ability, that even the most thorough use of shampoo or soap will never dislodge it. You may even manage to remove some of the parasites, but they can cling to the hair stems that it may even necessitate you to use ultra fine toothed combs that can remove most of the parasites but not their eggs. Severe head lice infestation can reach to a point that you can actually catch one crawling across your scalp with your bare fingers! And the ironic part is that when you manage to catch one and squeeze it, you will be able to see some small amounts of undigested blood the the head lice has digested from you!

head-lice-shampoo-treatment

Combing over a sheet of white paper will reveal the head lice as you plow away your hair, dislodging them and eventually making them fall on the paper sheet. Although you should be very mindful of how you should comb your hair in regards to removing these pesky parasites. The average size of a head lice ranges from 1/32 to 1/16 of an inch and can sometimes even grow to 1/8 of an inch. The usual lifespan of head lice average to 20 days, but when you consider that you have at least 5 to 10 of them running around your head, going about their business and sucking out the juices from your scalp, that would probably be 20 annoying days of your life.

Imagine if you could, that a female head lice can actually lay an average of 5 to 6 eggs…in a day! They are called “nits”, simply because of the sound that they make when you squeeze them on your finger nails. Theses nits take 6 days to hatch, which can exponentially increase the infestation of head lice on your head.

In the case of children, there is an average of 10 head lice that can grow to an even greater number as the week progresses, in which case, little girls are much more prone to such infestation because of their obvious long hair. In the olden days, the only remedy for such head lice infestation was the total removal of hair! It was okay for young boys to sport such hairstyle, but for girls? Head lice survive because oh the heat of the body, particularly the heat from the scalp area that is warm because of the flow of the blood on the head. Also, there is the humidity condition that is perfect for head lice propagation as these parasites need a humid and warm environment to live on. Head lice do not spread diseases, unlike the common dog tick that excretes a neurotoxic compound in it’s saliva to maintain continued blood flow, not letting blood to coagulate. Dog tick infestation has been proven fatal to both humans and animals.

How Do We Control or Eradicate Head Lice Infestations?

As discussed before, head lice are migratory parasites that are transfered through direct contact from person to person. It is preposterous to think that you can control the spread of infestation by limiting an infected persons access to certain parts of the house, as head lice can simply fall off one persons head and just simply crawl up to another. Head lice can easily be transferred through the sharing of combs and head brushes. The use of Permethrin formulated shampoos does the job but it will take several sessions of using this type of shampoo. Besides killing off the head lice themselves, Permethrin also penetrates the head lice eggs, causing it to die eventually after several uses of the shampoo. Believe me, it is a far better method than shearing off your children’s hair and your kids will thank you for that!

But don’t think that that will be the last that your family will ever experience that, as it can be a reoccurring problem for the years to come. It is advised that when a problem like head lice happens again, be sure to have a Permethrin formulated shampoo around the house.

Posted in Blog0 Comments

How to Stimulate Longer Hair Growth the Faster Way

There are a lot of methods claiming to give positive results in obtaining a tried and tested method of growing your hair longer in the fastest means possible. These methods may mean the use of vitamins, hair growth shampoos, medicinal supplements and a few other means which can take up most of your time and not be able to choose one method that will work. We can trim it down to just 3 basic methods as not to further complicate the issue and save on more time.

Protecting Your Hair From Split Ends

How-to-Make-Sure-your-Hair-Doesnt-Tangle-After-a-Shower1

The average rate that the human hair grows is about half an inch in one month, and from here, you can make an evaluated calculation on how long your hair has been growing on your head. During those years of 

brushing and grooming you hair, you may have spent over 2,500 strokes and from the frequency that you have been doing that, there is no doubt that you had inflicted some damage on your hair strands. Hair is very susceptible to damages such as these caused by prolonged and frequent brushing. Also there is the damage caused by natural factors such as humidity,exposure to Ultra Violet light and tangles frequently caused by sleeping. Nutritional protein loss due to health factors also count as one of the contributing factors for thinning hair loss. Once hair has lost it’s suppleness due to protein loss, it starts to brittle and break off.

