The Doctor is In: nutrition, supplements, and natural hair (+exciting Paris announcement!)

a reader writes: I am currently taking perfectil platinum supplements for hair and skin. Do supplements actually work. I want faster hair growth and stronger hair!

vitamin-picture

Dr. Kari writes:

I believe the hair is the barometer of health, so if you are providing your body with an abundance of nutrients then your hair will reflect your overall health. Supplements work to provide you with essential nutrients you are not getting through food. The most fundamental contributor to hair’s appearance is nutrition. Hair building vitamins and nutrients absorbed in the blood have more of an influence on how our hair grows, looks and feels than any product we put on top of our hair.

Although hair is dead, it is one of the fastest growing tissues in the body made from the food we eat. The generation of hair tissues is a continuous process that is more efficient when the tissues are provided with the necessary proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and mineral. Our hair is primarily made of protein, but every vitamin and mineral facilitates a function in the body. The specific nutrients beneficial in improving the health, vitality and appearance of our hair are:

Vitamin A- prevents drying of the hair but excessive amounts can cause hair loss
Vitamin B- promotes healthy hair and skin
Vitamin C- helps in the growth and repair of cells; prevents skin damage and promotes healing
Vitamin E- improves blood circulation
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s)- helps relieve itching and inflammation
Selenium- controls dry scalp
Iron- creates richer blood and carries oxygen to the cells
Zinc- important for the replication, growth and repair of cells

If you want your hair to grow faster and stronger, don’t underestimate the power of a healthy lifestyle and its influence on the growth and appearance of your hair. Take care of your body and your hair will flourish.

Dr. Kari Tag

Head Shots 2012 no 2

Stay connected to Dr. Kari:

  • Web: www.drkariwilliams.com and www.mahoganyrevolution.com
  • Twitter: @drkariwilliams
  • Instagram: @drkariwill
  • …and for Facebook click HERE!
  • Learn more by downloading or purchasing one of Dr. Kari’s books at www.drkariwilliams.com/books

Dr. Kari also JUST announced that she and her colleague will be headed back to Paris this summer to do a pop-up salon experience! Check the flyer below and visit here for more details!

PROJECT PARIS FLYER English

The Doctor is In: what is “normal” shed hair?

M. Carter Asks:Hello Dr. Williams, Does the amount of shed hair considered “normal” vary by person? Even when I was relaxed, I had a lot of shedding – full length hair, not broken pieces. I have very thick, coarse hair. This seems to have carried over into my natural hair journey. Just want to make sure I’m not having a negative impact on my hair during detangling or styling (mainly when shingling) with the tools I am using (Ouidad Double Detangler/Denman brush), based on the hair I see left in them. Thanks!

combs-sheds

Dr. Kari Writes:

Yes, the amount of shed hair considered “normal” would vary. The resting phase, or shedding phase of the hair cycle is called telogen. When hairs are in the telogen phase shampooing, combing, brushing or manipulating the hair in any way will cause hairs to fall out. These are the hairs we see on a daily basis and this is natural. It is important to remember that if you only shampoo your hair once to twice a week or don’t comb it frequently, several hairs will be lost simultaneously when you finally do. A telogen hair typically has a club shaped bulb on the end of it. This bulb is an indication the hair strand has gone through a complete hair cycle and was ready to come out.

When the hair shedding is significantly and persistently above average and the density of your hair decreases to the point where your scalp becomes visible, this is a sign of hair loss. Consequently, there may be systemic reasons causing your hair loss. Some of these causes can be stress, illness, medication, nutritional deficiency, hormonal fluctuations or autoimmune disorders like alopecia areata.

Therefore, check your strands. If the hair you are seeing on a regular basis has a clubbed shaped bulb, then this is an indication that you naturally shed above the estimated average number of hairs during telogen; and this is normal. If you are noticing areas of thinning or breakage, there may be another reason why your hair is shedding excessively and I would recommend visiting a Trichologist or Dermatologist for proper diagnosis.

