Articles Tagged with: hair health

What Your Hair Can Tell You About Your Health

If you want to get a complete picture of your health, you’ll need a comprehensive physical exam, an array of tests, and the expertise of your doctor. But medical charts and lab results are not the only places you can get insights about your well-being. Your body has plenty of ways of telling you if something may be wrong. One way it does so is through the condition of your scalp and hair.

Often, differences in your’s hair’s condition don’t mean much beyond the fact that your genes or other environmental or lifestyle factors are causing you to lose hair. Other times, though, sudden or unexpected changes in your hair health – from differences in strength, texture, or color to significant shedding – can be early warning signs about other health problems that need your attention.

The following are just a few things your scalp and hair may be telling you about your health:

  • Dandruff merely is a visible sign that the skin cells on your scalp are producing new cells quicker than normal, resulting in excessive shedding of dead skin cells, which take the form of dandruff flakes. Dandruff can be connected to a variety of treatable conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, stress, seborrheic dermatitis, or vitamin B deficiency.
  • Graying hair. While greying hair is usually the result of genetics and the passing of time, premature greying can be caused by an array of health problems, from stress to anemia, thyroid issues, vitamin B12 deficiency, and vitiligo.
  • Brittle hair. A rare condition call Cushing’s Syndrome can develop when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol for an extended time. One symptom of this condition is brittle hair.
  • Thyroid problems. When our thyroid glands don’t work correctly, they can cause an array of health problems, including hair loss. Both hypothyroidism (production of too few hormones) and hyperthyroidism (production of too many hormones) can cause hair to fall out because of the impact these imbalances have on the development of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone, a synthesized version of testosterone, plays a role in the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, including physical appearance. Unlike testosterone, however, too much DHT disrupts the natural growth cycle of hair and can cause hair follicle shrinkage or elimination, resulting in shedding or thinning hair.
  • A lack of iron – anemia – is one of the chief causes of dietary-related hair loss. Low iron levels restrict proper blood flow – reducing the amount of growth-stimulating nutrients our follicles need. Iron-rich foods such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and other leafy greens can boost your iron intake and help feed your hair.

Ready to Do Something About Your Hair Loss? Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

If you are concerned about your hair health or are experiencing hair loss and you’re ready to do something about it, we invite you to schedule a hair loss evaluation at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. To receive your personalized assessment and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.

How Biotin Boosts Hair Health

biotinThe vitamins, minerals and nutrients you consume each day largely influence your outward appearance. When it comes to hair health, biotin is (arguably) the most widely-known and promoted beauty-enhancing supplement. However, few people understand how exactly biotin interacts with hair follicles for increased shine, volume and strength.

Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that facilitates cellular metabolism, or the conversion of macronutrients like proteins and fats into energy needed for your body to run. It also supplies healthy hormone production and blood sugar regulation. Referred also as vitamin H (for “hair and skin”), coenzyme R or vitamin B7, biotin is a dietary staple in all living things, from plants to people. Vitamin b7 doesn’t just affect your hair – it’s also known to improve nail strength and skin conditions, like acne, rashes and chronic dryness.

Foods Rich in Biotin

Vitamin B7 comes in two forms, either plant-based (alone) or meat-based (bound to proteins). Unlike protein-bound biotin, which takes more time to metabolize and convert for use, free biotin is easily absorbed. Although most foods contain trace amounts of b7, some are better sources of the hair-boosting vitamin than others:

Protein-bound biotin foods:

  • Organ meats, like kidneys and liver
  • Milk or dairy products
  • Seafood
  • Egg yolks

Free biotin foods:

  • Peanuts, walnuts and pecans
  • Legumes like green peas and lentils
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cauliflower
  • Avocados
  • Rice bran, barley or oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Leafy greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Raspberries
  • Whole grain bread

B7 Recommendations and Deficiency

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the daily recommended minimum intake of biotin for healthy adults is 30 micrograms. But, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a higher daily allowance of 300 micrograms. Many nutritionists recommend staying on the higher end of the spectrum since vitamin b7 is water-soluble and is easily filtered by the kidneys.¹ Breastfeeding women need more b7 to deliver adequate nourishment to children.

While rare, biotin deficiency can be a serious problem during fetal development. Aside from possible birth defects, lack of vitamin b7 can lead to anemia, dry skin, appetite loss, fatigue, muscle aches, mental disorientation, brittle nails and hair loss. Since you’re likely getting some amount of biotin in your everyday diet, hair loss caused by lack of vitamin B7 alone is uncommon. Nutritional deficiencies can cause telogen effluvium (TE) – a temporary form of hair loss that occurs due to malnourishment, stress or trauma. TE usually involves a pattern of nutritional shortages, including iron, vitamin D, vitamin C and omega-3s.

