Did you know that your hair is made up of completely dead cells? When I say this, I mean the hair strand itself is made up of completely dead cells. The living part of the hair that you see growing on your head and other parts of your body is the hair follicle. The hair follicle is where it all happens – where the pre-programmed cells located in the bulb of the hair follicle determine the future of each hair shaft.
The Hair Follicle
This tear-drop shaped hair follicle contains the cells that determine the type of hair shaft that will be produced – peach fuzz or the thicker pigmented hair shaft. These cells also determine the color and texture of the hair shaft as well as whether it will be straight or curly. There are hundreds of thousands of these hair follicles located in the skin all over your body. It is vital to prevent damage to the hair follicles because these cells also control the growth cycle of the lifeless protein that we call hair and it is pre-programmed to run the growth cycle a specific number of times during your life time. If we experience damage to the hair follicle, the result could be hair loss from many different causes.
How to Keep Your Hair and Scalp Healthy and Avoid Scalp Stress
Hair needs protein, iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A in acceptable quantities for good health. A good way to keep your hair shiny is to feed the hair follicle the necessary nutrients. The hair follicle gets its nutrients from the blood supply in your body. So, by consuming things like salmon and walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids, spinach and carrots for the vitamin A, Brazil nuts for selenium and Oysters and cashews for zinc you can feed that precious hair follicle what it needs to produce healthy and shiny hair strands. And, don’t forget that low fat dairy products, whole grains and vegetables are not only good for your hair but also are good for your heart! If you aren’t consuming enough of these good foods, it may certainly be worth taking a hair growth supplement.
Other Ways to Avoid Damage to the Hair Follicles
There are things that we do to our hair, done by both males and females, to make it look presentable can cause hair follicles to be damaged. If you are among the thousands of people who prefer the tightly braided corn rows, pigtails or hairstyles that pull the hair shaft tightly, then you could be setting yourself up for a hair loss condition called Traction Alopecia – which simply means stress hair loss. The tension placed on the hair shaft and the hair follicle beneath the skin for extended periods of time will loosen the grip of the hair follicle on the hair shaft and it will be shed prematurely. As mentioned above, if the hair is shed prematurely and the hair follicle starts the next growing cycle, you could find yourself running out of growth cycles before you would like.
Other ways that we can cause damage to the hair follicle and the hair shaft is by over-styling. You know what I mean – blow drying, flat iron use, coloring and bleaching and even over-brushing can damage the outer layer of the hair shaft. Damage to the hair in this way will result in dry and dull looking hair.
What Can You Do to Change the Cycle of Damage?
You can change the cycle of the damage by changing your hair style or weaving the style more loosely. You can eat the foods suggested above to provide the nutrients needed by the hair follicle for good health.
Download our free ebook to find out what to do when your hair falls out. See the sidebar or click here.