Dr. Kari Tag

Head Shots 2012 no 2

Stay connected to Dr. Kari:

  • Web: www.drkariwilliams.com and www.mahoganyrevolution.com
  • Twitter: @drkariwilliams
  • Instagram: @drkariwill
  • …and for Facebook click HERE!
  • Learn more by downloading or purchasing one of Dr. Kari’s books at www.drkariwilliams.com/books

The Doctors is IN: …that time of the month…

A reader writes:I would like to know how to take care of my hair during my monthly cycle. During the rest of the month my regimen seems to work fine, but during my cycle, especially a heavy month, my hair is very dry and itchy. What should I do to keep my hair healthy, happy, and moisturized during this time?

smooth

Dr. Kari Writes

Hormones play a key role in the hair growth cycle and the function of our sebaceous glands (the glands in our scalp that secrete a natural oil called sebum). Therefore, it is not a surprise that you are experiencing a change in your hair and scalp during your menstrual cycle. Prior to the start of your cycle, progesterone levels increase stimulating the production of sebum. The increased presence of this waxy substance that coats your hair and scalp will definitely interfere with the effectiveness of your products. If it has been a while since you’ve shampooed your hair, now is the time to do so. Make sure you shampoo your hair at the start of your cycle. Removing this build up will help you get the most out of your products.

This increased production of sebum will sometimes trigger a flaky scalp. We have a tendency to characterize a flaky scalp as a dry scalp. The scalp may not technically be dry, but the flakes are a result of the excess sebum altering the pH of your scalp. More sebum also means more yeast, which will show up in the form of flaking and itching. If you do not have flakes but are equating the itch with a dry scalp, the itching may also be a result of the increased estrogen levels once your cycle begins. If you are prone to anxiety, your stress levels may spike causing an itchy feeling in your scalp.

During this time of the month my suggestions are to:

1. Make sure your hair and scalp are clean by using a clarifying shampoo not just a conditioner. Don’t forget to deep condition and lubricate your strands afterwards.
2. Incorporate a medicated shampoo into your regimen during this time to soothe the itch. To avoid drying out your strands, put the shampoo directly on the scalp and allow it to sit. After rinsing out the medicated shampoo, deep condition. I like to recommend Neutrogena’s T-Gel
3. Keep the scalp lubricated with natural anti-inflammatory oils and oils that assist in balancing the pH of the scalp. I like to recommend Eden Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree or Jojoba Minoi oils.

Dr. Kari Tag

Head Shots 2012 no 2

Stay connected to Dr. Kari:

  • Web: www.drkariwilliams.com and www.mahoganyrevolution.com
  • Twitter: @drkariwilliams
  • Instagram: @drkariwill
  • …and for Facebook click HERE!
  • Learn more by downloading or purchasing one of Dr. Kari’s books at www.drkariwilliams.com/books

 

Editor’s Note: This is a particularly fascinating question–I’ve never thought about the correlation between the two, but it totally makes sense that there is! If there tends to be skin flare ups, of course there can be hair flare ups too around one’s period! I know I’ll be paying more attention next month!

The Doctor Is In: Shedding Edges + Dryness

Caprice writes: I went natural in March of 2012 by way of a BC. My hair seems really dry and I’ve noticed some areas where it appears to be balding (in the crown and near temples) and sheds a lot. My routine is a basic one with limited products: cowash w/oil added (coconut, grapeseed), moisturizer, and argan oil. My style is also pretty basic (2 strand twists). I spritz w/purified water, AVJ, Amla oil most days…but my scalp still gets really large flakes (like cradle cap). What am I doing wrong? I live in Honolulu, HI and have not been able to locate somejne who specialize in healthy, natural hair.
NATURAL-HAIR-PS1-TAGGED-6

Dr. Kari Writes

The hair loss you are experiencing in your crown and near your temples can be the result of a number of factors. If your hair styling history includes styles that create stress and tension in those areas, the hair loss could be due to traction. The use of relaxers can affect the growth of hair in the center of the scalp, as well as hereditary factors. The causes of hair loss are so numerous that to fully diagnose the reason for your hair loss would require more in depth information regarding your medical history, nutrient intake, family history, etc. Hair loss in any form is devastating, but understanding the cause early is the best way to stop it from getting worse. I can conduct a more in depth consultation with you over the phone or through skype and advise you on next steps to take. You can also check with your Dermatologist who may be able to diagnose the cause of your hair loss.

