Sunday, March 9, 2008

7 Reasons Women Lose Their Hair

Let me make one thing clear: women, if you are experiencing hair loss, please know that you are not alone!

Women's hair can thin for a variety of reasons, and yet the topic is still far less openly discussed than male hair loss. In many cases, though, the causes are diagnosable and treatable, making it particularly important that women discuss hair loss with their doctors. First, let's consider some common factors that can cause and contribute to hair loss:

Low iron levels: Iron deficiency, with or without anemia, can lead to hair loss. Do not simply start taking an iron supplement without having your iron checked by a physician because too much iron can also lead to health problems.
Thyroid disorders: Both an overactive and an underactive thyroid can lead to hair loss.
Low estrogen levels: Many women experience hair loss during and after menopause, when estrogen levels begin to drop. Other hormonal changes -- changes in oral contraceptive use, for example -- can also trigger hair loss.
Post-pregnancy hormonal changes: Similarly, new moms may find that they're shedding a lot of hair in the first one to six months after delivery, when their estrogen levels return to normal. Actually, what seems like excessive hair loss is really hair's natural growth cycle regulating itself, as high hormone levels tend to keep women from losing normal amounts of hair during pregnancy.
Telogen effluvium: This is the general term for sudden, temporary hair loss as a result of recent stress or surgery, which typically occurs around two months after the causative event or illness. (It may also be used to describe sudden hair loss as a result of other factors on this list, such as post-pregnancy hormonal changes.)
Medications: Many medications may lead to hair loss. If this is a concern, talk to your doctor about potential alternatives
High levels of vitamin A or selenium: There is rarely any reason to take more of these nutrients than you'd find in a good multivitamin.
Several recent studies of men have found that smoking also seems to increase hair loss. I don't know of any similar studies in women, but one thing is clear: Smoking is harmful for a multitude of reasons, whether or not increased hair loss is among them!

The best plan of action for anyone experiencing hair loss is to determine the underlying cause and eliminate it. And the best place to start is a routine physical exam with blood work. By simply drawing your blood, your physician can determine your ferritin (iron) levels, thyroid levels, and estrogen status - and that will already get you far in recognizing or ruling out many of these causes.

If your physician does not uncover a reversible cause for the hair loss, though, it may be the unavoidable result of genetics. But there are still products that can help stimulate re-growth:

Rogaine (the trade name for the drug minoxidil), which is applied directly to the scalp, causes dilation of blood vessels and increased blood flow to the scalp. As a result, the hair follicle gets better nutrients and oxygen and the shrunken hair follicles become larger and hair grows thicker. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use Rogaine.
Propecia (the trade name for the drug finasteride) is sold in pill form and inhibits the conversion of testosterone (which women have in small amounts) to DHT (or dihydrotestosterone), a hormone that gradually shrinks hair follicles and causes them to have shorter growth cycles. Though only FDA-approved for male pattern hair loss, Propecia may also help patterned hair loss in women. (Pregnant women or women who are planning to become pregnant, however, should never take Propecia.) Studies evaluating the efficacy of Propecia in women have been contradictory so it does not work in all women.
Both of these treatments work only as long as you use them, though; once treatment is discontinued, hair will typically return to its pre-treatment thickness. Stay tuned to hear about a new light treatment in a comb that may improve hair loss.

Wishing you great hair!

Dr. Baumann is author of the best-selling book," The Skin Type Solution." To learn more about her revolutionary skin typing system, visit her Web site,

Monday, February 4, 2008

How to Choose the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin

When looking for the right kind of moisturizer for your skin you should consider many things before just going and buying any product off the shelves. These things should be skin type, time of year, as well as cost of the product you are looking at.

Skin Types
Oily skin is described as shiny with a dull color to it. Chronically oily skin has large pores and often has blackheads or pimples that can be either large or small. There are many causes to this type of skin a few of which are hormone levels, heredity, diet, and the weather. Natural oils such as Olive oil are actually good for oily skin types, they help break down the body’s oil and replace it with good oil.
Dry skin can be described by a dull flat tight look. This skin type often suffers from a tight itchy feeling and the skin can flake or chap and crack easily. This skin type can be caused by a lot of the same things as oily skin such as heredity, diet, and hormones.
Combination skin is skin that has both oily patches as well as dry patches and is a very typical skin type for the face. Often the T zone is where the oily patches are; the T zone is the forehead, nose, and chin. Often this area is affected by acne or can be more greasy feeling then the rest of your skin. The dry patches are often the cheeks where they can become so dry some people may experience flaking or chapping.

