HEALTHY & GOOD LOOKING HAIR
EXCESSIVE SUN EXPOSURE
SUN & SALT WATER
CHLORINE IN THE SWIMMING POOL
EXCESSIVE HEAT IN HAIR STYLING & BLOW DRYING
EXCESSIVE BRUSHING
 
MEDICAL HAIR RESTORATION
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF HAIR RESTORATION SURGERY
CIPLA
SOUTH AFRICAN HAIR FOUNDATION - SOUTH AFRICA'S PREMIER HAIR INFORMATION CENTRE
HOME PAGE EMAIL US
HOME MEDICAL EXPERTS CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS DISEASES OF THE SCALP "MIRACLE CURES" FOR HAIR LOSS HAIR LOSS TREATMENTS
 
HEALTHY & GOOD LOOKING HAIR
 
Hair can be damaged by physical injury, chemicals, heat, and by disease. When not caused by various diseases, we are left with types of damage that can be prevented and are under our control.

Hair is constructed largely from proteins called keratin, which provide both the central core of the hair shaft and the cuticle scales that coat the shaft and give it pliable strength. When we talk about damage to hair, we are talking about damage to the keratins. Damage usually affects the cuticle scales first; this reduces the pliable strength of the hair and makes it harder to manage, and it opens the way for damage to the keratins that make up the hair shaft's central core.
BACK TO HOME
 
EXCESSIVE SUN EXPOSURE
 
We are familiar with advice to avoid excessive sun exposure that can damage our skin. The same advice holds for avoiding excessive sun exposure that can damage hair. As with sun damage to skin, it is the ultraviolet component of solar radiation that damages hair.

The ultraviolet wavelengths break chemical bonds in the keratin proteins that constitute most of the bulk and strength of the hair shaft. Weakened keratin proteins weaken the hair shafts and render them more likely to become dry and "weathered" in appearance. It also makes them weaker and more likely to break when combed or brushed.

If you spend a lot of time in the sun and you find that this is damaging your hair, you can try a number of products which advertise that they have UV protection in them. Probably the easiest and simplest way of protecting your hair would be to use a cap or a hat.
BACK TO TOP
 
SUN & SALT WATER
 
Hair volume can be defined as hair that maintains body and fullness, continues holding a shape and has height and lift away from the head.

The volume of a person's hair will be determined by the hair diameter (i.e. the size of each hair strand), the density (how much hair you have per square centimeter), the stiffness of the hair, the curl in the hair (curly hair will have more density then straight hair if taken per hair) and finally the degree to which hairs stick together. As such, hair volume is due to physiological factors, and is also therefore genetic in nature.
BACK TO TOP
 
CHLORINE IN THE SWIMMING POOL
 
Chlorine is a potent bleaching agent and causes severe damage to hair keratins. Thus, chlorine in the swimming pool can both lighten and weaken hair. Damage to keratins can be even more severe when the proteins have already been damaged by chemical or thermal hair styling treatment. Chlorine-damaged hair can manifest its damage in hair breakage, split-ends, decolouration and difficulty in styling.

The belief that swimming pool chlorine causes blond or gray hair to turn green is not altogether true; the greenish sheen comes from metals such as copper or iron that are dissolved in pool water and are oxidised by chlorine after they are taken up by hair shafts.

A first line of defence against swimming pool chlorine is

(1) rinse hair thoroughly in fresh water immediately upon leaving the pool, and
(2) shampoo with a product that will limit chlorine damage to keratins.

A shampoo of this type should be acid/alkaline (pH) neutral. Some hair experts recommend limiting or preventing chlorine damage by applying a protective conditioner covered by a latex or silicon cap before entering the pool.
BACK TO TOP
 
EXCESSIVE HEAT IN HAIR STYLING & BLOW DRYING
 
Keratin proteins are easily damaged by excessive heat. Two common ways for this thermal (heat) damage to occur is by (1) use of heated implements for hair straightening or styling, and (2) using the blow dryer at too high a temperature for too long when drying hair.

Hair styling implements should be used at the lowest effective temperature for the least amount of time that will produce a desired effect. They should be used only as often as necessary to maintain a styling effect; Excessive application of heated styling implements can cause an accumulation of hair damage over time.

The blow dryer should never be used at high heat to dry hair. Blow drying should be done on the "cool" setting to prevent thermal damage to hair keratins.
BACK TO TOP
 
EXCESSIVE BRUSHING
 
A common old wives tale is that men and women should brush their hair with at least 100 strokes a day. It is known today that too-frequent and too-hard brushing can physically damage the cuticle of hair shafts and result in hair weakening and hair breakage. While "100 strokes a day" was once useful to clean and lubricate the hair, these functions are performed more effectively today by appropriate use of shampoos and conditioners.

Excessive combing or brushing can also damage the hair when the hair is tangled, and excessive force is used, thereby pulling out hairs on a regular basis. Reasonable and gentle brushing with a wide toothed comb or a soft brush can never be damaging.
BACK TO TOP
 
  HOME | MEDICAL EXPERTS | CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS | DISEASES OF THE SCALP | "MIRACLE CURES" | TREATMENTS
 
Copyright © 2008 South African Hair Foundation. All rights reserved. Site designed by monzamedia DISCLAIMER