B7 doesn’t just encourage healthy growth but may increase your mane’s overall volume and thickness. Simply taking supplements without a well-rounded diet won’t deliver any dramatic hair miracles, especially if you already suffer from a genetic hair loss condition. Eating foods that contain b7 and other healthy hair vitamins is the key to long, glossy locks in individuals with normal hair growth.

Lack of hair growth isn’t always about your diet, and we invite patients with thinning or shedding to visit our Miami hair loss clinic for a comprehensive evaluation to pinpoint possible genetic causes and rule out any potential underlying illnesses. Once we’ve identified the cause of your hair loss, we provide effective treatment plans that best suit specific hair loss conditions, individual routines and a wide range of budgets.

To schedule your hair loss consultation, call the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami at 305-925-0222 today.

 

 

¹ http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/top-foods-high-biotin/

Is Hair Health Important?

hair healthFor many men and women, hair health is not a priority. Their haircare routine is typically straightforward: shampoo, maybe conditioner and perhaps a little styling spray to look put together. Others take their hair health more seriously, particularly individuals who suffer from embarrassing hair loss conditions. But, does hair health truly matter?

The answer is multifaceted. Hair is a complex structure and has its own anatomy just like any other part of your body. At the base of hair – underneath the skin – there are living cells that work arduously to sustain growth, strength and shine. Therefore, the hair you see is often a reflection of your vitality and overall well-being. Improving the health of your hair isn’t just about looking great, it’s also about strengthening and supporting each strand from root to tip.

Hair Anatomy

Each strand, or shaft, is anchored by a follicle. The follicle is a tubular pouch just underneath the skin’s surface. Two sheaths surround the follicle to protect the shaft. The outer sheath runs alongside the sebaceous gland, which produces oils that naturally condition hair and give it its natural sheen. The outer sheath connects to the arrector pili muscle, and when contracted, causes hair to stand up – an effect more commonly known as goosebumps.

At the base of the follicle is known as the bulb, where cells build and nourish the shaft. These cells are connected to tiny blood vessels, or capillaries, which deliver hormones and nourishment to sustain healthy hair growth. When your body’s hormones are off balance or shifting as you age, the cells can’t re-build new shafts to replace everyday shedding. This is a condition known as androgenetic alopecia, also called male-pattern baldness of female pattern hair loss (FPHL).

Meanwhile, the shaft is made of a hard protein called keratin. The hair you see on your head, arms or legs is dead and no longer nourished by the follicle and its cells. Although it’s not living, the shaft is convoluted. Sometimes, an inner layer called the medulla is present, but this portion only exists in certain types of hair. The middle layer (which everyone has) is called the cortex, containing pigment to help give your hair its natural shade. The outer layer is called the cuticle. Most everyday hair care products designed to smooth or soften hair target the cuticle. Cuticle structure varies based on your hair type which can affect hair’s appearance. For instance, people with curly hair have drier, dull strands because sebum has a difficult time traveling down the kinks of the cuticle to condition shafts properly.

Why Hair Health Matters

Your hair has both cultural and social significance, which is why so many men and women who suffer from hereditary hair loss experience shame and discomfort with their appearances. Despite how much information we know about hair and its biological variations, human beings innately favor physical attributes in one another (and themselves) that suggest better health. One of these physical attributes is strong and voluminous hair.

It’s important to note that not everyone lacks beautiful, big hair because they aren’t healthy. While hair loss is sometimes indicative of an underlying health concern, most hair loss cases are due to predetermined genetics and hormonal fluctuations. Even pregnancy, one of the most natural (albeit magnificent) processes a woman’s body can undergo, modifies hair’s growth and form. Despite what human beings perceive, thinning and shedding doesn’t always indicate something is fundamentally wrong with your body. But, the emotional toll of hair loss certainly makes it feel that way.

If you suffer from androgenetic alopecia or another hair loss condition, improving your appearance by counteracting your hair loss can be a life changing experience. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we help hair loss patients boost their self-assurance by restoring hair to reflect the way they truly feel on the inside – strong, fit and vibrant. Call us at 305-925-0222 to schedule your hair loss consultation in Miami today.

How to Maintain Hair Health this Summer

How to Maintain Hair Health this SummerGrowing long, strong hair is desirable for many, but what about maintaining your locks as the seasons change? Warm weather presents some positives – and negatives – for your hair health, so switching up your hair maintenance routine is likely in order. Depending on the current health of your strands, some strategies may be more necessary than others.

