As my inbox is getting a ton of attention and many of you have all kind of questions, why don’t we answer some of them together?
What can I do with my scalp? I use anti-dandruff shampoo and yet it still flakes everywhere?
Jason C. Delray Beach FL
This is a very common mistake. Most of the time, dry scalp is mistaken for dandruff therefore using the wrong solution. Anti-dandruff shampoo is making the skin even dryer. The presence of this dull, flyaway residue indicates a very raw condition and using this kind of shampoo will only increase scalp’s dehydration. While dandruff and dry skin look the same to the general public, they are different both organically and chemically. Dandruff is actually a little ball of oil at the hair root forming a whitish color. This confusion prompts many people to then use (and often abuse) dandruff shampoo, which is one of the worst thing you can use on the hair. Why? It is filled with Tar – derived from same component used on roads and pavements – and leaves a residue on the hair shaft and scalp preventing any moisture from penetrating. In the long run breakage and dryness will appear and can eventually lead in hair loss. The action of dandruff shampoo can be compared to using an abrasive pad on the skin or heavy duty scotch brite. After ten or twelve times , it will change the natural pH of the skin creating this constant flaking, chemical consequence of wrong technology. Over time it will create a vicious circle. The more you will use it the more you will dehydrate the skin, the more you dehydrate the skin the more flakes you see, the more dandruff shampoo you use and so on. The only solution is a cleansing shampoo also known as clarifying shampoo once a week and the rest of the time, a very mild one like what you would use for color treated hair. Color treated hair formula has an acid pH, balancing out its natural element and bringing the scalp back to its original healthy state.
How often should I wash my hair?
Michelle W. New York NY
This is probably my top three questions of all times. There is a misconception that you have poor hygiene if you don’t wash your hair daily. However, the more you wash your hair, the more aggressive it becomes, prompting the follicle to produce massive amount of oil called sebum to protect itself.
Although shampoo is a mild product on hair and scalp, you must remember you are using chemicals. This detergent when overly used can dehydrate the hair shaft extremely quickly. I know an oily scalp is not the most pleasant sight or feeling, but it is not a sign of being dirty. If you change your washing habits and use a proper shampoo, you will see a significant improvement in the condition of your hair.
Another common mistake people make when washing their hair is the use of baby shampoo. By no means designed for an adult, it is the wrong chemical environment for you. The pH is completely different than a grown-up needs and does not wash properly so it will not do anything to achieve desired purpose. While it does provide a light foam and an immediate sense of reward, it is actually too gentle therefore not efficient.
Foam is another very important way to measure whether a shampoo is right for or not. The more it lathers the worst it actually is! This rule is identical for your baby. I have done a great deal of research on this topic and this is verified by every chemist I have spoken to and worked with. Using a sulfate free product is actually a good thing, since it is simpler and eliminates a major component responsible for dryness.
I am trying to grow my hair longer, should I keep trimming it or not? Please help!
Jenny B. Malibu CA
Here we are with this famous question! You always hear, “Keep trimming it so it will grow faster.” I know what goes through your mind: this is probably a cheap hairdresser’s trick to make you come back more often and spend money continuously. Actually, this is not a trick or a myth – it is the truth. People often argue hair grows from the root and not from the end, so why keep cutting? My reply is the same analogy I use all the time… What is the secret for a lush, fast growing plant, bush or tree? For those who have a green thumb, you would give the exact same answer – keep trimming! By doing so, you actually are cutting away the dead part and replenishing the cuticle so it doesn’t have to use its nutrients on wasted areas. The shaft of your hair will not be sharing the good stuff only with the lively, healthy parts. Funny enough, those who actually listen to me and continue trimming eventually confirm my theory. They may not understand how it works immediately but quickly will see it makes it grow so much faster! So for those of you who have not yet experimented this philosophy, it may be time to give it a try…
Is there a Miracle Solution for healthy hair?
Sharon C. Phoenix AZ
First let’s get to the root of the problem (no pun intended!). Beautiful hair does not have a Miracle Solution, it comes from the inside out, my foerever philosophy clearly explained in my book Mind Your Hair. Healthy hair depends on your changing hormones, the pills you take and the type of food you eat (or don’t). The other day I stumbled on a quote I have actually used since the beginning of my career without knowing someone else had the same philosophy: “Hair is the barometer of your overall health”. I saw this quote from David H Kingsley, Ph.D, hair and scalp expert of the British Science Corporation in New York City.
One factor that changes hair (in addition to the inevitable process of aging) is stress! Most of us are deficient in nutrients so hair doesn’t receive what is needed to be extremely healthy. The entire body has to share its capital vitamins so consequently, the hair gets only a fraction of what is needed. The best internal remedies? Vitamin B7 and b12 are definitely the main sources of what is known as Biotin, a primary component for healthy hair and nails (chemically formed from the same molecules). The living parts are called follicle, tiny hair growing underneath the scope. Follicles are primarily nourished by the protein in your diet and by carbohydrates like whole grains.
Folic acid, essential in your diet also known as fatty acids are from fish, nuts and soy. It helps as well by hydrating the roots of your hair. Back to the needed vitamins! B7, B12 and biotin found in eggs, salmon, bananas and spinach will provide you with iron and strengthen your hair’s outer layer, the good old cuticle. Iron is also essential to your diet, as it stimulates hair growth and replenishment.
A few more health tricks
Another misconception. I often hear some people say if they are extremely tired, they would just take more of their daily vitamin intakes to compensate for how they feel. Wrong! So wrong! Once again, this is not like a magic pill. This is serious and should only be done after consulting with a nutritionist of vitamin specialist. Remember, let’s get treated from the inside out. For strength and vitality, you can find these very crucial nutrients in food such as brown rice, green peas, lentils and oats ( no Girls carbs are not the enemy!). Some scientists actually believe such food group will slow down the graying process of the hair. One of the symptoms of lacking these essential elements is hair loss.
For those of you into exercise, please note that sweating a lot will make you lose significant amounts of zinc. To regain this hair growth mineral, consume such foods as lamb, turkey, pumpkin seeds or (and this is amazing) chocolate!!! These foods will restore the zinc needed for hair growth and strength. Chocolate bonus? It produces the same enzyme as the one when you fall in love! A double whammy!
Pregnancy is a beautiful symbol of life and love, but it can take an enormous toll on your body. All kinds of deficiencies will start appearing such as bone density, thyroid regulation and blood flow. It is crucial not to lack any of these items in your daily diet so your body and hair don’t suffer. I often hear “I am so fat right now and so gross” Guess what? You are pregnant! That has nothing to do with body fat so PLEASE feed your body accordingly and everything else will follow.
Last but not least. As we get older, we often gets doubts and insecurities. I witness stand here too often malnourishment in my clients. Competition and aging are two main issues in today’s society. Some will practically starve themselves to death in order to lose weight and keep up with the up-and-comers. In the process of doing this, your body, hair and nails will terribly suffer. This is also why hair extensions are so popular to compensate for this lack of everything. It is so easy to embark on this ill-advised journey due to the pressure coming via social media, press and TV.
Let’s remember what you are all about. Self-love. Wanting to copy someone does not fulfill your needs. Keep in mind nothing is a quick fix. As crucial as your hair is to you, do not forget the essential: YOU.