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Hair Care

Hair Regrowth, Hair Repair and Hair Growth

For hair to grow healthily and steadily you really do need to provide it with all the nutrients it needs on the inside as well as make sure it has the right environment to thrive on the outside.

Many people pay no attention whatsoever to what is going on inside their bodies in order to produce hair in the first place and instead spend a fortune on expensive products, lotions, potions and treatments that will do little if anything to promote hair growth or repair damaged hair unless you are feeding the follicles from the inside too.

Hair that is damaged will never revert back to the condition it was in before it became damaged, oh yes you can hide the damage to an extent and you can prevent further damage but once the hair is split and broken there is very little you can do other than to cut it off.

So, for you to encourage your hair to grow faster you need to feed it from the inside and look after it on the outside. It really is that simple, however, putting it all into practice takes time, effort and a bit of self discipline.

Diet for hair growth

It is common sense that a healthy diet involves eating a balanced diet containing plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses, proteins, vitamins and minerals etc. One thing that is extremely important for healthy hair growth as well as physical and mental health is essential fatty acids.

Now we’ve only recently been aware of the immense benefits of Omega 3 essential fatty acids so they are often overlooked when it comes to diet. One way of including Omega 3 essential fatty acids in the diet is to take a daily supplement of fish oil.

People who have been taking fish oil for other reasons have noticed that one of the spin offs of taking fish oil was that their hair, skin and nails all improved dramatically. Omega 3 is essential for healthy hair growth so include it in your diet.

Other important elements of a good diet to promote faster and healthier hair growth are Vitamins A, B, C, D and anti oxidants such as Vitamin E and COQ10. These help to remove harmful free radicals from the body and enable your body to function more efficiently.

Looking after your hair on the outside for healthy hair growth and hair repair

If you are doing all the right things on the inside and buying good quality products that are as natural as possible for caring for your hair on the outside but your hair still isn’t growing the way that you would like it to then one of the main inhibitors to healthy hair growth can be clogged up pores. Try giving your scalp a good massage when you wash your hair.

Don’t be tempted to wash your hair every day either unless your hair is particularly greasy as this can ultimately dry out your hair.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when caring for their hair is that they subject it to all sorts of harsh treatments in order to make it beautiful. The effect is often the reverse.

For example, someone who likes to look good may spend a great deal of time on their hair. They may perhaps wash it every day, pile on the conditioner, dry it with a hair dryer, straighten it, colour it, perhaps even bleach it, tie it up in all manner of different styles, and when they look into the mirror they may be pleased with the results, to start with.

However, after a period of time they may start to wonder why their hair isn’t growing as fast as it used to, why it looks dull and lifeless and has lost its natural shine, and where on earth did those split ends come from?

We can all subject our hair to harsh treatments in the name of beauty but unfortunately most of the practices we indulge in will not help our hair to grow. Hair is extremely fragile and can break easily unless we do the right thing and give our hair a fighting chance.

A word about moisture

One of the most important things you can do when caring for your hair on the outside is to make sure it has enough moisture. This cannot be emphasised enough. Healthy hair has about 8 to 10 percent moisture so as far as your vanity will allow, avoid anything that is going to strip your hair of its natural moisture and make sure you use products that are going to replace the moisture in your hair.

For this you are going to need a good conditioner and a hot oil treatment on a regular basis won’t go amiss either.

Conditioning Treatments, Leave In Or Rinse Out?

When buying conditioning treatments for the hair, many people wonder if they should buy a conditioning treatment that is rinsed out of the hair after shampooing, or one that is left in the hair, and whether or not it makes any difference at all.

It really all depends on what your particular hair type is. First of all we will look at why some form of conditioning treatment is important.

During our normal daily routines our hair is naturally going to be exposed to environmental pollutants like traffic fumes, cigarette smoke and cooking smells as well as grubby fingers and along with the normal process of sweating and shedding of dead skin cells, our hair can smell less than fresh and become dirty and greasy looking.

We use shampoo on our hair to lift the dirt and grime out of our hair and shampoos contain certain raw materials that make this process easier but the down side to this is that they can also dry out our hair and strip it of its natural oils.

We use a conditioner to replace the moisture and nourish the hair. There are many different types of conditioning treatments available so if you’re on the look out for a great conditioning treatment for yourself, unless you know exactly what you are looking for, the number of brands, types and formulas can be overwhelming.

There are literally countless hair conditioning treatments on the market but we can separate them into two basic groups. These are rinse out conditioning treatments that you rinse out of your hair after using them and leave in conditioning treatments that you don’t rinse out.

Rinse Out Conditioning Treatments

A standard rinse out conditioner is generally used after shampooing. You basically apply the rinse out conditioner to your towel dried hair and work it through to the ends of your hair with your fingers. Then you leave it on your hair for a couple of minutes before rinsing it out. Easy as that!

Many people use rinse out conditioners after every shampoo, even if they wash their hair on a daily basis. If we don’t use a conditioner after shampooing, particularly if we have dry hair, the hair can become very tangled and difficult to comb and trying to tug your way through tangled wet hair only causes it to break and split and look even more damaged.

A regular conditioner that you use every time you shampoo your hair works by leaving a slight residue or coating on the outside of the individual hair fibres, which helps to separate them and will make the hair easier to comb through. This of course also helps us to avoid split ends and will provide the hair with a protective coating as well as make it feel soft to the touch.

It is also important to note that too much conditioner can weigh the hair down and will make it look flat, particularly if you have greasy or combination type hair.

