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Dandruff is a common affliction and one that will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Dandruff consists of bits of dead skin that peel away from the scalp. Your entire body is continuously discarding dead skin cells, every 24 days you actually change skin. Dandruff is the result of this normal process only the dead skin cells are being shed from the scalp at an excessive rate, sometimes the skin cells departing the scalp are not even dead.

Because this skin regeneration is a natural and necessary process there is not an official cure for dandruff but there are a number of ways to treat the causes.

Most over the counter shampoos work by fighting the fungus known as Pityrosporum Ovale, which is thought to cause dandruff. Active ingredients worth looking for in these products include: Zinc Pyrithione, Climbazole, Octopirox and Ketoconazole. Dandruff often leaves your scalp itchy and tender, so treat it gently, massage the anti-dandruff shampoo into your scalp using firm circular motions to boost circulation and exfoliate old skin cells.

See shampoos for dandruff

If this doesn't help other causes worth looking out for are:

° Hormonal imbalance.
° Bad health.
° Bad hygiene.
° Allergic hypersensitive.
° Tiredness/stress/anxiety.
° Improper nutrition, too much sugar, fat, starch.
° Excessive use of styling or hair colouring products.
° Blow drying your hair or other products which cause heat such as straightners.
° Cold weather and dry indoor heating.
° Infrequent shampooing or inadequate rinsing of the scalp and hair.

If you have addressed all these causes and your dandruff continues it is best to seek further advice from your GP.


If your hair is dull and lacking in lustre despite frequent washing, product build-up is probably to blame. Conditioners and styling products can, collect on your hair leaving a residue making it look dull and heavy. However this product overload rarely penetrates the hair shaft, making it fairly easy to fix.

1. Use a good quality deep cleansing, detoxifying or clarifying shampoo, (different
    companies use different names) these products are formulated to remove the
    build-up of dirt, styling products and pollutants from your hair.
2. Continue to use a detoxifying or clarifying shampoo once every 2 weeks, most are
    slightly more acid-based and are ideal for stripping your hair of product
    build-up increasing shine and add volume.
3. Avoid leave-in conditioners at least until you're happy with the way your hair looks
    again. The best conditioners for limp hair are ones that contain protein because
    they'll help give your hair a little volume.
4. Avoid all products containing silicone, oils or lanolin, as well as two-in-one products,
    heavy gels and suffocating waxes.
5. Try to be a little more frugal with the amount of product you use for styling, it's easier
    to add more than it is to remove excess. Too much styling product during application
    is one of the most common reasons for build-up.
6. Try not to use too many products at one time.


Sometimes its good to have a change and brighten up your image, colouring your hair can be a dramatic or a subtle way to change your look, its also quick and lets face it, it's a lot cheaper than buying a Porsche. Because it is still new territory for so many men the key issue is either making it look obviously dyed, like the Liverpool forward Cisse, or make it look completely natural. If it's the natural look you're going for, at least for the first time, it is probably best to have it done by a professional stylist.

There are 3 basic types of hair dye: permanent and semi-permanent, both have variations but the basics are:

1. Permanent: these contain hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide opens the hair and the
    tint penetrates the cortex to form the colour. The higher the concentration of
    peroxide, the quicker and lighter the result.
2. Semi-Permanent: These won't be able to lighten the colour, you can vary the tone
    within your natural highlights or go darker. Quasi-colour contains ethanolamine and
    3% peroxide this will slightly open the cuticle. The colour can last up to 20 washes
    softly fading each time you shampoo.
3. Semi-Permanent Vegetable dyes: These contain only vegetable extracts and natural
    ingredients, the colour coats the hair and will wash out after about 8 shampoos.

Choosing a hair colour

Choose a colour to compliment your skin tone. Light-skinned people don't look good with very dark hair because it draws colour out of their skin, (unless you're seeking the Goth look). Dark, tanned skin looks unnatural when mixed with a one-tone blonde.

Blonde: It will need to be done with a permanent dye, but should be relatively painless for a stylist to do.

Brown: Brunette can suit most people and varying the shades can achieve a large range of looks from chocolate browns and bronzes to honey or dark blonde. However some of the really rich chestnut colours can look fake and obviously dyed.

Black: The easiest colour to accomplish. Looks best on people with darker and olive skin tones.


If your hair doesn't fall out sooner or later it will go grey, it happens to everyone. But if grey hair is a bit too natural for you, you can tone it down, blend it in or cover it up.

Over half grey
If your hair is more than half to completely grey you'll need a permanent process. Try to resist the temptation to go darker than your natural colour, pick a shade close to your natural colour this will make your roots less obvious, and you'll still be recognisable.

Less than half grey
You can probably use a strong semi-permanent process or stick with a longer lasting permanent. Be careful that grey and white hair is often more resistant, leave the dye on for the maximum amount of time, try a strand test first.

Slightly grey
Gentle semi-permanents and temporary colours are good choices; they are easy to apply at home. Pick one that is close to your natural colour and the grey will turn to highlights. If you've decided to let nature take its course, but still want a little help, temporary colours can make the white and grey less of a contrast increasing the 'pepper' component of salt-and-pepper hair.


There are a number of factors which lead to hair loss, it could be due to stress, illness, scalp infections or drugs, all of these should be reversible, but the single most common reason is hereditary.

The hormone testosterone is the cause of genetically determined baldness, receptors in the hair follicles convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone which causes the follicles to produce thin, downy hair that are not thick or long enough to hide the scalp.

This leaves you with 4 options:

1. Grudging acceptance.
2. Disguise it, this could be some crafty styling or a hair piece, not recommended.
3. Micrograft transplantation, which has come a long way these days, you are able to
    start shampooing and have a normal hair styling routine the next day. It is still
    however, expensive for a realistic head of hair.
4. Drugs; minoxidil is a lotion you apply to your bald spot, it claims impressive results,
    in fact it can cause hair growth where you don't want it, women have complained of
    hair growth on the face and other parts of the body.

Realistically minoxidil will help 20% of men who use it to regain their hair, of the others many have fuzz return, and some see no change. It seems to work best on men just starting to lose their hair.

It is not certain yet how minoxidil works, though it does seem to work well on some people. The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery have stated that it is extremely safe at any available dose. But once you stop using it, hair which grew as a result of the drug will fall out.

See minoxidil

pages:   1 healthy hair
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