Sensitive skin is skin that is thin or fine in texture. If you have sensitive skin you probably have allergic reactions to many products including detergents, cosmetics and alcohol that is used in many skin care products. Sensitive skin burns easily as well as can get windburned more easily.

Dermatologists recommend that you always use a moisturizer that contains a sun screen. SPF is important to give you the sun protection you need. During the summer months you can even find moisturizers that contain tint for a nice tanned look.
Some products like Aveno have clearly labeled bottles that tell you what the skin type each different product is best for. Aveno is best for sensitive skin as well as to be used during winter months when dry skin can be at its worst.

Neutrogena is one of the top recommended products for skin care by dermatologists and can be found in just about any drug store, chain store, or super market. Neutrogena is a product that is especially good for people who suffer from oily skin types or acne that is often caused by oily skin.

You may also find that some organic ingredients work best for your skin. A natural deep moisturizer is olive oil and is often used even in luxury salons. This is one of the best moisturizers for a deep penetrating facial or all over body moisturizer. Choosing a product that is right for your skin will allow you to save money as well as find the right product for your skin type.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Essential Oils Benefit

Essential oil

Essential Oils are extracted from plants, trees, seeds, flowers, petals, stems, roots, bark, or even the whole plant. Today, about 200 different types of oils are being distilled with several thousand chemical constituents and aromatic molecules that have been identified and registered. These aromatic Substances and compounds within the oils will alter and change based on weather conditions, climate, temperatures, and distillation factors. Today, 98 percent of essential oils are used in the perfume and cosmetic industry.

All organic essential oils help to balance emotions to some degree and are known for their stimulating and uplifting and relaxing properties. On the intellectual level, they can revive a tired mind and stimulate memory. Besides, all essential oils appear to be antiseptic and anti-bacterial which helps in the treatment of viral infections. All pure essential oils have the ability to reduce stress, stimulate sluggish circulation and boost the immune system.

Essential oils can be applied in various forms to produce the necessary results. To apply these oils to the skin, topically, one only needs to take a few drops of them and put them in sensitive areas that can best benefit from their bio-electrical frequencies. The toes and the nape of the neck are two such places good for the use of many oils. The amount to apply can be variable, but usually between one and three or four drops is best.

How do Essential Oils work?

Essential Oil can benefit many systems of the body and affect each one differently. They work on an emotional level, on a physiological level, and an energetic level. It is all interconnected. Aromatherapy essential oils affect the mind, body and spirit, and offer a holistic approach to supporting and sustaining the body.

Essential oils enter the body in two ways. They can be:

- Applied to the skin
- Inhaled

- Applied to the skin

Essential oils are composed of tiny molecules which are easily dissolved in alcohol, emulsifiers and fats. This allows them to penetrate the skin easily and work into the body by mixing with the fatty tissue.

- Inhaled

Another way that essential oils enter the body is by inhalation either through the nose or mouth. Common examples include inhaling eucalyptus essential oil when you have a cough or inhaling peppermint essential oil to reduce fatigue or nausea. Thus in an aromatherapy treatment the essential oils are able to enhance both your physical and psychological well-being at the same time.

Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential Oil are becoming more popular all the time with the new age of alternative health care. From earliest nation aromatic plans have been used for their healing, cosmetic and fragrance effects. Today we are enjoying a renaissance in their use realizing both their gentleness and effectiveness.

Essential oils help manage stress and promote relaxation.
Essential oils are highly active against bacteria, fungi and viruses with better skin penetration powers than conventional antibiotics. They can therefore be of excellent benefit against a wide variety of skin infections.
Essential oils balance sebum production and are therefore excellent for treating all skin types, dry, oily, combination and normal.
Essential oils are antiseptic. Essential oils have been shown to destroy all tested bacteria and virus while simultaneously restoring balance to the body.
By helping improve assimilation of nutrients at the cellular level and providing much needed oxygen, essential oils may help stimulate the immune system.
Essential oils contain building blocks to good health, including minerals and amino acids.
Essential oils have the ability to digest toxic chemicals in the body.
Essential oils stimulate enzymatic activity, supporting digestive health.
Essential oils are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants create an unfriendly environment for free radicals, thus helping to prevent mutations. As free radical scavengers, they also may help prevent fungus growth and oxidation in the cells.
Essential oils are shown to detoxify cells and blood in the body.
Essential oils are aromatic. When diffused, they provide air purification by: - Removing metallic particles and toxins from the air;
- Increasing atmospheric oxygen;
- Increasing ozone and negative ions in the area, which inhibits bacterial growth;
- Destroying odors from mold, cigarettes, and animals.
- Filling the air with a fresh, aromatic scent.

Essential oils promote overall health, vitality, and longevity.