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Hair: You are what you eat

We have all heard the saying “You are what you eat” and this actually has great relevance to hair as it is a barometer of our health. Last week we got the experts to tell us how to tweak our hair regimes to avoid a bad hair day but this week, we asked Lisa Gilbey MIT, a member of The Institute of Trichologists from The Northants Hair & Scalp Clinic, to give us tips on how to obtain a healthy scalp and good quality hair through our diet. Lisa said: “Lacking in one food type can seriously affect the quality of hair, depleting the strength, reducing shine and can cause us to lose hair creating a reduction in density.

“Unbeknown to us, those who try different diets and cut out major food groups are depriving their bodies. “We obtain 50 per cent of our energy for our bodies through carbohydrates, 15 per cent via proteins and 35 per cent through good fats. “We all need energy to synthesise our body’s skin cells (including making new hair cells). “This provides normal functioning for our body’s development and renewal, lacking in an essential food type will in time take its toll on the body.

“The topic in vogue in the media at present is red meat. We all require haem for iron to help red blood cells transport oxygen around our bodies.

“The highest source of haem (to make haemoglobin) is from red meat. “Women require more than men from losing iron during menstruation.

“A lack of iron can cause anaemia and hair loss. If you are deficient the little you have will go to your vital organs and the hair receives the small remainder. “The NHS website (www.nhs.uk) can guide you on food portion sizes and a well balanced diet.

“A balanced diet comprises of a variety of foods; carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and a small proportion of fats. “We all require good fats including a small amount of salt and sugar in our body. “Eating chocolate in moderation is no problem, although with Easter coming up unfortunately for some eczema sufferers this can exacerbate the condition and create great itchiness.

“In my clinic I recommend a dual purpose shampoo for itchy, milder scalp conditions which also conditions the hair length.The Juniper Mint Scalp Therapy Shampoo formulated by Tony Maleedy has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which soothes and calms irritated and sore scalps.

“Its ingredients are 96 per cent of natural source and not tested on animals. “The usual anti-dandruff shampoos only supply temporary relief by removing the scale, which as we know always returns then you stop using it.

“These shampoos comprise of harsh cleansers which can aggravate an underlying sensitive scalp by stimulating the epidermis turnover rate (the top layer of the skin). “This creates more dead skin cells to build up and dandruff to re-occur. “The Juniper Mint Scalp Therapy shampoo contains one per cent piroctone olamine which suppresses itching. Studies have also proven it helps encourage new hair growth and helps some men’s hair loss conditions. Sebum (grease) production can be increased by circulating androgens which is the causative factor of male pattern hair loss. “Secreted sebum comprises DHT which is converted from testosterone and causes miniaturisation of hairs to the top of the head. This shampoo used in conjunction with another licensed product will cleanse and reduce the amounts of DHT sat on the scalp surface.

“When choosing your next shampoo please be aware that all shampoos contain salt (sodium chloride) to artificially thicken shampoos. When used within the first few ingredients of the label (e.g. aqua, sodium laureth sulphate, sodium chloride) it will adversely affect the hair by drying it out, particularly combining the usage of heated appliances, making hair porous therefore prone to breakage.”

For more information on hair or scalp problems you can contact Lisa on 07792 305 480 or visit www.thenhsc.co.uk.

Tony Maleedy’s Juniper Mint Scalp Therapy Shampoo costs £16.50 and is available from www.tonymaleedyhair.com.

Visit http://www.northantset.co.uk for the full article

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