You have worked so hard to learn and maintain your natural hair. Good for you for taking the steps along this journey! It is with great pleasure that we publish her first of many blogs with Up North Naturals! Karen Millington, of 'I Inspire Me' has been natural for more than 10 years. She motivates and encourages others to dig deep, to get unstuck and thrive!
Lisa Keizer, Founder & CEO Up North Naturals
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Great lifestyle choices are essential to healthy hair. While it is nearly impossible to live a perfect life with no negative impact to your hair, there are a few simple solutions that can keep your hair looking and feeling healthier without sacrificing your lifestyle.
The degree of impact your lifestyle has on your hair depends on how you choose to live your life. Consider these five bad lifestyle choices that can harm all efforts to live with healthy hair.
Smoking, in most cases, accelerates the aging process, which could lead to early balding in both men and women.
According to a study conducted by Ralph M. Trüeb, a medical professional who co-edited the authoritative book Aging Hair published in 2010, there are multi-factorial mechanisms concerning the effects of smoking to hair loss. One of these effects involves the process by which smoking damages the dermal hair papilla. The study concludes that smoking-induced damage to the DNA of the hair follicle could eventually lead to hair loss.
As a smoker, committed to living with healthy hair, it’s a no-brainer to assume that kicking the habit is the solution. Easier said than done, but the truth is this lifestyle change is what’s needed to achieve your goal.
2. Stressing over unhealthy relationships
Your hair is very sensitive to any change and all changes you experience, especially internally. An internal ruckus, in some cases, can cause you to lose your hair’s natural shine and even loss
As defined in medical literature, the common form of hair loss caused by stress is called Telogen Effluvium. Stress in this condition forces the hair follicles to go into “resting phase” mode. In some cases, daily hair care routines may result in sudden hair loss.
Worrying about unhealthy relationships can damage your hair. Our lives are stressful enough without having to worry about unhealthy relationships, being accountable for eliminating or working on healthier relationships can positively affect the heath of your hair.
3. Fad Dieting
Fad dieting is the worst thing you can do for your hair. Watching your diet for the purpose of weight loss is a great idea, however there’s a sensible way to do this.
Most fad diets advise you to eat only a few different foods, which may cause you to become deficient in vital nutrients required for hair growth. On the other hand, diets with too much nutrients can have a negative effect as well. For example Brazil nuts are sometimes cited as beneficial for the hair because they contain a mineral called ‘selenium’. Selenium can inhibit DHT, which will help prevent hair loss. However eating too many Brazil nuts could result in a selenium overdose, which in turn may cause a condition called ‘selenosis’ (cite). One of the symptoms of selenosis is hair loss.
Portion control, exercise, avoid skipping a meal and cleansing your digestive system may prove to give you the results you are looking for from weight loss and maintain healthy hair.
4. Depriving yourself of sleep
You’re a ‘boss lady’ and trying to get that business up and running, but the truth is a good night’s sleep is the best way to keep your health at highest possible level. Many physicians say that seven to nine hours of a good night’s rest is optimal. Poor sleeping habits negatively affect the body and this could manifest in the condition of the hair.
Without sleep our body weakens making it difficult to absorb nutrients, which are very essential for hair health. A weak body results in weak and damaged hair. Ensuring you get the recommended amount of sleep will not only enable you to avoid having unhealthy hair.
5. Pulling out your hair
During times of deep concentration or stress, your hands can end up in your hair for long periods of time. Tugging, twirling for causing friction can cause damage and hair fall.
More of a psychosocial issue, excessive plucking of the hair characterizes a debilitating condition called Trichotillomania. According to statistics, up to 4 in 100 people can be trichotillomania sufferers. If you are personally going through this problem or know someone who does, then an important intervention measure is to seek medical help. In some cases, psychological treatment and/or counselling can treat the problem.
Are any of these five bad lifestyle choices effecting your hair’s health? Monitor and even research how some of your daily lifestyle choices can give you the kind of hair you really want. Share your comments below.
Written by Karen Millington