Hairs are more important than mere crowning glory. The hair on our head protects the skull by cushioning it and protects the scalp from the sun and wind. And the hairs on our eyelids (eyelashes) and in our nose and ears filter out dust and dirt particles. Just below the skin are sebaceous gland, which produces an oily substance called sebum, which lubricates and protects the hair.
Hair Structure: Hair structure grows out of small cavities in the skin known as hair follicles. In some mammals several hairs grow from each follicle. An involuntary muscle, the arrector pili, attached to the follicle makes the hair “stand up” in response to cold, or to fear and other emotional stimulation.
Hair Growth: As new hair cells formed the old cells are pushed above the skin surface where they die. Only the root of a hair is living, that is the reason why it does not hurt when hair is being cut. Cutting the hair will not make it grow faster nor thicker, as other people believed.
The growth period of shorter body hairs, such as eyelashes, is only a few months. At the end of the growing period, the old hair falls out, and a new one starts to grow. In some mammals they shed all their hair at certain times of the year and grow a new coat.
Other Hair Facts:
- A healthy human head has from 80,000 to 150,000 hairs.
- Head hair has three cycles. The growing cycle; the resting cycle, which last for only a few weeks; and the falling cycle, when it dies and falls out, to be replaced by a new hair.
- A daily hair loss of about 50 hairs is a normal part of the cycle.
- Because hair is inert material (not alive), shampoos and rinses enriched with protein or other nutrients cannot repair damage or make hair healthier. Protein-based shampoos can make a temporary difference in hair’s appearance by leaving a shiny coating on the hair shaft.
- Each individual head hair has a life span of between two and six years.
- Most head hair grows about half an inch per month, faster in the summer.
- The size of the opening in the follicle determines the thickness of the hair.
- Hair color is genetically determined and caused by a pigment called melanin found in the follicle. The basic hair colors are red, yellow, brown, and black, but most hair is a combination of these colors.
- The decline of melanin production is what causes hair to lose its color, turning into gray, which is its original color mixed with white, or white, which is a complete absence of melanin.
Hair is straight or curly depending on the shape of the follicle from which it grows.
- Straight hair -it grows from completely round follicles.
- Wavy hair – it grows from oval follicles.
- Very Curly hair – it grows from flattened follicles.
How to Prevent Hair and Scalp Problem:
- Oil massage. A warm oil massage, done at least once a week will help prevent dry scalp. Virgin Coconut oil and Jojoba oil is a good option. You can also massage your scalp using coconut milk or Aloe Vera gel. Leave it for ½ hour and then rinse with warm water. Repeat 3 times a week.
- Amla. Make a hair pack by mixing amla (Indian goose berry) powder with one egg. Apply it to your hair and leave for half an hour. Wash hair.
- Yogurt. Plain yogurt can help reduce dry scalp and can remedy other scalp problem. Apply yogurt to scalp after shower and shampoo. For thin, light and uncontrollable hair, some people may choose to add one egg to the yogurt to help increase fullness to the hair.
- Massage the scalp for 10 to 15 minutes gently after bathing. This stimulates the blood circulation and strengthens the hair follicles in the scalp.
- To control mild dandruff, doctors usually recommend shampooing daily until the dandruff is under control, followed by twice-weekly shampooing for maintenance. Use shampoo intended for dry or damaged hair.
- Hair styling aids such as mousse, hair spray, hair spritz, styling gel and sculpturing gel may be used in moderation, especially if they do not contain alcohol.
- Avoid high heat from blow dryers.
Healthy Hair Tips
- Use shampoos with natural ingredients (aloe vera, olive oil, avocado etc).
- Don’t apply shampoos or conditioners directly from the bottle. Pour small amount into the palm of your hand, dilute it with a little water and then apply it.
- You don’t need to wash twice with most shampoos. Washing once will protect the healthy oils in your scalp and on your hair.
- Use a large, thick-toothed comb to comb conditioner through your hair.
- Rinse out conditioner thoroughly, or your hair will be heavy and oily.
- Dry your hair by wrapping it in a towel and blotting it, rather than rubbing it, pulling, or wringing it.
- When your hair is wet, comb it gently, working from the bottom up.
- Wear a bathing cap when swimming in chlorinated pools.
- Rinse your hair right away after swimming in the ocean.
- If possible, avoid or go easy on hair dyes (most of them contain coal tar, which is carcinogenic), bleaches, and perms. They will all eventually make your hair dull.
- If possible, dry your hair naturally. The constant use of hot combs, heated rollers, and blow dryers will make your hair dull.
- Protein. Hairs are 98% protein, so you can probably guess what your key nutrient is when it comes to healthy hair and nails. Although protein is the basic building block of hair, too much of it will do more harm than good. And since hair loss is associated with a high-fat diet, you need to get the majority of your protein from low-fat sources such as fish, poultry and legumes such as soy.
- Vitamin A is a key vitamin for healthy hair. One of the sign of vitamin A deficiency or excess is hair loss. Sources of vitamin A are yellow or orange fruits and vegetables and dark leafy vegetables. Other sources are liver, egg yolks, milk, and butter.
- Vitamin E is another vitamin for a healthy hair; it is recommended that everyone take 400 IU of vitamin E daily. Food sources of vitamin E are unrefined, extra virgin olive oil, whole grains, avocados and nut.
- Biotin – is a member of the B-complex family is actually added to many shampoos. However, it will do you more good when you take it on the inside than the outside. Although a biotin deficiency is rare, it can cause hair loss. Biotin can be depleted by low-calorie weight loss diets, oral antibiotics. Eating food high in biotin, such as nuts, whole grains, organ meats (such as liver), and vegetables, can reverse hair loss caused by a biotin deficiency.
- Full fat dairy products, dark green vegetables, and deep yellow vegetables and fruits for vitamin A.
- Whole grain products for niacin.
- Fruits like bananas, prunes, and watermelons for vitamin B6.
- Fresh fruits for vitamin C.
- Nuts and legumes for biotin and zinc.
- Lean meat, poultry, and fish for high-grade protein.
Uses of Human and Animal Hair:
- Human hair is used into making wigs, hairnets and toupes.
- Animal hair is used in upholstery stuffing, in plaster, in manufacturing of felts (thick fabric made of fibers of wool) or hats, rug pads and pennants (long pointed flag). Animal pelts (animal skin especially with fur still on it) are used in fur coats.
- Wool (thick soft hair) from sheep, goats, vicunas, alcapas, and llamas is used in making textiles and carpets.
- Horsehair – the bowstrings of violin is a horsehair.
“This post was originally published on May 3, 2012 @10:19”