Losing hair is scary. You may notice that there are more hairs in the drain when you shower or in your hair brush. Soon you may notice that your hair doesn’t feel as thick when styling it.
When you come to the conclusion that your hair density has changed, you start looking for reasons – anything that might be causing it. There are many factors that can contribute to hair loss. One very common cause is nutritional deficiency with iron deficiency as the most important factor. This is most common in pre-menopausal women between the ages of 35 and 50, when heavy menstruation contributes to iron loss often resulting in anemia.
Even if anemia is not present, low iron can cause problems with hair loss. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, a part of the red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency sometimes triggers hair loss in large quantities but it can also be the cause of subtle, slow thinning over several months or even years.
If you think that you may have hair loss due to iron deficiency, go to a doctor to get the proper tests. Don’t go out and load up on iron supplements. You should be tested by a doctor who can prescribe supplements if needed. Self- medicating can be dangerous. Excess iron in the blood can be harmful. It can build up to toxic levels in some people. Studies have shown that too much iron can lead to increased risk of coronary heart disease and even some cancers.
Focusing on getting iron from natural sources is the best preventative measure. Always make sure that you have a well rounded diet consisting of all essential nutrients and well as iron rich foods. There are plenty of great sources of natural iron in the food you eat.
Be sure that you include several servings of a variety of the following foods in your diet everyday.
Each individual hair on your head goes through three phases in its lifetime.
Parts of the hair and skin are a follows:
The Dreaded Age of Night Sweats
This is an aggrivating side effect of menopause. Many women will experience waking up in the middle of the night soaked with perspiration. Excessive perspiration is not always confined to the evening hours, but can surprise you at any time during the day. This problem is not only uncomfortable but will ruin any hair style.
Speak to your doctor or your natural foods adviser about controlling the symptoms.
Reduce the room temperature to 68 degrees or lower while sleeping.
Hair Styling: The fist thing women, with medium to long hair, will feel is hair clinging to the back of their neck. The best thing to do: get the hair up and off ther neck. Covered bands, scrunchies. clips, barrettes and bobby pins can be used to create ponytails, French rolls and other updos.
Shampoo with a good quality shampoo as often as necessary. Speak to your hairdresser about hairstyles that are easy, since you may be styling several times a day.
Hair color and permanent waves can be affected.
The salt from perspiration may affect the chemical processes of hair color and permanent waves. While a shampoo is customary before permanent waves, it is not often done before applying permanent hair color. If heavy perspiration is a part of your life, shampoo your hair with a cleansing shampoo before every hair color application as well as permanent wave. This will remove any salt residue and provide more satisfactory results.
Threading is an ancient method of hair removal. It is still used in many countries in the Middle East as well as India and Pakistan and in parts of the United States where residents of this culture are found. It is used to shape eyebrows and remove hair from the upper lip and other facial areas.
Cotton thread is twisted and rolled along the surface of the skin. This action entwines the hair in the thread, which is then lifted out from the follicle. This method lasts between three to eight weeks and is less invasive than other hair removal methods such as tweezing, waxing or sugaring. Only a slight pinch is felt when a relatively large area is covered each time. There are still cosmeticians skilled in the art of threading in certain areas and can often be found your local Yellow Pages.
I've become aware of a problem with this form of hair removal. Generally the practitioner controls one end of the thread in her mouth. This is very unsanitary. Bacteria and germs are transferred from the mouth, to the thread, and to the sensitive skin around eyes and face. There is the possibility of disease. For instance herpes virus may be spread in this way.
Are you overwhelmed by the business of life? The stress of it causes you become tense and even your scalp becomes tight. That tight scalp inhibits circulation and is hindrance to healthy hair growth.
For years hairdressers have known the best way to relieve stress and to relax the scalp.
That’s why every salon visit starts with a shampoo and thorough head massage. This massage increases circulation, stimulates nerve endings, frees knots of muscle tension, relaxes connective tissue and feels great. Professionals are trained in the pattern of manipulation for the most beneficial massage, however, it is a simple process to perform on yourself with almost the same relaxing and healthful results.
