Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Fenugreek reduces hair fall,dryness and dandruff naturally!!



Look no further than your kitchen for an excellent natural beauty aid for the hair and skin-Fenugreek!!Fenugreek seeds and leaves are obtained from a herb and are commonly called methi  in India.Fenugreek means “Greek hay”,which presupposes its widespread use in Greek cooking .Although the seeds and leaves of this plant are used as a culinary herb, it is also known to cure many health problems and is an antidote for most hair and skin concerns as well.

Fenugreek(methi) seeds are extremely effective and powerful seeds which reduce hair fall,dandruff and hair thinning and makes hair silky smooth. Fenugreek seeds replenish hair growth and are a good source of nicotinic acid and protein, niacin, potassium, Vitamin C,amino acids as well as diosgenin.Many scientists have confirmed that fenugreek contains a large amount of lecithin which is a natural emollient and make them healthy and strong. It also tones the hair, making it silky and shiny.The chemical composition of the seed shows it is rich in protein and amino acids thus  moisturising  the hair and reduces hair loss and dandruff.

Fenugreek Seeds and leaves as a beauty aid:
1.Start your day with Fenugreek:Soak a tea spoon of fenugreek seeds (methi daana) in a glass of boiled water every night. Filter the water with the help of a sieve and drink it on an empty stomach every morning. Strain and drink this water every day helps in reducing hair loss.Make a paste of the seeds and apply to scalp.Cover with a showercap for 30 minutes and wash off with a herbal shampoo.

2.Apply as a Hairmask :Paste of the fresh leaves or fenugreek seeds with  coconut milk applied over the scalp, helps prevent hair loss,promotes hair growth,reduces dandruff amd makes it silky smooth.Read more at:
https://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/go-coco-nuttya-coconut-fenugreek-hairmask-to-reduce-hairfalland-dandruff/

3.Nourishing Fenugreek Hair oil:Ayurveda recommends keeping the scalp moist and cool with oil massages of herbal hair oil made by infusing coconut oil or sesame oil  with extracts of amla,brahmi,hibiscus and fenugreek which cool the system and scalp and encourage growth of hair.Read more at https://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/reduce-hair-fall-and-dryness-of-hair-with-natural-remedies/

4. Anti Dandruff HairPack:A paste of methi leaves or seeds mixed with apple cidervinegar,when applied to the scalp  is good for treating dandruff and dry itchy scalps.

5.Anti Acne Pack:Applying the paste of fenugreek leaves or seeds and turmeric on your face is very good for pimple and blackheads prone skin.

6. Anti Aging FacePack:Make a paste of fenugreek leaves or seeds and add boiled milk and honey to it. Applying this to your face delays the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It not just improves the complexion but also makes one look years younger

7.Moisturising Hair Pack for Shiny and silky Hair:

Fenugreek works  wonders on dry hair,becaue if its high mucilage and protein content .It  softens your tresses and adds shine to dull hair.
Moisturising HairPack:Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Once the seeds become soft, grind them to a paste. Mix the paste with half its quantity of curd. Apply the pack to your hair and leave on till it for half an hour.Wash it off with a mild herbal  shampoo . The result will be soft and silky hair you will love to touch.

8.Add volume and bounce to your hair: Apply a paste of fenugreek seeds to condition your hair while adding volume to it. This mask is a little messy but is quite worth the effort.Leave it on for 30 minutes and rinse it as usual with a herbal shampoo.

  Hence Fenugreek is truly a treasure trove of beauty…….do try out these time tested tips  and feel free to share your experiences with us!! Based on the benefits of fenugreek , hibiscus, amla and coconut oil we have formulated our Nourishing herbal Amla Hibsicus Fenugreek hair oil – find out more about it  on our  facebook  page .

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February 29, 2012


Studio Brow

By Gunner Glam

Studio Brow loves to send out wholesome energy and vibe to our guests and friends who visit our locations.

We thought we would share how folks can balance the body and mind using an ancient Eastern wellness belief based on seven energy centers that govern all bodily organs and work together as one system yet independently, according to the web site, Chakraenergy.com.

A person can collect energy from several different levels of vibrations,  including color, that are utilized in various parts of the body.

Throughout the body, people have main energy centers, which are connected to major organs or glands that govern other body parts. Each of these main energy centers are referred to as chakra – chakra is a Sanskrit word which means wheel.

