What your hair reveals about your health

Navigation menu

13 Wonderful Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair
Yogurt — An excellent hair conditioner!! Does the pollution has great impact towards hair loss? Consider trying to quit or at least cutting back in order to minimize hair loss. You can try home remedies or you can consult a dermatologist since this a genetic problem. When you apply topical treatments to your scalp, make sure that you don't use them around clothes, furniture, or bedding that could either be ruined, or acquire an unpleasant odor from the treatments. Just wash your hair with ordinary water.

Ideal Protein Phases

Spa Treatments

Get plenty of sleep, and schedule times of rest and fun into your week. Massages not only helps reduce overall stress levels, but they also help increase your overall circulation, including blood flow to your scalp. Better blood flow to the scalp helps encourage hair growth. Getting rid of a dandruff issue can help with natural hair growth. Dandruff has been linked with an increased risk of hair loss so addressing any dandruff issues can have a direct positive effect on hair growth.

There are typically four main causes of hair loss: Androgenetic alopecia is an inherited hair condition in which there is hair thinning and then it eventually falls out. This is the genetic hair loss known as male or female pattern baldness.

Hormones in both men and women are responsible for many body processes. When it comes to hair, hormones play a significant role. Hormonal changes and imbalances that affect hair growth can be due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause as well as thyroid problems. The good news is that hormone-related hair loss is typically temporary, and normal hair growth will return once hormonal balance returns. And then you undoubtedly remember the aftermath of those months of gorgeous hair.

This is called telogen effluvium. The hormones that we speak about when it comes to hair loss are the group of hormones called androgens. The three types of androgen hormones are testosterone, androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone, more commonly known as DHT. A high percentage, right? DHT is a male androgen hormone that causes follicles to shrink, resulting in a shorter life span and decrease hair production.

Normally after hairs fall out another hair starts to grow from this same follicle, but if DHT is high hair growth decreases. Female pattern baldness androgenetic alopecia in women is characterized by thinning on the top or the center of the head.

Female hair loss is generally due to high levels of stress, hormone imbalance , thyroid conditions or toxic exposure. Women are actually most likely to suffer from hair loss due to hormones. Think pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills and other hormonal changes that women so commonly go through.

Having polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS is another hormonally related health problem that can contribute to hair loss from the scalp but unwanted hair growth in undesirable places. Research also shows that there might be a male equivalent of PCOS related to male hair loss. There are several options when it comes to conventional treatment of hair loss, all of which come with significant side effects unless you opt for a wig or hair piece.

An example of very commonly used and conventional topical treatment is minoxidil. Conventional hair growth products like Rogaine are available without a prescription and can be used by both men and women. Finasteride is an oral medication for hair loss in men only and requires a prescription. Once you stop using them, the hair growth, if any, will stop. First there is hair transplantation surgery, which takes hair from another area of the scalp where hair is growing well and moves it to a balding or thinning area.

This surgery is most commonly performed for male pattern baldness. This is due to the fact that unlike men who tend to lose hair in concentrated areas, women typically experience hair loss all over their scalps. Hair restoration surgery is another conventional treatment option and can be done in a few manners.

There is also scalp flap surgery, which takes a piece of scalp producing hair and surgically puts it where there is balding. When it comes to conventional treatments for hair loss, there are a lot of possible side effects you should be aware of before using any of these options.

Both of these pigments are melanin types, produced inside the hair follicle and packed into granules found in the fibers. Eumelanin is the dominant pigment in brown hair and black hair , while pheomelanin is dominant in red hair. Blond hair is the result of having little pigmentation in the hair strand. Gray hair occurs when melanin production decreases or stops, while poliosis is hair and often the skin to which the hair is attached , typically in spots, that never possessed melanin at all in the first place, or ceased for natural genetic reasons, generally, in the first years of life.

Hair grows everywhere on the external body except for mucus membranes and glabrous skin, such as that found on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and lips. Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three distinct and concurrent phases: Each has specific characteristics that determine the length of the hair. The body has different types of hair, including vellus hair and androgenic hair , each with its own type of cellular construction.

