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!
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.