A chakra is a wheel-like spinning vortex that whirls in a circular motion forming a vacuum in the center that draws in…

View original post 1,399 more words

February 28, 2012

CONTEST WINNING RECIPE WITH OLIVES AND OLIVE OIL !!




Yummy Garden Fresh Olive tossed Salad – Winning Entry from Saloni  Bhandari

Prep Time:30 minutes

Servings:10

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Black Ripe Pitted Olives, drained, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Naturals Green Pitted Olives, drained, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1/4 sweet onion (or white onions), diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 small green zucchini, unpeeled, and diced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives(or green stalks of spring onions) thinly sliced or 2 tablespoons dried chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine olives, carrot, sweet onion, cucumber, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, parsley and chives(or spring onions).
  2. Add lemon peel, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to bowl; mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Makes approximately 5 cups,Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Olives and olive oil are friends of your heart and skin 

These Mediterrenean tree-plucked fruits have been used from the days of the Egyptians.They  are high in heart-healthy monosaturated fats that shrink the risk of atherosclerosis. Add olives & olive oil to your diet to help maintain a healthy heart & lovely skin as they contain vitamins, antioxidants & omega 3 fatty acids. Olives Help reduce harmful cholesterol levels as well. Studies have shown that consumption of olives ensures healthy heart benefits such as reduced harmful cholesterol level. It also has anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, antithrombotic as well as vasodilatory effects in humans and animals.

Add them to your diet : Add olives to salads,dressings,dips,pizzas or simply pop them into your mouth as a  delicious  snack. Do keep in mind  that  extra virgin olive oil  should never be heated and should be used only for salads,pasta etc
Use regular olive oil for stir frying or pan frying.Know more about the 4 type of olive oils https://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/different-types-of-olive-oil-when-to-use-which-one/

Olives and Olive oil  for  skin and hair care:
Olive Oil reduces acne breakouts and opens clogged pores.Olive oil contains natural anti-oxidants and vitamins and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Secondly, olive oil also acts as a moisturizer, so it prevents the dry flaking that leads to acne breakouts.Thirdly, and perhaps the most important fact of all is that olive oil doesn’t clog pores and in fact dissolves the impurities inside closed pores. Hence when you cleanse your face with olive oil , it won’t leave behind residue that will clog pores and lead to acne breakouts.
Olives  are very high in iron content which reduce anaemia and help boost up the immune system as well as anaemia can cause severe hair loss as well.Olive oil combats dandruff which is usually caused by a flaky dry scalp by infusing moisture&preventing flaking.

So do your heart ,skin &hair a big favour…….Use olive oil instead of butter,margarine or regular oils while cooking &even as  a daily snack.

February 27, 2012

Contest winners of our Healthy Walnut Recipe Contest!!!



JOINT WINNERS OF  PRAKRITI HERBALS ‘S  HEALTHY WALNUT ORIGINAL RECIPE CONTEST:
HEENA AWASTHI &MANASA SOGAL NADIG

WINNING ENTRY:HEENA AWASTHI:Gur Wali Akhrot (Jaggery coated Walnuts) 
Simple and addictive recipe- Take equal quantity of jaggery and walnut. Crush the jaggery to almost a fine powder. Add jaggery in the wok, stir on the medium heat till jaggery is almost melted (Switch off the heat)- throw in the cut walnut pieces and coat them well. Take a huge plate and slightly coat it with ghee. Spread the mixture onto the plate and let it cool  completely. Once cooled, break the mixture into walnut size pieces.Enjoy!! 🙂 Both Jaggery & Walnut are  good for your health and Skin-Heena Aswathi

WINNING ENTRY FROM MANASA SOGAL NADIG:Penne Pasta with Walnut Basil Pesto
Ingredients: 1 lb Pasta boiled as per directions  and drained; big Bunch of basil leaves; 1/2 cup walnuts slightly roasted; 1/2 cup shredded mozarella cheese;Olive oil approx 1/4 cup; Salt&Pepper to taste.
Method:In a food processor, put the walnuts, basil leaves-run when walnuts are chopped roughly-add cheese and process drizzling olive oil little by little till the pesto forms–Pesto has to be granular and  not very smooth. Make sure you use Extra virgin Olive oil. Mix with hot pasta and adjust seasoning to taste!!My kids’ summer favourite and I substitute pine nuts with walnuts in the pesto for the omega punch!!! :)))-Manasa Sogal Nadig

Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E &omega 3 fatty acids ,thus helping  to keep the skin &hair protected from dryness&reducing   hair fall.Walnuts are  also very high in iron content which reduce anaemia and help boost up the immune system as well.They reduce anaemia which is also very often  responsible for hairfall.
Olives and olive oil are friends of your heart and skin  as well.So do your heart &skin a big favour…….Use olive oil instead of butter,margarine or regular oils while cooking &even as  a daily snack.Know more about the 4 types of olive oil https://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/different-types-of-olive-oil-when-to-use-which-one/
Walnuts slowdown the ageing process as they are rich in compounds including vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acids,ellagic acid, flavonoids, and melatonin, all of which have antioxidant properties-hence walnuts reduce wrinkles and fine lines.Walnuts have also been proven to reduce the onset &progression of age related diseases like Alzheimer’s!!It has  been found that Walnuts when eaten along with meals high in saturated fat limit the ability of the harmful fat to damage arteries.
So Munch just 7 walnuts a day,or try these recipes  and you will have met the recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, omega fatty acids and protein in your diet…………

February 23, 2012

Go Coco Nutty!!A coconut fenugreek hairmask to reduce hairfall,and dandruff…



A coconut-fenugreek hair mask to reduce hairfall,dandruff ,promote hair growth and nourish dry hair

If you have been to Kerala,you will notice that the older women have lovely luxurious black hair…..The secret of their lovely locks is the natural products that they use for their hair.They regularly apply coconut milk,coconut oil to their hair&wash it off with ritha and shikakai based natural shampoos.
Sharing their time tested recipe for hair growth with you:
Make a paste of 1 teaspoon of powdered fenugreek seeds and  3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk extracted from coconuts.Apply this paste to the scalp,cover with a hot towel or showercap for 30 mins ,and wash off with a herbal shampoo.Condition with a jojoba conditioner.Repeat twice a week for 2 months and check out the hair growth  for yourself!!
Fenugreek seeds replenish hair growth and are a good source of nicotinic acid,lecithin  and protein and also moisturizes hair and reduces dandruff.Coconut milk nourishes the scalp and has been proven time and again to promote hair growth.

So what are you waiting for??Make this age old  priceless recipe your own,and a part of your weekly haircare routine to resolve all your hair problems!!!

February 23, 2012

Reduce Hair fall and dryness of hair with natural remedies!!


Healthy shiny black hair


It is widely known that lovely healthy hair  is our crowning glory and can totally transform your looks.But sadly today loss of  hair is the bane and fear of almost everyone’s lives and a big source of stress itself!!
Did you know that a  hair loss of  25-5o strands/day and even upto 100 strands /day is considered absolutely normal???Isn’t it such a  relief to know  that-Was a huge relief to me at least,how about you’ll???!!!:)
I’m sure you would be glad to know that  the hair that you lose each day was just bound to be shed and only signifies the growth of a new hair….. just like you lose your milk teeth and get new ones when you were kids……:) So stop stressing over the hair in your hairbrush,unless of course it crosses 100 strands/day or falls out in clumps or leaves bald patches behind,you don’t have to worry too much!!Of course it doesn’t hurt to take care of whatever precious hair we do have, before it starts to disappear,right???
So for starters, let’s first understand the structure of hair and get to the root of the problem of  hair loss!!

Hair is  composed mainly of the protein keratin   filaments and  grows from follicles in our skin.  The base of the root is called the bulb or the papilla, this is from where the hair that we see actually grows.Our hair actually grows amazingly fast- approximately at the rate of 1/2 inch  per month.Hair grows approximately at the rate of 1/2 inch per month.The active growing phase of our hair is called the anagen phase,and then it passes into a transitional state or the catagen phase and telogen  phase where it rests for a 100 days and then falls out. Thus a Hair loss of  50-100  strands/day and even upto 100 strands /day is considered absolutely normal.It’s only when it crosses 100 strands/day ,suddenly starts  falling out in clumps or leaves bald patches behind ,that it is  considered to be the condition called Alopecia or Hairloss.

