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Hair Loss

Healthy Hair Growth

My Simple Rules for Growing Healthy, Strong Hair and Avoiding Breakage
By Charlene Blacer

One of the most common hair complaints among women is “Why won’t my hair grow faster?” Long flowing locks are on everyone’s wish list, but ironically many women have hair habits which encourage dryness, breakage and inhibit hair growth.

I like to compare growing your hair to growing a garden, and just as a thriving garden begins with healthy soil, strong hair begins with a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp is a clean scalp, free of debris. “Raking” out the debris using a massage brush will gently lift away dead skin. With the scalp facials I offer in my salon I massage, clean and stimulate the scalp, which in turn stimulates hair growth from the root. Growth from the root is half of the battle. Watering your garden is also important, and when it comes to the scalp this means specially formulated hair strengthening products; a great one being a product called
Hair Support. These products are gently enough to use everyday and are certainly recommended for everyday use for at least one month prior to any application of hair extensions. Hair Support vitamins can be used daily, along with your regular vitamin regimen. In addition to Hair Support brand supplements, you can also go to your local health food store and inquire about supplements that encourage strong hair and nails, as they are both built with protein compounds and are a package deal.

The third component to growing a healthy “garden” is plenty of sunlight. Just like sun is essential for maximizing the growth of healthy flowers, a similar method applies for growing, healthy beautiful hair. I recommend
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for my clients as a means of achieving this “sunlight” effect. Laser therapy is used in the market today by doctors all over the world to boost teeth whitening, to correct vision and to improve the look and texture of skin. Many types of Low Level Laser Therapies are considered to be extremely effective and, consequently, have become integrated into many mainstream medical and aesthetic procedures. When used twice weekly on the scalp, LLLT machines deliver just the right amount of power to begin to reverse hair loss and create a healthier scalp environment, while maximizing the hair’s growth and fullness potential.

Another component to healthy hair growth is pampering the hair with proper maintenance, conditioning and avoiding the ravages of heated styling tools. Too many styling products along with over chemical processing can strip the hair of vital nutrients, fostering split ends and causing the hair to break (otherwise known as the “chemical haircut”). It is important to make sure that all of the progress you have made in creating a scalp fertile for hair growth does not go to waste on broken hair. You will lose inches that way.

Some of the most common pitfalls that work against your hair growth goals:

Problems and Their Solutions

Many women with curly or wavy hair tend to fuss too much with the texture, incessantly using flat irons to straighten their hair. Over time this will dry out the hair, causing split ends, and the hair will not grow due to breakage. A healthier alternative is to leave your curls alone and opt for light weight hair extensions for severely damaged hair. While you wear your weightless extensions, hair will have a chance to grow and grow. In the meantime, hair extensions will act as a texture altering camouflage. Another alternative to constant flat ironing and hot air blow drying is roller setting the hair on large rollers as a means of relaxing the curl and taming too much body. A third option, which is best suited for hair that is currently virgin (untouched by any chemical treatments), is a gentle permanent or semi-permanent hair straightener. A qualified licensed hair stylist who is experienced with different types of hair straightening can determine if your hair is strong enough to withstand this treatment and still remain healthy.

Many women who suffer from thinning hair will go to great lengths, so to speak, to cover any place where their scalp is even the slightest bit too prominent. These methods usually involve teasing and a large dose of hairspray which only serves to weaken the hair over time. Weakened hair with more thinning will only encourage more teasing and more hairspray. It is a vicious cycle and one that more mature women are all too aware of; though women can suffer from hair thinning at just about any age and for various reasons. A less damaging, more aesthetically pleasing alternative and what I do for my own clients with thinning hair is the application of light weight hair extensions and micro hair attachments. These methods will add fullness and body to thinning hair, blend in beautifully, and put no strain on the natural hair due to their weightlessness.

Women who wear tight weaves and tight braids, which are particularly common among women of African descent, are especially prone to a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is a condition caused by damage to the dermal papilla and hair follicles, and is caused by constant pulling and tension over a prolonged period of time. Cornrows are particularly aggravating to the scalp and to the hair. For this type of hair, I recommend hair extensions that are graftable. These can be cut into different shapes and sizes and they adhere to both the hair and the scalp. If installed properly, there is no tension or weight
on the scalp, or on the weakened hair.