Tag Archives: Hair

Removing unwanted hair


Earlier it was only women who were concerned about excessive body hair and its removal. They visited the friendly neighbourhood parlour to get their eyebrows shaped and moustaches removed. Times have changed; now both men and women want to get rid of unwanted hair – from face, arms, legs, chest and back. A hairy torso (male or female) is no longer considered attractive!

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In men excessive body hair is often, paradoxically, paired with male pattern baldness. This excessive hair not only looks cosmetically unappealing but can result in excessive sweating, and infections in the hair follicles.
Excessive hair growth in women is usually familial or due to obesity. Such women may have hair in areas such as the face, chin and back.

Women produce both male and female hormones. If the balance is disturbed, and more male hormones are secreted then the woman can become very hairy. This can occur during the teens or in later life. It may be due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, if excessive steroids are administered or produced in the body as in Cushing’s syndrome, with some anti depressants and medications like danazole. In rare cases, it may be due to male hormone secreting tumours. If the hirsuitism is accompanied by deepening of the voice, loss of scalp hair and acne, it is called virilisation.

Shaving is a time tested method to remove hair from the arms, legs, axilla [armpits] and face. Shaving facial hair does not make it grow back thicker, coarser or faster. Apply shaving gel or foam first to soften the hair. Poor technique can cause ingrown hair.

A few unwanted hairs can be plucked using tweezers but it is painful. Pulling in the direction opposite to hair growth can cause ingrown hair and scarring. Apply ice immediately to the tweezed area to reduce swelling and redness.

Hair removing creams are available OTC (over the counter). The chemicals dissolve the hair shaft. Allergy can develop to the chemicals so it needs to be tested on a small area first. It can burn the skin if it is left on for too long.

Hot or cold wax can be used to remove hair. This can be done professionally in a salon or at home. It is messy and painful. Infection and burns can occur. It should be avoided if acne creams are also being used.

Twisting thread and then pulling the hair out is called threading. It is a technique done in parlours. It can cause pain.

Laser treatments have become very popular in recent times. Beauty parlours and spas offer such treatments. Only a licensed pro-fessional should do it. A physician should be available on the premises to tackle any side effects. Lasers suitable for Indian skin need to be used. The sittings need to be scheduled at the correct intervals 8-10 weeks apart. It does not get rid of unwanted hair permanently. After repeated sittings, hair growth is reduced by upto 80 per cent. It can cause scarring, keloid formation and pigment changes. That is why it should be tried on a small area first.

Hair can be removed permanently with electrolysis. A professional uses a needle to apply an electric current in the hair follicle. There may be tingling and pain. The process is slow and time consuming but is permanent. It can cause pigment changes. Several sittings spaced out over a period of months are required.

Resources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Celtis occidentalis

Botanical Name : Celtis occidentalis
Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Celtis
Species:C. occidentalis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names:Hackberry, Common hackberry, Nettletree, Sugarberry, Beaverwood, Northern hackberry, and American hackberry

Habitat : Celtis occidentalis is native to Eastern N. America – Quebec to Manitoba, North Carolina, Missouri and Oklahoma It grows in dry to moist and rich woods, river banks, rocky barrens etc. Frequently found on limestone soils.

Description:
Celtis occidentalis is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a fast rate.The bark is light brown or silvery gray, broken on the surface into thick appressed scales and sometimes roughened with excrescenses; pattern is very distinctive.

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The branchlets are slender, light green at first, finally red brown, at length become dark brown tinged with red. The winter buds are axillary, ovate, acute, somewhat flattened, one-fourth of an inch long, light brown. Scales enlarge with the growing shoot, the innermost becoming stipules. No terminal bud is formed. The leaves are alternately arranged on stems, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, more or less falcate, two and a half to four inches (102 mm) long, one to two inches wide, very oblique at the base, serrate, except at the base which is mostly entire, acute. Three-nerved, midrib and primary veins prominent. They come out of the bud conduplicate with slightly involute margins, pale yellow green, downy; when full grown are thin, bright green, rough above, paler green beneath. In autumn they turn to a light yellow. Petioles slender, slightly grooved, hairy. Stipules varying in form, caducous.

