Having healthy, shiny, and soft hair and minimizing the risk of Hair Loss the dreaded fall and frizz is not 100% in our hands, but we can help, to a great extent, by taking care of it from the inside and the outside.
Hair, like our body, needs care and attention. Nobody likes to see it fall or find it on the pillow, in the shower, or on the sofa. From a medical point of view, hair can fall due to different diseases, but another common cause is hair breakage due to lack of proper care.
How do we know if our hair is healthy? Shine, softness, and frizz are three indicators of the health of our cuticle (outer layer of the hair). If the cuticle is healthy, the hair will look shiny, healthy, and smooth. If it is eroded, the hair will appear rough, dull, and frizzy.
Shine, Softness, and Frizz are three indicators of the Health of our Cuticle
Frizz can have a genetic basis, but it is often due to a lack of hydration and breakage of the cuticle, the chemical processes it has undergone, and or poor care.
External Hair Care
Haircare includes cleaning, drying, styling, and brushing. Although any manipulation of the hair shaft can cause breakage, we can minimize hair loss by following some proper grooming, shampooing, conditioning, styling, and cosmetic care practices.
Hair shafts are more subject to breakage when wet, as wet hair is more easily stretched to the point of breaking. For this reason, after grooming it is best to detangle your hair with your fingers and dry it slightly before detangling it with a wide-tooth comb. Keep in mind that brushes are not suitable for detangling hair as they tend to tear and fracture the shaft. The less manipulation, the less likely it will break.
Combs should have soft, widely spaced teeth so that they can glide freely through the hair. In the same way, the bristles should be spaced with rounded tips since the space between the bristles is more important than whether they are synthetic or natural.
How Often Should We Wash our Heads?
It seems obvious but it is not always kept in mind: the shampoo is specially designed for the scalp that is a hairy area and not for the hygiene of the rest of the body surface that does not have hair. Specifically, the shampoo cleanses not only the hair but also the scalp that contains the oil from the sebaceous glands, skin flaking, and polluting particles.
We Should only Clean our Hair When there is an Excess of Sebum
A frequent question is how regularly we should wash our heads. The answer to this question is simple: it will depend on each scalp since cleaning should be done only when it is necessary to clean dirt from the hair or excess sebum. That is, if the production of sebum is minimal, daily washing will not be necessary for good hygiene. On the other hand, if the scalp is more oily or you do intense sports, it should be washed more frequently.
Keep in mind that washing your head daily, without having to, can cause friction in the hair and weaken it. It is not necessary to completely remove the sebum layer as small amounts of sebum are desirable to smooth the hair cuticle and reduce static electricity, allowing hair to appear shiny.
Can we only wash the scalp with water? No, we need to use a shampoo with surfactants, that is, with surfactants (they have the ability to stabilize mixtures of two insoluble liquids) that allow the fat to emulsify with the shampoo and water and can be washed away with rinsing. But what degree of surfactants must the shampoo contain to remove sebum? On the one hand, if there is little it will not remove the sebum and, on the other hand, if it is too much it will dry out the scalp causing irritation.
The sulfates are a very effective but also aggressive surfactants family. The problem with sulfates is that they have a very strong cleansing action and can dry out the hair and scalp because they remove their natural oils. In shampoos for daily use, their quantity should be reduced, and in children’s shampoos, nonexistent. The more fragrant and foamy a shampoo is the more sulfates and other chemicals it will contain. Switching to a sulfate-free shampoo will achieve better preservation of the natural oils of the scalp and will produce less irritation. Of course, if you use sulfate-free shampoos, you have to avoid the use of silicones (for example, dimethicone, very common in masks) because they will be very difficult to remove scale from the hair without using them.
The conditioner is useful in patients with excessive breakage because it minimizes the fall by detangling the hair and reducing friction between the comb and the shafts and the shafts with each other. In the natural world, many people prefer natural oils to silicones.
Drying and Dyeing
It is important to dry your hair carefully to prevent breakage. For example, aggressively towel drying should be avoided at all costs because rubbing the hair shafts together while wet creates friction resulting in breakage.
We Must Avoid Drying the Hair Aggressively with a Towel
If possible, better to let the hair dry without external heat applied. The heat from the blow dryer can damage and weaken your hair, causing it to appear frizzy and curly at the ends. We can avoid this by setting the dryer to the lowest temperature and holding the nozzle at least 15 centimeters from the scalp. It’s also helpful to select a specially designed vented blow dryer brush to prevent high temperatures from building up along the brush.
While there is no such thing as a hair coloring that does not weaken the shafts, there are some less harmful coloring methods. In general, darkening the color is less harmful than lightening it, since lightening requires the previous bleaching, followed by dyeing (there are two steps and not one).
It is advisable to keep the color as close to natural as possible since the most dramatic changes will cause greater damage to the stem and will precipitate its breakage and fall.
Internal Hair Care
Our hair not only needs attention and good external care but also nutrients so that it is strong and protected. Sulfur amino acids, such as cysteine and methionine, favor the process of hair formation and growth. Zinc promotes hair growth and strength (its deficiency usually accompanies hair loss) and iron is necessary for it to grow strong and healthy (its loss is usually important during menstruation, so we must ensure an adequate supply).
Vitamins A, C, and E, and biotin along with other B vitamins, such as folic acid, B12, and B6 are important for good hair growth. Also, antioxidants it is subjected to many external aggressions whether climatic, chemical, or physical. All these nutrients can be found in foods such as green leafy foods, fish, nuts, legumes, seeds and oils, fruits, and whole grains.
Having healthy, shiny, and soft hair and minimizing the risk of the dreaded hair loss is not 100% in our hands, but we can help, to a great extent, by taking care of it from the inside and outside. Because our health depends, to a great extent, on how we live.