Hair loss and the importance of a healthy scalp

General Hair Loss

A good healthy head of hair starts with a healthy scalp. The hair itself is not living, it is the hair roots in the follicles in the scalp that are living. It is the scalp that needs to be healthy in order for the hair follicles to be strong and keep producing new hair.

Although there are medical and genetic reasons for baldness and hair loss and there is permanent hair loss, there are more and more treatments available to help control hair loss and regrow new hair.

A good healthy diet is one major factor in keeping the body’s system healthy and able to ward of infections and diseases. Often whilst ill the hair can feel limp and lack shine. This is due the body’s own immune system being used to fight the infection or disease and the system becomes tired.

Stress and anxiety can take their toll on the condition of hair. The scalp has to be healthy with good circulation. A head massage will help to stimulate the hair follicles and increase the circulation. Hair is an important feature and one that is seen immediately on meeting a person. It can give an image of who we are and so should be cared for and treated on a regular basis.

The scalp covers the surface of the skull and does this in five layers. The part that contains the hair follicles is the skin and is a very thin covering. The sebaceous glands that produce the oil to give hair its shiny look are in the skin. Next lies a layer of fat and fibrous tissue called the connective tissue. Then the epicranial aponeurosis is a denser layer of fibrous tissue and lies below the skin and connective tissue to ensure they stay in place. There is then the loose areolar connective tissue which is rich in blood vessels and lastly the pericranium which is the outer layer of skull providing the bone.

Blood supply to the scalp is important for the growth of hair. It requires oxygen and nutrients to produce the sebaceous oil and hair follicles. Massaging the scalp can be of great benefit in supplying the blood and stimulating the cells. The knowledge of how the scalp is formed has greatly helped in producing treatments to help with hair loss. Knowing what causes the hair follicles to become damaged has helped to develop successful treatments. It has shown how some hair loss and baldness is hereditary and maybe in the future this too can be overcome.

DHT is the major factor that is passed down between generations and causes the hair to start falling at an early age. For more information about DHT, please see this blog post.

The scalp is open to the elements, the sun, wind, rain, smoke and more all of which have an effect on the hair and scalp. A good oil massaged onto the head will help to invigorate the hair giving it a ‘new life’. At times when the body is tired and run down the hair is the first place where it shows. It becomes dry and lacks any shine. This in turn can give low esteem. Hair is important to how we look and feel.

A regular haircut and styling will help to keep the hair follicles in the scalp strong and healthy. By cutting dead ends away it makes the hair shaft stronger and the hair follicles can produce more healthy hair. Hair styles can have a dramatic effect on hair loss. Hair scraped back tightly pulls on the scalp and the hair follicles become damaged, shrink and can no longer hold hair roots, a condition known as traction alopecia. A change of style will benefit the health of the scalp. Wearing of hats or caps is another way to destroy the hair follicles and cause permanent damage.

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