Follow these summer season tips to keeping healthy, shiny hair all summer long.

  1. Trim dead ends

To start the season fresh, consider getting your hair trimmed. Even if you plan on growing your hair long throughout the summer months, split ends are not good for long, lustrous hair. In fact, they can continue to split up the hair shaft as strands grow longer, making frizz even more present in increased humidity. If you can’t commit to a full cut, opt for an inch or two off the bottom to eliminate breakage.

  1. Rinse your hair before swimming

Drinking water is proven to keep hair health at its peak, but rinsing out your hair is also an important step to protecting your mane against harsh chemicals like chlorine. The best option is not introducing chlorine to your hair, but inevitable cases, start with a fresh water soak. By saturating the cuticle with water prior to chlorine exposure, less chemicals are able to absorb as compared to dry locks dunked in the pool. The good news is, chlorine does not lead to hair loss, but can cause the scalp to become agitated which could result in temporary thinning and shedding thereafter.

  1. Protect hair from the sun

Just as you should protect your skin from UV ray damage, hair needs sunblock, too. When UV-A and UV-B rays hit areas prone to thinness or balding, your scalp can suffer a mean sunburn. If you have long hair to protect from damaging rays, consider oils with UVA/UVB protection incorporated so you don’t end up with greasy strands full of thick, white sunscreen. These also protect the hair itself from the sun, which can fade color when it oxidizes. For full-on protection, wear a stylish sunhat or baseball cap when enjoying the outdoors, which protects both skin and locks simultaneously.

  1. Shampoo sparingly and deep condition regularly

Although sweating might prompt you to wash your hair more frequently, stick to an every-other-day routine at most. Dry shampoos and baby powder work to absorb excess oil in a pinch if you have an important rendezvous on your off days. Over time, hair follicles balance out and stop producing the same amount of oil they used to require to keep hair hydrated during frequent washes. In the same regard, consider deep conditioning masks to eliminate frizz and pouf when humid weather hits. Rather than relying on a blow dryer for a thermal-activated hair mask, simply lay in the sun and allow the natural heat from the sun do the trick.

  1. Eat nutrient-rich foods

Maintaining a wholesome diet is a year-round recommendation, but a large number of healthy hair foods dominate summer-inspired cuisines. Add blueberries, which are rich in antioxidants, oysters, fresh fish, kiwis, watermelon, spinach and tomatoes to your next grocery list. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish combat breakage and dryness, while fruits and veggies are full of Vitamin A, C, iron and offer a high-water content for added hair benefits.

Given the summer season is high-time for social encounters, you might feel additionally self-conscious about thinning and shedding hair. To talk with a Miami Hair physician regarding your hair loss, call our South Florida hair restoration experts at (305) 925-0222, or inquire about an appointment via our online form directly.

2014’s Top Tips for Healthier Hair

Can you take a big leap toward a healthier head of hair in just 3 easy steps? The following tips have been compiled as a guide to nourish and protect hair, without requiring significant lifestyle changes. Tip 1 is all about power foods, specific food items that are packed with the nutrients and antioxidants needed to sustain healthy hair growth. Tip 2 takes nutrition a step further, suggesting that supplements and medications be taken to treat specific deficiencies that might reduce hair’s natural thickness and vitality. Tip 3 talks about protection, offering a little piece of hair care advice you might never have stopped to consider.

Healthier Hair in 3 Easy Steps

1. Eat more super foods

It’s hard to exclude super foods from any health related list or article. There’s a reason everyone talks about the power of nutrient-dense whole foods, however. They are your body’s best source of essential vitamins and minerals, two essentials that nourish the body from the inside, out. Take an honest look at your daily diet, and look for opportunities to eat more of the following super foods for healthy hair:

  • Read meat
  • Blueberries
  • Almonds
  • Oysters
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Kale
  • Goji berries
  • Protein (whey supplements are effective and convenient)

2. Supplement and medicate, when needed

Next, test your vitamin, mineral, and hormonal levels to determine if an existing deficiency is harming your overall health (mind, body, and hair). Specific things to keep in mind include:

  • Thyroid health: Imbalance can often cause hair loss
  • DHT: High levels of DHT are associated with pattern baldness
  • Iron: Prevents breakage, commonly a deficiency among women
  • Vitamin D & Fish Oil: Difficult to get these nutrients in an ordinary diet, so consider supplementing with daily soft gels.

Always consult a physician prior to starting or stopping a prescription medication regimen, or before making any changes to diet or lifestyle.

