Avacor® Hair Regrowth Blog
18Jan/130

All Natural Hair and Skin Care

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on products to look great.  In fact, there are many products for healthy hair and skin in your own kitchen!  You can create your own masks, hair treatments, skin exfoliants, and more, using items commonly found in your fridge and pantry.

Try out these DIY recipes for healthier hair and skin to save time and money spent searching store aisles for the perfect solution to your hair and skin woes.

Apple

  • Shiny hair treatment: Combine a cup each of apple and pear juice with two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar.  Apply apple solution to hair after a shampoo and allow to soak for several minutes before rinsing out.  You can condition afterward or use this treatment as a hair conditioner.  Apple contributes to hair strength, while pear juice helps your hair reflect light and increase shine.  Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, removes buildup from your hair and scalp to increase hair’s shine, manageability, and overall health.

Avocado

  • Hair mask: Mash together half an avocado and a banana.  Add two tablespoons of honey and two to three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.  Apply paste to hair from root to tip, and leave in your hair for thirty minutes.  Rinse gently with cool water to rinse off the paste, and follow with a shampoo.  You can use this recipe twice a month to maintain hair’s shine.  If your hair is very long, double the recipe or adjust it to suit what ingredients you have on hand – for instance, use the whole avocado if you don’t have a banana, leave out the oil if you don’t have any handy.  Work with the recipe to see what works best for your hair.

Baking soda

  • No ‘poo: Try going without shampoo – it’s not as crazy as it sounds.  Many shampoos strip your hair and scalp of naturally-occurring oils, leading to hair damage and excessive oil production from the scalp to maintain the level of oils your hair needs.  This leads to overproduction of oil, which leads to more frequent shampooing, which starts the cycle all over!  Break the shampoo cycle by washing hair with baking soda and conditioning with apple cider vinegar.  Add one tablespoon of baking soda per cup of warm water to make a solution for washing your hair.  Apply the solution to your roots, taking care to scrub the scalp – the baking soda clarifies the scalp without interrupting the production of oil from your hair’s natural patterns.  It removes oil and product buildup from the hair strands, leaving your hair clean without any chemical residues from common shampoo ingredients.  Any baking soda left on the scalp may cause you to itch later, so rinse very thoroughly with warm water.  Apply organic apple cider vinegar in the same ratio – one tablespoon per cup of warm water – as a conditioning agent to maintain scalp pH and increase shine, and rinse out.  Simply comb through after your shower to detangle hair (a wide-tooth comb is best).  There is a transition period with this method; your hair may be excessively oily for up to two months as your scalp learns to stop overcompensating for oil stripping; however, some no ‘poo proponents had no transition period at all.

Citrus

  • Exfoliating mask for the skin: Combine one tablespoon of orange (or another citrus, such as lime or lemon) juice with one tablespoon of baking soda.  Mix well, and apply all over the face.  Let dry for twenty minutes – it will tingle at first – and then rinse away.  The citrus juice helps brighten your skin and keep pores clean, while the baking soda exfoliates and removes dead skin cells from your face.  This mask is useful for regular clarifying, prevention of blackheads, and reduction of acne breakouts and redness.  The citrus mask can be used up to twice a week, or more if your skin doesn’t mind.  Pay attention to your skin – if it becomes irritated, use this treatment less often.

Coconut oil

  • Sun protection: Apply coconut oil to your skin before heading outside.  The high smoke point of the oil blocks the burn from the sun without blocking UV rays, which we need so that we can maintain appropriate levels of Vitamin D from the sun.  You will need to apply the oil frequently, as much as every hour in constant sun exposure depending on your skin type, and you should limit your sun exposure at first when trying this method, in order to allow your skin to adapt to the exposure.  Apply coconut oil and limit sun exposure to a few hours for several days before increasing your time in the sun’s rays after your skin’s introductory period.

Honey

  • Shine-boosting hair rinse: Dissolve a tablespoon of honey into a quart of warm water, and use this solution to rinse your hair after a shampoo.  Leave in hair for up to an hour to condition hair, and then rinse out with warm water.
  • Face scrub: Combine honey with ground nuts (such as walnuts) and a splash of lemon juice.  Apply to your face as a revitalizing, exfoliating, and moisturizing scrub and rinse gently with warm water.  The nuts exfoliate away dead skin cells, the lemon juice brightens skin and reduces acne inflammation, and the honey moisturizes the skin.
  • Face wash: Simply wash your face with honey.  Honey is a natural antimicrobial and antibacterial that moisturizes skin and is effective for every skin type.  Honey contains enzymes that improve skin health as you scrub, and honey is effective in treating acne-prone skin. Pull hair back away from your face (which should be free of makeup before applying honey), and warm up about half a teaspoon of raw honey in your hands by rubbing your palms together.  Massage the warmed honey into your face, for at least a couple minutes.  You can leave the honey to soak into your skin for up to ten minutes if you wish.  Rinse the honey off with warm water, using a washcloth if it is not rinsing easily.
  • Moisturizing mask: One teaspoon of raw honey with one teaspoon of aloe vera juice (a great reason to raise an aloe plant in your home!) makes a healing and moisturizing facial cleanser.  Apply the mixture to your face and rinse with warm water after about fifteen minutes.  Aloe is a natural healing plant, able to treat sunburn, acne, and other skin ailments.  Aloe and honey are both natural moisturizing agents, and this cleansing mask will lock in skin’s moisture and combat acne breakouts.

