Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hair Loss and Scalp Care

Do you know that a human scalp has an average of about 100000 - 250000 follicles and it is normal to shed 100- 150 strands of hair per day day ? So do not panic if you see more strands on the floor but at the same time, observe if it is a sign of hair loss if you are seeing more than the usual.

This is how you can generally spot the signs of hair loss :
1. Check regularly in for changes in volume and density. Unlike men, women lose hair through out the whole scalp.
2. Visible scalp can be an obvious sign if it is more visible to you.
3. Widening of parting on your scalp. It's pretty easy to spot this when you are styling your hair. It is always advisable to change your parting every three months.
4. Hair accumulation in the shower area, on your pillows, hair brushes is another easy way to detect any sign of hair loss.

One of the easiest way to "observe" any prominent sign of unusual hair loss

Especially for young women in their late 20s onwards and women who are going through the menopause (Likely between their 40s -50s), if you  have started to experience early hair loss issues, these could be the possible factors that result in hair loss:
- Scalp Diseases
- Medication
- Lack of protein
- Lifestyle Stress
- Diet
- Hormonal changes (from Post Partum, Menstrual cycles and Menopause )

After giving birth to two children, the length of my hair never had the chance to touch my shoulders. I noticed the hair loss approximately around the 4th month during both my breastfeeding journey. That was when I decided to maintain a hairstyle which is easier to manage, time saving during hair wash and dry blowing, most importantly is to MINIMIZE hair loss ever since I gave birth to Xav. In a way, it's money saving too since lesser amount of shampoo is used for shorter hair.

A hair style which has been with me on and off for the past 7 years.

The hormonal changes in our bodies, especially for women, should be balanced up. Estrogen which is being produced by both men and women. Especially in women, Estrogen hormones are vital in female body functioning.

A decrease in the Estrogen level will not only result in hair loss. It will also increase women's risk of heart disease. All in all, can I say that everything good comes from the ovaries ?

Here, I share some tips which I accumulated through sharings from my stylists as well as from the talks and books that I have been reading.

Hair & Scalp Care Tips:
- Alcohol consumption in moderation. Too much of alcohol LOWER the zinc, iron, vitamin B & C  level in our body and a RAISE in estrogen level which would usually result in hair loss.

- Blow dry your hair. If you have oily hair scalp like me, given our humid weather in Singapore, I was advised by my hair stylists to always blow dry my hair after every wash. This helps to prevent moisture from being trapped between the scalp and the hair. During blow drying, if you are using medium to high heat, be sure to change to the cool mode when you are about to be done so as to close up the pores.

- Choice of shampoo is crucial and I do make it a point to alternate my choice of shampoo each time I finished a bottle.  Choose your choice of shampoo and conditioner that is best suitable for your type of scalp. I usually go for conditioners that can be in touch with the scalp without causing the scalp to be greasy easily. Here I share the three favourite brands that I have been using.

I am currently using Plantur 21 which can be easily be purchased at the retail stores like Watsons, Guardian, Unity, NHG pharmacies and independent pharmacies as well as NTUC Fairprice, Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets island wide.

Even my mum loves it ! She is using Plantur 39 which is meant for hair over 40. Both of us gave the same feedback and that is we see lesser hair fall during showers.

Before Plantur 21, I am using these as shown below, alternating them on a daily basis and am still using them  now. They have helped with my scalp care pretty well and I usually replenish the shampoo at Compass Point, Venus located on Level 2 when they are running out. It is much cheaper as compared to purchasing it at the hair saloon.

Wella - Hydrate and balance

The third brand which I highly recommend is Medilook. I was recommended by one of my hair stylists. The conditioner for this Japanese brand can actually touch the scalp, unlike the rest. It has a light texture. The price for Medilock is on the higher side as compared to the other two as mentioned. I remembered purchasing it from a Bulk Purchase (BP) in Singapore Motherhood Forum. So far I did not see retail shops carrying this brand. If you ever see it, do let me know ! I am hesitating to get from the saloons because it costs $20 more than what I paid in the BP !

Photo credit from Rakuten

When choosing the products, avoid hair products that are not natural on the hair. Chemical products may leave a residue build-up which contributes to hair fall as well. Just another note to add  on, do not use warm water to wash our hair, use cold water instead.