Applying mild amounts of mineral oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil can minimize the chances of hair dryness which causes split ends. Another suggestion is to inhibit from brushing your hair while it is wet and has not totally dried up from the time that you had showered. Wet hair is easily broken off while it is wet. Using heating tools to style your hair has the same effect of sun damage that can hasten up dryness and causing it to brittle and break. Hair dryers also do the same amount of damage, as it creates a convection of heat similar to that of a baking oven. Organic protection shampoos can help in many ways as it moisturizes hair and gives it an ample amount of protection for daily use. If it is necessary to tie up your hair, be sure to tie it up loosely and not too tightly as it can create tangles that can eventually break off an ample amount of your hair when you brush it.

long_hair_cut

Nutrition

Your hair needs a steady supply of vitamins and minerals in order for it to stay growing the proper way that it should always do. The right amount of food you eat can make a big difference of the way your hair grows on you. Eating and maintaining a healthy diet is not just good for your over all nutritional needs but it also gives your hair the added strength to withstand the rigors of your daily activities and to fend off the natural forces of nature as well. Green leafy vegetables, Vitamin B enriched and foliate can hasten the growth of your hair, giving it a silky and shinny feel and texture.

Avoid Unnecessary Stress

It is not enough to be healthy inside and out if you want to maintain a healthy hair growth, but you also want to consider the effects of stress on your hair. Stress has been proven to contribute to thinning hair loss, and in some cases can only be the case for some individuals. Falling hair is a natural daily occurrence for most people, because it is a natural cycle of hair growth. 40 to 50 strands of hair-fall for a single minute of brushing is quite normal, but to exceed to a number of 100 to 200 a day is an alarming rate! A stressful lifestyle can be a contributing factor if you did not know that it was affecting the way your hair continues to fall off. Try relaxing and not to dwell so much on the negative side of life. Enjoy your day even though stress is a part of your daily life, it is still good advice not to take too much notice of it.

loose long hair style.jpg

 

Posted in Blog0 Comments

Demystifying the Truth About Laser Combs

Brushes and combs maybe one, if not the best invention that man has made in regards to grooming and maintaining the beauty and elegance of our precious hair. It is a simple, yet effective tool that we could use to fix the appearance of our hair when we wake up in the morning, after taking a bath and even removing those unwanted parasites the sometimes reside on our scalp, particularly head lice. Yes, the comb and brush are some of the things that we can not live without on a daily basis. In recent years, there had been a tremendous amount of different gadgets and gizmo’s that had been seen surfacing on the market related to hair maintenance and some even offer guarantees that it could somehow rejuvenate hair back to it’s pristine state of health.

massage_strong_style_color_b82220_laser_strong_strong_style_color_b82220_comb_strong_with_4mw_strong_style_color_b82220_laser_stro

Some products even offer the possibility of having the ability to trigger the re-growth of hair on a thinning scalp, making it one of the most intriguing products ever designed that could help hair to grow back and reverse the condition of thinning hair loss. The laser comb is relatively anew comer on the hair products market, making it’s debut on the early part of this decade. The laser comb was the predecessor of the now extinct electro magnetic scalp stimulator that comes in a variation of designs and functions.

During the early part of the 1990′s, the electric scalp stimulator presented people who were looking for alternative solutions in bringing back to life their seemingly unavoidable thinning hair. The concept of the electric scalp stimulator, relied on the principles of a small amount of electro magnetic resonating frequency that was believed to have the ability to stimulate the scalp and “coax” it to regrow the hairs from it’s scalp. But unfortunately, the only thing that it was able to successfully do was create electrical interference that disturbed a lot of electronic devices and in some rare occasions, house hold pets.

Laser_Hair_Brush

By the end of the 1990′s came another gadget that was to supersede the the electric scalp stimulator. The infrared hair brush came to the scene in the early years of 2000 as it was almost the same to the principle of the electric scalp stimulator, it nevertheless had a different approach in claiming success where the electric scalp stimulator had failed to deliver it’s promise. The infrared comb had a different principle involving it’s approach in stimulating weak hair follicles back to life. The working concept of the infrared comb was it’s ability to kill unwanted bacteria on the scalp of the head and at the same time emit a mild dose of infrared light that claims to stimulate blood flow all throughout the scalp area, thus giving young follicular tissues a chance to grow minus the deterring presence of harmful scalp organisms that most shampoos fail to eradicate.

