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