Using the following technique will get you started on taking better care of your scalp. You can create yourself by using a good conditioner and adding a few drops of essential oil. Try using lavender oil, chamomile or jasmine for anxiety and stress relief, or use grapefruit to uplift the spirits. Be aware that the essential oils are too strong to be used alone so be sure to mix them with the conditioner.
Use slow, steady movements for enhanced relaxation or vigorous massage for more energy.
Rinse your hair with warm water, and then wrap the hair in a warm towel to remove about 50% of the water. Loosen the hair and apply a massage lotion.
All of the manipulations will be performed with the pads of fingers and under the hair.
Start by placing both hands at each side of the back of the head, fingers pointed up. Slide the fingers firmly upward until they meet at the top at the head.
Next, repeat the movement, except move the fingers in one-inch rotations as they slide towards the top. Repeat this several times.
Now, place your hands in the front, palms on the forehead, fingers toward the top of the head and repeat the rotating motion while sliding the fingers toward the crown. Repeat this motion several times.
Next, place the fingertips at the sides of the head just above the ears. Use the same circular motion as you move your fingers toward the top of the head. Repeat several times.
Finally, place the fingertips at the temples and massage in slow circular movements.
Finish by firmly running the fingers of both hands from the front hairline to the back. Repeat this several times.
Remove the oils with a shampoo and condition to leave both scalp and hair in top condition.
There is no need to wait for a trip to the hair salon for all the therapeutic benefits of a wonderful scalp massage. All you have to do is spend a little time pampering yourself.
Many women notice increased dryness, decreased shine and dry brittle hair or a straw-like texture in the years after the age of 40. The body's natural oil (sebum) production slows down as we age. It is said to decrease about 10% for every 10 years of life.
Nutrition: Assess your eating habits. Certain nutrients help the body to create natural moisturizers.
Drink water. It is suggested that we drink eight 8-ounce glasses a day. If that seems impossible, start slowly with whatever increase you can handle and build up. Carry bottled water with you wherever you go.
Scalp Massage can help encourage oil glands to produce. Read about Scalp Relaxation.
Change your styling processes: If you use both hair color and
permanent waves, think about giving up one of them. Aging hair is often not strong enough to withstand more than one chemical process. The result of using permanent wave and hair color being dry, dull hair. I have found that unless your hair is beautiful snow white or silver, it is wisest to give up the permanent waves and keep using hair color. A soft, flattering hair color and natural styling is a much more youthful look which in turn adds to any woman's sense of well-being. When giving up a perm, try a short, layered style that is slightly disheveled and not over-done. Use mousse or gel and a minimum of hairspray for body.
Styling products: Use good quality products on your hair. Lesser quality shampoo, conditioners, etc. may be fine for hair that is youthful, strong and full of natural oils, but not for aging hair. Look for products that are conditioning (moisturizers and protein ), mild in strength and that contain protection from the elements (such as sunscreen.)
If you are age 40 or older you may be experiencing some unwelcome changes in the thickness, texture, condition and styling needs of your hair. If so, you are not alone. Many women start noticing significant changes as they age. In most cases these are from menopausal symptoms. You may be seeing all of these changes or indications of several.
I'll address some of the more obvious problems and recommend some remedies.
Lets Start with Changes of Thickness
This may be a drastic and frightening thinning of your hair. Some women may even be able to see their scalp through their hair especially in the bang area.
The most frequent cause of hair loss is low thyroid function, which is common among menopausal women. Other causes include changes in hormone levels and increased stress, either emotional or physical - also common among women entering menopause. To add to the problem, hair growth slows down as we age so that your hair does not replace itself as quickly after natural shedding.
Speak to your doctor about possible thyroid medication or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Speak to your natural foods advisor. Soy products have been known to help hormone levels without the risk of synthetic HRT.
Speak to you hair stylist. Shorter, layered cuts provide more body and easier styling in thinning, lifeless hair. Learn how to style hair to produce more body and fullness.
Reduce heat styling so as to reduce the risk of breakage. This includes: Blow-drying with a brush. Curling irons. Flat irons. Hot rollers that get too hot. Even round brushes with a metal core. Any of these has the possibility of over heating your hair so that any amount of stress can cause it to break.