It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

The flowers appear in May, soon after the leaves. Polygamo-monœ cious, greenish. Of three kinds—staminate, pistillate, perfect; born on slender drooping pedicels. The calyx is light yellow green, five-lobed, divided nearly to the base; lobes linear, acute, more or less cut at the apex, often tipped with hairs, imbricate in bud.

Corolla: Wanting.
There are five stamens, which are hypogynous; the filaments are white, smooth, slightly flattened and gradually narrowed from base to apex; in the bud incurved, bringing the anthers face to face, as flower opens they abruptly straighten; anthers extrorse, oblong, two-celled; cells opening longitudinally.

Pistil: ovary superior, one-celled; style two-lobed; ovules solitary.
Fruit: Fleshy drupe, oblong, one-half to three-fourths of an inch long, tipped with remnants of style, dark purple. Borne on a slender stem; ripens in September and October. Remains on branches during winter.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Aggressive surface roots possible, Street tree, Woodland garden. Succeeds in any reasonably good soil, preferring a good fertile well-drained loamy soil. Succeeds on dry gravels and on sandy soils. Tolerates alkaline soils. Established plants are very drought resistant. Wind resistant. Trees transplant easily. Trees prefer hotter summers and more sunlight than are normally experienced in Britain, they often do not fully ripen their wood when growing in this country and they are then very subject to die-back in winter. Plants in the wild are very variable in size, ranging from small shrubs to large trees. They are fast-growing, and can be very long-lived, perhaps to 1000 years. Only to 200 years according to another report. They usually produce good crops of fruit annually. Trees respond well to coppicing, readily sending up suckers after cutting or the top being killed off in a fire. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Special Features: North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Stored seed is best given 2 – 3 months cold stratification and then sown February/March in a greenhouse. Germination rates are usually good, though the stored seed might take 12 months or more to germinate. The seed can be stored for up to 5 years. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. The leaves of seedlings often have a lot of white patches without chlorophyll, this is normal and older plants produce normal green leaves. Grow the seedlings on in a cold frame for their first winter, and plant them out in the following late spring or early summer. Give them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw. Very sweet and pleasant tasting, they can be eaten out of hand or can be used for making jellies, preserves etc. The fruit is often produced abundantly in Britain, it is about the size of a blackcurrant, but there is very little flesh surrounding a large seed and it is therefore a very fiddly crop. The fruit is dark orange to purple- or blue-black when fully ripe, usually about 7-11mm in diameter, though occasionally up to 20mm. The flesh is dry and mealy but with a pleasant sweet taste. Seed. No more details. The fruit and seed can be ground up finely together and used as a flavouring. The N. American Indians ate them with parched corn.
Medicinal Uses:
An extract obtained from the wood has been used in the treatment of jaundice. A decoction of the bark has been used in the treatment of sore throats. When combined with powdered shells it has been used to treat VD.

Other Uses:
A dye is obtained from the roots. No more details are given. Fairly wind-tolerant, it can be planted as part of a shelterbelt. Wood – rather soft, weak, coarse-grained, heavy. It weighs 45lb per cubic foot and is sometimes used commercially for cheap furniture, veneer, fencing fuel etc.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtis_occidentalis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Celtis+occidentalis

Foods for for healthy hair & scalf

Salmon : It contains vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. This omega-3 fatty acid is very much essential to keep your scalp and hair shaft very well hydrated. As healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, get in more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

Beef :If you don’t have cholesterol problems, then you must consume this meat at least twice a day. This food has all the possible nutrients that your hair needs for its up keep. The presence of protein, vitamin B, iron, zinc and other vital minerals will help to maintain the health of your scalp and hair.Though it is rich in nutrients, the consumption of beef should be minimum to avoid other health problems.

Prunes: Including prunes in your diet can help to improve your hair texture as well as proper bowl movements. As it is rich in iron, it helps prevent hair loss, dull hair, thin hair, and discoloration of your hair.

Green tea : The presence of polyphenols helps in keeping your scalp healthy. If your scalp is healthy, then the overall health of your hair improves, as it helps to keep your hair shiny and dandruff free. To treat your dandruff problem with this miraculous tea. Wash your hair with green tea or apply it on your scalp which will help to kill your dandruff worries.

