Many people are aware of the fact that hair is basically protein – actually, a very specific type of protein known as keratin. In order to have healthy hair, you need to have ample protein in your diet, which will get relayed to the hair. If hair is looking dull, is damaged or constantly breaking, protein deficiency may be the cause. For such people, the best way to proceed would be to opt for protein treatments. Such treatments are all the more important for people who have split ends or extremely damaged hair. When such hair receives protein treatments, each strand receives a new lease of life – the protein fills in the gaps that have emerged in the hair, making the hair stronger and more resilient to breakage and further damage.
However, there is a limit to how much protein hair can take, because too much of a good thing is also not good. While hair does need protein, it also requires moisture, which is why it is essential to maintain a balance between the two. Many a times, people use hot styling tools, such as curling or straightening irons, too frequently. The extreme heat evaporates the natural moisture of the hair, making them dry, frizzy, unmanageable and also weak. This again plays around with the basic structure of the hair.
The growth of each hair starts in the base of hair follicles – it is here that each hair receives nourishment via keratin and oil. While keratin is the main part of the hair structure, the oil is relayed via the sebaceous gland. The gland, which sits at the base of the hair follicles, ensures that the hair remains moisturised and healthy. As the hair grows in length, it slowly starts to lose the moisture, and as a result its strength. This is why, as a rule thumb, the longer your hair, greater the chances for damage. So, longer hair needs more moisture and more protein, as compared to shorter hair.
There are also other factors that play an important role in depriving hair of protein, and weather is one of the biggest. Whether it is winters or summers, the extreme temperatures can play havoc with your hair. This is why it is important that you take extra care of your hair during such times. Both in the winters and summer, sun can snatch the essential hydration from hair. If there are strong winds, your hair can feel parched and this often leads to split ends. This is why it is crucial that during such extreme climates, you provide your hair with extra moisture and increase protein in your diet.
If you are someone who constantly gets several chemical treatments done on your hair, you need to ensure that you cleanse your hair on a regular basis. The chemicals that are used for such cosmetic procedures might make your hair look good, but the fact of the matter is that these do more damage than benefit. Hair becomes weak and hence becomes more prone to breakage. This is why it is important that hair is cleansed and stripped off of all these chemicals on a regular basis.
Protein treatments help with the rebuilding and restructuring of hair that has been damaged due to such processes. While extensive damage is difficult to combat, there can certainly be improvement with regular treatments. It is important to understand that hair damage cannot be repaired overnight; it will take time. So, undergoing treatments every other day, will not help; rather it will cause greater damage and more hair fall. As a matter of fact, if you undergo protein treatments at frequent intervals, your hair will lose the essential hydration and lubrication. Your hair will start to feel really hard and unpliable, which means that you will have to work harder to tame them.
Protein and keratin treatments should be done as per a schedule set out by someone qualified. So, talk to your doctor or the owner of a good salon, because they will be able to advise you about the correct frequency of such treatments. Sage advice would be to follow up each protein treatment with proper hydrating conditioning as well.
Such professional will also tell you that when you are getting a protein treatment, it would be wise to cover your head with a cap, preferably a heating cap. The heat will assist with the opening up of the cuticles, which means that the treatment will be able to reach deeper within and work from inside. This way, the actual structure of the hair will be repaired and hence, you will once again find yourself on your way to healthy hair.
There are several homemade protein treatments, which are normally created using natural ingredients, such as eggs, mayonnaise, avocado and oils. However, these might not work as quickly as certain store bought. If you are using store bought protein treatments, it is important that you follow the instructions carefully. You could also opt to head to your local salon and ask them to carry out the protein treatments, where there is less chance of anything going wrong.
While protein treatment for the hair is an essential part of bringing hair back to life, it is also important that you increase protein in your diet, along with essential fats. Taking care of your hair is the first and most important step to ensuring that you have a full head of hair for a really long time.
There are certain medications which might be in your medicine cabinet, but there is quite the chance that you might have no idea what it is truly does and how it can affect your crowning glory. In this article, we will look at the three most common medications that can have a severe effect on hair.
Normally, Aldactone is prescribed to those people who are suffering from high blood pressure. It is basically a diuretic that prevents the reabsorption of sodium from the kidneys and removes it through the urine.However, the levels of potassium in body are not decreased unlike other diuretics.
