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Hair Problems And Solutions

Split ends, dandruff and a dry, itch scalp are common problems that can detract from otherwise healthy hair. In most cases such problems can be overcome by giving the appropriate treatment..

1. Dandruff:
This consists of scaly particles with an oily sheen that lie close to the hair root. This condition should not be confused with a flaky scalp.
Causes: Poor diet, sluggish metabolism, stress, a hormonal imbalance, and sometimes infection. These conditions usually produce increased cell renewal on the scalp, which is often associated with an increase in sebum. The scales will absorb the excess oil, however if the problem remains untreated it will become worse.
Solutions: Rethink your diet and lifestyle. Learn relaxation techniques if the problem appears to be caused by stress. Brush the hair before shampooing and scrupulously wash combs and brushes. Always choose a mild shampoo with an anti dandruff action that gently loosens scales and helps prevent new ones. follow with a treatment lotion, massaged into the scalp using the fingertips. The treatment must be used regularly if it is to be effective. Avoid excessive use of heat stylers. If the dandruff persists, consult your doctor or trichologist.

2. Flaky / Itchy Scalp:
This condition produces tiny white pieces of dead skin that flake off the scalp and are usually first noticed on the shoulders. This condition can be often confused with dandruff but the two are not related. Sometimes the scalp is red or itchy and feels tight. The hair usually has a dull appearance.
Causes: Hereditary traits, stress, insufficient rinsing of shampoo, lack of sebum, using a harsh shampoo, vitamin imbalance, pollution, air conditioning and central heating.
Solutions: Choose a moisturizing shampoo and a conditioner with herbal extracts to help soothe and remoisturize the scalp.

3. Fine Hair:
This tends to look flat, and is hard to style because it does not hold a shape.
Causes: The texture is hereditary, but the problem is often made worse by using too heavy a conditioner, which weighs the hair down. Excessive use of styling products can have the same effect.
Solutions: Wash hair frequently with a mild shampoo and use a light conditioner. Volumizing shampoos can help give body, and soft perms will make hair appear thicker.

4. Frizzy Hair:
This can result from the merest hint of rain or other air moisture being absorbed into the hair. It looks dry, lacks lustre, and is difficult to control.
Causes: It can be inherited or it can be caused by rough treatment, such as too much harsh brushing or regularly pulling the hair into rubber bands.
Solutions: When washing the hair, massage the shampoo into the roots and allow the lather to work its way to the ends. Apply a conditioner from the mid-lengths of the hair to the ends, or use a leave-in conditioner. The hair is often best styled with a gel, and it is most effective if it is applied when the hair is wet. Alternatively, allow the hair to dry naturally and then style it using a wax or pomade. Serums can also help. These are silicone-based products that work by surrounding the cuticle with a transparent microscopic film, which leaves the hair shaft smoother. Serums effectively prevent moisture loss and inhibit the absorption of dampness from the surrounding air.

5. Split Ends:
These occur when the cuticle is damaged and the fibres of the cortex unravel. The hair is dry, brittle and prone to tangling, and can split at the end or anywhere along the shaft.
Causes: Over-perming or colouring, insufficient conditioning, or too much brushing or backcombing, especially with poor-quality combs or brushes. careless use of spiky rollers and hair pins, excessive heat styling and not having the hair trimmed regularly can also cause the problem.
Solutions: Split ends cannot be repaired, the only long-term solution is to have them snipped off regularly. What is lost in the length will be gained in quality. It may help if you reduce the frequency with which you shampoo, as this in itself is stressful to hair and causes split ends to extend up the hair shaft. Never use a dryer too near the hair, or set it on too high a temperature. Minimize the use of heated appliances. Try conditioners and serums that are designed to seal split ends temporarily and give resistance to further-splitting.

6. Product Build-up:
This is caused by the residue of styling products and two-in-one shampoo formulation left on the hair shaft.
Causes: When these residues combine with mineral deposits in the water a build-up occurs, preventing thorough cleansing and conditioning. The result is hair that is dull and lack lustre, it is often difficult to perm or colour successfully because there is a barrier preventing the chemicals from penetrating the hair shaft. The colour can be patchy and the perm uneven.
Solutions: Use one of the stripping, chelating or clarifying shampoos, which are specially designed to strip out product build-up. This is particularly important prior to perming or colouring.

Professional Tips:

  • Blot hair to remove excess moisture before applying conditioner.
  • Gently massage conditioner into the hair, or use a wide-toothed comb to distribute it evenly.
  • Leave the conditioner on the hair for the time specified - check whether it is a 'leave-in' or 'rinse-out' variety.
  • If necessary, rinse thoroughly.
  • Treat wet hair with care, it is much more sensitive and vulnerable than dry hair.
  • Avoid rubbing, pulling or stretching wet hair.

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