Causes of Hair Loss and Dry Frizzy Hair:

1.Imbalanced Diet
2.Deficiency of Protein and minerals like zinc and selenium  in the diet
3.Hormonal imbalances in women during  adolescence ,pregnancy or menopause.
4.Hormonal imbalances in men-Male pattern baldness(Alopecia areata)  is sometimes caused by a hormone called   DHT(Dihydrotestosterone) which shrinks and eventually kills the hair follicles causing bald patches.An enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into DHT which causes hairloss.
5.Stress
6. Lack of sleep
7.Low intake  of Water
8.Overuse of Chemical products for the hair or washing with hard water
9.Chemical treatments like Colouring,Perming and Straightening
10.Exposure to Pollutants and  Chemicals in the environment
11.Overexposure to UV Rays
12.Anaemia
13.Genetics
14.Thyroid imbalance or chemotherapy

Do check out which of the above may be the cause of your hair problems,and take professional help for the medically rooted problems like thyroid or hormone imbalance.The other causes can be reversed by taking necessary preacautionary steps
Sadly we only wake up when these conditions get really bad,and then shortcut chemical solutions only end up causing more harm than good.I’m sure all our grandmoms have much much better hair than us& that’s only because they would have followed the age old herbal traditions of haircare,healthy diets and preventive care..So isn’t it time we got back to nature &its natural solutions  for restoring  health&shine and reducing the very much prevalent problem of  hair loss which now plague men and women alike!!

1..Eat right&Nourish your hair from inside out.…….
Hairfall,and dry frizzy hair are more often caused due to deficiencies of Proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet. The first step in tackling these problems would be to  increase protein and omega 3 fatty acids uptake in your diet-especially from eggs,nuts like walnuts,almonds,flaxseeds ,pumpkin seeds,cashewnuts,groundnuts ,soyabeans,olives,legumes, and lots of fruits&veggies….you have to nourish it from inside out as well!!
Good hair nutrition begins with getting enough protein, which is the building block of your hair which is composed of 70 percent keratin protein.Egg whites contain a large amount of protein–ranging from 3.6 to 6.5 g per egg–and help rebuild damaged hair by filling in weakened spots along the hair strand, which  strengthens the hair.They are also rich in several minerals, including zinc,selenium, iron,potassium and sodium, esential amino acids vitamins like choline which regulates hormones,as well as Vit E,Vitamins from the B family and Vit D which are all essential for healthy hair.
Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E,and omega 3 fatty acids  strengthen the hair and keep it well protected from dryness .Munch just 7 walnuts a day and you will have met the recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein.Drink lots of water as well as deficiency of water can cause dryness and frizziness due to lack of moisture in the hair.

2.Supplement your diet with Zinc ,Selenium and Iron:
Deficiency of Zinc ,Selenium and Iron have been found to cause hairloss in both men and women .
Zinc inhibits the production of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase which converts testosterone into DHT,which is responsible for baldness especially in men.Zinc  and selenium is  found in high concentrations in most  protein-rich foods,seafood and eggs. If you are a vegetarian, you will most probably intake less zinc that those who have meat-based diets. Vegeterian sources of Zinc are dairy products such as milk and cheese, yeast, peanuts, beans, and wholegrain cereals, brown rice, whole wheat bread, potato and yogurt. Of all these, pumpkin seeds offer one of the most concentrated non-meat food sources of zinc.
Anaemia can cause severe hair loss  and cause it to fall out in clumps.Add Olives& walnuts to your diet to fight anaemia :
they  are both very high in iron content which reduce anaemia thus reducing hair fall as well.

2.To overcome hair fall,Keep your cool literally!!:)
According to Ayurveda ,excessive heat generated in the scalp(pittha)causes hair loss.Ayurveda recommends keeping the scalp moist and cool with oil massages of herbal hair oil made by infusing coconut oil or sesame oil  with extracts of amla,brahmi,hibiscus and fenugreek which cool the system and scalp and encourage growth of hair.
Pamper your hair with a herbal hair oil massage the right way:With 2-4 tsps of warmed  hair oil,use 4 fingertips to start massaging at the base of the neck.Massage the scalp with  circular  and zigzag movements of the fingers gently.Cover the hair with a  hot towel or showercap for 30 minutes,so that the body heat helps the herbal oil get absorbed better.Wash off with a mild herbal shampoo.Repeat twice  a week for best results.

3.Go coco-nutty!!……A coconut-fenugreek hair mask to reduce hairfall,dandruff ,promote hair growth and nourish dry hair-Apply this hairmask  twice a week for 2 months and check out the hair growth  for yourself!!
Fenugreek seeds replenish hair growth and are a good source of nicotinic acid,lecithin  and protein and also moisturizes hair and reduces dandruff.Coconut milk nourishes the scalp and has been proven to promote hair growth.