Laser_Loss_Hair_Brush__66672.1325177578.1280.1280

Today, there is a new breed of combs that was created using advance technological research combining clinical scientific studies with advanced laser technology, meet the laser comb. The principle behind the laser comb is so much different from that of it’s other predecessors. The emission of various low powered laser beams on the scalp is said to stimulate hair growth through the action of increasing the amount of a certain molecule called “adenosine triphoshate”, which is said to carry “energy” from one cell to another. Considering the present price for these new laser combs that range from $70 dollars to as much as $370 dollars.

Posted in Blog0 Comments

Excessive Sweating and Hair Loss

There had been past assumptions regarding excessive sweating on the forehead and it’s connection to hair loss. Clinical studies show that there may be a validity to these claims that for a long time were considered uncertain. Trichologists have now confirmed that there is indeed a connection between excessive forehead sweating and hair loss. It was discovered that human sweat contains an ample amount of lactic acid, which has the ability to eventually thin down and peel off the outer keratin layers of the hair. It also leads to the shriveling of the follicular roots of the hair follicles.

getty_rf_photo_of_excessive_sweating

The constant sweating in the forehead and the reaction of lactic acid on the hair results in the dryness of the hair stems, causing it to be brittle and finally breaking it off eventually. Besides the damage that it causes the hair, excessive excretion of lactic acid may cause inflammatory outbreaks on the skin, such as rashes and symptoms of itchiness. The lactic acid has the undesired effect of unbalancing the pH level of the scalp, in which may very well result in the growth of unwanted fungus and bacteria which may contribute to the propagation of dandruff. It may also cause the sedimentary deposits of deep seated dirt inside the scalp pores, congesting and restricting the proper circulation of blood and nutrients to the hair follicles.

Excessive-Sweating

The cause of excessive sweating can stem from various causes. Some obvious symptomatic reasons would be that of hormonal imbalance. It was proven with clinical case studies on people that were suffering from excessive sweating that it was indeed a hormonal imbalance on their part. Obvious triggering mechanisms were temperate climate or a sudden change of it, a good example would be that of sweaty palms of the hand and sweaty feet. Other causes of excessive sweating would be of psychological causes. Anxiety, uneasiness and medically trigged causes could be a forthcoming manifestation that causes sweat secretions. The level of rancidity in the human sweat can be caused by high cholesterol levels in the blood stream or lipid secretions that can sometimes cause allergic reaction of the skin, causing irritated and inflamed rashes.

excessive-sweating

Finding a cure or alternative preventive measures from excessive sweating is not the answer to your problems, but it is better to find the root cause of it. If your sweating is of psychological reasons such as stress, anxieties and nervousness, it is best to find ways of controlling your anxieties or even think of a way to relax your mind. Ask or consult a physician that is related to your stress related problems and if it is necessary, ask for prescriptions that can stave down your stress related problems. Relaxation and a stress free environment may help. Exercise may benefit you in terms of channeling you anxious thoughts towards more productive forms of diversions which will take your mind off worrying.

A healthy dose of exercise has always been recommended as it promotes the healthy circulation of the needed bodily fluids in order to stimulate the endorphine levels of your system. This will enable you to reduce stress and maintain a healthy body at the same time. If you would rather prefer a more simple approach, you could always try some regulated deep breathing exercises that can help your circulatory system.

Posted in Blog0 Comments

The Hidden Truths About Hair Color

Hair dyes or hair colors are probably one of the most widely used hair products that augment the over all appearance of one’s hair. It gives a person a chance to put some variations on the color that a person can choose to have on for an indefinite time. Whats good about it is that you can frequently change your hair color as much as you want. The history of hair color goes as far back to ancient China, where people used to ground herbs and plants to extract it’s organic pigments. These pigments are usually water based soluble colors that lasts for an indefinite time.

pregnant-beyonce

Todays hair coloring systems use a wide variety of coloring compounds which give you so many choices in the colors and blends or a combination of any shade that you prefer to put in your hair. There are some things that you may want to consider first before even choosing a shade of color to put on your hair. In the early years of the development of hair color, the manufacturers of hair coloring products frequently used a combination of bleaching agents mixed with ammonia compounds. This causes a bit of a pungent smell when applied to the hair strands. There were however, cases of people that have used different hair coloring products that have complained about thinning hair loss.

