Treating Your Hair Right-norton disk doctor

Health Aging heads are especially vulnerable to harsh treatment. With time, our scalps produce less of the oily substance, called sebum, that coats the cuticle and keeps hair shiny and manageable. The hair growth cycle also slows, making hair thinner and finer. Add to this women’s changing hormone levels, which can also thin hair, and it’s not surprising so few of us reach our golden years with the same lustrous locks that we had at age 25. Still, the news isn’t all bad. The fact is, you may be able to preserve, and even restore, some of your hair’s luster if you trade some of your chemical-heavy habits for something milder. For instance, if you’ve been using permanent hair color, consider experimenting with henna or other herbal dyes instead. If your hair is starting to thin, wash it with a thickening shampoo rather than resorting to a perm. Whether you’re coaxing your locks back from a disastrous chemical treatment or simply want to pamper them, a gentler touch will help. Here are several ways to give your hair a break. Use a light touch. Remember when beauty experts advised brushing your hair at least 100 strokes a day? Forget it. Mechanical stresses such as back-combing, tight braids, ponytails, and even plain old brushing and combing can break and damage hair, so keep the brushing to a minimum. Litt advises using firm rubber combs and pure-bristle brushes, and staying away from unyielding metal or plastic brushes and combs. Give up all of the harsh chemical treatments. They’re the most common source of hair damage. "Hair straighteners and perms are the two worst," says Alex Khadavi, a Los Angeles dermatologist who specializes in treating hair loss. The culprit in these products is a class of chemicals called thioglycollates, which break the bonds that lock together proteins in the hair strand. If you can’t live without curls, pick products with buffered alkaline, which is slightly less harsh than pure alkaline, particularly if you have color-treated hair. Color right. The more you color your hair, the higher the chance you may damage it. Dyes and bleaches contain ammonia and hydrogen peroxide that penetrate the cuticle and will swell the hair strand. Initially, this process can add a glossy sheen to your locks. But repeated color treatments usually leave it dry and brittle. So what can you do? If you’re using permanent dyes, swap them for natural or semipermanent ones, which contain lower amounts of chemicals. Or go with highlights rather than covering your whole head in dye; the less time your scalp is covered with it the better. The safest option — apart from sticking with your natural hair color — is to use vegetable-based rinses, which don’t penetrate the hair shaft. Unfortunately, there’s a trade-off: None of these gentler methods are as effective at covering gray. Block all the elements. Sun exposure can dry out hair as well as lighten colored hair and give it a brassy or faded look. To protect your tresses, look for a conditioner with UV protection such as zinc oxide; work it through your hair after shampooing, and leave it in. Wash carefully. Most shampoos contain the detergent sodium lauryl sulfate, a known irritant, but the overwhelming majority of experts believe the chemical is safe for all but the most sensitive heads of hair. In any case, most of us wash out our shampoo long before it has a chance to irritate our scalps. But if you’d prefer to hedge your bets, you can choose from plenty of alternatives that clean up nicely. Never overshampoo. Generally, the drier your hair the less you should wash it. "Someone with oily hair can wash it every day, whereas someone with dry, color-treated hair should shampoo only two to four times a week," says dermatologist Marianne O’Donaghue of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. For long hair, which tends to be more fragile at the ends, Bahney suggests shampooing just the scalp and letting the suds roll down. Condition regularly. Conditioning won’t undo damage. But it does tame static electricity, making hair easier to comb and less vulnerable to breakage and splitting. Bahney recommends conditioners containing panthenol, a B vitamin that smooths the cuticle, and proteins, which bind water to the hair and help moisturize. Choose the gentle styling products. Most drugstore brands of hair spray, mousses, and gels contain isopropyl alcohol, which can dry hair with long-term use. Opt instead for products with conditioning alcohols such as cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol, or with gum arabic, gum tragacanth, and panthenol, which help hair strands stick together without sapping them of moisture. If you’re a regular user of styling products, try to prevent them from getting on your scalp-the alcohol and preservatives they contain can irritate the skin and may even cause temporary hair loss, according to Khadavi. Blow cool air. Heat from blow-dryers damages the protein in hair strands. Set the blow-dryer on "cool" and keep the nozzle a good 12 inches from your hair. Also, try letting your hair air-dry every now and then. "The less you blow-dry the hair, and the less the intensity of the heat, is always the better," says Khadavi. Nourish your hair from the inside out. This mostly involves the same advice you’ve heard a million times before: Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, fish, healthy fats, and whole grains. If you’re looking to give your locks an extra boost, try taking biotin (also known as vitamin H) as well. Dermatologists say it can help by improving the quality of keratin proteins in the hair. Litt recommends 3 to 5 milligrams daily. Physician and author Andrew Weil also recommends taking the gamma-linoleic acid found in black currant oil or evening primrose oil to promote healthy skin and hair; he also suggests taking 500 mg twice a day of one or the other for six to eight weeks. Learn to relax. Although dull or thinning hair certainly isn’t the most serious side effect of stress, it is one symptom. "Stress causes levels of a natural steroid, cortisol, to rise in the body, and that can cause shedding," says Khadavi. While severe stress, such as a death in the family, is the main culprit, even everyday annoyances may affect the health of your hair. Khadavi recommends exercise and meditation to help keep cortisol levels in good check. About the Author: 相关的主题文章:

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