Make your hair appear thicker with hair color. Multi-colors rather than one solid color will make your hair appear thicker. Using a color-blend technique, such as foils, your hairdresser will add 3 or 4 shades to your hair. (your own shade, 2 or 3 lighter and possibly 1 deeper) The hair color will also swell the hair shaft slightly, making it appear and behave thicker. And lets not forget the added benefit of camouflaging gray hair!
People have been searching for hair loss remedies for centuries. Topical applications, shampoo, conditioners and stimulation all have some degree of success but none of them have been shown to result in a natural full head of hair.
Those who are looking for a better solution to baldness can be more assured of the results with Hair Transplantation. This is a proven procedure that has performed since the late 1950's with techniques being perfected since that time.
Transplantation is a surgical procedure that removes hair from the back and sides of the head, (where the patient has plenty of hair) and transplants it to the balding or thinning areas. The "donor" area is anesthetized and a strip of scalp tissue about one-half to one inch wide and four or five inches long is removed. The donor area is sutured together and heals leaving only a thin line that is covered by the hair from surrounding areas that grows over it.
That strip that has been removed is divided into many grafts, some containing as few as one or two hairs. These grafts are implanted into the balding area and are accepted and fed by the body. You may know that the chemical DHT causes hair loss in many men and some women. DHT occurs naturally in the body. Amazingly the grafted hairs are not susceptible to DHT and will grow for a lifetime requiring no further special care.
As much as I love hair – styling, cutting, coloring – everything about it; there is some hair that I don’t like. It is on my chin or on my lip or an excess of fine hair on my cheeks.
I have found that as I mature, this hair becomes more noticeable. This is the hair that has to be removed regularly. I am going to tell you about two gadgets that are great for
removing that irritating and unwanted hair. Both gadgets are safe, fast and easy to use.
The Micro Hair Trimmer by Cricket is a tiny battery operated clipper. It is the perfect size for those hairs that regular sized clippers, trimmers and shears
can’t get at. The Micro Trimmer is small enough to trim those pesky nose hairs and gentle enough to get those fine soft hairs that can cause the fuzzy face look on women. The
Micro Trimmer trims the fuzz off, leaving your face feeling smooth and soft. (Those soft hairs are always very fine, do not grow back heavier and do not feel bristly when they do
grow back. So don't be afraid to use the trimmer.)
The Micro Trimmer comes with a guard attachment that makes trimming eye brows or a man’s mustache or beard easy. Use it without the guard to shave the hair on the back of your neck.
One AAA battery runs the Micro Trimmer for quite a while, giving it enough power for any job I have found for it.
This product uses no chemicals but removes unwanted hair while it also exfoliates the skin. This leaves skin feeling very smooth. The effective area of the Smooth Away is a pad covered
with superfine crystals that actually buff away the hair and the dead skin.
Smooth Away comes with two rubber applicators that disposable pads are attached to. The large applicator is large enough to slide three fingers into and is used for areas such as legs,
arms and under arms. The small applicator is one finger size and is used for small areas such as the upper lip and the chin. Each applicator comes with four adhesive backed replacement pads.
Just peel off the old pad and stick on a new one.
It has often been my habit to skip the instructions and to charge in using new gadgets but in this case be sure to read all of the instructions before using the Smooth Away. The instructions
are important. They will tell you to cleanse the area and dry it thoroughly without using creams or moisturizers prior to using the Smooth Away. This is important. It won’t work without following
this step. To remove the hair, gently buff the area in circular motions – first clock-wise and then counter clock-wise. Be firm but gentle. Pressing too hard can cause irritation. Remember that
the pads are covered with tiny crystals that remove the hair and exfoliate. If your skin is sensitive, it is wise – and suggested on the package – to use it on only a small area and then wait
24 hours before proceeding to see if irritation occurs.
When used correctly, Smooth Away does exactly what it claims and makes shaving, waxing and chemical depilatories unnecessary
(I purchased both of these products with my own money and was not paid to review them.)
Is your hair dry and lifeless? Hair color, perms, blow-drying, irons, wind and sun can all lead to stressed out hair. Once a month take time out of your busy schedule to pamper your hair and pamper yourself at the same time.
This will take off the build up of old styling products and prepare your hair to receive the nutrients.
Lynne Chapman served as Hair Site Editor of BellaOnline.com for fifteen years. She is a professional stylist and colorist of more than forty years.