Carrots: Carrots not only help to sharpen your vision but also to maintain the health of your hair due to the presence of vitamin A. Existence of vitamin A helps in formation of sebum oil in the scalp. Sebum is a very important element which helps to keep the scalp and hair very well moisturized. A moisturized scalp means healthy hair.

Eggs: Eggs are rich in biotin and vitamin B. These two nutrients are very important for the health and maintenance of your hair. Biotin is a star element, which helps to keep your hair shiny and lustrous. Biotin is also present in many shampoos and conditioners and is one of the important elements needed for hair health.

Dark green leafy vegetables: Include lots of dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and lettuces in your diet. All these dark green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of vitamin A and Vitamin C. Both these vitamins help in the formation of sebum, which is a natural hair conditioner and hence moisturizes your skin and scalp.

Brown rice:  Brown rice has some protein, vitamins and fiber. Besides giving you healthy hair and scalp, it also keeps you from over eating as it keeps you full for a longer time. Hence, switch to brown rice now to maintain your hair as well as your body.

Oysters: Hair loss or dandruff is due to low level of hormone androgen production. Include oysters in your diet as they are rich in zinc, which further helps in the production of androgen and hence fights against hair fall and dandruff. Besides, it also helps your locks retain shine and health.

Walnuts : Walnuts are one of the best nuts for your hair nourishment and maintenance. As they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, vitamin E and copper they protect your hair against damage from the sun by being a shield when you venture out; they also prevent hair loss and help keep your hair lustrous and rich in color.

Cottage cheese: Besides it being low-fat, cottage cheese is also rich in calcium and protein. Include this healthy cheese for breakfast if your goal is to get rid of dull hair and shed some extra kilos at the same time.

Green peas: Green peas are a well balanced food available for healthy hair. They are loaded with all types of minerals and vitamins like zinc, iron and vitamin B, which help in maintaining the health of your hair and scalp.

Lentils: If you really want healthy hair and scalp, then include lentils in your diet at least 3-4 times a week, because, Lentils are rich in folic acid. Presence of folic acid helps in providing the requisite amount of oxygen to your scalp and skin, which further promotes hair growth and cell renewal.

Bell peppers: Include all colors of bell peppers in your diet as they are a great source of vitamin C. Vitamin C guarantees efficient transition of oxygen to hair follicles. Besides, it also helps in the formation of collagen and promotes hair growth and prevents hair breakage.

Whole grains; Whole grains are rich in nutrients and fibers. This promotes hair growth and makes it a super food for healthy hair. Besides, it also aids good digestion and prevents ailments like diabetes, obesity and constipation.

Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene, which when consumed gets converted to vitamin A. Vitamin A prevents dull scalp and hair and promotes growth and proper circulation of oxygen to the hair follicle.

Blueberries: This super fruit is loaded with vitamin C, which helps in oxygen circulation to the scalp and hair follicles, and prevents hair breakage.

Bacon: Though it is an enemy if you want to kick some calories, but if you want healthy hair then you should consume not more than 4 ounces. It is loaded with all healthy hair promoting nutrients like vitamin B, zinc and protein.

Shrimps: Shrimps are not only delicious but also a great doctor for your dull hair and scalp. Shrimps are loaded with vitamin B12, iron and zinc, all of which prevent hair loss and promote growth and maintenance.

Pumpkin seeds:  Pumpkin seeds are a perfect hair rejuvenating snack. They’re good for overall health, as they are loaded with protein, omega-6 fatty acids, zinc and iron.

Resource:
The Times Of India, Feb22,2013

Hair Colouring

Grey Hair & Wrinkles

Grey Hair & Wrinkles (Photo credit: Bunches and Bits {Karina})

As we grow older several changes take place in our body, some visible, others not so visible. The most obvious one is the hair — and moustache in the case of men — turning grey from jet black. Unfortunately, nowadays it is not just senior citizens who are greying but also those in their twenties or early thirties. Twenty years ago, 18 per cent of adults under the age of 30 had started to grey. According to a recent report, that figure is now close to 32 per cent. Hair care brands have come up with a new mnemonic for grey haired over stressed twenty something — GHOSTS. The first grey hair stresses out GHOSTS even more as the current job market prizes youth — or at least looking youthful — over experience.

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The age at which one starts to grey is determined genetically. At that age the hair cells stop producing the colouring pigment melanin. This makes the shaft of the hair transparent. Light reflects off it, giving it its white appearance. Not all hairs stop producing melanin simultaneously. The mixed white and normal black makes the hair appear grey.