Oil

  • Oil cleansing method: The oil cleansing method, OCM, is doing the unthinkable – deliberately rubbing oil all over your face.  Don’t panic!  Believe it or not, oil is not bad for your skin, nor does it inherently lead to skin blemishes.  In fact, our skin’s natural oil is there for a reason – it helps to moisturize the skin.  Conventional facial cleansers designed to eliminate the oil from your face are a huge part of the reason you’re still having issues with oil in the first place.  To remove dirty oil from your face (the dirt, bacteria, and other debris is what causes pimples; not the oil itself), you need only apply some clean oil to wash it away.  Apply your mix of oil (instructions and ratios available on the oil cleansing method webpage, linked above) to your skin and massage with fingertips.  Soak a washcloth in hot, steamy water (from the tap or previously heated on the stove and allowed to cool to a safe temperature), and cover your face to allow the steam to open your pores and remove impurities and blemish-causing debris from your face.  Rinse the cloth in hot water and repeat the steaming a few times before gently wiping away the oil with the washcloth.  Visit the website linked above for more detailed information on OCM.

Onion

  • Hair growth and health: Onion is touted as a natural remedy for hair loss, but it also improves overall scalp and hair health as well.  Onion treatments can be used for dandruff and scalp infections.  Using a food processor or blender, puree onions into a fine paste, and strain through cheesecloth to separate the juice from the paste.  You can apply the liquid and/or paste directly to your scalp and massage into the skin.  Onion will naturally lighten the color of your hair and add shine.  You can use this treatment every time you shampoo – and you will need to wash your hair after applying the onion to get rid of the onion smell.  Try rinsing with the juice of a lemon after you wash to give your hair a fresh, clean scent.  You can also add other ingredients, such as avocado to make a paste, or honey to moisturize and improve the smell of the solution.  If using onion for hair loss, expect to wait a month or two before seeing noticeable results.

Salt

  • Sea salt body scrub: Combine two sprigs of fresh rosemary (chopped) with one cup of sea salt and ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil.  In the bath or shower, massage the salt scrub onto your wet skin.  Working from the feet up helps to engage blood flow to the extremities.  What makes this scrub good for your skin?  Salt is a natural exfoliant, olive oil is an incredible moisturizer, and rosemary is a natural anti-inflammatory which will soothe and calm skin that has been irritated by exfoliation.

There are hundreds of DIY skin and hair care recipes that you can create and try using ingredients you probably already have in your home’s kitchen pantry! Avacor® provides an all natural supplement called Nutricap designed to promote hair strength and beauty that contains a combination of herbal and organic extracts. Do you have any other suggestions for natural hair care products?  Tell us about them in the comments.

Written by Caitlin - Follow Caitlin on

2Jan/130

New Hair Loss Treatments

Hair loss has been an issue for centuries, but scientific ways to treat hair loss began to take off in the past 60 or so years. Ointments, transplants, formulations, chemicals, snake oils, and many other products have emerged in the hair loss treatment markets, some of which work well, others which do not. When choosing a hair regrowth treatment, it is important to understand whether a product or method is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whether it will treat your specific situation, and whether the treatment has any side effects that could be potentially hazardous to your overall physical or emotional health.

Image courtesy of uk.askmen.com

Hair follicles are self-regenerating; they produce strands of hair, shed it, and reproduce new hair constantly. However, at some point, the hair follicle stops producing new hair, or produces new hair at a slower rate than the hair is shed, causing hair loss and sometimes baldness. It is this concept that must be understood when creating new ways to treat hair loss. All hair loss treatments aim to assist (or in some cases, replace) hair follicles in producing new hair, whether naturally or synthetically.

Drugs

As far as hair treatments from a lab go, two main drugs have emerged as the leaders in treating hair loss. Minoxidil slows hair loss and promotes hair growth when used correctly. It helps to maintain the hair you have, and is most effective when used in the earlier stages of hair loss, as opposed to when you are bald or close to it. The other drug commonly used is Propecia. Unlike Minoxidil, which has proven effective for both men and women, Propecia only works on men, because it works to stop male hormones (testosterone) from forming DHT, which shortens the hair growth phase. Several studies have revealed that Propecia produces more side effects than Minoxidil, including loss of sex drive, and several other side effects. (Avacor® hair loss treatment products use Minoxidil and are specifically formulated for men and women).

Men looking to treat hair loss can use one or both of these drugs. However, neither will be effective unless used correctly, as directed by the product.

Surgery

Surgeries are another way people treat hair loss, and are an $800 Million industry in the U.S. alone, and a $2 Billion industry worldwide, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hair transplants have developed significantly over the last several decades. In the 1980s, large grafts of hair follicles were removed from one area of the head and inserted onto the area experiencing hair loss. The procedure was often painful and the results were mixed; in some cases, hair transplants were quite successful, but not for everyone. Results took a long time to look natural as well. Scalp reduction is another out of date procedure that involved several small incisions on the scalp, which left visible scars.

Nowadays, hair transplant surgery is less invasive than before, requiring much smaller grafts of just one to four hairs. These smaller grafts are less painful and invasive, and have a more natural look since the areas are smaller and more close together.

The Next Evolution: Hair Follicle Regeneration

The new wave of hair loss treatment is hair follicle regeneration. This is essentially a jump start for hair follicles that have stopped or slowed new hair production. Several labs and companies are working on this process, and have seen success manipulating hair follicle stem cells in a test tube. Some companies are experimenting with removing human hair follicles and growing them in a lab. The idea is that if the hair follicles can be re-stimulated using science, then reinserted onto a person’s head, the hair follicles will begin working properly again, growing hair naturally and combating hair loss. This takes hair transplant procedures to the next level by expanding the number of new hair follicles you receive from a hair transplant.

Some people have referred to this process as “hair cloning,” but this is not an entirely accurate description, since the process does not create a new organism. Rather, it is a duplication effort that puts follicles that have the potential to produce new hair into implants that stimulate new growth. M.D. George Cotsarelis predicts this new transplant process is between 5 and 10 years from becoming publicly available.

