Hair Care Tips
Hair care: womens, mens hair care, women's, men's short, medium, long hair care tips, how to care dry, oily hair care, products, and more!
Each year, Americans spends millions of dollars on hair-care products and treatments.
Unfortunately, some of these efforts are too rough or done frequently. The result is hair
damage rather hair care. Damaged hair stays damaged until it grows out and is cut off.
This can take many months, because your hair grows only about 1/2 inch each month.
Choose shampoo and conditioner that is right for you. Hair gets dirty when sebum, an
oily substance secreted by the skin's sebaceous glands, coats the shaft. Dead skin cells
and airborne dirt stick to the sebum. A "good" shampoo leaves hair manageable,
easy-to-comb and glossy. Most modern shampoos are synthetic detergents called surfactant
-- replacements for the older types that dulled hair by depositing a scum on its surface.
Surfactant molecules surround a tiny glob of oil, forming a package called a
"micelle." Rinse water carries the micelle away. Coloring, perming, combing,
teasing and shampooing can break the cuticle's long protein chains. The cuticle gets
shaggy, and hair becomes rough. Static, due to combing, can develop.
Most modern conditioners contain cationic quaternary ammonium compounds that provide a
positive charge which reduces static and makes hair less "fly-away" and more
manageable. Some products, particularly those containing benzalkonium chloride as the
active ingredient, are good conditioners. Those with added polymers, collagen, balsam,
silicones or resins that bond with and coat the hair shaft, may provide a protective film,
smooth out the cuticle, reducing snarls and tangles. Conditioners that give "extra
body" may contain waxes that, when dry, make it look fuller, some contain oil/fats
(e.g., lanolin, mineral) to smooth hair, and a few have humectants that supposedly hold in
water content. Price and exotic ingredients bear little or no relation to efficacy. Most
conditioning products that claim to nourish hair do nothing of the sort as the ingredients
cannot enter the hair unless they contain transformants -- molecules small enough to pass
into the cortex.
Quaternary ammonium compounds in conditioners have a tadpole-shaped molecule that is
attracted to a damaged site on the cuticle. When many such molecules attach to hair, they
make it slippery and easy to comb. Shampoo molecules and conditioner molecules normally
counteract one another when combined. But several new shampoo/conditioners contain
conditioning agents that stay suspended until the hair is rinsed. Diluting the lather
releases these agents, so they can coat the hair.
Protein shampoos do not penetrate your hair, but they do coat it, giving your hair more
bulk. A protein shampoo acts as a shampoo and conditioner in one. Follow your shampoo with
a cream rinse or conditioner. These products lubricate your hair between washings and help
minimize damage from brushing or combing. Those containing protein ingredients may also
thicken your hair temporarily. use shampoos tailored to your hair type--oily, dry or
normal. Permanent - waved, straightened, or dye hair needs low pH shampoos. Excessive
flaking may require dandruff shampoos (see treating dandruff).
Choosing the right conditioner or shampoo for your hair can be a matter of trial and
error. Some products may make your hair limp, while others may even dull it with a film.
Choose two different brands of shampoo and conditioner that are right for you, alternate
use will give the best result.
It is a myth that shampooing increases hair loss. Whether dry or greasy, hair should be
washed as often as required to look good, even every day. Most experts recommend at least
once a week washing to prevent dandruff from clogging the scalp. If you have an oily
scalp, frequent shampooing will keep the hair from lying flat, weighted down by the fats
in sebum. Shampoo will also reduce surface sebum, which contains high levels of
testosterone and DHT that may re-enter the skin and affect the hair follicle. Very dry
hair may be improved by massaging with a little olive or almond oil, covering and leaving
on overnight, washing out next morning. If done gently, daily shampooing will not damage
your hair. The amount of washing will depend on the type of your hair, the weather, your
physical activity, and perhaps even your occupation.
A proper and thorough brushing should precede every shampooing. For proper washing, wet
your hair completely with warm water. The first rinsing acts as a pre-wash to remove dust
and water-soluble dirt and hair-care products.
After the first rinsing apply the shampoo with hand to the oiliest part of the scalp
and massage the entire scalp gently, using your fingers instead of your nails as you work
the lather outward from your scalp. Try not to tangle the hair, and avoid scrubbing the
ends, particularly if your hair is long.
Rinse thoroughly with water. Shampoo can leave a residue that can dry the hair, attract
dirt, and irritate the scalp. If you shampoo daily, lather only once, even if you have
oily hair. Over- cleansing can create a vicious cycle in which you stimulate oil
production and then dry out the hair. If you shampoo less frequently, experiment with one
or two sudsings.
Handle With Care
After washing, towel dry by patting gently. Since heat from curling irons and
blow-dryers are notorious hair destroyers, to prevent damage, the hair should be dried
naturally. If a blower is necessary, use it on a lowest setting and leave your hair
slightly damp. If you brush or comb your hair while it is wet, you pull out much more hair
than you would by gently untangling it with your fingers and waiting until it is damp or
dry before you carefully brush or comb it. An occasional massage with the fingertips will
enhance blood flow to the scalp.