The different construction gives the hair unique characteristics, serving specific purposes, mainly, warmth and protection. Hair exists in a variety of textures. Three main aspects of hair texture are the curl pattern, volume, and consistency. The derivations of hair texture are not fully understood.

All mammalian hair is composed of keratin , so the make-up of hair follicles is not the source of varying hair patterns. There are a range of theories pertaining to the curl patterns of hair. Scientists have come to believe that the shape of the hair shaft has an effect on the curliness of the individual's hair. A very round shaft allows for fewer disulfide bonds to be present in the hair strand. This means the bonds present are directly in line with one another, resulting in straight hair.

The flatter the hair shaft becomes, the curlier hair gets, because the shape allows more cysteines to become compacted together resulting in a bent shape that, with every additional disulfide bond, becomes curlier in form. While the circumference of the hair follicle expands, so does the thickness of the hair follicle. An individual's hair volume, as a result, can be thin, normal, or thick.

The consistency of hair can almost always be grouped into three categories: This trait is determined by the hair follicle volume and the condition of the strand. There are various systems that people use to classify their curl patterns. Being knowledgeable of an individual's hair type is a good start to knowing how to take care of one's hair.

There is not just one method to discovering one's hair type. The system was created by the hairstylist of Oprah Winfrey , Andre Walker. According to this system there are four types of hair: This is a method which classifies the hair by curl pattern, hair-strand thickness and overall hair volume.

Thin strands that sometimes are almost translucent when held up to the light. Shed strands can be hard to see even against a contrasting background; similar to hair found on many people of Scandinavian descent.

You can also try rolling a strand between your thumb and index finger. Fine hair is difficult to feel or it feels like an ultra-fine strand of silk. Strands are neither fine nor coarse; similar to hair found on many Caucasians.

Medium hair feels like a cotton thread. You can feel it, but it isn't stiff or rough. It is neither fine nor coarse. Thick strands whose shed strands usually are easily identified against most backgrounds; similar to hair found on many people of Asian or Native American descent. Coarse hair feels hard and wiry. As you roll it back and forth, you may hear it. Many mammals have fur and other hairs that serve different functions. Hair provides thermal regulation and camouflage for many animals; for others it provides signals to other animals such as warnings, mating, or other communicative displays; and for some animals hair provides defensive functions and, rarely, even offensive protection.

Hair also has a sensory function, extending the sense of touch beyond the surface of the skin. Guard hairs give warnings that may trigger a recoiling reaction. While humans have developed clothing and other means of keeping warm, the hair found on the head serves primarily as a source of heat insulation and cooling when sweat evaporates from soaked hair as well as protection from ultra-violet radiation exposure. The function of hair in other locations is debated. Hats and coats are still required while doing outdoor activities in cold weather to prevent frostbite and hypothermia , but the hair on the human body does help to keep the internal temperature regulated.

When the body is too cold, the arrector pili muscles found attached to hair follicles stand up, causing the hair in these follicles to do the same. These hairs then form a heat-trapping layer above the epidermis. This process is formally called piloerection , derived from the Latin words 'pilus' 'hair' and 'erectio' 'rising up' , but is more commonly known as 'having goose bumps ' in English. The opposite actions occur when the body is too warm; the arrector muscles make the hair lie flat on the skin which allows heat to leave.

In some mammals, such as hedgehogs and porcupines , the hairs have been modified into hard spines or quills. These are covered with thick plates of keratin and serve as protection against predators. Thick hair such as that of the lion's mane and grizzly bear's fur do offer some protection from physical damages such as bites and scratches. Displacement and vibration of hair shafts are detected by hair follicle nerve receptors and nerve receptors within the skin.

Hairs can sense movements of air as well as touch by physical objects and they provide sensory awareness of the presence of ectoparasites. The eyebrows provide moderate protection to the eyes from dirt , sweat and rain. They also play a key role in non-verbal communication by displaying emotions such as sadness, anger, surprise and excitement. In many other mammals, they contain much longer, whisker-like hairs that act as tactile sensors.

