SerumScoop: Tips, tricks and news
A primary active in our RevivHair Stimulating Serum and RevivLash Lash & Brow Stimulating Serum: Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF or rh-Polypeptide-3). Numerous scientific/clinical studies show how KGF helps promote hair growth. Check out these published articles:
Danilenko, Dimitry M.; Ring, Brian D.; Yanagihara, Donna; Benson, William; Wiemann, Bernadette; Starnes, Charles O.; Pierce, Glenn F. (1995). Keratinocyte growth factor is an important endogenous mediator of hair follicle growth, development, and differentiation. Normalization of the nu/nu follicular differentiation defect and amelioration of chemotherapy-induced alopecia. American Journal of Pathology 147: 145-54.
Richardson GD; Bazzi H; Fantauzzo KA; Waters JM; Crawford H; Hynd P; Christiano AM; Jahoda CA. (2009). KGF and EGF signalling block hair follicle induction and promote interfollicular epidermal fate in developing mouse skin.
Karvinen, S; Pasonen-Seppanen, S; Hyttinen, JM; Pienimaki, JP; Torronen, K; Jokela, TA; Tammi, MI; Tammi, R (2003) Keratinocyte growth factor stimulates migration and hyaluronan synthesis in the epidermis by activation of keratinocyte hyaluronan syntheses 2 and 3. J Biol Chem, 278:49495-49504
Braun S; Krampert M; Bodó E; Kümin A; Born-Berclaz C; Paus R; Werner S. (2006) Keratinocyte growth factor protects epidermis and hair follicles from cell death induced by UV irradiation, chemotherapeutic or cytotoxic agents Journal Cell Science, 119: 4841-4849
Jang, JH (2005) Stimulation of human hair growth by the recombinant human keratinocyte growth factor-2 (KGF-2). Biotechnology Letters, 27:749-52.
Do you remember that time when you went to a new salon and asked for a simple haircut, but ended up looking like you’d stuck a finger in an electrical socket?
Getting a bad haircut can be traumatic, to say the least, particularly when you need to wait for your hair to grow back. You wake up every morning, hoping against hope that your hair has miraculously fixed itself, but it seems like months before you can properly fix it.
This universal and embarrassing problem begs an important question: How fast does it normally grow? And is there any way to speed up the process?
Watching Water Boil vs. Watching Hair Grow
As they say, “a watched pot never boils”, and the same thing is true of human hair. On average, human hair grows at a rate of about half a millimeter per day. Don’t get too excited, as that only equals about half an inch per month. Therefore, people waiting for their hair to grow back after a particularly terrible trim need to have some patience. It will take at least a season to bring back those beautiful locks that got chopped off.
Perception is a big factor in the appearance of hair, because if you have a very short haircut, the change in appearance will be much more dramatic. A crewcut will seem to grow very rapidly, doubling in length in a week or less, whereas a women with hair to the middle of her back will not notice the change in length, despite the relatively even growth rates.
This slow growth of hair is particularly annoying for people who are already beginning to lose their hair and want to have a bit more hair to “work with”. This has led many people to seek ways to boost or speed up hair growth, but is it really possible?
The Secret to Fast-Growing Hair
That title may actually be a bit inappropriate, because the methods of speeding up hair growth are far from secrets! People have been managing their lifestyle, diet, and behaviors for thousands of years to alter the growth patterns and rates of their hair.
First of all, you need to understand that hair is a very simple material, primarily made up of water, sulfur, and protein. The sulfur content in your hair is why it smells so bad when you singe one of your locks with a match by accident! By adding more of these three substances to your diet, such as by adding fish, eggs, garlic, and green vegetables to your daily meals, and washing it down with 6-8 pints of water per day, you can definitely speed up hair growth. Also, avoiding sugar and high-starch foods, which slow down hair growth, is another viable option.
Blood flow to the scalp is another surefire way to stimulate growth and increase the overall health of your hair. Some of the best ways to boost blood through the blood vessels of the scalp, besides a luscious head massage, is regular exercise. When your heart rate increases, the blood is boosted to all parts of the body, so a short job or cardiovascular exercise every day can keep the hair packed with nutrients and oxygenated blood. This can strengthen the hair root, clear toxins from the sebaceous glands, and keep the tissue healthy and strong.
Turn Things on Their Head
Inversion therapy, as the name somewhat suggests, involves spending large periods of time upside down. For over two millennia, the act of inverting your body to the Earth has been used to significantly increase blood flow to the head, in addition to stretching the spine and relieving tension. This heavy blood flow to the head is also an effective way to clear out toxins, ensure nutrient delivery to the follicle beds, prevent further hair loss, and speed up hair growth.
In fact, for people losing their hair or suffering from male pattern baldness, inversion therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for regrowing lost hair! There are a number of contraptions and methods of practicing inversion therapy, including standing on your head!
What Should I Avoid for Speedy Hair Growth?
Aside from things you can do to improve hair growth, there are also certain things to avoid. Namely, putting tons of harsh chemicals in your hair, whether for styling or changing its color. These harsh chemicals can permanently damage your follicles or “fry” your hair, which definitely slows down growth.