hair-color-01

One possible cause of thinning hair loss related to frequent hair coloring use can be traced to the volumizer in the coloring formulation. Even today, most volumizers contain a tiny amount of ammonia and other inorganic substances that are necessary to allow the deep penetration of the coloring dyes in the hair strands. Unfortunately, despite careful attempts to avoid scalp contact, chemicals eventually seep into the scalp causing the weakening of the follicular cells to shrink and produce thinner hair strands.

hair color 2

There are other “natural” causes of thinning hair such as hormonal changes in the thyroid glands, diet and medicinal adverse effects as if the natural causes of thinning hair was not enough, that artificial inorganic chemicals such as that incorporated in hair coloring products should add to the damage. Coloring of the hair is a necessity for some people but it is wise to consult hair specialists on the best hair coloring products that do not have chemicals that can permanently damage you hair.

The damage that hair coloring can inflict on your hair comes as a result of the chemicals used to adhere the coloring pigments to your hair. These chemicals penetrate the hair strands in the deepest possible way in order to absorb the pigmentation of the colors used. The damage to hair strands varies depending upon the color of the dye you use. Coloring your hair in dark tints can be less damaging than if you would be coloring it with lighter shades. It should be put to mind that the frequent use of hair dye can result in the loss of the hair strands protein content which will weaken the hair.

Your hair strands are not the most important part when considering the cause of any thinning hair problem but rather that of the follicular condition of the scalp itself. Hair coloring chemicals get absorbed through the hair shafts which in turn are absorbed to the follicles. Prolonged use of hair coloring products can cause your follicles to shrink, resulting to thinner hair growth which in turn leads to hair loss.

Posted in Blog0 Comments

The Basics of Hair Transplant Surgery

Clinical Methods for Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation or hair surgery as it is more fondly called, is the medical procedure that extracts individual hair follicles from a particular area of the body. The extracted follicles are then surgically planted on the affected area, more particularly, an area on the scalp that is no longer able to propagate and produce healthy hair growth. Hair surgery is a last course of action in a solution treatment of male pattern baldness. The concept of hair surgery lies on the concept of transferring healthy hair follicles that are not genetically prone to male pattern baldness, this minor surgical procedure involves extracting the hair follicles, not necessarily coming from the head but other parts of the body that has healthy hair growth.

Since the scalp is also a part of our skin, other hair growing in our body can also grow on our scalp. The only difference is that other hairs on our body are not genetically prone to male pattern baldness unlike those that are growing on our head. Therefore, it was conceded that male pattern baldness was not a matter of the scalp being genetically prone to male pattern baldness but that of the hair follicles that grow on our head. Hair surgery is not limited to the hair on top of our heads, it can also be applied to restore eyebrows, eyelashes, chest hairs, beard hairs and even pubic hair as a result of any unfortunate accident.

front-surgery-hair-transplant-2500-grafts-Dr-Feller Hair-Transplant-Procedure1

The concept of hair transplant is quite different from that of skin grafting as the later involves an extraction of the epidermis and dermis. Hair usually grows by 1 to 4 groups of follicles on a single area, by this arrangement, a hair surgeon can mimic the almost natural condition that hair should look like on a normal, healthy scalp and is called by hair surgeons as Follicular Unit Tranplantation (FUT). There are two kinds of common procedures that hair surgeons use when performing FUT.

Strip Harvesting:

Strip harvesting involves a procedure that necessitates the removal of a strip of hair growth tissue from the scalp which is no affected by male pattern baldness. These strips of tissue with healthy hair growth are then planted on the recipient side of the head, which is of course, the balding part of the head. The extracted tissue of healthy hair growth can be described as a row of corn in a corn field. The area in which the healthy hair growth tissue were extracted will be sewn together that will eventually leave a pencil line like scar. The donor area in which the tissues were extracted, which are located on the back part of the head, would heal naturally and will be unnoticeable due to hair growth. Recovery period from this kind of hair transplantation surgery usually takes about 2 weeks.

