Prevent Hair Damage: How To Dry Your Hair Carefully

Note: To listen to me read out this blog post for you please follow this link to my Podcast Channel

There is a a right way to treat your hair, especially when it comes to cleaning and drying it. This post isn’t about styling your hair with heat or products, in this blog I want to address healthy hair maintenance. I hope this will help you to hone your personal grooming techniques and also your self esteem and self confidence as you feel satisfied with the image in the mirror.

For some people, how our hair appears directly affects our mental health as it is often the first thing we see when we look in the mirror. Our perception of our own self, whether positive or negative, will affect the way we act and react to the situations around us.

We can cause damage to our hair especially when it is wet. Wet hair is more prone to breakage as it is brittle. A lot of damage can be caused when brushing or combing wet hair as the hair will stretch when wet but the strands do not snap back to their regular form after stretching, they become even more brittle.

My number 1 rule for preventing frizzy, weakened hair is to NEVER DRY YOUR HAIR BY RUBBING A TOWEL HARSHLY OVER YOUR SCALP. Using a towel to rub your hair dry can cause damage to the hair shaft, stretch and snap your hair. Be gentle to your precious hair all the way from the follicles to the tips of the strands. The rubbing motion also pushes the hair cuticle upwards, causing a frizzy appearance.

What to do instead: Gently wrap your hair in a towel and allow the moisture to be drawn into the fabric. I also like to air dry my hair because we get a lot of warm sunny days here in Australia.

Adding heat to wet hair actually increases the temperature on your hair, further increasing damage. Reduce the amount of water on your hair before using the hair dryer. It’s also a good idea to set the hair dryer on a cool setting before using the heat. Hair stylists recommend you dry your hair to at least 50-70% dry before adding heat. And turn the heat setting down if you are using heat, your hair can be burned and damaged beyond repair if your styling appliances are set too hot.

I hope this is useful to you! Please comment below and share your hair care tips.

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Featured Image Photo by John Diez

With Age Comes Balding

Almost all of us will experience balding in some way, whether we watch someone else struggle with losing their hair or we go through it ourselves. There are many types of hair loss but I want to discuss balding as we age, also known as male and female pattern balding or androgenic alopecia.

Why is it called male/female pattern balding?

Age-related balding happens in a specific pattern in men and women. The pattern of balding is how you diagnose balding and determine whether it’s age-related balding or if it is caused by something else such as fungal infection or medications. Females normally have balding or thinning from the centre part of the scalp and males lose hair from the temples or crown.

Diagram showing balding from the temples to give the classic widow’s peak. Image source.

What causes balding from age?

Androgens are a type of hormone in the body that are responsible for controlling the male characteristics in both males and females. The word androgen is made up of the latin words for man (andro-) and generator (-gen). Testosterone is an androgen that is made in the testes, ovaries and adrenal glands and it is found in high concentrations in males but in low concentrations in females.

The body converts testosterone into other forms, ie. metabolises the testosterone, with different enzymes depending on which part of the body it is in, the age of the body and also the gender of that body. There isn’t enough known about how the different types of testosterone products interact with the process of making hair follicles in men and women but we do know that no matter how much testosterone you have or don’t have, balding ultimately comes down to your genes.

It’s genetic!

As we age our hair follicles become weaker and produce weaker, thinner, more brittle hair. Then eventually the hair follicle dies and no longer produces hair. People with relatives who experience male pattern baldness are more likely to also experience male pattern baldness themselves.

There is no cure

There are topical treatments for balding to prevent and/or reduce hair loss. These treatments have limited success due to the lack of knowledge regarding the metabolism of testosterone between individuals.

The best way to deal with balding in your life is to assess your own self esteem and feelings of self worth.

Also consider how you feel when you look at a person who is showing signs of balding. Remember that the way you perceive yourself is very different to the way others perceive you. When you look in the mirror be gentle to the friend in the reflection. You are a beautiful person no matter how many working hair follicles you have.

Stay healthy and safe. Reply in the comments with your suggestions for a specific health topic you would like me to cover.

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How to cultivate success in your life

It took me about a decade but I have finally learned valuable meta-skills such as resilience and self awareness. I’ve also been working on cultivating gratitude and mindfulness which has helped to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” –Émile Coué

Here are some tips that you can use to improve your chance for success in life.

“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” –Lao Tzu.

..Take the opportunity to cultivate a positive mental attitude.

.. Practice gratitude and mindfulness daily so that it becomes a habit. This can prevent anxiety and negative thoughts from holding you back from success.

.. Clearly define your goals. Nebulous goals are a recipe for disaster. Clear goals give you something definite to work towards.

Share your positive habits or any tips for success in the comments below.

Your phone camera may be lying to you

I recently upgraded my phone to a Samsung Note 9 and it wasn’t until a few months later that I noticed the function of a particular setting that is default on. In the Settings menu this particular setting says that it corrects the shape of faces that appear distorted. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant but I guessed it would help me take better photos.

So I was taking some selfies, trying to figure out my best angles to show off some cute new earrings when I noticed that the default camera app on my Samsung had distorted my face on purpose. Then I understood what the setting meant and it kind of broke my heart.

I love you Samsung. Why would you purposely distort my oval shaped face into a heart shaped face? Are you saying that my natural normal appearance, the features I have written in my DNA, are distorted?

DISTORTED.

In a time of low self esteem this is not appropriate. People are getting plastic surgery to look more like these camera filters. All humans have the choice to live their life however they wish, with or without body modification. But when we’re constantly shown fake images of what people are supposed to look like then we begin to feel that we don’t measure up to this impossible standard and it leads to mental illness. I struggled for many years before I gradually taught myself to have self esteem and if I’m being completely honest, it is the absolute best thing to do for yourself if you struggle with lack of self worth and self confidence. Future-you will thank you for it, trust me. Once you are no longer preoccupied with your perceived faults (Hint: they don’t exist) life is easier in every aspect. Bonus: Once people see the confidence you have in yourself they will have confidence in you too. It’s science. The branch of science is psychology.

Your physical appearance is irrelevant

Another setting on my Samsung that I turned off as soon as I could find it: the beauty filter. All it does is blurs the image so that you can’t see my pores and wrinkles and it seems to add extra dark pixels to my eyes and eyelashes to make them pop. If you’ve noticed any changes your particular camera app makes to your face, regardless of whether you prefer the setting on or off, write it in the comments below.

I turn these filters off because I know my face is acceptable as it is. I choose not to wear makeup most days because I know my face is great purely because it’s attached to me. I enjoy applying makeup when I feel like it because it’s fun, like an art project or special effects/cosplay.

Your physical appearance is irrelevant. Remember that. To me, I have absolutely no reason to judge your character based on a couple of features. Most of the time I don’t even notice appearance and it is extremely difficult for me to describe a person if they aren’t in front of me. It’s because I’m too busy focusing on your personality and that’s all I need to see. That’s the part that matters.

You are beautiful because of who you are and who you choose to be. Your appearance is irrelevant to me. Now go out there and get that self confidence.

You got this.

PS. I ended up taking the photos of my cute earrings with the camera filters off and a makeup free face. The only “flaw” I did notice is that I poke my tongue out a lot.

Featured image credit: https://kamdora.com/2014/07/16/how-to-tell-the-shape-of-your-face/