You should also be aware of how often you blow-dry of straighten your hair, as this type of intense heat can increase hair breakage and loss. Using old brushes or combs, or those that are rough on the scalp, can also increase hair loss and damage follicle beds, resulting in slower hair growth. Every head of hair is different, and you should make sure that you understand the right tools, brushes, products, and styling techniques for your individual head! …
While these techniques won’t result in a full head of hair overnight, by boosting a few millimeters of growth every day, over the course of months and years, your hair can grow to its full potential!
[RevivHair Hair Stimulating Serum can also help in myriad ways, but among them, by keeping the hair bulb rooted to the scalp.]
- Reprinted / excerpted from Science ABC
You might think that sweating it out can be harmful to your hair, but you should start thinking of your workout as part of your beauty routine. Most of us know that eating a well-balanced diet helps make for a healthy mane. But it hadn't occurred to me that hair could also reap beauty benefits from working out until celebrity stylist, educator, and fitness buff Natasha Sunshine introduced me to the idea. She's built her career on holistic hair care after witnessing the benefits first hand. Natasha shared five ways that getting your sweat on helps add shine to your hair.
Turn Up Intensity
Natasha reminded me that intense cardio is a great way to rid the body of toxins. This has a direct impact on your sebum, an oily, conditioning substance secreted by skin glands that helps prevent hair from drying out. Natasha says that the release of toxins "directly contributes to purer, healthier and an even more conditioning sebum."
In addition to intense cardio and other sweat promoting workouts, Natasha advises clients to take a steam or sauna once a week as a "fantastic tool in releasing excess contaminants in the body to maintain a healthy sebum."
Learn more ways your hair benefits from your gym time, after the break.
Keep Muscles Loose
Stretching on a regular basis not only reduces acid build-up in your muscles, but also keeps you vital and limber, which helps maintain overall health and healthier hair. Natasha notes that "the advantage of calisthenics is that overall strength and energy improves thus promoting overall health. It's a tool for full body health and fitness. The healthier you are, the healthier your hair will be." Benefits of stretching also include improved posture which can help maintain healthier hair by allowing blood to circulate more easily to the scalp. This increased blood flow provides essential oxygen and nutrients to our hair cells, without which they can't thrive.
Inverted poses or backbends increase the amount of blood that circulates to the scalp. Not only does the scalp receive oxygen from increased blood flow, Natasha notes that doing inverted poses can relieve neck and back tension, which also benefits hair since tight muscles can stagnate blood flow. "At the very least," she says, "upside-down poses can slow down hair loss."
Work Out to Chill Out
We all know that exercise dissipates stress. Since stress can cause unexpected hair loss, it's important to stay active to reduce stress levels and hopefully keep thinning hair at bay. Keeping up with a workout regime that includes eating a healthful diet can do wonders to help maintain a healthy mane.
Natasha notes that taking good care of your hair on a consistent basis also plays a large role in keeping your hair at its best. She reminds us that "hair is like fabric but it's also like a garden. Nutrient-rich soil will give better results than dry cracked earth. The environment you set up for your hair definitely affects your hair's health." It's important to see your stylist regularly for trims and use high-grade-ingredient products, which actually penetrate the hair and deliver nutrients, unlike products full of fillers that just lay on top of the strands. Be consistent and you'll be amazed at not only how beautiful your hair can be, but also how fabulous you’ll feel!
[BTW, we're not too keen on sweat being a primary means of "getting rid of toxins." That's more up to a healthy liver and kidneys]
- by ZELANA MONTMINY. Reprinted/excerpted from PopSugar http://bit.ly/21xb0BQ
1. TAKING STEAMY SHOWERS
Hot water dehydrates strands (just like skin), leading to dry, brittle hair that’s more prone to snap and fall out, explains Ryan Welter, MD, a Boston-based hair transplant surgeon. “Not only are you washing your hair’s protective oils down the drain, but the heat throws your scalp's pores into overdrive to keep up with oil production, which can damage the root and lead to additional shedding.”
Save your strands: Take the temp down a few degrees. “Opt for a warm shower, and try to rinse hair with the coolest temperature possible.”
2. USING HOT STYLING TOOLS
Scorching temps damage the proteins that make up your hair and its protective cuticle. “Once the cuticle is damaged, the moisture balance is disrupted and your hair is more prone to breakage,” says Dr. Bauman.
Save your strands: Limit your hot tool usage—even your blowdryer—to two or three times a week, and start with the coolest setting possible. Always apply a heat-protection spray, which creates a thermal barrier to reduce friction.
3. CRASH DIETING
Starving yourself forces the body to direct its energy (the little it has) towards essential functions—like helping your heart and brain work—rather than making hair. In fact, when diagnosing anorexics, one of the top symptoms is severe hair loss, says Paradi Mirmirani, a Vallejo, California dermatologist specializing in hair disorders.