Follicular Unit Extraction:

FUE harvesting as commonly addressed by hair transplant surgeons, this procedure involves the individual extraction of follicle groups of between 1 to 4 groups of hairs, under localized anesthetics. It is a microscopic removal procedure that requires surgeons to use binocular type microscope. These microscopic patches of hair follicles measure to about 0.6 mm to 1.0 mm in diameter, no bigger than that of a pin head. The extracted follicles also include the surrounding scalp tissues, and are inserted by the surgeon on tiny sites on the affected scalp by the use of a placement tool. Puncture woulds are usually the result after this surgery and pain and inflammation is reduced to a minimal after post operation procedure, recovery period could be as long as a week (7 days). Some surgeons however disclose that the chances of Follicular Unit Extraction to be successful is very low, and that a number of sessions would be needed to arrive at a satisfactory result.

581-hair-transplant-results-pg

The History of Hair Transplantation

During the 19th century, the first crude attempt to cover a balding man’s head was done by using the scalp band, which was a particularly large amount of scalp tissue that contained the original veins and blood supply. This procedure meant literally exposing the top part of the cranial plate, hence exposing the skull itself. In the early 1930′s, in Japan, modern surgical techniques were incorporated when surgeons used small tissue grafts even to the point of follicular grafts, to repair some portions of a damaged eyebrow and it was not originally for the purpose of male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, their efforts were not received with enthusiasm during those time and the onset of World War II further delayed their pursue of advancing their methods for another 20 years.

The arrival of modern post war technologies and advancement in science and medicine, had paved the way for the western world in the later part of the 1950′s. In the United States of America, particularly in New York, a dermatologist named Norman Orentreich, started to work on the principles of donor grafting of follicular growth and transplanting them to affected areas, that would later be used as the standard procedure of hair transplantation. During the early years of the conceptualization of hair graft transplantation, it was thought that hairs that were taken out from a healthier area on the head would survive and propagate as normally as it would from the area that it was taken from.

The principle of donor transplant was further supported by Dr. Walter P. Unger, who defined the principle that extraction of healthy hair follicles for transplantation on the recipient site, said that from the most potential part of the area of the head, a donor healthy donor follicle would survive and thrive just as well and just as long as it would in it’s original place. Even as today, these are the same principles used by hair transplant surgeons and dermatologist. For the following 20 years, work continued to improve a refined and effective method of propagating and implanting follicular tissues. In the 1980′s, an American doctor named William Rassman was successful in using “micro grafts”.

Since the introduction of microscopic procedures continued to improve, doctors were having trouble in effectively performing these surgical operations. It was not until the late 1980′s that Dr. Limmer, created a specialized binocular type of microscope that can be worn on the face as an attachment to the spectacles or eye glass. Further improvements of the methods of follicular hair transplant became more refined as improvements on both the methods and equipments also gave practicing surgeons a chance to refine their approach on the proper procedure. The sizes of the surgical tools became smaller that allowed a faster and more precise surgical incision that left very little post surgical scars. So refined was the improvement in surgical tools and procedure, that it enabled the implantation of over 50 grafts in a single square centimeter area.

Improvements in the procedure concerning the angle and orientation of implants provided a natural way on how the newly planted follicles would grow out to create a seemingly natural growth pattern. Veering away from the traditional direct downward implantation plane of trajectory, surgeons were now adopting a lateral slit implantation technique since the early years of 2000. This enabled surgeons to create a brushed effect when the follicles grew out after fully recovering from the surgery, providing an angle that covers an ample amount on the area of the affected scalp region. Of course, even in the advent of modern techniques and procedures, there are always disadvantages that come out of any surgical procedures. Lateral incisions tend to destroy the veins on the scalp, causing less blood irrigation to the newly planted follicles.

Procedures of Hair Transplantation Surgery

Her is a simplified method on how the basics of hair transplant surgery works, as to give a simple point of view on how the procedure takes place from beginning to post surgical recovery. The primary concept of hair transplant surgery was originally for follicular restoration of damaged hair that covers portions of the body particularly the eyebrows and head, and was not meant for male pattern baldness to begin with. It all starts with initial consultation with a hair surgeon to evaluate the affected span of the damaged area. The doctor will make the proper diagnosis to the patients scalp to make valid decisions on the proper procedures that will not compromise the end result. The doctor will give the patient his honest opinion on the expected result in view of the procedures that will be made.