The eyelash grows at the edges of the eyelid and protects the eye from dirt. The eyelash is to humans, camels, horses, ostriches etc. Hair has its origins in the common ancestor of mammals, the synapsids , about million years ago. It is currently unknown at what stage the synapsids acquired mammalian characteristics such as body hair and mammary glands , as the fossils only rarely provide direct evidence for soft tissues. Skin impression of the belly and lower tail of a pelycosaur , possibly Haptodus shows the basal synapsid stock bore transverse rows of rectangular scutes , similar to those of a modern crocodile.

The oldest undisputed known fossils showing unambiguous imprints of hair are the Callovian late middle Jurassic Castorocauda and several contemporary haramiyidans , both near-mammal cynodonts. Some modern mammals have a special gland in front of each orbit used to preen the fur, called the harderian gland.

Imprints of this structure are found in the skull of the small early mammals like Morganucodon , but not in their cynodont ancestors like Thrinaxodon. The hairs of the fur in modern animals are all connected to nerves, and so the fur also serves as a transmitter for sensory input. Fur could have evolved from sensory hair whiskers.

The signals from this sensory apparatus is interpreted in the neocortex , a chapter of the brain that expanded markedly in animals like Morganucodon and Hadrocodium. A full pelage likely did not evolve until the therapsid-mammal transition. In varying degrees most mammals have some skin areas without natural hair.

On the human body, glabrous skin is found on the ventral portion of the fingers , palms , soles of feet and lips , which are all parts of the body most closely associated with interacting with the world around us, [29] as are the labia minora and glans penis.

Pacinian corpuscles , Meissner's corpuscles , Merkel's discs , and Ruffini corpuscles. The Naked mole-rat Heterocephalus glaber has evolved skin lacking in general, pelagic hair covering, yet has retained long, very sparsely scattered tactile hairs over its body.

The general hairlessness of humans in comparison to related species may be due to loss of functionality in the pseudogene KRTHAP1 which helps produce keratin in the human lineage about , years ago. In order to comprehend why humans are essentially hairless, it is essential to understand that mammalian body hair is not merely an aesthetic characteristic; it protects the skin from wounds, bites, heat, cold, and UV radiation.

Humans are the only primate species that have undergone significant hair loss and of the approximately extant species of mammal, only a handful are effectively hairless.

This list includes elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, walruses, some species of pigs , whales and other cetaceans , and naked mole rats.

Dark skin probably evolved after humans lost their body fur, because the naked skin was vulnerable to the strong UV radiation as explained in the Out of Africa hypothesis. Therefore, evidence of the time when human skin darkened has been used to date the loss of human body hair, assuming that the dark skin was needed after the fur was gone. It was expected that dating the split of the ancestral human louse into two species, the head louse and the pubic louse , would date the loss of body hair in human ancestors.

However, it turned out that the human pubic louse does not descend from the ancestral human louse, but from the gorilla louse , diverging 3. This suggests that humans had lost body hair but retained head hair and developed thick pubic hair prior to this date, were living in or close to the forest where gorillas lived, and acquired pubic lice from butchering gorillas or sleeping in their nests.

The sweat glands in humans could have evolved to spread from the hands and feet as the body hair changed, or the hair change could have occurred to facilitate sweating.

Horses and humans are two of the few animals capable of sweating on most of their body, yet horses are larger and still have fully developed fur. In humans, the skin hairs lie flat in hot conditions, as the arrector pili muscles relax, preventing heat from being trapped by a layer of still air between the hairs, and increasing heat loss by convection.

Another hypothesis for the thick body hair on humans proposes that Fisherian runaway sexual selection played a role as well as in the selection of long head hair , see types of hair and vellus hair , as well as a much larger role of testosterone in men.

Sexual selection is the only theory thus far that explains the sexual dimorphism seen in the hair patterns of men and women. On average, men have more body hair than women. Males have more terminal hair , especially on the face , chest , abdomen , and back, and females have more vellus hair , which is less visible.