New Genes

Another recent development in the hair loss treatment world is a new gene called “Sonic hedgehog.” This gene essentially is able to convert hair in the resting stage into new hair growth. Scientists are still in the early stages of experimenting with this gene (and others) to try to control hair follicle size and the growth rate for new hair. If successful, it could become a powerful and popular new way to treat hair loss. Similar experiments are occurring as you read this article in labs all over the world. Using genetics to treat hair loss is similar to how scientists are using genetics to treat disease and other human conditions. These processes and procedures are constantly being updated, and like many other areas of treatment, scientists are paving the way toward new and improved hair loss remedies.

Vitamin D

According to the Wall Street Journal, vitamin D is crucial to hair regrowth. Thus, many efforts to develop new hair loss treatments focus around adding more vitamin D into a person’s diet. In addition to stimulating hair growth, vitamin D also has other benefits for the body, such as improving bone growth. However, too much vitamin D can also cause kidney issues or general weakness, so take care not to overdo it. In many cases, simply changing your diet can actually help with hair loss. Adding the proper amount of vitamin D into your diet from fatty fish and sunlight can help you treat hair loss naturally.

17Dec/120

Hair Regrowth Treatments: What Works?

Hair loss can be tough, so when you see noticeable loss, bald spots, or a widening part, it is understandable to want to do anything you can to stop the hair loss and grow your hair back. This is not always possible, but there are a number of natural and holistic hair loss remedies available for you to try at home – but do they work?

Can you stop - or even reverse - hair loss?

Photo from www.healthcaremagic.com

Many people swear by their own home remedies, promising that a certain scalp cream or hair tonic will work to regrow hair and prevent further hair loss.  While these remedies may work for some people, they are like any other remedy in that they do not necessarily work for all people.  In addition, there are few studies that provide evidence of the effectiveness of home remedies, though there is generally no harm in trying some out.  It is always important to check with your doctor before trying any new healthcare regime, even a natural remedy.

Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, a dermatologist in California, is quoted in a recent WebMD article as stating that “Most natural hair treatments are bunk.”  He noted that he routinely advises patients against buying products to use as home remedies, as their costs add up and can be very cost-prohibitive, and they do not necessarily offer any reliable benefit.  However, WebMD’s article does go on to consider several natural remedies that may improve the quality of the hair you do have, in order to reduce further hair loss.

Molly Roberts, MD, MS, of the American Holistic Medical Association, believes that general methods can be tried before medicating for hair loss, taking a holistic approach to the issue of thinning hair.  Such holistic ideas include proper nutrition, stress management, and overall hair care.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Nutrition is a key element that people should examine with any medical condition – often, food can be the culprit of medical maladies and can also be the source of improved health.  Hippocrates, said to be the father of Western medicine, stated, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” promoting the belief that food, what we put into our bodies every single day, is the key to good health.  Hair loss is no different; the key to healthy skin, a healthy scalp, and healthy hair is the food we put into our bodies.

Sally Kravich, MS, CNHP is a nutritionist with a holistic approach; she is also referenced in the above-mentioned article.  Kravich encourages a healthy, balanced diet as a large part of good health practices.  Important nutrients include protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, dairy, and meat – though it is possible to maintain a varied and balanced diet as a vegetarian or vegan.  Omega-3 fatty acids are important for scalp health and can be found in nuts, seeds, eggs, and fish.

Supplements can be taken, though Kravich prefers that her patients get their necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the foods that they eat.  Iron is important for hair health, as a deficiency can lead to hair loss, but iron supplements should only be taken under advisement of a medical professional after a positive test for anemia.  Zinc and biotin are also believed to have benefits for healthy hair growth.  Before beginning any supplement regime, you should notify your doctor so that she or he can provide any additional information and check for drug interactions with any medications you are taking.

Stress and Hair Loss

Sometimes, hair loss will reverse itself.  This is often the case when hair loss is caused by physiological stress leading to telogen effluvium, a condition in which a disproportionate amount of hair follicles switch into their resting state and subsequently fall out, out of sync with the natural schedule of your hair’s cycles.  Learn more about stress and hair loss from our previous post.

Maintain The Hair You Have

An important factor to consider when struggling with hair loss is to protect and care for the hair that you do have to improve hair health.  When dealing with hair loss, do your best to:

  • Avoid harsh chemicals from hair dyes, perms, and chemical straighteners
  • Avoid harsh shampoos and conditioners, especially those containing sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, industrial-grade surfactants that are present in many commercial hair products and can lead to skin and hair damage
  • Avoid heated styling tools such as curling irons, flat irons, and hair dryers – if you must use a hair dryer, use a diffuser or a cool air dryer
  • Style your hair to decrease the appearance of thinness  by cutting hair short to reduce the appearance of thin or limp hair or using a volumizing mousse or other hair thickening product – we discuss hair thickeners in a previous post.
  • Be gentle when styling hair – do not attempt to style hair in complicated ways or using a lot of products

Popular Home Remedies - Do They Work?

Though there is a lack of scientific data to disprove or support the effectiveness of holistic hair growth remedies, many people use home remedies to stop and even reverse their hair loss and provide anecdotal evidence that the remedies work for them.  Discuss remedies with your doctor. Even if they may not work, these remedies could be worth a try if you want to avoid medications and other chemical treatments.