Even days before actual surgery, the patient is strictly refrained from engaging in the use of alcohol, smoking and any counter indicated prescription medicines that may induce hemorrhage during the surgical proceedings.

Surgical Proceedings

Usually, hair transplantation is considered as minor surgery and that it is considered an outpatient procedure that only involved mild sedatives, which is optional, to relax the patient and localized anesthesia, as such surgery can last up to as long as 6 hours. The scalp is washed clean with an antibacterial shampoo. After the administration of a mild sedative, the scalp is then subjected localized anesthetic prior to follicular extraction. The surgeon then proceeds to to harvest a portion of the scalp tissue from the posterior area which is composed mostly of good hair growth. The strip of follicular tissue usually measures about 1 to 1.5 by 15 to 30 centimeters. After the extraction, the surgeon will close up the wound where the follicular tissues were taken, while this is being done, the extracted tissue will then be cut up into strips, prior to implantation.

The extracted strips will then be cleaned from any excess of fibrous fatty tissues while avoiding to incur any unnecessary damage to the follicular area. The latest surgical method called “trichophytic closure” ensures surgical recovery that will only result to pencil line scars. As compared to the olden days of the procedure, today’s modern methods disregards the use of large areas of the scalp nor the need to initiate bigger surgical incisions. The modern use of micro blades and ultra fine surgical needles to make puncture wounds for surgical implantation, the surgeon does all the proceedings from start up to the point of making the final puncture points in where to plant the donor follicular tissues, while implantation technicians are the ones that put the follicular tissues in their final places.

Post Operative Care

Semi-permeable dressings are finally applied to the area, which allow the seepage of excess blood and albumin. Daily change of clean dressings are needed in order to maintain a good hygienic state as to ensure that there will be no post operative onset of infection. The affected area must be shielded from direct contact from sunlight as it may cause unnecessary growth of bacteria that may infect the fresh wound. The application of bacteriostatic shampoo is needed in order to keep bacteria from causing any chances of growth and maintain a favorable scalp pH balance that will stave down any possibilities of irritations. During the process of healing, scabs will naturally adhere to the hair follicles that may make the newly implanted follicles to fall off, and this is during the first 7 to 10 days after the operation.

The newly recovering scalp will experience post operative trauma or shock that eventually fall off, fortunately, after two to three months after the operation, hair will begin to grow and as expected, it will grow normally and will continue to improve on it’s growth for the next six to nine months after the surgical procedure. The first two to three months will evaluate on the chances of the surgery to succeed or not as some cases would imply, failed to produce adequate or positive results, requiring them to undergo subsequent surgical proceedings for the second time. Nowadays, DNA test are first made to ensure that the patient’s follicle compatibility is viable for follicular tissue transplantation in order to make a predictive outcome of the surgery. Guess work is usually decreased as to know the possibilities of a favorable outcome in order for the surgeon to recommend any alternative procedures that will be of favor to the patient.

Posted in Blog0 Comments

Hair Extension Concepts for Women

Hair extensions are artificial hairs made with fiber or with actual human hair that are “integrated” on the hair itself. Use of real human hair is the most preferred method as it blends in quite naturally and is seemingly unnoticeable. Hair extensions are the most preferred method of hair alternation that can be achieved through a fairly easy method of application. It is more preferred nowadays by most people who want to change the way their hair looks and it can fairly last for a long period of time without even falling off unlike that of toupees and wigs.

Clip-On-Hair-Extension tape up (1)

Techniques for hair extensions:

 

Clip-in or Clip On Hair Extensions

One of the most effortless method in hair extension techniques is called Clip-on hair extensions without any use of scalp glue to securely fasten it to your head. It is the least permanent method of hair extensions that can be easily removed if necessary. These sort of hair extensions utilize the use of small strips of hair in various lengths, usually measuring in 2 inches to 8 inches in length. The procedure starts at the back of the head, particularly the nape area, in which hair is combed and partitioned neatly. Each group of hair strands are clipped into place as close to the scalp as possible, allowing a secure grip in order to stay firmly attached. The portions of each segment of hair area on the head is uniformly back swept to allow a conformed positioning in order to achieve a proper look. These clip-ons can be worn the whole day as casual as the user wants to, provided that no excessive combing should be done in order to maintain a natural look on the extensions. It is however, prescribed not to go to bed and sleep with clip on extensions since they can easily be dislodged from their clippings.