The Dermatologist is also going to be important in helping you to address your flaky scalp. Cradle cap is a form of Seborrheic Dermatitis. It could be caused by hormonal changes or the over growth of a fungus. Ultimately, you must get this properly diagnosed immediately so that you can be prescribed the proper shampoo treatments and oral medications, if necessary. Similar to the hair loss, you reduce the chances of a more severe scalp infection (which could lead to more hair loss) if you seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible.

For your dry hair, in the hair regimen you described there was no mention of deep conditioning. One way to tackle dry strands is to have a regular deep conditioning routine using a moisturizing conditioner. When deep conditioning you want to sit under a steamer for maximum moisturizing benefits. Check out the Huetiful Steamer, which is a great personal steamer that is easy to use at home. After deep conditioning, make sure you apply your moisturizer and oil to retain the moisture in your hair.

Dr. Kari Tag

Head Shots 2012 no 2

Stay connected to Dr. Kari:

  • Web: www.drkariwilliams.com and www.mahoganyrevolution.com
  • Twitter: @drkariwilliams
  • Instagram: @drkariwill
  • …and for Facebook click HERE!
  • Learn more by downloading or purchasing one of Dr. Kari’s books at www.drkariwilliams.com/books

 

The Doctor Is In: DIY Moisturizers + Psoriasis

Michaela writes: I was wondering If I should spray my hair with a moisturizing mist that made with oil and water everyday. I also have psoriasis and was wondering if there was a natural treatment for my scalp. I have this yeast build up on my scalp in one spot and I was given a pill and shampoo from my doctor yesterday do you have any suggestions?

Dr. Kari Writes:

Daily application of a product that provides moisture and lubrication for your hair strands is important to keep it healthy. If you are mixing the spray yourself make sure the ratio of oil in the mixture is higher than the water. You want to make sure you are sealing in the moisture with the oil. Easier ways to ensure that you are balancing your moisture and lubrication is by applying water based product/moisturizer to the hair first then follow up with an oil to coat the strands and seal in the moisture.

Psoriasis is chronic inflammation of the scalp resulting in thick white, silver or red patches. There are essential oils like tea tree, that can soothe the inflammation of the scalp (in the form of itching and scaling) and apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinses can reduce inflammation; but the most effective treatment is from the inside out. Essential fatty acids are an important nutrient to incorporate into your diet either through supplementation or foods. EFA’s are anti-inflammatories and strengthen and protect the immune system. The stronger your immune system, the less likely you will experience flare-ups of psoriasis in your scalp.

For the yeast build up on your scalp I recommend using what the doctor gave you. Because of their ability to examine your scalp and provide proper diagnosis, the anti-yeast pill and topical anti-fungal shampoo they prescribed are the best recommendations to treat the area.

Dr. Kari Tag

Head Shots 2012 no 2

Stay connected to Dr. Kari:

  • Web: www.drkariwilliams.com and www.mahoganyrevolution.com
  • Twitter: @drkariwilliams
  • Instagram: @drkariwill
  • …and for Facebook click HERE!
  • Learn more by downloading or purchasing one of Dr. Kari’s books at www.drkariwilliams.com/books

 

The Doctor is In: Porosity and Itchy Scalp!

Michele writes: Hello, I have hair with low porosity, what product can I use? Sometimes I have itchy scalp too, what can I do? Thanks for your answer.