4.  Apple Cider Vinegar  rinse reduces  dryness and  frizziness of  hair,as well as hairloss:It acts by  removing deposits of minerals from hard water and residue styling products on the hair strands.Use as a final rinse after shampooing with a herbal shampoo and conditioning with a jojoba based conditioner.You could either spray it as a final rinse,or pour it over your hair bending over a sink.Towel dry,and your hair will be softer and shinier.

5.Aloevera  gel helps in healing the scalp, balances the PH level of the scalp and cleans the pores. An excellent home made nourishing conditioner for promoting hair growth and reducing frizziness of  hair:Take 1-2 aloevera leaves,soak overnight.Peel off the skin.Mix 1 tbsp of thick aloevera gel inside,with 1 tsp of olive oil,1 tsp of  herbal hair oil or coconut oil and 2 tbsp papaya pulp. You can use ready  aloevera gel for this mix as well.Mix in a blender,and apply this pulpy mixture to your scalp and hair.Leave for an hour. Wash off thoroughly&see how soft your hair feels:)

6.  Aromatherapy  is recommended for reducing hair loss and conditioning the hair.Essential oils promote hair growth by improving circulation to the scalp, cleanse and nourish the hair follicles. Mix 1 tbsp of jojoba oil,3 drops of rosemary oil,3 drops of lavender oil,3 drops of lemon oil with  a wooden or plastic spoon and massage well  into the hair roots.Wash hair using a herbal shampoo and condition with a jojoba conditioner. Rinse well.

7. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea reduces hair loss as well,especially by inhibiting the action of DHT which causes baldness,especially in males.Male pattern baldness is caused by the action of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which kills hair follicles and causes baldness.Green Tea  inhibits the production of 5-alpha reductase,which converts testosterone into DHT.

8.Nourishing and conditioning egg and olive oil or herbal hair oil hairmask .Use a jojoba conditioner or a protein based conditioner to tame dry and frizzy hair.
Method:Take 2 eggs in a medium-sized bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. Add 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or herbal hairoil and continue to whisk until foamy. Apply entire contents of bowl to your scalp and hair and massage well. Cover the head with a shower cap and leave for 30 minutes at least. Wash hair using a herbal shampoo and lukewarm water. Rinse well.
Truly  following all these natural tips,to make your own natural green hair remedies not only protects your health,saves you money and supports the planet – three great reasons for giving these natural hair treatments a try!Feel free to add your feedback on these natural treatments ,and your own time tested tips of course!!!

February 21, 2012

Apple cider vinegar drives dandruff, hair loss and acne away……



Apple cider vinegar(ACV) is a type of vinegar made by the fermentation of apple cider which  reduces itching of the scalp and dandruff by destroying the bacteria and/or fungi that clog hair follicles. The fermentation provides alcoholic apple cider that is combined with oxygen to produce acetic acid. The pH of ACV (apple cider vinegar) is very beneficial for treating dry and frizzy hair esp due to hard water , hairloss and dandruff,as well as for reducing acne and blemishes….Apple cider vinegar is  an extremely rich source of minerals (particularly potassium), vitamins, enzymes and amino acids.It is cleansing, gives the hair more body and luster,reduces hair-loss,and removes deposits of minerals from hard water and residue of shampoos,styling products.

1. For itchy scalp and dandruff: Apply  undiluted apple cider vinegar to the scalp with a cottonball. You could  add 5-6 drops of rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis) to the  apple cider vinegar. Rosemary increases peripheral circulation, stimulates circulation and metabolism of skin layers and is commonly used to treat dandruff and other scalp disorders as well as hair loss and baldness.Wrap the head with a towel or a showercap for an hour.Wash the hair with a natural, herbal shampoo that is suitable for your hair type. Finish with an apple cider vinegar rinse to flush out soap residue leaving the hair soft and lustrous .

2. ACV rinse to remove deposits of minerals from hard water and residue styling products. Method of use:Mix 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar in 1 ltr of softened or distilled water and use as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning.You could either spray it as a final rinse,or pour it over your hair bending over a sink.This removes all the build up of deposits and residues of styling products as well.Towel dry,and your hair will be softer and shinier .Do not rinse with the regular hard water after this rinse as it can cause redeposits of the minerals.