Bonding and Sealing Extensions

Another method of hair extensions uses adhesives in order to securely bond hair into place, it is called bonding and sealing extensions. Glue or adhesive is applied to a portion of the extensions and then onto a person’s natural hair. It utilizes specially formulated  adhesives to prevent any probable damage to a person’s natural hair. The bonded hair sticks firmly into place without much inconvenience and can only be removed by those who had put it there in the first place. This sort of hair extensions usually lasts between 3 to 4 weeks with regular use including bathing. There are two specific types of hair bonding available that uses certain adhesives such as glue and silicone based adhesives. Soft bond incorporates the use of  latex, silicon and acrylic based adhesives and the hard bond method that literally uses super glue. Soft bond adhesives are mostly water based in formulation and tend to shed of after much bathing and toweling. Hard bond lasts pretty much longer than soft bond for reasons of the glue that is utilized on the hair. Yet, it is best to take into aspect of the comfort on one’s hair when considering the use of hard bond extensions for the reason of the adhesive’s very rigid texture. Nevertheless, hard bond adhesives can last as much as 6 weeks before requiring any maintenance.

Fusion

One of the most preferred methods that can give the versatility that you look in a hair extension is its wear and tear. The fusion method of hair integration leaves a seemingly natural impression to those who see it. The method is carried out with the use of a machine that resembles a glue gun. The method employed here is similar to the bonding or sealing technique but, it is done on a more intricate manner that requires the bonding done to individual hair strands. Other methods of fusion attachments require the use of hair strands dipped in a keratin based adhesive and is applied onto with the use of a heat clamp to melt and bond the hairs onto the natural hairs. The keratin adhesive is individually bonded to the hair strands that results to a seemingly natural looking hair. It’s versatility can be proven as it allows frequent washing and the use of hair products such as styling gel. Fusion is a time-consuming method as it takes to 3 or more hours just to complete the whole procedure and the hair strands need to be repositioned for every two to three months at a time in order to facilitate the growth of your natural hairs. Also to put into consideration are the reason for eminent hair damage caused by the intense heat needed to bond the keratin adhesive to the hair.

Micro Rings (Micro Loops)

This method of hair extension utilizes small, minute aluminum ring bands lined with silicone rubber in the inside. The hair extensions are already placed into the rings and all it takes is to clamp on the extensions to the natural hair using a special crimping tool. The term micro loops are an adequate description when it comes to their size, as they can not be easily detected even when in close proximity with a person that is wearing it. This procedure needs the attachments to be repositioned every other two to three months to facilitate hair growth as the rings move away from it’s original position on the scalp because of hair growth. This can be considered as one of the most safest method of hair extension, given the reason that it does not use any adhesives or any form of extreme heat in order to attach it to the hair, thus cause less damage.

Netting

This technique is compared to the woven strands of a braided cloth. The method involves the braiding of the natural hair strands to such thin portions into a breathable net layer on the head. After completing the first step, stylists can now weav e into the small braided natural hairs, making it into a sort of weaving base. Since the natural hair will be braided and then used as the base in order for stylists to weave onto the natural hair, this method is less time consuming as it takes about 2 to 4 hours to complete.

Lace Fronts

Lace fronts are similar to netting techniques that require a nylon mesh material that is formed similarly to a cap. The nylon mesh is then securely fastened onto the hair by using the hair itself. The procedure involve using the hair to tie down the nylon mesh, which means knotting the hair through the nylon mesh. This method is used for the frontal effect for body and quantity of the hairline segment. For the assurance of proper fit, it is necessary to take absolute head measurements, that will compliment head shape, size and fit.