People who are exposed constantly to pollution and UV rays can get grey hair even before their genetically determined age to grey. The poisonous chemicals in tobacco kill the melanocytes, making smokers go grey before their non-smoking peers. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can also cause premature greying, as can a a peculiar type of anaemia called pernicious anaemia. Thyroid malfunction can also turn hair grey.

Grey hair has been cosmetically unacceptable for centuries. People used all kinds of natural dyes such as henna, indigo, walnut, curry leaves, gooseberries, tea, coffee, hibiscus flowers and arecanut either alone or in combination to colour grey hair. These natural products are used even today. Most, if used consistently, produce a dark brown colour. They are popular as they are inexpensive, can be applied at home, and are considered safe. But some people are allergic to even herbal products.

Hair can also be dyed with commercially available colouring agents. Temporary colours last a single wash. They can be funky colours like pink, blue or green but dark hair will not take these unless it is bleached first. Repeated use of these dyes without proper conditioning can, however, make hair brittle and lustreless.

Permanent hair colouring is the one usually used to disguise grey hair. It is a two-step process. First the hair is lightened using an agent like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. Then the dye is applied and fixed. The colouring lasts until the hair grows out. This can be anything between 4 to 6 weeks.

Some people are allergic to hair dyes. Redness, itching, burning or skin rashes can occur either immediately or within 48 hours. To prevent this, before applying a dye for the first time, or switching brands, do a patch test. Take a small quantity of dye and apply it to the skin [usually on the inside of the elbow] for a day to see if there is any reaction. Sometimes a person can turn allergic to a product that they have been using safely for many years.

If hair is being coloured at home, it is important to follow the instructions on the package implicitly. Before using the dye, apply Vaseline to the hairline and ears. This will prevent the skin from staining. Always use gloves to apply the colour. Leave it on the hair for the time specified. Then wash it off with water. Apply a conditioner and leave it on for 7-9 minutes. Shampoo the next day.

Most shampoos (particularly the anti-dandruff ones) are harsh and unsuitable for regular use on coloured hair. Special colour safe shampoos and conditioners should be used to preserve the health of hair and minimise fading.

Hair that has been damaged by excessive and improper exposure to chemicals becomes dry, rough and fragile. The only solution is to stop using chemicals and cut off the damaged bit.

Hair colour should also not be used to darken facial hair because its texture is different and also because using traditional hair dyes so close to the nose can be distressing because of the odour of ammonia and other chemicals. The best thing to use is a range of colouring products labelled “just for men”.

How to delay greying:
*Avoid stress
*Don’t smoke
*Avoid too much exposure to ultraviolet rays
*Exercise regularly
*Eat at least 4-5 helpings of fruit and vegetables a day.
*Take care of your stomach &  liver function
*Try to avoid pollution

You may click to see :

*Grey Hair – Why & How to Treat it

*Experts Uncover Cause of Greyness

*Going gray? Hair ‘Bleaches Itself as People Age’

*Why does hair turn grey?

*What Causes Grey Hair
Source :The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Hair Loss in Women

Introduction:
One of the commonest forms of hair loss in women (and men) is a condition called telogen effluvium, in which there is a diffuse (or widely spread out) shedding of hairs around the scalp and elsewhere on the body.

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This is usually a reaction to intense stress on the body’s physical or hormonal systems, or as a reaction to medication.

The condition, which can occur at any age, generally begins fairly suddenly and gets better on its own within about six months, although for a few people it can become a chronic problem.

Because telogen effluvium develops a while after its trigger, and causes generalised thinning of hair density rather than a bald patch, women with the condition can easily be diagnosed as overanxious or neurotic.

Fortunately, it often gets better with time. Telogen effluvium is a phenomenon related to the growth cycles of hair.

Hair growth cycles alternate between a growth phase (called anagen, it lasts about three years) and a resting phase (telogen, which lasts about three months). During telogen, the hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by the growth of a new hair in the anagen phase.

At any one time, up to about 15 per cent of hairs are in telogen. But a sudden stress on the body can trigger large numbers of hairs to enter the telogen phase at the same time. Then, about three months later, this large number of hairs will be shed. As the new hairs start to grow out, so the density of hair may thicken again.

