Healthy Hair for a Healthy Body

Posted by stanley | 8:50 AM


Our society has an increased interest in making healthy lifestyle choices. We pay closer attention to what we eat and how we exercise our bodies. We look to our bodies for signs of good health, and we know how to recognize potential trouble. Even with all of our knowledge, however, many of us don't know that our hair can be a great tool for measuring good health.

To determine whether your hair and body are truly healthy, you need to understand the hair growth cycle. By knowing the growth cycle and reacting appropriately to the different phases, you'll be able to maintain healthier and thicker hair and to prevent unnatural hair loss and baldness.

Hair obviously grows continuously from the scalp. The rate of speed at which it grows will naturally vary from person to person, but the growth rate averages about six inches per year. From the time that a hair first appears above the surface of your scalp, it will grow in three different phases. These phases are essential, as the hair continually grows from your scalp.

The catagen is the first phase of growth that your hair will go through. This is also known as a transitional phase for your hair. When hair is in the catagen or "regressing" phase, it is actually getting ready to shed. The moisture, salt and water are released, and the growth of the hair will completely stop. This allows for the outer root of the hair to shrink and attach to the inner root. Catagen can last from two to four weeks. Different areas of your scalp are in this phase at all times, while other areas are in subsequent phases.

Telogen is the "resting" phase. Again, at any given time some of your hair will be in this phase, which typically lasts for about three months. The telogen phase occurs directly after catagen in order to complete the formation of the hair. If you pull out a hair during this phase, you will see hard, dry, white material at the root and you will experience some scalp irritation.

Anagen is the third and final stage of hair growth. Some healthy hairs are able to keep growing over time, yet others will become dead at the follicle. In the telogen phase, hairs that are unable to keep growing will fall out. Remaining hair will progress to "growth" phase known as anagen.

During this stage, roots of your hair begin to produce and divide new cells. New hairs are then pushed through the open follicles in the scalp. This type of hair will remain active from two to six years. If your hair tends to grow quite long, then you likely have a longer active anagen phase.

When the anagen phase becomes less active, hair loss and baldness occur. This is why it's important to understand the growth cycle of the hair before you can properly respond. You can give your hair the boost it needs when you know and can appreciate the hair growth cycle. You're able to find the best care methods for your scalp and hair, and you may be able to prevent the occurrence of premature hair loss.


What is the main reason for bad breath? Well, according to clinical studies, all that build-up of bacteria on the tongue is to blame. Not only bad breath, but also other maladies of the mouth, even gum disease, have been shown to be somewhat linked to those odour-causing bacteria.

Keeping our breath fresh is actually quite difficult because bacteria (unfriendly ones), find it really easy to hide on the tongue. Why? Well, notice the texture of the tongue - just look in the mirror now and see... they love to hide there. A plaque builds up on the tongue (consisting of bacteria and other bacterial by-products) most noticeably at night, and stays there undisturbed, whether or not you brush your teeth in the morning.

If you want to effectively remove the film of plaque, brushing your tongue with a toothbrush will not work. You will only stir it up.

The American Dental Association News recently reported that halitosis experts agree that the dominant cause of bad breath is the bacteria on the tongue.

This is a recent quote from Time Life Magazine: "When saliva collects in the mouth - particularly in depressions at the back of the tongue - and is digested by oral bacteria, powerful odours can result."

Volatile Sulphur Compounds (or VSCs, similar to the gasses released by a rotten egg) build up on the tongue. They are the waste products of the bacteria, and they smell terrible. Recent research suggests that these VSCs may even be the first factors to bring about the gum disease itself, and active gum disease also results in the release of more of them.

While volatile sulphur compounds are the principle causative agents of bad breath, the bacteria that live in our mouths also produce other waste products, and some of these have their own unpleasant odours too. A few of these wastes are:

Cadaverine - this is what we smell from dead bodies

Putrescine - decaying meat-like smells

Skatole - the characteristic smell of human faecal matter

Isovaleric acid - the smell of sweaty feet

I bet you are surprised to learn that this pleasant cocktail of odour-causing chemicals is found in the human mouth, and everyone has them. Our breath always has some level of these compounds in them.

Normally, we can't even detect these compounds with our noses because the levels are usually very low. But when they increase beyond a certain level, other people can pick them up, and that's when we are said to have "bad breath."

Along with normal mucus productions, food particles left over after eating stay on the tongue and create a nice coating which is an ideal hiding place for the bacteria. Also, the rough texture of the tongue aids in their hiding.

Here they are safe. Why? Because they don't like oxygen, in fact they will die from exposure to it, and when the coating on the tongue is undisturbed, they are happily making their smelly chemicals and giving you bad breath.

This is the primary cause of bad breath, or halitosis. It also leads to increased risk of decay (especially root surface decay), and a decreased sense of taste. There are no shortcuts or magic pills - cleanliness is the solution.