For healthy hair

The se­cret to a healthy head of hair is a healthy life­style.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - WOMAN - ByPat­syKam

WHEN you look at a baby with wispy hair, most peo­ple will say, “Awww, so cute!” But, when you’re an adult, wispy (or no) hair is a bane sur­mount­able to emo­tional stress.

New York-based der­ma­tol­o­gist and scalp care ex­pert Dr Francesca Fusco said: “Hair fall dam­ages your self-es­teem and self­con­fi­dence. In the hair life cy­cle, hair al­ways falls and re-grows. Ninety per cent of all hair are in the grow­ing phase, and each hair strand is aged two to six years. The other 10% is in the rest­ing phase that lasts two to three weeks. Then, hair grad­u­ally falls.

“In the nor­mal hair life cy­cle, an av­er­age of 50 to100 hair strands fall on a daily ba­sis. When the old hair is shed, a new one grows from the same root and the growth cy­cle starts again. Statis­tics show that hair grows about 1.5cm each month. When you are older, hair growth is slower, in line with cell growth.”

She was a guest speaker at the Farewell Hair Fall Sun­silk Co-Cre­ations work­shop in Bangkok re­cently. Named one of the Top 10 Doc­tors 2010 by the New York Times, Dr Fusco has con­ducted an in-depth an­a­lyt­i­cal study on the scalp. She is also one of the seven global hair ex­perts com­mis­sioned by Sun­silk to co-cre­ate in­no­va­tive hair care so­lu­tions.

“It is easy to no­tice hair fall. Sim­ply pick up one fallen hair strand and check whether there is a very tiny white spot at the end. Many peo­ple think it’s a hair root but ac­tu­ally it’s in­dica­tive of hair that was shed in line with the hair life cy­cle,” ex­plained Dr Fusco in a press state­ment.

“Phys­i­cally, the scalp is an ex­ten­sion of sen­si­tive skin from your face. A healthy scalp makes healthy hair. Hair fall is mainly caused by an un­healthy scalp due to ex­ces­sive use of chem­i­cal sub­stances in the hair dress­ing process, im­proper hair wash­ing, an im­bal­anced diet, in­suf­fi­cient wa­ter con­sump­tion, ex­ces­sive weight loss, ex­ag­ger­ated strain on the hair such as pulling hair too rig­or­ously, scratch­ing the scalp se­verely dur­ing hair wash­ing, over­ex­po­sure to sun­light and daily stress,” added Dr Fusco, whose ap­proach is based on the phi­los­o­phy that with early in­ter­ven­tion, pa­tients can avoid in­va­sive treat­ments.

Her Man­hat­tan-based prac­tice fo­cuses on der­ma­tol­ogy and der­ma­to­logic surgery with an em­pha­sis on skin re­ju­ve­na­tion and hair loss. Dr Fusco is also a clin­i­cian and an ed­u­ca­tor who trains med­i­cal stu­dents, res­i­dents and fel­lows as As­sis­tant Clin­i­cal Pro­fes­sor of Der­ma­tol­ogy and As­sis­tant At­tend­ing at the Mount Si­nai School of Medicine, where she di­rects an out­pa­tient clinic.

The se­cret to en­sur­ing a healthy scalp, she said, is main­tain­ing the in­ner and outer well-be­ing of one’s life­style. Proper diet, healthy sup­ple­ments, us­ing the right sham­poo and scalp treat­ments, and good hair care prac­tices keep the scalp and hair in op­ti­mum con­di­tion.

A high-pro­tein diet, in­clud­ing lean meat, fish and a wide range of beans, helps as they all are ideal sources of pro­tein and amino acids that are im­por­tant for scalp and hair health. Also rec­om­mended are food that con­tains oil, such as flaxseed, bor­age, Omega 3 oil, fish oil as well as sup­ple­ments with zinc.

Dr Fusco ad­vises one to nour­ish the scalp with warm oil once a month, and al­ter­nate the use of hot and cold wa­ter to im­prove cir­cu­la­tion. – Dr Fusco is the co-cre­ator for Sun­silk’s high per­for­mance Hair Fall So­lu­tion. The Sun­silk CoCreations range is avail­able at lead­ing re­tail phar­ma­cies and su­per­mar­kets, priced from RM3.90 to RM26.40.

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