Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hair Care - Part I

  • Use a shampoo & conditioner that suits your hair type. Choose products that are gentle, preferably without any harsh detergent like the sulfates. For daily washes, use a shampoo that is mild, gentle & moisturising.
  • Using too much conditioner makes hair greasy. For oily hair, apply a light conditioner at the ends of the hair.
  • Ingredients such as coconut oil moisturizes dry hair, makes hair softer & soothes the scalp; tea conditions & softens hair; jojoba moisturizes permed or chemically treated hair & makes hair manageable; silicone makes hair silky; lemon gives hair a natural shine & conditions; honey conditions deeply; henna leaves are natural hair dyes; apple cider vinegar & rosemary oil encourage hair growth & control dandruff.
  • Eggs contain lecithin which helps to moisturize dry hair. Before shampooing, beat an egg & apply it onto dry hair & cover with a plastic bag for about 15 minutes (body heat intensifies conditioning) then rinse off totally with cold water.
  • Olive oil is a good conditioner too. Massage onto hair & leave it for 10 minutes before shampoo.
  • Massaging your scalp with your fingertips helps the blood to circulate to the scalp.
  • On average hair grows about 1.2 to 1.25 cm a month.
  • Hair is most fragile when wet.
  • To make hair soft & shiny after washing, blot hair gently with towel & then separate with a wide-toothed comb.
  • Blow-drying damages hair, causing dryness & split-ends due to the close contact between the heat on the scalp & hair. The next time you blow dry your hair, face the dryer downwards, use a leave-on conditioner for protection & avoid long exposure of both scalp & hair to the strong heat.
  • To avoid hair damage (e.g. green hair) while swimming in chlorinated water, wear a swimming cap or deep condition your hair before entering the pool. Also, wash & condition hair as soon as you have finished swimming.
  • Wear a hat when staying outdoors for a long period & condition more often.
  • The best hair brush to use is one with bristles made of animal hairs.
  • Refrain from giving stress to hair with constant perms, dye, highlighting, blow-drying, curlers or the use of strong hair styling products.
  • Hair turns grey when melanocytes (cells found in the hair bulb) cease to produce color pigments.
  • Split ends are preventable but not repairable. Cutting them off is the only solution.
  • Flaking does not always mean dandruff. It can be caused by overusing conditioners, the build up of compounds from styling products, not washing hair often enough or not rinsing thoroughly.

Poor nutrition, hormonal changes, stress & shock play a major part in affecting the condition, appearance or disappearance of hair.

Vitamin A - promotes healthy scalp.
Food sources: dark green, orange & yellow fruits & vegetables.

Vitamin B complex - Regulates the secretion of oil, keeps hair healthy & moisturized.

Food sources: cereals, tomatoes, lean meat, liver, kidney, Brewer's yeast, eggs & green vegetables.

A severe lack of biotin (one of the Vitamin B) can lead to hair loss. It works best with Vitamin B5, B12 & folic acid. Food sources: cauliflower, yogurt, wholemeal bread, bran & bananas.

Minerals such as zinc, iron & copper promote healthy hair.

Food sources: zinc - lean red meat, chicken, pumpkin seeds & green vegetables; iron - beef, dried apricots, lean red meat, parsley, eggs, wheatgerm & sunflower seeds; copper - animal organs, seafood, egg yolk & whole grains.

A lack of iron is cited to be the cause of hair loss among women who have not reached menopause.

Proteins - because hair is made up of 97% protein (keratin), consuming enough of it gives hair a natural shine.
Food sources: lean meat, grains & soy.

Fixes for hair problems

Winter hair

  • Wash your hair less often so as to strip less of the hair's natural oil.
  • Use a dry shampoo if you need to wash. One way to have a dry shampoo is to sprinkle some baby powder onto your hair & comb it off.
  • Deep condition once a week. Try massaging your scalp with 4 tablespoons of honey & cover with a plastic bag for 15 minutes or more then rinse off totally with hot water.


  • A leave-on conditioner or hair mousse can get rid of static. Hair static is caused by a lack of hair moisture.
  • Brush with natural & not plastic bristles.
  • Get a sheet of fabric softener & wipe across your hair. It helps control frizz too.

Hair loss

  • Try drinking this - blend bananas with honey, yogurt & low-fat milk. A drink rich in biotin can help keep your crowning glory firmly rooted.
  • Take dietary supplements such as Vitamin B6, zinc & saw palmetto. Supplements are useful when you can't get enough from natural food sources (see Nourishment).
  • Invert your head while you shampoo & massage your scalp. This helps promote blood circulation to the head.
  • Eliminate stress or else it can be disastrous to your precious hair!
  • Get enough sleep.
  • To stimulate scalp circulation, massage the scalp with rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil or rinse hair with tea made from sage (Salvia officinalis).
  • In 76 Ways to Use Noni Fruit Juice (Direct Source, 2001), The Noni rash treatment by applying Noni fruit juice directly onto the scalp using a plaster cloth. Another alternative is to apply Noni extract directly onto the scalp, massage & leave to dry.


  • Dandruff arises from an oily, not dry scalp. Use a special-formulated shampoo to help control the flaking.
  • An anti-dandruff shampoo should contain tea tree oil, salicylic acid, sulfur & zinc pyrithione. Use on alternate days.
  • Massage your scalp with some table salt to remove dandruff then shampoo.
  • Avoid taking foods with preservatives or additives.
  • After washing your hair, massage your scalp with half a cup of apple cidar vinegar. Leave it there, don't rinse off. Do this for a week.
  • You could try this leave-on after shampooing : boil 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of dried thyme for 5 minutes & leave to cool. Strain then massage onto hair & scalp. Don't rinse off.
  • In 76 Ways to Use Noni Fruit Juice (Direct Source, 2001) , The Noni scalp treatment by applying noni fruit juice directly onto the affected scalp, massage for a couple of minutes, leave to dry. Noni can be left overnight or a few hours or it can be rinsed off after about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse off the noni juice & wash hair. Noni has essential fatty acids that help counteract hair & scalp trauma. It contains antioxidants that fight against free radical damage to the hair & scalp & may end chronic hair problems.

Head lice

  • Lice are very tiny wingless blood-sucking insects. They spread quickly when there is personal contact or when items such as combs, brushes, towels, pillows, clothings & hats are shared. It is best that you don't share such items with someone else. Lice infestion can also occur at beards, eyelashes & eyebrows.
  • Ways to get rid of head lice & nits (eggs) include : applying anti-lice medication (lotion, cream or shampoo), using essential oils such as herbs thyme & rosemary, manual removal & getting a hair cut.
  • Wash combs, brushes, hats, beddings, stuffed toys, school bags, coats with hoods, clothings & etc... in hot water.
  • Vaccum thoroughly floors, furniture, carpets, car seats & their head rests. Discard the vaccum bag immediately.
  • Hair Clean 1-2-3 Lice Remover - A very highly recommended & effective non-toxic formula made from essential plant oils.

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