Dr. Kari Writes:

Porosity is the hair’s ability to absorb water and chemicals deep into the cortex layer of the hair strand (where all of the chemical and structural bonds are located). The hair strand has a cuticle layer that covers the strand like shingles on a roof. When the hair has a high porosity it means that this cuticle layer is lifted and there is high absorption into the cortex. Although this may sound like a benefit it is actually the opposite. Too much porosity reduces hair’s ability to retain moisture and can lead to breakage. The lifted cuticle layer allows for extra absorption, but the water evaporates just as quickly creating a much drier hair strand. The raised cuticle layer cannot hold the water inside. These dry, fragile strands break very easily, lack luster and shine and are rough to the touch.

cropped 2

Low porosity hair describes a hair shaft in which the cuticle scales lie flat and overlap one another. Hair with a low porosity is actually considered healthy, although you may find that the hair may feel stiff and dry due to the difficulty of absorbing moisture into the strand. Therefore, the answer to the question about “what” product is really a question of “how” to use the product and the type of ingredients to look for.

You want to use products that contain emollients (like coconut oil, avocado oil, shea butters and jojoba butters to name a few) and humectants, which attracts water from the atmosphere (e.g. glycerin). Secondly, to ensure your products absorb into the cortex layer of your hair strand use low forms of heat during the conditioning process (hooded dryer or steamer). The heat causes the cuticle layer to swell so that products can penetrate the hair strand. You can also warm up your conditioners and oils before applying it to the hair to increase the absorption.

To address your itchy scalp, you should first identify the source of the itch. Sometimes the itching is a result of a product that is causing scalp irritation. By simply changing your products, you could alleviate the itch. Ultimately, I recommend diagnosing the cause of the itch so that you can find a more effective and permanent solution to your discomfort. In the meantime, shampoos that have the active ingredient coal tar are effective. Coal tar is antipruritic and most effective when used on a consistent basis. Similar to other medicated shampoos, a coal tar shampoo should be applied directly to the scalp and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes (read the label for accurate instructions). Follow up with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner because medicated shampoos can dry out the hair.

Dr. Kari Tag

Head Shots 2012 no 2

Stay connected to Dr. Kari:

  • Web: www.drkariwilliams.com and www.mahoganyrevolution.com
  • Twitter: @drkariwilliams
  • Instagram: @drkariwill
  • …and for Facebook click HERE!
  • Learn more by downloading or purchasing one of Dr. Kari’s books at www.drkariwilliams.com/books

 

The Doctor is In: Co-Washing and Children’s Products

Bridget Jelks writes: I’ve heard both good and bad things about co-washing and wanted to ask your opinion of it especially for children. I am also curious if, when maintaining my children’s hair, I should stick with children’s products.”

549

Dr. Kari Writes:

I am a big believer in the use of shampoo. I also think that co-washing or cleansing conditioners are great as a temporary solution for removing build up, but not as a permanent practice for cleaning the hair and scalp. You must include a shampoo as a part of your regular hair care regimen. Co-washing alone will not remove the dirt, sweat and product residue that can build up on the scalp. When the scalp is not clean it becomes a breeding ground for yeast, bacteria and fungus to grow and lead to itching, flaking and sometimes hair loss.

Using a cleansing conditioner on occasion or for special circumstances is okay. I describe these occasions and circumstances as times when:
• You are exercising on a consistent basis
• Use a lot of product on the hair daily
• Swimming on a regular basis

When it comes to children’s hair, the practice of using a cleansing conditioner is okay for the same circumstances I described above. If your child is 5 years of age or younger, I advise sticking primarily to products formulated for children. This is because your child’s first anagen (or growing phase) lasts 5-7 years. During these first years of your child’s life the hair is still maturing. Products formulated for adults may be too heavy for the hair. If you are not sure, you can always test the product on a small section of the hair to see how it works.

To get more information about caring for your children’s hair Download my EBook “Mini Tresses.” It is a guide for parents that is full of information about hair care for children.