The halting of hair development at a juvenile stage, vellus hair, would also be consistent with the neoteny evident in humans, especially in females, and thus they could have occurred at the same time. There is no evidence that sexual selection would proceed to such a drastic extent over a million years ago when a full, lush coat of hair would most likely indicate health and would therefore be more likely to be selected for , not against, and not all human populations today have sexual dimorphism in body hair.

A further hypothesis is that human hair was reduced in response to ectoparasites. When our ancestors adopted group-dwelling social arrangements roughly 1. Early humans became the only one of the primate species to have fleas , which can be attributed to the close living arrangements of large groups of individuals. While primate species have communal sleeping arrangements, these groups are always on the move and thus are less likely to harbor ectoparasites.

Because of this, selection pressure for early humans would favor decreasing body hair because those with thick coats would have more lethal-disease-carrying ectoparasites and would thereby have lower fitness. Another view is proposed by James Giles , who attempts to explain hairlessness as evolved from the relationship between mother and child, and as a consequence of bipedalism. Giles also connects romantic love to hairlessness. Another hypothesis is that humans' use of fire caused or initiated the reduction in human hair.

Evolutionary biologists suggest that the genus Homo arose in East Africa approximately 2. As a result, humans evolved the ability to sweat: The female-male size differential among other closely associated primates is much greater than among humans, and therefore it was reduced during human evolution. Other primates have sweat gland in their armpits that function as those of humans, and thus it is probable that human sweat glands evolved from a similar distribution, spreading to more areas of the body, rather than occurring through evolution of a new trait.

It is not known whether the increased distribution of sweat glands occurred before, during, or after, the change in body hair, or even whether the two are related developments. Horses also sweat, and they are larger, hairier, and expend more energy running than human males, so there may not be any connection between the ability to sweat and the apparent hairlessness of humans. Another factor in human evolution that also occurred in the prehistoric past was a preferential selection for neoteny , particularly in females.

The idea that adult humans exhibit certain neotenous juvenile features, not evinced in the great apes, is about a century old. Louis Bolk made a long list of such traits, [47] and Stephen Jay Gould published a short list in Ontogeny and Phylogeny.

However, while men develop longer, coarser, thicker, and darker terminal hair through sexual differentiation , women do not, leaving their vellus hair visible. Jablonski [46] asserts head hair was evolutionarily advantageous for pre-humans to retain because it protected the scalp as they walked upright in the intense African equatorial UV light.

While some might argue that, by this logic, humans should also express hairy shoulders because these body parts would putatively be exposed to similar conditions, the protection of the head, the seat of the brain that enabled humanity to become one of the most successful species on the planet and which also is very vulnerable at birth was arguably a more urgent issue axillary hair in the underarms and groin were also retained as signs of sexual maturity.

Sometime during the gradual process by which Homo erectus began a transition from furry skin to the naked skin expressed by Homo sapiens, hair texture putatively gradually changed from straight hair [ citation needed ] the condition of most mammals, including humanity's closest cousins—chimpanzees to Afro-textured hair or 'kinky' i.

This argument assumes that curly hair better impedes the passage of UV light into the body relative to straight hair thus curly or coiled hair would be particularly advantageous for light-skinned hominids living at the equator. It is substantiated by Iyengar's findings that UV light can enter into straight human hair roots and thus into the body through the skin via the hair shaft.

Specifically, the results of that study suggest that this phenomenon resembles the passage of light through fiber optic tubes which do not function as effectively when kinked or sharply curved or coiled. In this sense, when hominids i. Homo Erectus were gradually losing their straight body hair and thereby exposing the initially pale skin underneath their fur to the sun, straight hair would have been an adaptive liability.

However, such anthropologists as Nina Jablonski oppositely argue about this hair texture. Specifically, Jablonski's assertions [46] suggest that the adjective "woolly" in reference to Afro-hair is a misnomer in connoting the high heat insulation derivable from the true wool of sheep. Instead, the relatively sparse density of Afro-hair, combined with its springy coils actually results in an airy, almost sponge-like structure that in turn, Jablonski argues, [46] more likely facilitates an increase in the circulation of cool air onto the scalp.

