Let’s Talk about Your Hair (guys--this is for you, too)
Posted by Dana Ramos, author of the best-selling book: The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin. See below for purchasing info.
Social research experiments have proven it: Gentlemen prefer blondes. Blondes get more looks, more attention, bigger smiles, and are rated as more attractive than poor unfortunate souls like me who were born with—gasp!—brown hair. As a result of this cultural preference, women (and some men) spend a lot of time and money on harsh and damaging processing trying to preserve the color they were born with or create the impression that they were. Sometimes the result is great, but just as often the result is dull, dry, brittle, straw-like hair with broken ends and ever-present dark roots—which defeats the goal of looking attractive, doesn’t it?
I’m all for doing whatever your heart desires if it makes you feel more beautiful and desirable, but sometime we need to take a good look in the mirror and admit when something is actually working against our goals. Beautiful brown, black, or shining grey hair versus something that looks like the working end of a broom?—it was an easy decision for me and I’ve always kept my natural shade: My life hasn’t been any worse because a few gentlemen didn’t give me the once-over.
Along with considering not to harsh-out your hair with a hard-to-maintain color, here’s some more info to help you attain luscious locks and a healthy scalp:
1. Don’t fall for any bogus advertised pills and creams claiming to cure baldness or grow your hair—the only ones known to work are FDA-approved and your doctor will know if you are a candidate for using them, such as preparations with minoxidil (Rogaine) or a pill called Propecia (which is for men only, because of the way it interacts with hormone production). There are other treatments, too—keep reading for more information on hair loss, doctors, and hair/scalp problems).
2. You can spend a lot of money conditioning your hair in a salon, but why? Get some awesome Emu Oil and massage it on to your scalp and down the length of your hair—it has been known to help reawaken dormant hair follicles, too (according to a study done at Boston University)! Or just put it on the damaged ends of your hair if you wish. Leave on for an hour, then shampoo. You can also try some coconut oil from the grocery store, which is a nice conditioner.
3. Another inexpensive treatment is doing a final white vinegar rinse after you wash your hair to help boost shine and eliminate excess product buildup. This little trick has been around forever and is very effective. If you can bear to do the final rinse with very cold water, it will help boost shine, too.
4. Massage your scalp. With or without conditioner, massage increases blood flow, which stimulates hair growth. It also helps release dry, dead scalp skin. Exercise is also great for creating scalp blood flow (reason #468 on why you should exercise).
5. Let your hair air-dry if possible, then style with your heat-tools almost dry; the shorter amount of time you expose your hair to high heat, the better. Consider rolling your hair with no-heat rollers if you have the time, or skip styling except for special occasions. Or find a style that lets you wash-and-go or takes minimum heat to maintain; and before using hot styling tools, spray on a good heat-protection product.
6. Beware of causing your hair loss: Wearing tight ponytails or braids, heavy hair extensions or any style that causes weight or pulling on your hair can damage the follicles and cause hair loss—sometime severely. Wearing a style that pulls from time to time is okay, but don’t do it every day or for long periods of time.
7. When I was a teen, we’d put lemon juice on our hair, or use Sun-In spray (yep, it’s been around a llloonnnggg time) to create highlights or lighten our hair while we sunbathed. Oh, it wasn’t good enough to damage our skin in the sun with baby oil, we had to damage our hair at the same time—(good thinking, girls! Now we have sun spots and wrinkles to remind us of those fun beach days). Well, hair grows out, but the sun exposure to the scalp and body is forever. Bottom line: Use sunscreen everywhere, even on your scalp—or wear a hat. Don’t forget the tops of your ears, a common place to burn.
8. If you have a sudden appearance of a problem with your hair or scalp, such as a rash or itching, ask yourself if you ate something different or started a new medication, or a new shampoo or hair color. Sometimes, the culprit is a simple allergic reaction.
9. “Dry shampoos” have come back to the shelves in recent years, but they aren’t for everyone. Some show up like a fine white powder on darker hair, some make your hair feel sticky. I have experimented with several and have not found one that works on me—yet. Maybe you’ll have better luck.
10. Buy a cute year-round hat. We all have bad hair days, ran-out-of-time days, got-a-botched haircut/color days; throwing on The Hat can get you through until you can fix the problem.
When to see a doctor:
If you have a medical problem with your hair or scalp, you go to a dermatologist. Some common problems include pilar cysts, which are usually harmless bumps on the scalp that can grow rather large in size or become infected; they are easily removed, painlessly, in the doctor’s office. If you develop scaly or itchy patches that might require a prescription cream; loss or thinning of hair or hair that is not growing properly; dandruff—and if over-the-counter preparations don’t fix those issues or you have concerns, see the doctor. While you’re there, ask for a full inspection of your scalp for any suspicious-looking spots because skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body.
Hair loss can be caused by many different reasons, ranging from heredity factors, hormonal changes, stress factors, a fungal or bacterial infection, etc. The important thing is to get to the doctor as soon as possible so the reason can be diagnosed and treated before you lose too much hair.
Medications can affect hair in both positive and negative ways, so if you have experienced some changes in your hair quality or amount, discuss your meds with the doctor.
Seeing as how this article was all about hair, I want to give a shout-out to L’il Ones Hair and Body Wash, which is so gentle that you might want to try it if your hair is stressed out and damaged. And while you’re at it, check out some of the Anti-aging products to help correct the baby-oil-sun-damaged skin and also The Skin Regime products.
Where can I buy Dana's Book?
The Skin Regime; Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin, available as a Kindle download or Buy paperback to buy your paperback copy from Platinum Skin Care. You can also read the first chapter--FREE--by click here to read 1st chapter.
Don't forget to check out our sister website, TheSkinRegime.