  • Saw palmetto, an herbal supplement, is believed in many holistic circles to provide hair restoration and stop hair loss
  • Silica, either taken in supplements or by eating silica-rich foods, has been said to stimulate hair growth and stop or slow hair loss already happening
  • Amla (Indian gooseberry) can be used to create a hair growth tonic when combined with coconut oil and boiled, or amla juice can be mixed with lime juice and used as a shampoo to promote hair growth
  • Simmering rosemary leaves with water and adding wheat germ oil can be used as a hair rinse to promote hair and scalp health
  • Scalp massage is said to promote blood flow and follicle health in the scalp, leading to healthier hair and decreased hair loss
  • Onion is touted as an excellent way to regrow hair after loss, improve hair health, and treat dandruff – to use onion, pulverize the onion flesh in a blender or food processor, drain the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth, apply the liquid and/or the paste to the scalp and let sit for thirty minutes before washing hair as usual, several times per week
  • There are many more holistic and home remedy options available; do a simple internet search to find some that might work for you

Your Mileage May Vary

It is important to understand that home remedies may not work for you, even if they work for a friend, colleague, or family member that recommends them.  If you try some holistic remedies to no avail, discuss some medical options for hair loss with your doctor, such as drug treatment or surgery, or consider other proven hair loss correction methods.  If you want to avoid all chemical treatment entirely, you can look to wigs or hairpieces, or simply let your bare head go au naturale.

Avacor® Can Help

You can also begin a hair care regime with Avacor®, which help countless men and women just like you who are seeking an answer to their hair loss problems. Avacor offers hair regrowth products, such as Avacor Physicians Formulation®, which is FDA approved and clinically shown to regrow hair in as little as two months’ time.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that when your hair starts to thin, there are several roads to trying to halt hair loss and restore your hair back to its former glory.  Whether you try a home remedy, use products like Avacor’s line of hair care and regrowth products, or use medical approaches, you can take steps to restore what you have lost.  Determining which method is the right method for you is up to your personal preferences and how many remedies you want to try.

Though there is not scientific data to back up the home remedies, they have shown to be effective for the individuals who promote them and they may very well be a legitimate means of hair regrowth for you, if you wish to try them.  Likewise, a product like Avacor, which has been shown in studies to be effective and has worked for tens of thousands of customers, may not work for a small percentage of people.  Hair regrowth and treatment of hair loss can be a process of trial and error.  Discuss your options with your doctor – but remember: you get to decide which treatment you want to try.  At the very least, be sure to maintain a healthy diet to promote body (and hair!) health and maintenance.

Written by Caitlin - Follow Caitlin on

11Dec/120

Winter Hair Care

The winter season can blanket your town with snow and ice, which can be both beautiful and stressful at the same time. Blustery winter weather brings many challenges, such as travel delays, slick roads, and school/business closings. It can also wreak havoc on your hair. According to WebMD, harsh winter weather changes can be your hair’s worst enemy. Therefore, it’s important to understand a few helpful tips about caring for your hair during cold weather and the winter season.

Take care of your hair this winter

Image courtesy of mowildlife.blogspot.com

Keeping Warm

A healthy head of hair can help keep your entire body warm during winter months. Heat escapes from all areas of your body, including your head. However, if your body is covered up, then the only place heat can escape from your body is your head. Unless, of course, your head is covered as well, which is when your hair comes into play. While hair won't trap heat entirely, it will help keep you warmer. If you are experiencing hair loss or baldness, definitely wear a hat, or keep your head warm some other way. If using Avacor® hair products, allow the products time to be absorbed before you put your hat on and head out for the day.

Effects of Winter Weather

When winter weather hits full stride, it can cause a variety of issues that affect your hair health and ability to grow a healthy head of hair. Static electricity from hats, dry frizz, and split ends all occur more frequently during winter months. There is also the hat hair factor, which forces many people to choose between staying warm and keeping their hair style in place.

Weather Elements

The winter brings many extreme weather elements that can cause hair problems. Sunny days skiing, combined with strong wind, snow, ice, and sweat can all damage your hair. In fact, the sun exposure in the winter is often worse than the summer, because of all the other weather elements that factor into play.

Heat

“Heat” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of winter weather, but it certainly plays a role. After all, if you don’t crank up the furnace, you’ll be pretty chilly, even indoors! Your hair is affected by all of the heat. Sitting indoors all day can still be damaging to your hair in the winter, similar to how using a blow dryer every day can cause your hair to become dry and brittle, and thus, easier to break off. And to that point, limit your time under a blow dryer as much as possible during the winter. Blow dryers in general are damaging to your hair, especially in winter.

What To Do for Dryness

Now that you know a little bit about the damage various aspects of winter weather can do for your hair, it’s important to understand how to combat those effects. The most important strategy for fighting the winter elements is to use conditioner. But, don’t settle for any old conditioner from the grocery store. Find one that is rich, moisturizing, and thickening. Boston salon owner Marc Harris indicates that the conditioner should contain a few important ingredients, including essential fatty acids and humectants, because they moisturize effectively, and also attract moisture from the air throughout the day. Specifically, look for a conditioner with soy protein and panthenol.

Fighting Static Electricity

Static electricity also kicks into high gear during the winter. It can cause dryness, and make your hair look like a mess. You can use dryer sheets if you want (seriously), or opt for a boar bristle brush that has a wooden handle. This type of brush reduces static electricity.

Styling Tips

Depending on how you style your hair, you may want to consider a few adjustments in the winter. For example, consider a styling cream rather than a gel. Styling creams add more moisture to your hair to combat the dry air. They are also softer products, so your hair is less likely to break off. In general, avoid any hair care products that have alcohol, and avoid spraying fragrances on your hair, as the alcohol will make the hair dry and brittle.

Avoiding Hat Hair

Hat hair is something we all deal with in cold weather, though there are a few things you can do to help avoid looking like a clown when you take off your hat. Push your hair back, or push it against the way you want it to fall, when you put on the hat. This adds a bit of resistance to the hat having its way with your hair. Also, carry a small bottle of texturizer with you to quickly add body and style to your hair once you take off your hat.

Shampoo

Like conditioner, the shampoo you use has a direct impact on your hair health. According to celebrity and fashion stylist Jamal Hammadi, shampoos with the least amount of chemicals are best for your overall hair health. He also recommends shea butter to heal damaged hair and avoid damaging healthy hair.