Dr. Kari Tag

labcoat retouched picszd

Stay connected to Dr. Kari:

  • Web: www.drkariwilliams.com and www.mahoganyrevolution.com
  • Twitter: @drkariwilliams
  • Instagram: @drkariwill
  • …and for Facebook click HERE!
  • Learn more by downloading or purchasing one of Dr. Kari’s books at www.drkariwilliams.com/books

 

THE DOCTOR IS IN: Dr. Kari on Scalp Conditions

Thank you to all of you who submitted questions to Dr. Kari! We had a lot of great inquiries come through and we’ll be getting to them all in the coming weeks! Some questions were repeats so if you don’t see YOURS in particular, trust that it was condensed into another similar question on the same topic (read: there are a LOT of itchy flaky scalps out there ladies! We’ll get it worked out for you!). This week we’re starting with two questions on the same topic: SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS. I don’t even know what that is, come on and learn along with me from Dr. Kari!

Kim Cherry writes: I am getting ready to loc my hair and I have seborrheic dermatitis. What is a good, more natural way to treat my scalp to keep the flakes and itching to a minimum? I already wash with T Gel shampoo, but my scalp gets super dry,. I use coconut oil or jojoba on my scalp to cut the itch but it only helps for a few days. Please help!

Ciri Victoria writes: Hello, I am 31 year old woman with natural hair. I recently realized that I have seborrheic dermatitis. This is causing my hair to fall out at the hairline because of the scabbing and sores that I get along my hair line. What can I do to stop the scabbing and what can I do to get my hair to grow back. Any advice and/or suggestions that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

FrustratedBlackWoman1

Dr. Kari Writes

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common scalp condition that is often confused with dry scalp and dandruff. This condition can cause dandruff, but it’s important to confirm diagnosis so that proper treatment can be advised. The best way to treat this scalp condition is through the use of medicated shampoos that have the active ingredient coal tar, salicylic acid or ketoconazole. An accessible, over-the-counter brand is Neutrogena’s T-gel. For 4 weeks you need to incorporate this shampoo into your hair care regimen twice a week. Aggressive treatment is suggested in the beginning so that you can create an environment for your scalp that will reduce the excessive flaking and scabbing. After the 4 weeks, you can minimize the use to once a week and then twice a month depending on the improvement of the condition.

The most effective way to use this medicated shampoo is to dampen the scalp with water using a spray bottle. Apply the shampoo directly to your scalp in the areas that are affected (this may mean your whole scalp). Massage the shampoo in until it lathers and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Then, rinse the shampoo out and follow up with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. This step is important because medicated shampoos like T-gel can be drying on the hair so you have to replenish the moisture in the strands. After conditioning your hair apply tea tree or jojoba oil to the scalp. Both are great as an antibacterial and for providing lubrication. Jojoba oil mimics the natural oils your scalp produces so if you are experiencing dry scalp, this essential oil is an excellent option. Be sure not to neglect your strands. Massage jojoba oil, coconut oil or some other oil based moisturizer into your strands before styling.

A natural alternative that can assist with this scalp condition is Apple Cider Vinegar. Apply it directly to the scalp using a cotton pad or long tip applicator and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse it out and follow up with a moisturizing shampoo. I recommend incorporating more holistic approaches for this scalp condition once the inflammation has decreased.

Hair growth in areas of the scalp that have been inflamed from the seborrheic dermatitis should return to normal once the condition is under control if there was no follicular damage during the inflammation period. Excessive scratching due to the intense itch created by the dermatitis primarily causes this damage. To encourage hair growth in these areas, increase circulation through scalp massages using stimulating essential oils (i.e. peppermint, rosemary, tea tree); avoid styles that create tension in affected areas and consider high frequency treatments to stimulate the replication of hair cells in the area. If there is no improvement in the area, see a dermatologist to determine if inflammation has settled in the epidermal layer of the scalp, in which case, steroid injections will be most affective.

Dr. Kari Tag

labcoat retouched picszd

Stay connected to Dr. Kari:

  • Web: www.drkariwilliams.com and www.mahoganyrevolution.com
  • Twitter: @drkariwilliams
  • Instagram: @drkariwill
  • …and for Facebook click HERE!
  • Learn more by downloading or purchasing one of Dr. Kari’s books at www.drkariwilliams.com/books

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...