In addition, Aldactone also has anti-androgenic affects, which spells good results for women who might be suffering from hair loss. As a matter of fact, this medicine has a chemical composition that works as a weak competing inhibitor of the binding of androgens to the cellular level receptors and also reduces the synthesis of the androgens.
It is thus useful in cases of hormonal and resistant acne, females with excess facial hair (hirsutism) and female androgenetic alopecia, as all these conditions are due to the excessive action of androgenic hormones.
However, this medicine is not the best course of treatment for men, because when the testosterone production is reduced, there is the chance of breasts getting enlarged and the sexual abilities getting hampered. Even with women, there is the chance of hyperkalemia (a condition in which the potassium levels are very high), cramps and even diarrhoea. This is why it is crucial that the medication be taken only after a consultation with a doctor.
Birth control pills
Oral contraceptive pills or birth control pills are usually given for contraceptive effect. These contain estrogens and sometimes progestins. There are newer pills like Diene-35 that contain estrogens plus cyproterone acetate, which is an effective anti-androgen
Oestrogens in the pill can stimulate the growth of hair, because it is able to elongate the anagen phase of the hair’s growth cycle. The anti-androgenic action make them effective in the treatment of hormonal acne, hirsutism and female androgenic alopecia where the excess androgens are always the culprit.
However, these pills should never be self-prescribed as they can produce side effects which can be quite harmful to your body. It is always best that you talk to your doctor first and ensure that the pills you are taking are rightly indicated and suits your body.
In the year 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Avodart, which is actually Dutasteride 0.5mg. The medicine was originally meant to treat the enlargement of prostrate in men.
Like Finasteride, Dutasteride is also an inhibitor of enzyme 5 alpha-reductase, which is what converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone or DHT. However, while Finasteride inhibits only the Type II form of 5 alpha-reductase, Dutasteride blocks Type I as well as II. It is three times more potent than finasteride at inhibiting type II form of enzyme and 100 times more potent at inhibiting the type I form. So, while for many people, the medicine becomes doubly effective, for many others, it also presents greater side effects.
Studies have shown that the Type II version of the enzyme can be found mostly in the hair follicles, while the Type I form can be found in the scalp as well as the sebaceous glands. Dutasteride decrease the serumsebum DHT by more than 90% and the scalp DHT by almost 55%. However, Finasteride reduces the same factors by only 70 and 40 % respectively.
Dutasteride, however, has not had all positive reviews, because there have been a number of people who have noticed severe side effects. These have ranged from decreased libido, ejaculation disorders and even impotence in certain cases. In certain men, there was also noticed tenderness in breasts and enlargement of the same. The medicine also has an effect on Prostate-Specific Antigen or PSA, which is crucial for the detection of prostate cancer, however like finasteride it is also said to have an overall preventive effect in the development of prostate cancer. So if you are planning to use Dutasteride, always get the opinion of an experienced dermatologist on when to start and the proper dosage.
Latisse is the very first medication that has been approved by FDA and is a topical solution for growing eyelashes. When applied properly, and at least once a day, the medication is known to assist growth of eyelashes. However, the medication can be obtained only through a doctor’s prescription. The initial purpose of prescribing Latisse was to treat eye conditions, especially those associated with glaucoma. Further studies showed that the chemical composition could also assist the darkening and growth of eyelashes.
The main ingredient in Latisse, Bimatoprost, is a compound that is resultant from fatty acids. These are designed with the intention of binding prostaglandin receptors, which are normally present in the outer root sheath as well as the dermal papilla of the hair follicle.
While the exact manner in which Bimatoprost works is still a little hazy, studies have shown that it might work because of its effect on the growth of hair follicles. This takes place because the percentage of hair that are still in the anagen phase are increased. Even the size of the dermal papilla or the hair bulb is known to increase in size, with regular usage of Bimatoprost; hence the thick and lustrous look of eyelashes.
There are however a few side effects, which have been noticed with constant usage of Bimatoprost. These include itchiness around the eyes, redness and sometimes, even pigmentation of the skin.
So, if you have any of these medications in your cabinet, make sure that you have spoken to a doctor beforehand and use them in the proper manner.