Final Tips

There are a few other tips to keep in mind to maintain healthy hair during the winter, according to Longlocks.com. First, trim it often, especially long hair. That way, if you get a split end or the end of your hair gets damaged, you trim it off before it has a chance to spread up towards your scalp. Also, avoid showering in very hot water. The heat from the water will dry out your hair, especially when combined with the dry winter air.

Hair Care & Hair Loss Prevention

Hair loss can occur more rapidly during the winter, as hair is more susceptible to drying out and falling off your head. If you begin to experience hair loss, seek treatment to help regrow your hair and maintain a healthy head of hair, long after winter is gone. Avacor offers several products to help take care of your hair, including shampoos, conditioners, and hair growth products.

Stay warm, and take care of your hair this winter!

27Nov/120

Stress and Hair Loss

In general, people are stressed.  We stress about work, we stress about relationships, we stress about money, we stress about family and friends and traffic and long lines at the grocery store.  We stress about getting married, having kids, and the importance of a proper work-life balance.

Photo from Synchealth.com

We stress about what to make for dinner.  Stress is a part of daily life for nearly everyone. Many media sources do their best to remind us that stress is bad for our health and could lead to premature signs of aging, increased risk of disease, and an untimely demise.  Not to mention wrinkles and thinning hair.

Wait – Thinning Hair? Can Stress Really Do That?

In a word, yes.  In a few more words, it’s not that simple.  There is an important distinction between emotional stress and physiological stress.  Working against an unexpected deadline at work, fighting with a friend or family member, and having to stand in line at the grocery store can cause you stress, but these are relatively short-lived emotional stressors.  Bigger stressors, such as the stress of getting married, having a child, losing a loved one, losing or gaining a large amount of weight, living in an abusive situation, or getting divorced can cause deeper physiological stress on your body, which can manifest in poor health and impact your body – including your hormones, mental functioning, skin, nails, and hair.  There is indeed some truth to the belief that stress can cause hair loss.

Hair loss can often be a consequence of excessive physiological stress, which can be brought on by a variety of sources, such as:

  • Crash diets and malnutrition
  • Chronic stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Starting or stopping a medication
  • Surgery, illness (especially with a high fever), or injury

Note that these aren’t the small-picture emotional stressors of daily life, like running late or waiting in a long line.  Physiological stressors have a deeper reach and impact on your health.

When stress-related hair loss strikes, it isn't necessarily permanent.  Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin purports that there are three types of hair loss typically associated with high levels of physiological stress: Alopecia areata, Telogen effluvium, and Trichotillomania.

Alopecia areata is a condition in which the white blood cells, or leukocytes, of the body’s immune system attack the body’s hair follicles, leading to bald spots on the scalp.  Alopecia totalis is hair loss of this type on the entirety of the scalp, and Alopecia universalis is the autoimmune loss of hair from the entire body.

Telogen effluvium refers to the telogen phase, also called the resting phase, of the hair follicle.  Severe stress can interrupt the hair’s growth cycle and cause mass shedding of hairs that have entered the telogen phase.

According to a featured article on medical website WebMD, the average head has 120,000 to 150,000 strands of hair, around 100 of which are naturally shed every day.  Approximately 90% of hairs growing on your head are in a growing phase for two to three years at a time before entering the resting (telogen) stage for up to four months before falling out so a new hair can replace it.  Telogen effluvium occurs when a physiological stressor interrupts the hair’s natural schedule, causing a large amount of hairs to rest at once, which then fall out three to four months later according to the hair cycle’s regular schedule.  This type of hair loss will correct itself provided the stressor causing the effect is removed.

Trichotillomania, or trichotillosis, is an impulse control disorder characterized by the uncontrollable urge to pull out one’s own hair, from the scalp, face, or other areas.  In many cases, trichotillomania is triggered by stress or depression.  Trichotillomania in young adults and adults can be treated with behavior therapy, psychiatric intervention, and medication if needed.  Often the hair-pulling behavior ceases when other underlying issues are treated.

Besides these three conditions that cause hair loss, your body may simply be taking a break from hair growth.  It is not uncommon to experience hair loss after a major surgery, recovery from an illness or high fever, or childbirth – because your body is paying more attention to your recovery from the medical trauma instead of growing your hair.  Since hair is not necessary to survival, the body may shut down hair production in times of excessive stress.  Though this is normal, it may still be beneficial to check with your doctor to rule out any other causes of hair loss that might be medically relevant.

Many women experiencing postpartum hair loss, and others experiencing temporary hair loss, benefit from some cosmetic styling tips to reduce the appearance of thinning hair.  Headbands and scarves can camouflage thinning hair, as can changing your style and switching to a side-part or using volumizing mousse to add fullness and texture.  The appearance of thinning hair can be hidden with a new haircut that focuses on volume and fullness to your hairstyle.

While some hair loss may be unavoidable as the body’s response to serious physiological stress, you can take steps to reduce the impact stress has on your life.  The following tips can help you manage your overall stress so that big events don’t have such a profound effect on your body.

Take care of your physical needs

  • Sleep: Lack of sleep leads to fatigue and increased stress levels.  Getting a full night’s sleep on a regular basis will help prevent and manage stress.
  • Eat: Eat a healthy, balanced diet.  Don’t skip breakfast, and make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients you need, from whole foods and vitamin supplements if needed.  Avoid refined sugars and excess caffeine, which can disturb your sleep patterns.
  • Move: Regular exercise helps to reduce the effects of stress on the body and will help you feel more healthy.   Aim for thirty minutes each day; even exercise as simple as walking will make an impact on your health and stress levels.
  • Avoid toxins: Don’t overindulge in toxic substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs.  Taking care of your body with a balanced diet, exercise, and adequate sleep will do a better job of reducing stress levels in the long-term than drinking or smoking.
  • Know your warning signs: Knowing the small signs of stress, such as migraine headaches, restless sleep, or fluctuations in appetite, can give you a clue that it might be a good idea to check in with your doctor or take steps to improve your stress reduction techniques.

Take care of your emotional needs

  • Relax: Set aside regular time every day to focus on yourself and not worry about outside worries.  Whether this is part of your daily walk, shower, or bedtime ritual, it is important to spend time relaxing and focusing on your own needs.  This will help you stay in touch with yourself in regard to the stressors in your life.
  • Have fun: Incorporate your hobbies and favorite leisuretime activities into your regular schedule.  A major cause of chronic stress that can take a toll on your body is feeling like you are overwhelmed with obligations.  Taking time to do something you enjoy will help you stay connected to your own needs.
  • Talk about it: Identify people in your social circle, like a friend, relative, or coworker, who is able to listen to you when you need to talk about stress.  Having someone to talk to about your stress can help manage it so it doesn’t get out of hand and negatively affect your health.

Reduce stressors

  • Say no: If you are overwhelmed with obligations and commitments, turn some down to reclaim some of your time and energy for yourself.
  • Manage time: If your to-do list gets out of hand, devise a new time management strategy that can improve your efficiency and help you keep better track of your commitments.  Often, this small bit of organization can go a long way to managing daily stress levels.
  • Cut ties: If people in your life are detracting value or adding stress, take a break from them, or remove them from your life entirely.
  • Avoid triggers: If you know that a certain topic or activity triggers stress or anxiety, whether it is talking about politics or playing cards, do your best to avoid that particular activity in order to reduce the stress that is attached to it.

Stress happens to everyone, every day.  The difference between each person is how they manage the stressors in their life.  Stress and its physiological manifestations can often be a circular problem: excessive worry and stress may cause you to pay less attention to your diet, which may lead to nutrient deficiency, which leads to stress, which can manifest in poor sleep or exercise habits, creating more and more stress until you want to pull your hair out – or your body does it for you.  Take control of your stress before it controls you, and you will be much better prepared to handle the profound stresses life brings your way.

Written by Caitlin - Follow Caitlin on

26Nov/120

Cyber Monday 2012 Special

Special on all Avacor® Products

Take advantage of Avacor® Black Friday through Cyber Monday deal. This Monday 11/26 is the last day to save 50% on all orders over $50!

Use promo code: BFRIDAY12

15Nov/120

What Causes Thinning Hair?

Everyone wants thick, healthy hair with good volume and luxurious texture. But what about those of us with fine or thinning hair? Is there a way to thicken hair to get that desirable volume?

Thinning Hair

Photo from Mensciencemagazine.com

The answer is yes; there are many ways to volumize and thicken hair. There are commercial products available, many natural home remedies you can concoct yourself, styling tips for volumizing hair, and healthy choices you can make in your diet to boost hair health.

What Makes Hair Thin?

Thinning hair can be caused by a number of factors, such as genetics, medication, stress, poor diet, medical conditions, and even the way you style your hair.

Family History

You inherit your hair from your family. This could mean generally fine or limp hair, or it could mean male or female pattern baldness. Genetics means that you can’t change the root cause of your hair loss or limp hair, but you can try some of the DIY or commercially-available products outlined below to improve the volume and thickness of your hair.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions and medications can also increase your risk of hair loss or thinning hair. Hormonal conditions – such as diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or thyroid disease – can cause your hair to thin and become finer in texture and volume. Medications such as acne medicines, antidepressants, blood thinning medications, diet or weight loss pills, and hormonal contraception have been known to result in thinning of hair in some patients. Pay attention to your hair when you start a new medication and discuss any hair loss (or other side effects) with your doctor. It may be possible to switch to another medication to avoid the thinning of your hair. Always consult your doctor regarding any unusual hair loss if you suspect an underlying medical cause.

Lifestyle & Emotional Stress

Lifestyle factors can impact your hair's health – stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise can take their toll on your body, including your hair. By incorporating healthy decisions into your lifestyle and managing your stress (often a result of a balanced diet and a habit of exercise), you may be able to take control of your thinning hair and restore lost thickness and volume. Large stressors – such as giving birth, going through a divorce, experiencing the death of a family member or friend, or other significant stressful event – can actually interrupt the growth cycle of your hair and lead to temporary hair loss that should correct itself several months after the stress has passed.

Over Styling

Your hair's thinning may also be the result of years of harsh styling practices. Chemical processes, such as bleaching, dying, relaxing, or perming of the hair, can also lead to hair loss over an extended time. The use of heated hair appliances like flat-irons and blow-dryers can also be detrimental to your hair’s health and lead to hair loss. If you get hair extensions, repeated pulling of hair near the scalp can lead to hair loss along the crown of the head. Be kind to your hair to keep it healthy longer.

Nutrition and Your Hair

The first line of defense against hair loss or thinning is to make sure your body is happy and healthy. Your hair depends on key nutrients you can incorporate into your diet, such as:

  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Protein
  • Water
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B-5
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin H (Biotin)

These nutrients can be found in plants (fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds), animal sources (red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy), and as supplements (in chewable tablets, liquid drops, or pill form). In particular, salmon, walnuts, spinach, eggs, greek yogurt, and sweet potatoes are all good sources of many of these nutrients. It is possible to get these necessary nutrients with a vegetarian or vegan diet if you do not eat foods from animal sources, however.

Style Your Way to Voluminous Hair

Though some styling products can lead to hair loss, it is possible to style your hair to appear thicker. To style your hair with your hair's health in mind, start by drying wet hair with an absorbent towel. Be careful to gently blot at your hair instead of briskly rubbing, which can stretch and tear your strands. If you use a blow dryer, use a diffuser to keep the dryer from overheating your hair, or dry your hair using the cool air setting. You can also mix up blow drying and air drying, giving half your dry time to each method.

