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Healthy Hair--You've Heard the Phrase 10,000 Times, but What Exactly IS Healthy Hair?

Hair is much more than just a decorative piece or even something to keep your head warm--your hair keeps an accurate record of your life (whether you want it to or not).

"Your hair tells what you eat, where you live, your lifestyle, and habits," said Emma Freeman from London' s Natural History Museum. "Your hair is what you do." That's because your hair is able to trap within its physical and chemical structures everything you eat, drink or apply to it.

So if you smoke, take medications or drink, you hair knows. And, since hair only grows about 0.3 to 0.5 millimeters a day, it can keep this record for months or even years.

Each strand of your hair is strong enough to hold 100 grams (a typical chocolate bar is about 60 grams)!

What IS Hair, and Why do We Have It?

It's thought that hair has adapted into the type we know today to help us identify each other and also to attract members of the opposite sex and display status.

We each have about 100,000 hairs (some of us have up to 150,000) on our heads, and the main component of them is a protein called keratin (this protein also makes up feathers, claws, nails and hooves). Hair also contains fats, pigment called melanin, vitamins, traces of zinc and other metals, and water (about 10 percent to 13 percent of hair is water).

Below your scalp, cells in your hair follicles actively grow and then die. When these cells die they harden into "hair." As cells below them continue to grow, they push the dead cells upward, which is how your hair continuously grows out of your scalp.

It's the center part of the hair shaft, called the cortex, that's responsible for giving hair different qualities, like curl. The shape of your hair is determined by the shape of your hair follicle and its opening (these vary on everyone and also vary by ethnicity). As your cells harden into hair and are pushed through the hair follicle, they take on its shape.

The outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, is a protective layer. Cosmetic treatments and too much brushing can damage the cuticle, though, and cause it to break away over time. If your hairs' cuticles are healthy, your hair will be smooth and glossy since light can reflect off of them.

Truly healthy hair comes from having a healthy body.

You may describe your hair as thick or thin, and this is determined by how many hairs you have on your head and how thick each hair shaft is, which is all determined by your genes. Someone with "thick" hair will have a lot of thicker hairs, whereas a person with "thin" hair likely has fewer overall hairs that are thinner in diameter.

Scientists agree that there are three major hair types, each of which is attributed to a different race:

  • Asian: Hair is straight and black.

  • Caucasoid: Hair may be wavy or straight, and is pale blond to black.

  • African: Hair is tightly curled and black.

Why Does Hair Get Oily (or Dry)?

The hair on your head is lubricated by a natural oil called sebum. How much is produced is genetically determined, but hormone levels can also influence it. That's why teenagers, who have raised hormone levels, tend to have greasy hair. Dry hair usually occurs because the cuticle has been damaged by chemical treatments, etc., making it porous, and the cortex is unable to retain water.

What Makes Hair "Healthy Hair"?

Dry, Damaged Hair? Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor to the Rescue!

Nutrafix is a deep conditioner that adds volume and health to porous hair with an organic protein pack formula for healthy, beautiful hair.

  • Formulated with certified organic ingredients.

  • Reconstructs extremely damaged hair.

  • Giovanni products utilize vegetable proteins, which absorb more easily into your hair shaft, preventing build-up. Animal proteins break down into fatty acids, coating your hair, creating build up.

  • Nutrafix is excellent for hair that has been exposed to harsh weather conditions, oxidation, heat styling, permanent waving, coloring and bleaching

  • Reenergizes over-processed hair, very concentrated, promoting high shine, thickness and body

  • Fills in porous hair with rich proteins, rebuilding hair from the cuticle layer

  • No animal byproducts

  • Cruelty Free, never tested on animals

  • pH balanced

  • No Lauryl or laureth sulfates

  • No artificial colors or fragrance

  • Won't strip hair color

Learn More and Order Your
Cost-Saving 2-Pack Now!

Conditioners, special shampoos and other hair treatments can increase the shine of your hair, help protect it and even repair some damage (we highly recommend the safe and very effective Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor formulated with certified organic ingredients, it helps reconstruct extremely damaged hair). But, if you want your hair to be truly healthy, it has to come from the inside.

That's right. A healthy diet is the best way to have truly healthy hair (and skin and nails). Without it, your hair will lack shine, be more brittle and may even become thinner and more sparse. In severe cases, nutrient deficiencies can even lead to hair loss.

Want to make your diet a "hair-healthy" one? Here are some tips from Shari Lieberman, PhD, CNS, University of Bridgeport, School of Human Nutrition:

  1. Make sure to include essential fatty acids like omega-3 (found in fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseed and walnuts); they play an important role in the health of your hair.

  2. Get enough healthy protein (hair is made mostly of protein). This can be beans, eggs, free-range chicken --anything that you like as long as you get plenty.

  3. Include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. They have vital nutrients, even beyond vitamins and minerals, that may play a role in your hair health.

Recommended Reading

Wild Yam: Why it's NOT Recommended for Progesterone but Does Provide Eight Other Health Benefits

Emu Oil: The Amazing Arthritic Pain Relief Secret of the Australian Aborigines


The World of Hair

Hair Facts

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