If you have very dry and damaged hair then you may need a conditioning treatment that is more intense. You can purchase conditioning treatments that you leave in your hair for up to 20 minutes or so to help condition and repair damaged hair.

The more intensive conditioning treatments are designed to penetrate deeply into the hair shaft itself as opposed to just coating the outside, and will help to restore moisture, and leave your hair with a soft silky feel and a radiant shine.

Good conditioners tend to be protein enriched and will contain other ingredients to supply the hair and scalp with essential nutrients.

Really intensive conditioning treatments for the repair of damaged hair are best used on a weekly basis. The rest of the time you can just use your normal conditioner.

Leave In Conditioning Treatments

A leave in conditioning treatment is one that you apply to your hair and leave it. In other words you don’t rinse it out after a period of time. They are usually formulated to replace moisture but not to weigh the hair down and make it look flat like regular conditioners can sometimes do.

You can buy leave in conditioning treatments that you apply after washing your hair or you can buy some that you can spray on your hair as and when you need it.

What’s the best type of conditioning treatment?

The best type of conditioning treatment is one that suits your hair and your hair type. The first thing to do is to identify what your particular hair type so that you can buy a hair conditioning treatment and use it in such a way that is most appropriate for your hair type.

For example, if your hair is particularly dry, damaged, colour treated or frizzy, then you should consider a weekly conditioning and repair treatment for hair repair as well as a conditioner for after shampooing.

On the other hand if your hair is particularly greasy, then using a conditioner after every wash may make it appear even greasier. In this case, or if you have hair that is dry at the ends but greasy at the scalp then a leave on conditioner may be the solution but try to apply the conditioner only to the parts of your hair that need it.

Herbal Hair Care Products and Treatments, Are They Natural

We often see herbal hair care products, skin care products as well as other beauty products and cosmetics marketed as being natural but in reality it’s not always clear as to whether they really are and this is causing a lot of concern for many people who are keen to use natural products and avoid harmful ingredients.

The main problem lies around the fact that there is no legal clarification or guidelines’ regarding what is meant by the term natural therefore companies can use it to try and entice customers into buying their product even though the product contains synthetic and sometimes even harmful ingredients.

This means that anyone wishing to buy an herbal hair care product that is natural will have to carefully check the ingredients on the package and will have to verify any claims made by the company supplying the product. Not easy to do but more and more people are waking up to the fact that all is not as it seems when it comes to so called natural products and are becoming familiar with the type of ingredients to be avoided.

What ingredients should you avoid?

Probably the most infamous ingredient that is often found in hair care products as well as in industrial cleaning products, car wash soaps and engine de-greasers is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS.

SLS is used in soaps and shampoos as they act as a detergent and foaming agent. However, there is an increasing amount of evidence pointing to the fact that SLS can be extremely harmful to health, even carcinogenic when combined with other chemicals. SLS is known to cause eye irritations, skin rashes, scalp problems, allergic reactions and sometimes hair loss.

Companies can quite deviously mislead customers by claiming that SLS “comes from coconut” or “derived from Palm oil” which would suggest that the particular product is a natural product and therefore SLS is a safe ingredient. It isn’t.

You will also often see Sodium Laureth Sulfate listed, which is when an ether chain is added to SLS that has the effect of producing more foam and a richer and thicker product. Avoid it if you want a safe and natural product.

Another ingredient that has been hitting the headlines a lot recently is Parabens which can come under the names propyl, methyl, and butyl or ethyl parabens. They are cheap for companies to buy and are therefore widely used in the cosmetic industry to prevent products from going rancid but Parabens are known to cause reactions and skin irritations. You can buy products that are “parabens free” but again you will need to check the rest of the ingredients to see which preservative is being used.

Formaldehyde or Formalin is something you may well want to avoid and is an ingredient often found in shampoos as well as other products. It produces toxic fumes and can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions.

Another term that is used quite frequently and sometimes to dupe customers into believing a product is safe is ‘hypoallergenic’. If this is listed on a package then it would suggest that the product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. This isn’t true. Like the term natural, there are no official guidelines as to when the term hypoallergenic can be used so means very little when you see it listed on the bottle.

Synthetic colours and fragrances are other ingredients that are anything but natural and which are often harmful but can be listed on a label alongside other ingredients that make them look as if they are natural.

Get to know the ingredients and active raw materials you want to avoid and learn what you should be looking out for if you want to buy a really natural product.

How to choose a natural herbal hair care product

The good news is that there are products out there that are 100 percent natural but you have to be able to distinguish these from others that are merely disguised as natural.

Look for products that contain plant and herbal extracts and those that mention vegetable oils and essential oils among the ingredients. Herbal extracts such as horsetail, parsley, lavender, chamomile, burdock root, sage, rosemary and peppermint are all raw materials that are natural and which are often used in hair care products.

Fo-Ti or Polygonum multiflorum is another natural ingredient that is often found in hair care products which is reputed to be able to help prevent grey hair.

Essential oils that might be listed include the likes of Rosemary, lavender, sage, basil, sandalwood, juniper, Ylang Ylang, lemon, rosewood, orange, as well as many others.

As for vegetable oils you will often see Jojoba oil, Olive oil, Sunflower oil, Coconut oil and many others.

These natural ingredients are fairly easy to spot but the trick is to be able to identify other dubious ingredients amongst them on the ingredients list.

So to answer the question are herbal hair care products natural, the answer is it really depends on what is actually in them and as you can’t always trust what it says on the packaging you have to know what you are looking for.

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