Many adults have had an episode of telogen effluvium at some point in their lives, reflecting episodes of illness or stress.

Another common type of hair loss in women is androgenetic alopecia, which is related to hormone levels in the body. There’s a large genetic predisposition, which may be inherited from the father or mother.

Androgenetic alopecia affects roughly 50 per cent of men (this is the main cause of the usual pattern of balding seen as men age) and perhaps as many women over the age of 40.

Research shows that up to 13 per cent of women have some degree of this sort of hair loss before the menopause, and afterwards it becomes far more common – one piece of research suggests that over the age of 65 as many as 75 per cent of women are affected.

The cause of hair loss in androgentic alopecia is a chemical called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is made from androgens (male hormones that all men and women produce) by the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.

People with a lot of this enzyme make more DHT, which in excess can cause the hair follicles to make thinner and thinner hair, until eventually they pack up completely.

Women’s pattern of hair loss is different to the typical receding hairline and crown loss in men. Instead, androgenetic alopecia causes a general thinning of women’s hair, with loss predominantly over the top and sides of the head.

Another important cause of hair loss in women is a condition called alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that affects more than two per cent of the population. In this, the hair follicles are attacked by white blood cells. The follicles then become very small and hair production slows down dramatically, so there may be no visible hair growth for months and years.

After some time, hair may regrow as before, come back in patchy areas, or not regrow at all. The good news is that in every case the hair follicles remain alive and can be switched on again; the bad news is that we don’t yet know how to do this.

TOP MYTHS ABOUT FEMALE HAIR LOSS:-
•It means you’re not a proper women with two X chromosomes.
•It’s caused by washing your hair too often.
•It’s caused by too much brushing or combing.
•Hair dyes and perms can cause permanent loss.
•It may result from wearing hats and wigs.
•Shaving your hair will make it regrow thicker.
•Standing on your head will help it grow back.
•It’s a sign of an overactive brain.
•There’s a miracle cure out there waiting for you.
•Scan the internet and you’ll see all sorts of miracle cures for baldness on offer, from strange herbal lotions to mechanical devices. Perhaps the most useful first step you can take is to avoid the myths.
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After this there are several options. You can find some way to accept the change and live with it (let’s face it, this is a tall order – most men struggle to come to terms with their baldness and for them at least society equates it with maturity and power).

You can try cosmetic treatments such as wigs or hair thickeners, or you can try medical therapies. The last option is hair-replacement surgery.

The drug minoxidil was first developed for treating high blood pressure, which was found to have the side effect of thickening hair growth in some people. It’s now available as a lotion to apply directly to the scalp.

No one really knows how it works, however, and it’s not effective for everyone. Studies show that only about 20 per cent of women between 18 and 45 have moderate regrowth using the drug, while another 40 per cent experience minimal regrowth.

It works best on younger people with early hair loss. A big disadvantage is that you have to carry on using minoxidil indefinitely or the new hair will fall out.

Another drug, finasteride, which was developed for treating prostate cancer, has also been found to be effective but is only available for men.

Surgical techniques for restoring hair have improved greatly in the past couple of decades, but this is still an option that requires careful consideration.

There are two main options:
•Hair transplantation – tiny punch-holes of skin containing a few follicles of hair are taken from elsewhere in the body (such as the back of the head, if this is still well covered) and implanted into the thinning areas. Some surgeons use a needle to sew in just one or two hairs. However, as women are more likely to have diffuse loss of hair all over the scalp, this technique may not be possible. There has been little success with implanting artificial fibres.
•Scalp reduction – devices are inserted under the skin to stretch areas of scalp that still have hair, then the redundant bald areas are removed. Alternatively, flaps of hairy scalp can be moved around the head.
Key points
•Many causes of female hair loss are temporary – check your general health and be patient.
•Take a look at your family for an idea of your risk of female pattern baldness.
•Don’t be taken in by claims for wonder products – there’s no cure for female pattern hair loss.
•Many women cope well by using cosmetic products, hats and wigs, so persevere until you find your own style.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/hair_loss_women.shtml

http://www.prevention.com/health/beauty/unsure/hair-loss-in-women/article/1aebd08f88803110VgnVCM20000012281eac____/

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