Combing or brushing wet hair can stretch and snap individual hairs, so gently comb out tangles with a wide-toothed comb instead of quickly brushing and pulling at wet or damp hair.

To style for additional volume, start by flipping your hair over your head and blow drying or towel drying it in that position. This will push your hair opposite the way it normally hangs and create volume. You can also style with commercially-available volumizing or thickening products, which will be discussed below. Using curlers or rollers can also increase the volume of your hair. If you are looking for a haircut to increase volume, ask your stylist for a layered cut.

Take care to not over-wash your hair, as frequent washing will strip your hair of its necessary oils and lead to your hair becoming brittle. Also, avoid using waxy products if you have thin hair, as they tend to weight down hair and make it flat instead of adding volume.

Natural Home Remedies to Thicken Hair

There are many home remedies you can take advantage of to thicken your hair without the use of commercial products. You can apply a gelatin solution (one package in ½ cup warm water), egg (beaten, rinsed out with cool water), or honey (approximately 2 tablespoons, rinsed with hot water) to your hair and scalp, let sit for about fifteen minutes, then rinse and shampoo as usual. You can also make a hair mask from banana and avocado to nourish hair and improve volume. Adding epsom salts to your regular conditioner (it’s easier to mix if you warm it up first) can also improve volume when used as a hair mask before your shower. Search DIY websites like Pinterest for more ideas to create homemade haircare and other beauty products.

Commercial Hair Thickening Products

There are plenty of products on the market that claim to provide thickness and volume to limp or thinning hair. How do these products work? Thickeners are cosmetic products with the goal of making your hair appear thicker and fuller – they do not re-grow hair that has been lost.

  • Powder thickeners electrostatically bond to your hair, giving a thicker appearance, but they can be easily transferred by heavy wind, rain, or even being rubbed by your hands or clothing.
  • Moisturizing products such as shampoo and conditioners, thickening oil treatments, and other volumizing products thicken hair by plumping up the hair shaft with moisture, which temporarily makes the hair stand up for more body.
  • Aerosol thickeners are colored products sprayed onto thinning hair, where they dry with a strong bond and give the appearance of fuller hair.

Boost! Your Hair's Volume

Avacor® offers an array of thickening hair products to treat your hair to the luxurious volume it deserves. Whether your hair is thinning or you just want some extra volume, Avacor has a product that can help you. Avacor Boost! Hair Thickening Serum can help add volume to thinning hair. Our Thickening Shampoo helps add volume and body to hair.

Healthy, Thick Hair Can Be Yours

Thin hair happens. Many things can lead to thinning hair, hair loss, and generally fine-textured hair – like genetics, medical reasons, diet, stress, and other factors. But you don’t have to resign yourself to life with thin, limp hair. And you don’t need to buy a wig, though that’s certainly an option if you’re interested.

Whether you can counteract your thin hair with changes in your dietary habits, changes in your medications, some homemade thickening recipes, or commercial hair care products, you can get healthy, thick hair with excellent body and volume. If nothing else, you can get a hair cut that maximizes volume and style your hair in ways that maximize its fullness and body. There are many resources available to promote hair health – whether you consult your doctor or the Internet. Be sure to browse our website to see what our volumizing and thickening hair care products can do for you.

If you have a favorite tip for hair volume or general hair care, leave us a note in the comments section!

Written by Caitlin - Follow Caitlin on

30Oct/120

How to Strengthen Your Hair

Hair loss happens for a variety of reasons, many of which you have control over. We all know that diet and exercise play an important role to the health of your body, but it is important to understand how to keep your hair healthy and strong. The stronger your hair is, the less likely it is to begin falling out or shedding. In other words, if you actively try to keep your hair strong and healthy, you have less of a chance of experiencing hair loss.

Some causes of hair loss include diet and mineral deficiency, your genealogy, increased stress, how you care for your hair, and even what you wear.

Diet. Eating a healthy and well balanced meal can help strengthen your hair and prevent hair loss. Specifically, eat foods that contain a lot of iron, protein, B vitamins, and vitamins A, C, and E, such as fresh fruits, dark green vegetables, poultry, and beans. These provide nutrients to your hair follicles. Consider vitamins or supplements if needed. Hair follicles that receive these nutrients will remain strong and will typically produce hair for longer periods of time than follicles that receive inadequate nutrition. Also, drink the proper amount of water each day to keep your head and body moisturized and hydrated. Usually, this is 64 ounces for adults.

Hair Care. The shampoo, conditioner, and other products you use on your hair also can affect how strong your hair and hair follicles are, and can either prevent or increase hair loss likelihood. Use a shampoo that is designed to promote hair health and prevent hair loss, and use a conditioner that adds moisture and volume to your hair, such as the Avacor hair care products. Also, avoid hair products that add a lot of weight to your hair, or cause it to become crusty or brittle. Use a towel to pat down your hair, rather than rubbing, and avoid using a blow dryer if you can. The heat from blow dryers can make your hair weaker and more brittle. Lastly, use a soft bristle brush.

Sleep and Stress. Believe it or not, you can also help strengthen your hair by getting the proper amount of sleep, as well as doing what you can to avoid excess stress in your life. According to WebMD, the proper amount of sleep varies from person to person, but is usually somewhere in between 7 and 9 hours for adults. A lack of sleep causes your body to work overtime, which means less energy is able to be sent to your scalp to produce and grow hair. Stress is unavoidable for most of us, though we do have the ability to limit or control the stress we encounter. If you find yourself overly stressed out, try to avoid overextending yourself with commitments. Also, take time to reduce stress through yoga, meditation, exercise, or just some scheduled downtime to relax or do something you enjoy.