3. Reduces Acne and Clears blemishes :Apply diluted ACV (5 tbsp in a glass of water) with a cottonball to reduce acne and blemishes.Wash off after 15 minutes.

4. ACV used internally to reduce heartburn,gout,and for weight loss:
An energizing drink to clear your skin :2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar,A squeeze of lime1 tbsp of honey,8 oz. of mineral water…..It is a natural remedy for heartburn,gout,helps clear up skin conditions and blemishes; gives a smoother texture and complexion, helps with joint pain and stiffness, helps to break down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them, helps reduce levels of glucose,reduces sugar cravings and lose weight.Ideally should be had before food as it serves as a natural  appetite suppressant as well..It is generally believed that the nutrients, enzymes, and organic acids in apple cider vinegar causes weight reduction by acting as an appetite suppressant, by increasing your body’s metabolic rate, reducing water retention, and by helping you maintain a feeling of well being.

A blend of baking soda and vinegar has also been reported to do  wonders for your hair.Check it out here

Truly  like the proverbial apple,Apple cider vinegar too helps  keep the  doctor away!!! 🙂

February 14, 2012

What type is your hair????Know your roots first……


From time immemorial,Healthy beautiful hair has always been one of our biggest beauty assets&at the top of our  wishlists as well!!Well,just like each part of our body needs care, so does our hair!!So let’s start at the very roots by understanding the complex structure of hair &why it behaves the way it does……….
Did you know that the hair shaft that we see is actually considered dead technically as it does not have blood vessels,and nerve cells and the only “living” portion of the hair is found in the follicle??? That’s why it doesn’t hurt when you cut hair,but when you pull it out,it does-right!!….;)
Just like a beautiful plant  sprouts forth from a bulb within rich fertile soil,so also the hair germinates in and sprouts from the hair bulb,and grows well when the root or the papilla is well nourished.Hair is  composed mainly of the protein keratin   filaments and it is the  structure of these filaments that provides strength to the hair shaft. Hair grows from follicles in our skin. Follicles are pit-like structures with layers of cells with different jobs. The base of the root is called the bulb or the papilla, which contains the cells that produce the hair shaft which is nourished by a network of blood vessels; this is from where the hair that we see actually grows. Other structures of the hair follicle include the oil producing sebaceous gland which lubricates the hair and the erector pili muscles, which are responsible for causing hairs to stand-up and giving us  goose bumps.

The structure of a single  hair strand comprises of  the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. The medulla is the innermost core of hair and has soft keratin cells. The cortex is the second layer and gives your hair inherent strength and elasticity. It contains the pigment melanin, which is responsible for the colour of your hair and the absence of which causes greying. The outermost layer is the cuticle which acts as a protective shield. Its complex structure slides as the hair swells and is covered with a single molecular layer of lipid or sebum that makes the hair repel water.The hair strand may not be biochemically alive,but it still contains cells in all the 3 layers which are responsible for the colour and type of hair we have……

Hair follicles grow in repeated cycles. One cycle can be broken down into three phases.

  1. Anagen – Growth Phase-85% of our hair is in this phase and is actively growing.The Anagen phase or growth phase can vary from two to six years.
  2. Catagen – Transitional phase -lasts about one or two weeks
  3. Telogen – 10-15 %  of our  hair is inthe Resting Phase ,occurs after  the catagen phase and normally lasts about 5-6 weeks.
    At the end of the Telogen phase the hair follicle re-enters the Anagen phase. The dermal papilla and the base of the follicle join together again and a new hair begins to form. If the old hair has not already been shed the new hair pushes the old one out and the growth cycle starts all over again.
    Being  the maths and science freak that I am,I had to check  out the widely known 100 strands /day normal theory for myself….So here goes-The average number of follicles in our scalp is between 1 lakh to 1.5 lakhs, 85-90% of which is in the growth cycle at any given time and 10-15 % are allowed to fall every 2-6 weeks.Even if we consider the lower limit of 10% of 1 lakh,it equals 10,000 hair every 6 weeks-that gives us a permissible normal hairfall  of 222 hair strands/day..so upto 100 strands/day can be considered totally normal..Superduper confirmed news!!!:)

Different Types of  Hair:

