Healthy hair…we hear this phrase often, product manufacturers promise healthy hair, some within 3 miraculous minutes others instantly !!
Is it possible to achieve it in todays world of abrasives and quick fixes?
Can we fit it into our busy lifestyles and budgets?
Can we get results using natural products as we shift away from harmful chemicals towards a more conscious ethical healthy way ?
YES I BELIEVE WE CAN
Let me share some of my knowledge and findings with you, to explore and experiment with and hopefully lead you to healthy shiny hair.
WHAT IS HAIR?
Well basically it is a skin organ , hair follicle, a bulb and a shaft.
The shaft which is what we see above the scalp is often described as “dead” personally I refuse to think of anything attached to my body and serving such a fabulous purpose as “dead”.
Your hair is fed from the blood supply, it has a sebaceous gland which produces natural oils that are responsible for keeping your hair and scalp lubricated.
The hair shaft is ideally covered in a layer of cuticles, rather like the scales of a fish, think of these as protective armour.
In order to give your hair its best possible chance of being healthy one has to ensure that your blood has enough vitamins minerals proteins and essential oils to feed the bulb.
If your body is malnourished it will very cleverly place these nutrients in parts of your body vital to survival.
So a healthy balanced diet rich in Vitamins, Minerals, Protein and Omega oils.
PH balance for hair and scalp: here’s the science bit…
pH an abbreviation of potential Hydrogen is the measure of Acid and Alkalinity
The scale is from 0 to 14
0 to 6.9 is Acid….. battery acid, orange juice
7 is Neutral…. purified water
7.1 to 14 is Alkaline….Ammonia. Bleach
Hair and skin is covered in a very thin layer of fluid called the acid mantle with a pH between 4.5 to 5.5
This acid mantle maintains the moisture balance, keeps the cuticles (Your armour) lying flat which prevents moisture loss. This results in stronger, tangle free, shinier, frizz free hair.
A scalp that is alkaline is prone to bacterial infections like dandruff, fungal infections and hair loss !!
Colours, Perms and Straighteners are Alkaline often falling between a pH of 9 to 13
The idea is to use products with a pH range between 4 and 7 to restore the natural acid mantle which has usually been disturbed by harsh chemicals , shampoos high in detergent thus stripping the hair of protective oils heat styling combing, brushing, swimming in chlorine and for me the dreaded flat / straightening iron which totally destroys the cuticle of the hair and sucks moisture out leaving hair often irreparable.
Note …. when hair is damaged beyond repair the only solution is a good hairdresser with a sharp pair of scissors and a heart of steel.!!
FEED YOUR HAIR!!
Now that you have been nourishing your body with wholesome food you have taken the most vital step towards healthy hair.
The part we now deal with is no longer fed by the blood once it has appeared above the scalp, our duty now is to keep the scalp and hair shaft healthy, balanced and hydrated.
There are many products on the market that will do this for you and do it very well, my only advice is to check that the pH level falls between 4 and 7.
For those who have the time and desire to explore the natural way these are some of the products I have found to work well with little effort.
First purchase some pH testing strips, plastic ones will give a more accurate result,if you can only find the paper ones do the test a few times to ensure accuracy.
You can use these to test the shop bought products you have and the natural ones you are about to make.
Secondly it is advisable to test yourself for a possible allergic reaction to any product you put on your hair. Dab a little behind your ear on the soft hollow behind the lobe, or inside the elbow leave 24 to 48 hours check for rash, itchiness, swelling, flu like symptoms etc.
Lastly this is a guide, do your own research there are many wonderful things you can use on your hair, and something different may work for you, as there is no “one size fits all “ to hair care. The only constant is the correct pH level
But….. if you are systematically abusing your hair with chemicals and harsh direct contact heated tools like straightening irons, with the best will in the world, hair is only reparable up to a point.
In part 2 I’ll advise you on natural ways to look after your scalp. Hint …you’ll find a lot of these in your kitchen cupboard.
Untill next time Therese x