Save your strands: Eat a healthy diet with plenty of lean protein like fish, chicken, lentils and beans. "Hair is primarily made of protein,” she explains. “It’s the one thing that can make or break your hair if you’re not getting enough.” Aim for 46 grams per day (or about 25 to 30% of your total calories).
4. MISHANDLING WET HAIR
Our strands are never more fragile—and prone to breakage—than when they’re saturated with H2O, since the protective cuticle is slightly raised. Brushing or combing locks in the shower, then following with aggressive towel-drying, create the perfect storm for snapping it off.
Save your strands: Minimize post-shower brushing by combing before hair gets wet. Then, blot (don’t rub!) hair with a soft towel after your shower. (Are you using the wrong brush? Here's how to find the perfect brush for your hair.)
5. WEARING TIGHT HAIRSTYLES
If a tight ponytail or braid is your go-to, beware: Sporting these styles puts excessive tension on the hair follicles, damaging them and creating scars that destroy them permanently, says Doris Day, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist specializing in hair health. This can lead to traction alopecia, a condition that permanently weakens the follicle and makes it impossible for hair to grow.
Save your strands: Loosen up! Try wearing your hair down whenever possible (especially while sleeping; rolling around on a pillow can create even more friction). When you do tie your strands back, keep it soft—if it’s pulling on your skin, it’s way too tight.
6. USING LONG-LASTING HOLD STYLING PRODUCTS
If your hairspray or gel claim All-day Mega-hold, they’re actually making your locks harder to hold on to. “These are usually high in alcohol, which makes hair dry and brittle,” says Dr. Mirmirani. “Once you comb or brush your hair, that residue causes the hair to break and fall out.”
Save your strands: Skip any products that make hair stiff or sticky. Instead, opt for softer-hold solutions like styling creams that keep hair’s moisture intact and don’t create friction when brushing. We like Living Proof Nourishing Styling Cream.
7. TAKING ORAL BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
If you’re one of the many women who are sensitive to hair shedding or thinning due to hormonal changes, the wrong oral birth control can weaken your hair. “A pill that contains androgens can cause hair loss for someone who’s ‘androgen sensitive’ and doesn’t know it,” says Dr. Bauman.
Save your strands: Switch to low-androgen index birth control pills like norgestimate (in Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen), norethindrone (in Ovcon 35), desogestrel (in Mircette), or ethynodiol diacetate (in Demulen, Zovia). If you want to know whether you have an androgen sensitivity, a hair restoration physician can perform a quick cheek-swab genetic test.
8. SCRATCHING YOUR HEAD
Itchy scalp (like that caused by seborrheic dermatitis) may result in hair loss due to scratching-induced hair damage, says Dr. Bauman. Once the cuticle is damaged, the hair fiber is prone to breakage.
Save your strands: Relieve the itch with a shampoo that contains selenium, zinc pyrithione, or tea tree oil, like Head & Shoulders Extra Strength Dandruff Shampoo ($7; amazon.com). If over-the-counter products don’t help, your doctor can prescribe prescription antifungal shampoo or cortisone foam.
9. SOAKING UP THE SUN
Even if you’ve (wisely) given up tanning, chances are your hair is still exposed to UV rays, which eat away at the strength and elasticity of your hair. “Prolonged UV exposure causes the layers of the cuticle to weaken and break, resulting in brittle hair that can lead to hair loss,” says Dr. Bauman.
Save your strands: Wear a hat—preferably one with built-in UV protection—whenever possible (and don’t forget to tuck your ponytail underneath). Worried about hat hair? Try using a leave-in conditioner with built-in sunscreen like Kerastase Soleil Micro-Voile Protecteur ($50; amazon.com). (Protect yourself from damaging rays with this ultimate guide to sun safety.)
10. NOT WASHING HAIR OFTEN ENOUGH
Now that dry shampoo is a staple in most of our beauty arsenals, it’s easier than ever to skip a few days between washing. Convenient? Yes. But not so great for your hair: “A buildup of product or excessive dandruff on the scalp has been shown to clog hair follicles, and if it’s bad enough, it can be difficult for hair to grow,” says Dr. Day.
Save your strands: There's nothing wrong with skipping shampoo for a day. But if it becomes a habit, product residue, dirt, and oil can clog pores in the scalp. Be sure to wash your hair every two days, especially if you’re sweating or using lots of products. To prevent excessive dryness, switch to a sulfate-free shampoo like L’Oreal Paris Ever Strong Thickening Shampoo ($6; amazon.com). [Or RevivHair Stimulating Shampoo, even better!]
11. TAKING CERTAIN MEDICATIONS
Certain medications like statins, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety agents, anti-hypertensive medications, or thyroid replacement drugs can cause hair loss. “These can disrupt or interfere with the normal cycle of hair growth, causing hair to go into a resting phase and fall out prematurely,” says Dr. Bauman.
Save your strands: Ask your doctor about alternative medications that don’t have the same hair-loss repercussions.
Excerpted/reprinted from Prevention® Magazine:
Great reviews continue to flow in from renowned beauty bloggers worldwide about our remarkable serums for skin, hair, lash, brow and body rejuvenation. Here are some of the latest, including giveaways: