Wednesday, October 15, 2014Choosing your cosmetics well

Occasional hair loss in women

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Alopecia or hair loss also affects women and can be traumatic, can it be overcome with a simple shampoo or lotion? Without expecting miracles, cosmetic products can at least help to slow down this phenomenon, stimulate hair regrowth and densify hair, and even, as a last resort, mask the most visible effects;

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~ 9 minutes

With an average of 100,000 to 150,000 per head, our hair, like our skin, reveals our health and vitality. If about sixty fall normally per day, beyond 100, the fall is pathological. Temporary or permanent, reactive or hereditary, there are different types of hair loss: baldness, congenital alopecia, localized alopecia, pelade or telogen effluvium, sudden and temporary loss.

The hair cycle

The life of a hair, which can last from 3 years for a man to 6 years for a woman, is a succession of 3 phases during which it grows, persists, regresses then falls. The anagen phase. This is the hair growth phase during which the matrix cells of the bulb actively multiply. The catagen phase. Transition period during which the hair follicle becomes inactive. The telogen phase. This is the elimination phase during which the dead hair, pushed back by another hair in the anagen phase, will fall out.

The succession of these 3 phases is influenced by hormonal and vascular factors. When one of these elements is unbalanced, a large number of hairs, up to 70%, move abnormally and rapidly from the anagen phase to the telogen phase. The hair cycle is accelerated, hair loss is sudden. It's an acute telogenic effluvium.

Triggering factors

The origins of sudden and significant hair loss are many and sometimes difficult to identify: - stress, fatigue, emotional shock, surgical shock, - childbirth, miscarriage or termination of pregnancy, - diets or dietary imbalances (rapid and significant weight loss) causing iron deficiencies, - hormonal variations (menopause) or seasonal changes, - high fever (temperature above 39° for several days), - drug treatments (antidepressants), - hyperthyroidism…

Once the stress has passed, the hair loss regresses and the hair follicles gradually return to the active phase between 3 to 6 months. However, it takes a full year to regain normal hair density.

Good reflexes

Although Minoxidil, an over-the-counter vasodilator, is often prescribed by dermatologists for the treatment of hair loss, it is also not without side effects and its effectiveness in the case of temporary alopecia is called into question. Worse, it would tend to aggravate symptoms and delay their spontaneous and complete resolution. To take care of your hair and prevent it from falling, a healthy lifestyle and good reflexes are recommended. Choose a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients, which strengthens the hair from the inside. Vitamins of the B group and in particular vitamin B6 (brewer's yeast, fatty fish, chicken, eggs, lentils, pollen…) nourish and participate in the renewal of hair follicle cells. Zinc (oysters, liver, sesame, nuts…) stimulates hair growth. Sulphur amino acids Cysteine and methionine (seafood, chicken, crucifers, legumes…). Combined with vitamin B6 and zinc, they are used to synthesize keratin, a major component of hair. Vitamin A (offal, fish, butter…) promotes the growth of hair fiber and helps the scalp maintain its hydration. The iron (poultry, red meat, fish, green vegetables, legumes…) participates in the nutrition of hair reproduction cells. - Magnesium (oilseeds, chocolate, whole grains, green and dried vegetables…), essential to our body, helps reduce stress and helps fight against hair loss. And also in the form of cures : vitamin D which stimulates the anagen phase of the hair cycle and silica effective to boost hair growth. And don't forget to drink water in small sips throughout the day. Protect yourself from stress. This is one of the major causes of hair cycle imbalance. Soft relaxation techniques are welcome. They help to work the breath and to breathe better, a plus to lower the pressure and refocus: yoga, chi gong, shiatsu, sophrology, meditation…
Protect your hair from excessive traction
(vigorous brushing, braiding, creping) and chemical aggressions (colouring, permanent, smoothing) that weaken them, UV rays from the sun that promote their fall and tobacco and alcohol that dry them. Opt for gentle scalp massages . These massages relax and stimulate the microcirculation of the scalp with circular movements, without friction and with benevolence, with the tips of the fingers. Carried out during the shampoo application, they also help to make the active ingredients penetrate.

Cosmetic anti-fall active ingredients

Shampoos, lotions, ampoules, sprays…: there is no shortage of anti-fall cosmetic products, and sometimes the results of these products are appreciable. How do they work? They play on several tables, working at the same time to slow down the importance of hair loss, to revitalize the scalp and stimulate hair follicles, to give volume and density to the remaining hair… With specific active ingredients, most often used in combination.

To stop the fall Caffeine. It is well known as a slimming active. But caffeine, derived from coffee, guarana, or synthetic origin, is also known to prevent hair loss and slow it once it is started. - Pterocapus marsupium. The bark of this exotic tree is also present, and for the same reasons, in many products dedicated to this problem.

To revitalize the scalp Nothing spectacular to expect from a weakened scalp that functions below its optimal possibilities: it is therefore a question of getting it back in shape. • Restart microcirculation. A good microcirculation allows to put the hair follicle (the"cradle" of new hair) in the best conditions to function effectively. It is the kingdom of plant extracts, such as ginseng (Panax ginseng) or burdock (Artium majus)… • Stimulate the scalp. Here again, the plant reigns supreme, as with extracts of nettle (Urtica dioica), birch bark (Betula alba), neem (Melia azadirachta), ginkgo biloba, or essential oils of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), peppermint (Mentha piperita), myrtle (Myrtus communis), cedar (Cedrus atlantica)…

Pour favoriser la repousse
Everything happens here in the hair follicle. • Quinine (or quinquina). It's like a grandmother's cure. However, it has the property to protect, stimulate and strengthen the hair bulb. • Amino acids. They are at the base of all the vital processes of the organism, and a contribution in amino acids contributes to revive that of the hair growth. There are 20 in all. Most used in fall arrest products: Alanine, Arginine, Cysteine, Lysine, Threonine, Tyrosine… • B-group vitamins. They are as useful in food intake as in topical application via a cosmetic. We see Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine HCl (vitamin B6), Biotin (vitamin B8)… • Trace elements. In the same way as amino acids, trace elements, especially zinc, are essential for enzymatic reactions that ensure, for example, good hair keratinization.

Densifying hair If it falls off… there's still a little on the head. And this hair will be the object of all the care, whether it is to give them volume, or to use it as a support point to mask baldness. • Keratin. It is, to more than 95 %, the constituent element of the hair. It is it which gives it its density, its brilliance, its behaviour. In addition to restarting the process of natural keratinization, a cosmetic can constitute an additional supply of keratin, to give hair a noticeable volume effect, even if it is temporary. • SOS powders. They are becoming easier to find (among hairdressers, on the Internet) and more and more natural. Based on fibres (cotton, silk…), available in different shades to blend with the natural colour of the hair, they"cling" to the hair (even very fine, even very short), and"replenish" as if by magic the sparse areas, for an almost unsuspected final result. They are eliminated with shampoo, but their daily application only takes a few seconds. And it is a very good solution to wait serenely for the regrowth of real hair…

Practice softness That goes without saying… but it goes even better by reminding you. While any external aggression that could weaken the scalp and hair should be avoided, this applies not only to drying or colouring, but also to shampooing. More than ever in this case, it is necessary to privilege the soft washing bases, containing coconut or sugar, to avoid the surfactants (like Sodium lauryl sulphate or Ammonium lauryl sulphate) or the most irritating conditioners. Unless you choose a specific anti-fall product, for daily washes, a good option can be to orient yourself towards baby shampoo combs…


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