Tracking

Tracking consists of hair strands that are braided in rows or tracks. Some of the most common problems with braiding are the obvious chances of having bumps or uneven texture. The attachment of hairs are sewn in a horizontal direction across the braids of the natural hair, from one side to the other staring from the bottom. The natural hairs are braided at first and then tied down when the extensions are placed at the right position in regards to the base weave or the braids. This technique can consist of as few as braids to as much as covering a whole weave of hair. However, this hair extension does not allow for any regular maintenance and the method employed can take a considerable amount of time to accomplish.

 

Most Common Kinds of Hair Extensions Used

Hair extensions may come in the form of natural, premium hair made from natural hair or regular hair which costs much less. There are also synthetic hairs made from artificial fibers that resemble natural human hair, but at close scrutiny using touch and feel, you will quickly come to realize the difference. There are two kinds of natural human hair that are used in hair extensions.

Premium Natural Hair:
Tangle Free Premium Hair – This hair is expensive when it comes to post producing it prior to selling it. The hairs are obtained and chemically treated in order to remove any cuticles that can cause hair tangling. The natural fibers of the hair are treated to an acid bath in order to reduce friction that causes tangling, thus give a natural luster with a silky shine that emulates natural healthy hair.

Regular Natural Hair:
Regular natural hair comes in a “as is” basis that means it has untreated strands that have a good tendency to get tangled. Regular hair does not go through additional post production processing.

Synthetic hair:
Synthetic fibers are made from a vast number of materials including fibers of polyester or nylon strands, synthetic wool and even a combination of regular natural hair mixed in with synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers are quite affordable in most cases but they lack the resiliency to last for a long time compared to natural human hair. Synthetic hair fibers can be damaged easily due to excess friction due to over combing and extreme heat conditions such as the use of electrical hair tools like  hair dryers and perming tools. There is very little amount of styling that can be done with synthetic hair fibers as it does have limited uses concerning styling tools.

Futura:
A new age material called Futura has just recently been introduced publicly as an alternative fiber that can be used for hair extensions. It’s impressive characteristics include heat tolerance to up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit  that surpasses even the allowable heat that natural human hair can withstand. It’s uncanny resemblance to human hair can not be denied and it may even be better than human hair itself due to the fact that it is virtually tangle free. It can be straightened and it can be curled, but it could take a considerable amount of time to accomplish this because of its synthetic qualities. Although it closely resembles human hair, it can not be colored.

Texture, Quality and Color of Hair Extensions

Color
Most hair extension manufacturers follow a world standard classification in terms of coloring their hair extension products. Most hair extensions already have their natural coloring but these colors tend to lose their natural luster over time. Manufacturers then apply hair coloring and post production processes to enhance the quality of the hair extensions that they will sell.

Texture
Since the texture of natural human hair vary in a great degree, manufacturers have set fort a classification standard in order to categorize each different kind of hair texture in order to properly match the individual needs of people accordingly with their hair types.

Proper Care and Styling for Hair Extensions
Taking proper care for your hair extensions would mean begin careful with it twice as much as you would do with your own natural hair. It takes twice the effort to maintain hair extensions as necessary head movements or situations can dislodge your hair extensions from their positions. Considering the price that you have to pay in order to have them attached which costs in between $100 to $200, not to mention the needed time and effort to maintain it for the coming months. The only thing that you have to worry about your hair extensions is that of the proper way of cleaning your hair without damaging your hair extensions.

Using a mild shampoo can give a sufficient way of cleaning your hair extensions without damaging it. Usually, your hair stylist will give you the ample information needed to maintain your hair extensions, including advice on how to properly wash it, the type of shampoo to use, methods of how to comb or brush it properly and how to properly dry it without causing any extensive stress that may damage your hair extensions. Hair extensions made from natural human hair can be styled and fashioned just like any other kind of natural hair ,but be very careful not to over do it. Cold water is usually used along with a mild shampoo to prevent dulling and tangling, since hair extensions are usually chemically treated to have a natural protection, this protection can fade off from frequent washing.

Posted in Blog0 Comments

Dealing with thinning hair

About the author

I am 53 years old and live in Miami. I have two kids, one boy and one girl with my wife Linda. My son Jon is now 19 years old and in College. My daughter Jennifer is 14 and still in High-School. We also have a dog. When I don’t work in the marketing department of a health company, I like to spend time outdoors with my family and friends. I don’t do as much sport as I should but my family and me go on a skiing vacation at least once a year.