Did you know that your hair stores the history of your health? It is said this is only true in animals, but I believe differently. Being a cosmetologist (hairdresser), I am bombarded with questions from my clients regarding their particular hair issues. I hope I can enlighten you all on some of the issues encountered.
As my Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines it, “hair is a thin flexible shaft of cornified cells which develops from a cylindrical invagination of the epidermis, the hair follicle. The shaft consists of three layers of cells: the cuticle or outermost layer; the cortex, forming the main horny portion of the hair; and the medulla, the central axis. The color of your hair is due to pigment in the cortex. Hair in each part of the body have a definite period of growth after which they are shed. In man there is a constant gradual loss and replacement of hair. Hair of the eyebrows last only three to five months; that of the scalp two to five years. Baldness or alopecia results when replacement fails to keep up with hair loss, which may be due to hereditary factors or pathological conditions to include injury from irradiation.” I add, disease – such as heart, thyroid, nerves, etc., prescription medications taken for these diseases, improper hair care, and even though the ladies don’t want to admit it – coloring, perming, and bleaching – which over a long period of time weakens the hair cortex, and can cause hair loss and thinning. I could go on and on.
The concern of most folks, however, is the greying and thinning of the hair. When the hair turns grey the texture of the hair changes from fine, medium fine, to coarse and sometimes even brittle. Dry hair can be caused by many things to include; drug use, over the counter meds, the shampoo you use, sun damage, etc. My research tells me that not getting enough iron and lysine, can cause early hair loss, especially in women. You can get iron from dark leafy green veggies, beans, seeds and grains, and iron supplements. Lysine, is an amino acid that helps the proteins in your hair grow thick and strong. It is important for thick, healthy hair. Your body doesn’t make lysine. It is hard to come by, but you can get it from certain foods to include; mung beans, haddock, pumpkin seeds, salmon, crab, cod, chickpeas, and supplements. I find the supplements to work well provided they come from a reputable supplement company, such as Life Extension.
Grey hair is due mainly to the absence of hair pigment in the cortical layer of the hair. Grey hair is mottled hair – spots of white or whitish yellow scattered about in the hair shaft. Normally, grey hair grows out in this condition from the hair bulb. It does not take place after the hair has grown out. In the majority of cases greying hair is a result of the natural aging process in humans. It can also happen as a result of some serious illness or nerve damage, stress, emotional tension. I had a friend in the hair business who said his hair turned grey when he was a teenager. Premature greying of hair is usually the result of a defect in pigment formation occurring at birth.
Over time hydrogen peroxide builds up in the hair follicles, which leads to what is called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can be caused by smoking, not getting enough vitamins, breathing bad quality air (mostly in large cities, etc.
The Scientific community is working to find ways to slow down the greying process induced by oxidative stress. They have come up with an oil called Amaranth. This oil is a vegan, non-GMO, single ingredient oil that contains a powerful antioxidant that reverses oxidative stress.The single ingredient in this oil is called squalene – considered to be a basic component of human skin, which regulates oxygen in cells that need it most.
So what is squalene? Squalene has been around for centuries used around the world as an ancient beauty secret. It has been found to help build and balance hormones in the body, like estrogen, testosterone and vitamin D which can reduce thinning hair. Other benefits include: its boosting your skins production of collagen, improving the skin’s natural moisture, metabolizing fat, protecting cellular health, ensuring slow and healthy aging. Research suggests that squalene may lower your risk of cancer, protect your heart as you age. They also say that squalene in Amaranth oil is even better for your hair and skin than olive oil. Where can you purchase Amaranth oil? To my knowledge -Health food stores. It is also found in hair care products. If you take it as a supplement, be sure the oil is pure and is indicated as to whether you can take it internally. Check with your doctor, do your homework. The internet is full of all kinds of information. GOOGLE IT!
After reading all of the above think wellness. Soft skin, and strong, healthy hair are only the beginning.