 3. Style with silicone

Finally, consider investing in a hair care product that features silicone—or a silicone byproduct— as an ingredient. Silicone coats the hair, creating a protective layer that keeps it strong throughout the day. Silicone products are particularly beneficial in preventing traction alopecia, a specific type of hair loss that might result from hairstyles that are wound tight. “Look for silicone or dimethicone,” says Roopal Kundu, MD, in an interview with the Huffington Post. “You can also try a leave-in conditioner, which also coats the hair.”

Hair Loss Evaluation and Treatment

Millions of men and women suffer with hair loss each day. Today, you do not have to be one of them. Learn more about hair loss treatments at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Contact us online or call our clinic directly at 305-925-0222.

Can Chlorine Cause Hair Loss?

With summer in full swing, Miami residents are rushing to local beaches and swimming pools to find cool relief from the rising temperatures of July and August. Spending too much time in chlorinated water can be bad for your skin and hair, however. This week, the Miami Hair Blog explores the science behind chorine-induced hair damage and the ways it can be prevented.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Chlorine, Hair Damage, and Health

Can Chlorine Cause Hair LossThough common in most public and private swimming pools, chlorine is a corrosive chemical that many health experts say is bad for human health, particularly the skin and eyes. Chlorine has an oxidizing effect that may cause dryness and irritation after prolonged exposure. In some cases, chlorine exposure may lead to the formation of hypochlorous acid, a substance known to penetrate cells and destroy them from the inside (i).

However, low concentrations of chlorine are highly effective in keeping swimming pools sanitary. In summer months, swimming pools are among the primary cause for chlorine exposure in humans. Though encountered in low concentrations, chlorinated pool water still has the potential to cause serious harm to the hair, skin, and eyes.

Stay healthy this summer by taking a moment to review these frequently asked questions about chlorine, hair damage/ loss, and health.

Does chlorine cause hair loss?

No. Normal exposure to chlorine does not cause hair loss. This myth was debunked after a study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Dermatology. In the study, researchers compared the hair of 67 professional swimmers to that of 54 individuals who spent little to no time in the pool. Although swimmers’ hair exhibited signs of chlorine-induced damage (i.e. dryness and coarseness), swimmers were not significantly more likely to experience hair loss.

However, there is evidence that suggests abnormally high exposure to chlorine might cause the scalp to become agitated, dry, and flaky. Thinning or shedding might occur as a result, but it’s important to understand that the chlorine exposure needed to bring about such side effects far exceeds that of a normal swimming pool.

Will chlorine change the color of my hair?

No. According to chemist and biologist Anne Helmenstine, Ph.D., chlorine does not change the color of one’s hair. Although prolonged pool-time might give hair a greenish tint, the discoloration is actually due to the oxidized metals in the water, like copper (ii). However, color treatments and chlorine might make it easier for hair to turn green.

As mentioned above, one of the primary side effects of chlorine exposure is that it causes dryness and irritation. When paired with hair treatments and dyes, hair can become extremely dry, porous, and brittle. Once porous, hair is primed to absorb more copper and other chemicals that cause discoloration.

Can I reduce the damage chlorine does to my hair?

Yes. Many people are surprised to know that chlorine damage can be significantly reduced simply by wetting hair with fresh water prior to getting in the pool. Strands of hair have the amazing ability to absorb moisture, much like a sponge. By thoroughly rinsing hair with fresh water prior to entering the pool, you make it more difficult for hair to absorb chlorinated water while swimming (iii).

Is chorine-related hair loss/damage reversible?

Yes. The most common way that chlorine damages hair is by making it dry and porous, which may lead to discoloration. To reverse the damage, be sure to thoroughly wash and rinse hair after each swim session. Use ample amounts of shampoo to remove all chemical traces, and finish your post-swim wash with a protein-enriched conditioner that will replenish the hair’s natural moisture. For those who have color-treated hair, special shampoos and conditioners are available to minimize discoloration.

Chlorine and Hair Loss: Schedule an Evaluation Today

Along with chlorine damage, there are a variety of other factors that can contribute to hair loss. Stress, genetics, and other lifestyle choices might each play a causal role. If you experience hair loss this summer, contact our Institute to learn more about surgical and non-surgical restoration techniques that will have you looking your very best, fast.

The Hair Transplant Institute of Miami is home to South Florida’s top hair transplant surgeons. For more information on our clinic, staff, and hair loss treatments, please call 877-443-9070.

Sources:

(i) “The Facts About Chlorine.” New York State Department of Health. Accessed 22 July 2013.

(ii) “Why Does the Pool Turn Blond Hair Green?” About.com. Accessed 22 July 2013.

(iii) “How to Keep Hair from Wrecking Hair, Skin and Swimsuit.” ABC News. Accessed 22 July 2013.

 

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