Did you know that the angle at which the hair comes out of the follicle is related to its shape??The shape of the follicle determines the shape of the cortex, and the shape of the fiber is related to how straight or curly the hair is.!!!
Straight hair shoots straight out from the scalp and is round in cross section.Wavy hair is oval in shape and comes out of the scalp at an angle,whereas curly hair is flattened and comes out of the scalp at an extreme angle.
DRY HAIR
Dry hair is dull,lacklustre and usually characterized by a feeling of dryness, split ends or hair that is brittle and breaks easily. This type of hair feels rough,and not smooth and silky and is generally indicated by frizziness,fly away hair  and a lack of shine . This dryness can be caused by insufficient oil production by the sebaceous glands on the scalp or due to hormonal imbalances . However,  hair can also become  dry through the use of aggressive, stripping hair treatments ,perming,hair dyes or chemical shampoos,styling products etc or due to an imbalanced diet which dos not contain zinc, essential fatty acids and vitamins.
Let’s look at what happens when the hair feels dry: The cells of the outermost layer of the hair , known as the cuticle   form a smooth, protective network. When the cuticle is healthy, these cells lay tight against one another with very little space between them for moisture to escape. However, a lack of natural oil (sebum) can lead these cells to dry and harden, thus rendering this ideally smooth outer layer rough and course. When this happens, moisture from the inner cortex of the hair escapes and the protein chains in the cortex become dry and lose their elasticity. People with dry hair need to deliver moisture to the hair’s inner cortex while keeping the cuticle well lubricated and tight.Dry hair needs protection in the form of emollients and lubricants like herbal hair oils which will lubricate the outside cuticle layer of hair,and create a shine as well.Humectants like aloevera are also needed to retain the moisture within this type of hair.

Frizzy or Curly Hair : Frizzy or Curly hair can be difficult to manage. Easy to tangle and especially prone to change shape and body with the weather – curly hair is also often prone to becoming extremely dry. That’s because the curl keeps the hair away from your scalp and your scalp’s natural moisturizers, called sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum which helps seal the hair’s cuticle and protect the protein chains of the inner cortex, keeping them moist and elastic. As curly hair often needs more moisture and protection, the trick is to get it this moisture without weighing it down with heavy, damaging residues or making it oily and more likely to collect dirt.

Oily Hair and Scalp:
Oily Hair usually  goes hand in hand with an oily scalp.The sebaceous glands in this case work overtime& hair tends to take on a  limp,greasy look.This is sometimes seen in adolescents,pregnant women or after menopause,but it settles down once the hormones stabilise.A diet loaded with fried food and saturated fats from red meat and dairy products may also cause overproduction of sebum.

Coloured or Permed Hair: The hair’s outer cuticle is normally made up of a very tightly packed network of cells which do not allow moisture to escape and keep it moisturised and soft and is responsible for  shiny, healthy hair,. The alkalis used for Colouring ,perming or straightening  treatments  first cause swelling of the cells that form your hair’s outer cuticle.  The chemicals used in dyes  then    penetrate the swollen cuticle and move into the underlying cortex, and peroxide first  bleaches out the pigment that’s there in the first place,so that the pigments can then change the colour of your hair. The first one or two times,the cells may shrink back to its original tight mesh.But the problem arises when we repeatedly subject our hair to chemical treatments.The  more often you do this, the less likely it is that these cuticle cells will shrink back into the tight, smooth network and thus become dry and frizzy. There is no way to totally replace damaged cuticle on existing hair -the only solution is to wait for new hair to grow. But a good conditioner like aloevera or jojoba will act by filling in the gaps formed between the damaged cells and replacing  the lost moisture,thus restoring some softness and shine to the hair.

Normal Hair:
Lucky are the ones who have normal hair!!!Normal hair is hair that is strong,resilient,moisturised and shiny and a normal scalp is one that is moist and pink without any flaking,irritation or bumps.The goal of people blessed with normal hair is simply to maintain it in the same balanced state.
With a little bit of extra effort and regular care with natural products and age old Nature given solutions ,a well balanced diet  and a stress free lifestyle,we could work towards that final goal-Beautiful Healthy Hair!!!! 🙂 Do let us know about your specific hair problems,as we will be running a series of articles on natural remedies to overcome the normal hair concerns most people have-Hair fall,Dandruff,Dry&frizzy  hair etc…….Read more about simple natural  tips for all  your hair concerns at  https://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/fenugreek-reduces-hairfall-and-dandruff-naturally/