Further, wet Afro-hair does not stick to the neck and scalp unless totally drenched and instead tends to retain its basic springy puffiness because it less easily responds to moisture and sweat than straight hair does. In this sense, the trait may enhance comfort levels in intense equatorial climates more than straight hair which, on the other hand, tends to naturally fall over the ears and neck to a degree that provides slightly enhanced comfort levels in cold climates relative to tightly coiled hair.

Further, some [ who? Hence, they argue in favor of his suggestion that sexual selection may be responsible for such traits. However, inclinations towards deeming hair texture "adaptively trivial" may root in certain cultural value judgments more than objective logic. In this sense the possibility that hair texture may have played an adaptively significant role cannot be completely eliminated from consideration.

In fact, while the sexual selection hypothesis cannot be ruled out, the asymmetrical distribution of this trait vouches for environmental influence. Specifically, if hair texture were simply the result of adaptively arbitrary human aesthetic preferences, one would expect that the global distribution of the various hair textures would be fairly random. Instead, the distribution of Afro-hair is strongly skewed toward the equator.

In fact, although genetic findings Tishkoff, suggest that sub-Saharan Africans are the most genetically diverse continental group on Earth, Afro-textured hair approaches ubiquity in this region. This points to a strong, long-term selective pressure that, in stark contrast to most other regions of the genomes of sub-Saharan groups, left little room for genetic variation at the determining loci. Such a pattern, again, does not seem to support human sexual aesthetics as being the sole or primary cause of this distribution.

A group of studies have recently shown that genetic patterns at the EDAR locus, a region of the modern human genome that contributes to hair texture variation among most individuals of East Asian descent, support the hypothesis that East Asian straight hair likely developed in this branch of the modern human lineage subsequent to the original expression of tightly coiled natural afro-hair.

Ringworm is a fungal disease that targets hairy skin. Premature greying of hair is another condition that results in greying before the age of 20 years in Whites, before 25 years in Asians, and before 30 years in Africans. Hair care involves the hygiene and cosmetology of hair including hair on the scalp , facial, pubic and other body hair.

Hair care routines differ according to an individual's culture and the physical characteristics of one's hair. Hair may be colored, trimmed, shaved, plucked, or otherwise removed with treatments such as waxing, sugaring, and threading.

Depilation is the removal of hair from the surface of the skin. This can be achieved through methods such as shaving. Epilation is the removal of the entire hair strand, including the part of the hair that has not yet left the follicle. A popular way to epilate hair is through waxing. Shaving is accomplished with bladed instruments, such as razors. The blade is brought close to the skin and stroked over the hair in the desired area to cut the terminal hairs and leave the skin feeling smooth.

Depending upon the rate of growth, one can begin to feel the hair growing back within hours of shaving. This is especially evident in men who develop a five o'clock shadow after having shaved their faces. This new growth is called stubble. Stubble typically appears to grow back thicker because the shaved hairs are blunted instead of tapered off at the end, although the hair never actually grows back thicker.

Waxing involves using a sticky wax and strip of paper or cloth to pull hair from the root. Waxing is the ideal hair removal technique to keep an area hair-free for long periods of time. It can take three to six weeks for waxed hair to begin to resurface again. Hair in areas that have previously been waxed also is known to grow back finer and thinner, especially compared to hair that has been shaved with a razor.

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic method where a small laser beam pulses selective heat on dark target matter in the area that causes hair growth without harming the skin tissue. This process is repeated several times over the course of many months to a couple of years with hair regrowing less frequently until it finally stops; this is used as a more permanent solution to waxing or shaving.

Laser removal is practiced in many clinics along with many at-home products. Because the hair on the head is normally longer than other types of body hair, it is cut with scissors or clippers. People with longer hair will most often use scissors to cut their hair, whereas shorter hair is maintained using a trimmer.

Eliminating carbs and lowering calories offers three pounds off per week.