Here at HAIR TALK, we regularly bring you “Pro Tips”...hair care and styling do’s and don’ts from internationally celebrated pro stylists.
And we hope the tips and techniques you’re learning from these ingenious experts are helping you achieve new heights of hair health and glamour!
But that got us thinking:
Is there anyone out there who knows even more about hair than these brilliant salon pros?
And that led us to a group of women and men whose knowledge of what makes your hair feel and look its finest goes even deeper than the root:
According to the London-based Institute of Trichologists, trichology is “the science of the structure, function, and diseases of the human hair.”1
And New York’s World Trichology Society defines it as “the bridge between cosmetology and dermatology.”2
In other words, trichologists combine the scientific know-how of medical doctors with the style-conscious savvy of salon specialists…
...making them ideal for sharing their thoughts on just what makes your hair tick!
That’s why we asked a team of world-leading trichology specialists:
“What is your top suggestion for keeping your hair healthy and ready to style?”
So relax...this won’t hurt a bit…
...because the Hair Doctors are in!
AN EXTENSION OF YOUR FOREHEAD
Take a moment...and picture what you’d look like if your hair was completely gone.
One thing you may notice about your imaginary hairless head is there’s no clear line between where your face and forehead end...and your scalp begins!
And Anabel Kingsley, a trichologist with the New York-based Philip Kingsley clinic, says you should keep this in mind when taking care of your scalp...and the hair that grows from it.
Kingsley says a proper scalp care regimen should include:
“Exfoliating your scalp scrubs away that buildup of dead skin that can block your hair follicles.”
This extra touch of TLC will pay big beauty dividends.
Because people may not be able to see your scalp…
...but they’ll certainly see and love the difference a well-treated scalp makes for your hair!3
YOUR HAIR’S WHAT YOU EAT
Like all doctors, Sally-Ann Tarver of the Cotswold Trichology Centre recommends a nutrient- rich diet for maximizing your health.
And, since it’s the strength and well-being of your hair we’re considering, Dr. Tarver says:
That means protein!
Protein, as you may know, is the signal building block of thick, full-of-volume hair.
But according to Dr. Tarver, most people eat a lot less protein than they realize.
“Try adding up how much protein you consume daily, for a week,” she says. “You may surprise yourself as to how little you really consume.”
As for what proteins to “feed” your hair, Dr. Tarver says the best come from lean animal fats.
“One lean serving of chicken contains half the daily protein you need for optimum health.”
“A reasonable portion of meat or fish,” she suggests, “can make up around half of your 45g quota.”
That means two daily servings of lean meat or fish should get you where you need to be.
Dr. Tarver also warns against a deficiency in iron, which she calls “one of the most common causes of hair thinning.”
And unfortunately, not all your body’s lack of iron may be caused by your diet.
“Life gets stressful in your 20s and 30s,” says Dr. Tarver. “Factors like busy lives, heavy periods, or being a blood donor can lead to low serum Ferritin, which is the protein that stores iron.”
Fortunately, that extra meat-based protein you’re enjoying can help solve this problem, too…
...since lean-meat chicken, turkey, and beef are also high in iron.
So those two portions a day will put you right on your way to well-nourished, strong-bodied hair!4
Of course, just as there are things you should start doing to improve your hair’s health…
...there are just as many hair-harmful habits trichologists encourage you to break!
For instance, Dr. Iain Sallis, one of the UK’s leading hair specialists, advises any of his clients who are regular smokers to at least attempt to quit.
“Smoking acts as a vaso-constrictor,” says Dr. Sallis, “suppressing the blood supply to the follicles.”
Less circulation to the follicles, of course, means less nutrients for your newly budding hair!
Dr. Sallis also recommends maintaining a healthy body weight.
“For women, free estrogen binds to fat cells,” he explains. “So the more fat you have, the less estrogen you will have to suppress testosterone...the hormone that enacts genetic hair loss.”
Dr. Sallis also calls out his least favorite hazardous hair treatment.
“Even with all the nice words and descriptions the hairdressers use...lifter, lightener, pre-colorant…it’s all the same. It’s a bleach.”
“Bleaching your hair is a bold style choice...but the damage it can do to your hair is just as dramatic!”
Dr. Sallis dislikes bleaching because it “removes color from the hair by oxidation, which also affects the actual protein the hair is made out of.
“As hair cannot repair itself, and no product can repair the hair fibers...they are damaged until the damage is cut out...or the hair falls out.”
Granted, keeping your weight down and cutting out smoking is never easy. Neither is forsaking a favorite hair treatment...even if it’s damaging your tresses.
But heeding Dr. Sallis’s advice, and cutting these harmful habits out of your lifestyle, could bring a whole new revitalized energy and pizzazz to your hair!
CALLING IN THE PROFESSIONALS
We hope the words from these hair doctors have given you food for thought and action.
Still, it’s important to note these tips should not be used in place of your own doctor’s advice.
And it’s necessary to know when you should consider seeing a professional about your hair problems.
Certified trichologist David Salinger says you should visit a trichologist if:
These are signs your problem may be genetic or medically related...in which case, you will likely need specific treatments to address these issues.6
But, if your hair concerns are largely due to maintenance, diet, or lifestyle, the advice of our esteemed trichologists will go a long way towards restoring the damage…
...and giving you hair that’s just what the doctor ordered!