Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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Hair Loss

There are many causes of scalp hair loss, and they do differ in men and women. Studies show that losing up to 100-150 hairs per day is normal. Human hair naturally grows in three phases: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. Anagen is the active or growing phase. Catagen is a fairly short phase of the natural hair cycle during which hairs begin to break down. Telogen is the resting phase. The hairs that are shed daily are often in the resting or late phase in the hair cycle. Normally, about 10% of the scalp hairs are in the resting or Telogen phase at any time. These hairs are not growing and are getting prepared for cyclic shedding.


In general, most hair loss is not associated with systemic or internal disease, nor is poor diet a frequent factor. Frequently, hair may simply thin as a result of predetermined genetic factors, family history, and the overall aging process. Many men and women may notice a mild and often normal physiologic thinning of hair starting in their thirties and forties. Other times, normal life variations including temporary severe stress, nutritional changes, and hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, and menopause may cause a reversible hair loss. Notably, several health conditions, including thyroid disease and iron deficiency anemia, can cause hair loss.

Hair Loss and Stress: Is there a correlation between Hair Loss and Stress?

Both emotional and physical stresses (such as a serious illness or recovery from surgery) have been associated with hair loss. It is possible that stress induces hormonal changes that are responsible for the hair loss, since hair loss is a known consequence of other hormonal changes due to pregnancy, thyroid disturbances, or even from taking oral contraceptives. Nervous habits, such as scalp rubbing or hair twisting or pulling may also be responsible for hair loss. These habits may be responses to psychological stress in some people and may be another cause of stress-related hair loss. Excessive hair-pulling is a form of impulse-control disorder medically referred to as Trichotillomania.



Top 5 Foods for Healthy Hair

When it comes to healthy hair, it’s not just what you put on your tresses that count -- it’s what you put in your body, too.


"Lather, rinse, repeat" may be standard advice, but shampoo and conditioner alone won't give you the healthy hair you crave. For the most luxurious locks possible, you'll need to step out of the shower, and into the kitchen. Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month, and the foundation of all of our new hair, skin, and nail growth is the nutrients we eat. If you eat a healthy diet, you will grow stronger and healthier cells throughout your entire body -- inside and out. If you were born with fine, thin hair, you'll never have rope-thick tresses -- no matter what you eat -- but a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of growth-promoting protein and iron can make a difference, say nutrition and hair experts. And beware of dietary supplements often marketed to thicken hair or make it grow faster. They may backfire. In rare instances, excess supplementation of certain nutrients, such as vitamin A, has been linked to hair loss.


Healthy Hair Food No. 1: Salmon


When it comes to foods that pack a beauty punch, it's hard to beat salmon. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron. Vegetarian? Include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.



Healthy Hair Food No. 2: Dark Green Vegetables

Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium. Popeye the Sailor Man didn't eat all that spinach for healthy hair, but he could have. Spinach, like broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body's natural hair conditioner.



Healthy Hair Food No. 3: Beans

Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.



Healthy Hair Food No. 4: Nuts


Brazil nuts are one of nature's best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp. Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.



Healthy Hair Food No. 5: Poultry

Chickens and turkeys may have feathers, but the high-quality protein they provide will help give you the healthy hair you crave. Without adequate protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair, while a profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair colour. Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.

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