Hats. Hats and helmets, as well as other hair accessories like hair ties, can also weaken your hair. Avoid wearing hats every day if possible, and do not us a hair tie that is so tight that it pulls out your hair.

Taking care of your hair follicles, and your body in general, can go a long way in helping to strengthen your hair and prevent hair loss. However, in some cases, hair loss will occur, despite your efforts to stop it. If you are experiencing hair loss and wish to treat it, consider Avacor’s FDA-approved hair growth products to combat hair loss and help you regrow a natural, full head of hair.

22Oct/120

Poor Diet and Hair Loss

Your diet is an important part of your overall physical, mental, and emotional health. However, the foods you eat can affect more than just your waistline; they can also cause temporary or permanent hair loss, or can help you maintain a healthy head of hair, depending on what you choose to include in your diet. "You are what you eat" applies to your hair, too!

Fruits and Vegetables

Image from Nutritionistics.wordpress.com

Nutrients

Hair grows from follicles. Like other parts of your body, such as cells or organs, hair follicles function better with proper nutrients. And, like the rest of your body, the hair follicles receive those nutrients from food (among other sources). Specifically, hair follicles that are deficient of vitamins B5, B6, folate, and other B vitamins often do not produce hair as well or as frequently as they should, according to Livestrong. Aside from B vitamins, ensure you are getting recommended amounts of A, E, and C for a healthy scalp and hair. Fresh fruits and vegetables will provide these essential nutrients. A proper and well-balanced diet gives a sufficient amount of nutrients to your hair follicles, resulting in fuller and healthier hair. Hair follicles that are deprived of proper nutrients will not produce hair as often or as well as follicles that receive proper nutrients, thus leading to hair loss.

Calories

A poor diet may also be defined as one that produces too few or too many calories. Calories are used within your body to create energy, which is used throughout your body to perform a variety of tasks. If you are not giving your body enough calories, then vital tasks, such as breathing and body temperature regulation, will use most of the energy, leaving little left for secondary functions such as hair growth and production. Without the proper amount of energy, hair production will decrease.

Hair Health

Your diet affects more than just your body’s ability to produce healthy hair; it also plays a part in the health and longevity of your existing hair. Neglecting your body of a balanced diet can cause your existing hair to become thin, brittle, and weak, which can result in increased hair shedding and broken hairs. A poor diet can also make your hair dry, dull, and thin, whereas a well-balanced diet can give more volume and shine to your hair.

Lifestyle Changes

Changing your diet may require some daily changes to your lifestyle and eating habits, but these changes have many benefits beyond your hair. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day, and drink a lot of water throughout the day, to provide nutrients and hydration to your hair and body. These foods also help keep a healthy head of hair. You can also take a multivitamin to ensure you are getting the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients each day like in the Avacor® Nutricap. Also, exercise regularly to stimulate hair growth (though avoid tight hair ties or headbands, which can pull your hair out). Choosing to live a little healthier can help you look great, feel great, and enjoy your life much more than you might imagine.

3Oct/120

Facial Hair Grooming Tips

Facial hair is unique to men and serves a variety of purposes. For some, it provides warmth, especially when working outside. For others, it is a natural accessory to complete a look. Some men use facial hair as a status symbol, especially by younger men to try to look older or more mature. And in some cultures, growing facial hair is expected.

Facial hair, like the hair on your head, should be groomed. How often you groom it is up to you, but if you let it grow without any care or attention, you will end up with a bushy, tangled beard. For some guys, this type of beard is exactly the look they are going for. If you do choose to grow facial hair, there are a few grooming and styling tips to keep in mind.

Man Shaving

Image courtesy of Menshealth.com

Styles. There are a variety of styles of facial hair. Beards, goatees, mustaches, and sideburns are the most common. Some men do a type of goatee/mustache/sideburn combination, while others grow a full beard. Some men change their facial hair look frequently, altering from clean shaven to various facial hair styles, while others grow and maintain facial hair for years or decades. If you are unsure what will look best on you, there are a variety of apps that allow you to preview different facial hair styles on a photo of your face.

Trimming. Trimming your facial hair is an important part of grooming and styling. How often you trim it is up to you and the look you are going for. Some men trim or shave their face daily, while others let it go for a few days or even weeks before they clean it up. Most men with facial hair still shave or use clippers to get rid of at least some of the hair. For a beard, you might put shaving cream on your face, trace your jawline, and shave everything underneath. You might do the same for sideburns or goatees, tracing the shape of the style and shaving everything else off.

One popular method for trimming facial hair is giving it a fade. Use the shortest setting on your trimmer or clipper for the bottom quarter-inch of your beard, then use the second-shortest setting on the next quarter-inch up, and so on as you move up your neck and face. Try to blend in the different lengths so you cannot see lines where you changed clipper settings.

Maintenance. Facial hair, like the hair on your head, should be cared for and maintained. This will help it look better, as well as give you healthier facial hair to match your healthy head of hair. Every time you wash your face in the shower, use a small amount of shampoo on your beard, followed by a dime-size dab of moisturizing conditioner that you leave in for about 10 seconds before rinsing. Conditioner helps your face avoid drying out and helps with dandruff from your facial hair.

Other Tips. Keep beards even and trimmed for a more professional look. For sideburns, don’t let them go more than an inch wide. For the most part, keep them at mid-ear level, though you can go a bit longer if you have a long and thin face. Do not let them grow past your ear. Also, grow facial hair that will accentuate your face shape. For example, a thick mustache is a nice way to cover up a large philtrum (space between your upper lip and nose). A short scruffy beard gives more depth to a skinny face, and a square bottom beard can help hide double chins or a thick face. Goatees help elongate round faces. Whatever style you choose, make sure it’s one you feel good about.