- Dermatologist Care Hair falls can often be worrying and damaging to one's self esteem especially women ! Go seek for a consultant, get a diagnosis to find out the cause.

I spoke to Dr. Adrian from SKN Medical Spa during an event with regards to our aging scalp. He mentioned that we should not neglect on the protection of our scalp from the exposure to the strong UV rays. Sunscreen for the scalp are available and can be applied to protect it from aging, which is one of the factors contributing to hair loss. This is something new to me ! For the first time, I got to know that such product existed. Guilty as it is, I have never taken care of my scalp properly in a way that I am always out under the hot sun without giving my scalp any protection. So people, bring your caps/ hats  !

Second tip he gave was MASSAGE your scalp. If you just apply the hair tonic or essential oils without massaging, it is not going to do much help.

Basically, massaging can help stimulate blood flow through the scalp and raises the probability of healthy hair growth. I will either drip the oil into the shampoo and massage for about 2-3 mins in circular motion using your fingertips or massage in after wash before blowing dry.

Not only does massaging of the scalp helps in healthy hair growth, it can be relaxing to help promote better sleep, as well as preventing headaches. So add one more step to your daily hair washing routine !

- Keeping a short hairstyle definitely helps reduce my hair fall as it does not weigh down as compared to the times I had long hair.  It's easier to manage and faster to blow dry but it needs to be on "maintenance" every 1-2 months to get it back in shape again. Shang still remains my top favourite when  comes to getting a short hairstyle cut.

- Essential Oils to stimulate and promote better hair growth. If you are an oil enthusiast like me, try the blends. I used Young Living brand and Cedarwood being the most affordable among all the other oils, have received positive feedback on the hair regrowth on the balding area. I am not sure about other brands, but you can try it out and see if it works.

As for my oily hair scalp, I made a blend with Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon eos and stored in an empty bottle (*Note : Do not throw your empty bottles away. Recycle them to contain your blends. This way you don't need to spend on buying glass bottles.)

I used to have the need to go for my annual scalp cleansing treatment because by then my scalp gets oily in less than half a day. Last Aug, I decided to skip the treatment to try out the blend and it works wonderful. Bye bye to oily scalp problems from then on ! Here I share the recipe (Credits to Debra Raybern)

Oily Hair Scalp Recipe :
2 drops of Lavender
4 drops of Lemon
6 drops of peppermint

-Food for hair The secret to healthy, glowing skin and hair is not about what make up you used but what is in your diet. Try including these in your diet:
Vitamin A for promoting healthy sebum in the scalp.
Vitamin B for increasing hair growth - Usually found in Eggs, Fish and Meat

The most frequently consumed in our meals but take in moderation.

Vitamin C for healthy hair, keeping them strong and rich in colour - Oranges, Lemons, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Kiwis, Papayas, Strawberries, Grapefruit, Guavas
Iron for stopping hair loss - Nuts, Sunflower seeds, Beans, Dark green leafy veggies, Almonds, Onions, Apricots and Raisins.
Zinc for hair growth and repairing damaged hair - Eggs, Liver, cereals
Biotin helps strengthen hair and prevents breakages - Carrots, Cucumbers, Eggs, Raspberries, Cabbage, Walnuts

Food that are beneficial for Menopause, go for :
Soy - Soy beans area the main dietary source of Isoflavone, whereby Isoflavone which is a type of phytoestrogen can help relieve discomfort due to menopause.
Chinese Yam - It has nourishing and moisturizing effects and was recommended to consume for relief of perimenopausal symptoms such as night sweats while on the  other hand, it can also boost immunity in postmenopausal women, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ginko - The phytoestrogen in Ginko helps restore hormonal balance for menopausal women and it is also one of the brain food that helps with memory lapses. (Reference from Nutrition. Immunology. Longevity by Jau-Fei Chen, PhD). There is still plenty for me to read up !

I really do hope the above tips benefit you and do drop me a comment sharing your hair care tips too if none of the above is what you have been practising!

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Unknown said...

The one thing that I would like to share with your followers is that having hair loss is not a death sentence at all. Once I was able to come to terms with my loss of hair I simply got it cut differently, started eating better, and taking better care of my scalp. I feel better and have no self confidence.

Victor Peterson @ Dr. Farole

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