Your hair requires gentle handling. Wet hair is especially fragile because it might
become stretched. A natural bristle brush is preferred over a synthetic one because the
synthetic material may create static and cut the hair. Brush the hair gently from the
scalp to disperse scalp oil over the hair. Brushing is especially important for long hair
because the natural oils do not normally reach the ends, but it's equally beneficial for
short hair. It increases circulation to the scalp and stimulates hair growth. If you
prefer a comb, use a wide-toothed comb to avoid injury to your hair.
Begin to brush the hair at the ends and remove large tangles gently with your fingers.
Continue to brush, picking up more hair and working along the length of the shaft until
you reach the scalp. Then brush thoroughly from the scalp to the ends with long continuous
strokes. Bend at the waist and brush the hair down toward the floor to stimulate the scalp
by increasing blood flow to that area.
Certain hairstyles and treatments can cause breakage or root damage. Avoid excessively
tight braiding, buns, or ponytails. do not roll your hair too tightly in curlers. Teasing
and back combing should be done gently or not at all. To much exposure to sun, wind, or
swimming-pool chemicals will dry out your hair and cause it to knot.
A styling gel or mousse can give your hair more body or thickness. They do not
necessarily damage your hair, but you may experience extra dryness, especially at the hair
Hair bleaches chemically alter the melanin granule in the middle layer of each hair
strand. Despite careful treatment, persistent bleaching eventually damages even healthy,
strong hair shafts, but it does not injure the roots from which future hair growth takes
Hair dyes work more like paint by covering hair strands with color or by mixing with
the melanin granules without altering them. Dyes come in temporary form, which eventually
wash out, and semi-permanent and permanent forms, conduct a patch test to check for
possible irritation, because a severe allergic reaction to hair dye could cause hair loss.
Curling is safest if you twist your hair into pin curls overnight. Use of hot rollers or
curling irons gives the best results for coarse hair, but they may damage strands or roots
when used to excess. When you use a curling iron always roll in the ends last. For safe
curling of fine hair, let it air dry and wind it loosely around sponge rollers.
Permanent waving rearranges the inner hair molecules, breaking and reforming its sulfur
bonds, in a step-wise chemical process (that gives off the familiar sulfide odor which
wafts off the head being waved). Permanent waving is safe for healthy hair, but you may
find it results in increased dryness and splitting. Straightening and permanent waving use
the same chemical methods to change the properties of hair strands.
In permanent waving, a gentle shampoo first strips off the sebum, then swelling agents
open up the hair shaft -- to allow entry of the bond-rearranging waving solution. Modern
waving solutions (mostly ammonium or sodium sulfide) are more flexible than the former
types, safer and more controllable. The latest acidic waving lotions, although more
expensive, have the gentlest hair-reforming action, and are advised for use on fragile or
tinted hair. Wound on rollers of varying sizes, hair gets a permanent curl of the desired
type. The final extent of the wave depends on the kind of hair (finer curling faster), the
time the solution stays on and the size of roller used. After the hair is arranged in its
new, curly configuration. Waving solution is rinsed off and the second solution, the
neutralizer which restores the linkage is put on to halt the curling process. The waving
action must be stopped at the right time to avoid overprocessing. Modern waving solutions
are often self-timed, the hair-altering reaction automatically halted after a designated
time. A permanent waving should never be done on hair dyed with metallic products and only
with extreme care (using the gentler waving lotions) on hair that's been recently bleached
or tinted with permanent, oxidative dyes. Dual processing could disintegrate hair made
porous by the tinting procedure. Waving after coloring hair requires great care and use of
weaker waving lotions -- a fact known by any trained hairdresser. Done by a reliable
stylist, permanent waving today is pretty safe.
Diet and Your Hair
The quality of your hair reflects in part the adequacy of your diet: regular,
well-rounded meals are best for you and your hair. Consuming extra protein or amino acid
preparations will not promote hair growth. In fact, there is evidence that megadoses of
some vitamins-particularly A and E may contribute to hair loss. Iron deficiency, due to
inadequate consumption of red meat or heavy menstrual bleeding in women, could cause hair
shedding. Crash diets and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa can damage hair
Various claims are made for the value of analysis of hair samples-- measuring its
mineral content -- as a means of assessing nutritional status or detecting nutritional
deficiencies, but the process has no validity and can be considered one of the many scams
aimed at appealing to people concerned about their health. The chance of getting accurate
information from a single hair strand is nil. The results are distorted by contamination
from sweat, the shampoos, conditioners, sprays and coloring agents used to groom hair, and
by the hair's rate of growth. It's highly questionable whether the metal or mineral
content of a hair accurately reflects amounts elsewhere in the body.