The type of hair determines the type of care that has to be taken. An average individual has about 100,000 hairs. We do shed hair every day. The average life of a strand of hair is about two days to even five years. Hair care and nutrition is most essential just like the rest of the body. Hair care pertains to hair hygiene and cosmetology.
The scalp of the hair has to be cleaned just like the skin of our body. Scalp has to be cleaned regularly to remove dead skin cells and toxins. Unclean scalps lead to bacterial infections and other skin hazards. It can also lead to head lice and dandruff. The sebaceous glands produce sebum which naturally protects hair and skin. It is this oil that is secreted that gives hair a natural shine. Combing helps to distribute these fatty acids naturally down to the hair and moisturizing it. Brushing also helps to stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more essential sebum. It is essential to wash hair to remove all the oil and sweat from the scalp.
The body should be fed with essential vitamins and minerals to grow healthy hair. Intake of foods consisting of vitamin B5, B8, Folic acid, Calcium, Zinc, Silica and iron should be increased. Green leafy vegetables, dry fruits and meats are a rich source of iron. Silica is contained in bean sprouts, potatoes and cucumber.
Some of the main reasons that hair is damaged are:
- Chemical treatments – hair colours and bleaches – chemicals wear down the protein bonds which are responsible for strength and lustre of hair
- Physical damage whilst combing roughly and breaking it – excessive combing of hair and excessive sleeping can cause friction and result in damaging the hair.
- Excessive blow drying of hair
- Environmental damage – due to water, sun, weather etc. Winter can damage the hair greatly by drying it. Cold winds can tangle the hair and excessive sun can bleach the hair.
- Insufficient diet and routine – drinking less water, anaemia, smoking and poor quality of food intake
- Hair styling tools such as rollers, curling irons and flat irons