Hair Health Dictionary

Hair: From 3 Different Sources

A thread-like structure composed of dead cells containing keratin, a fibrous protein. The root of each hair is embedded in a tiny pit in the dermis layer of the skin called a hair follicle. Each shaft of hair consists of a spongy semihollow core (the medulla), a surrounding layer of long, thin fibres (the cortex), and, on the outside, several layers of overlapping cells (the cuticle). While a hair is growing, the root is enclosed by tissue called a bulb, which supplies the hair with keratin. Once the hair has stopped growing, the bulb retracts from the root and the hair eventually falls out.

Hair is involved in the regulation of body temperature (known as thermoregulation). If the body is too cold, arrector pili muscles in the skin contract, pulling the hairs upright to form goose pimples. Erect hairs trap an insulating layer of air next to the skin.Brittle hair may be due to excessive styling, hypothyroidism, or severe vitamin or mineral deficiency. Very dry hair

can be caused by malnutrition. Ingrown hairs occur when the free-growing end of the hair penetrates the skin near the follicle, which may cause inflammation. (See also hirsutism; hypertrichosis.)

Health Source: BMA Medical Dictionary
Author: The British Medical Association
n. a threadlike keratinized outgrowth of the epidermis of the *skin. It develops inside a tubular hair follicle. The part above the skin consists of three layers: an outer cuticle; a cortex, forming the bulk of the hair and containing the pigment that gives the hair its colour; and a central core (medulla), which may be hollow. The root of the hair, beneath the surface of the skin, is expanded at its base to form the bulb, which contains a matrix of dividing cells. As new cells are formed the older ones are pushed upwards and become keratinized to form the root and shaft. A hair may be raised by a small erector muscle in the dermis, attached to the hair follicle.
Health Source: Oxford | Concise Colour Medical Dictionary
Author: Jonathan Law, Elizabeth Martin


A ball of hair in the stomach, found in people who nervously suck or chew their hair (see bezoar).... hairball

Hair Jellyfish

The Australian colloquial term for Cyanea - also known as Lion’s Mane in many other countries.... hair jellyfish

Hair, Removal Of

See DEPILATION.... hair, removal of

Tea For Hair

Tea is a natural beverage that helps us stay healthy. It has plenty of health benefits related to our body - and this includes our hair, as well. Tea can act as a natural treatment for our hair. Find out more about teas for hair! Why choose tea for hair Tea can help you with various hair problems. Even if you do not have problems, you can use it as a natural “conditioner”. Benefits of tea for hair include: promoting hair growth, keeping your scalp clean, making your hair soft and shiny, acting as a mild, natural hair dye. Tea for hair Green tea is useful when it comes to preventing hair loss. Consumption of green tea reduces DHT levels and promotes blood circulation. To get these benefits, you can either drink green tea daily, massage your scalp after having rinsed your hair with green tea, or use hair care products which list green tea among their ingredients. Black tea also reduces hair loss. Besides this, it makes your hair soft and shiny, and it also acts as a mild, natural hair dye. Rinsing your hair with black tea can either darken it or bring out your natural highlights. Teas can help with hair growth, too. Types of tea which promote hair growth include nettle tea, lemongrass tea, rosemary tea and chamomile tea (which also helps you relax and reduces stress). Chamomile tea helps with scalp problems, as well, and so do burdock tea, comfrey root tea, calendula tea and marshmallow tea. Also, if you have problems with damaged hair, rinse it with neem tea. Side effects of tea for hair Side effects of green tea and black tea are related to the caffeine content which can be found in the Camellia Sinensis plant. If you know that coffee is not good for you, you might get some of these symptoms: dizziness, insomnia, loss of appetite and irritability. Rosemary tea should not be given to children under 18. Also, it should not be drunk by people taking blood-thinning drugs or high blood pressure medications. And as for marshmallow tea, it should not be drunk by people who suffer from diabetes or liver diseases. Tea can act as a natural conditioner for your hair. At the same time, when drinking it, you get many more health benefits, as well. Make sure you use these teas for hair!... tea for hair

White Hair

The greying or whitening of hair which takes place with age is due to a loss of its pigment, MELANIN, and the collection of air bubbles in the shaft of the hair. There is no evidence that hair ever goes white overnight, whether in response to shock, strain or any other cause. Rapid whitening may occur patchily in a matter of days, but it is more often a matter of weeks or months. In the more rapid cases the cause is thought to be a form of ALOPECIA in which the dark hairs which fall out are replaced by white hairs. An alternative cause is VITILIGO. Certain drugs, including mephenesin and CHLOROQUINE, may also cause whitening of the hair.... white hair

Hair Analysis

Hair is believed to be a “time capsule” of a person’s metabolic activity. Believed to be a useful means of acquiring information regarding the concentration of mineral nutrients and toxins. Alone, it does not provide sufficient evidence for purposes of diagnosis, but helpful in building a picture of the nutritional state of the patient. ... hair analysis

Hair Care

Hair, like nails and skin, is a protein material built up on amino acids. It is rich in minerals, especially sulphur. A sebaceous gland at the base of the hair follicle secretes sebum, an oily substance, which acts as a lubricant. When vital minerals and vitamins are lacking in the blood the quality of fibre and sebum deteriorates resulting in lustreless hair and change of texture. Healthy hair depends upon good personal hygiene, brushing, and washing with gentle-acting materials instead of harsh detergent shampoos which remove natural oils from the scalp and spoils its condition.

An adequate daily intake of essential fatty acids is assured by the golden oils (Sunflower, Corn, etc) which can be well supported by Evening Primrose oil capsules.

Internal: Bamboo gum. Nettle tea, Alfalfa, Horsetail, Soya.

Topical. Shampoo. Soapwort or Yucca. Chop 2 tablespoons (dry) or 1 tablespoon (fresh) leaves or root. Place in cup of warm water. Stir until a froth is produced. Decant and massage liquor into scalp.

Aloe Vera gel is noted for its moisturising effect and to provide nutrients. It may be used as a shampoo, hair set and conditioner. Jojoba oil has been used for centuries by the Mexican Indians for a healthy scalp; today, it is combined with Evening Primrose and Vitamin E with good effect. Olive oil stimulates strong growth.

One of several herbs may be used as a rinse, including Nettles, Rosemary, Southernwood, Fennel, Chamomile, Yellow Dock and Quassia. Hair should be washed not more than once weekly with warm water and simple vegetable soap; rinse four times with warm rinse, finishing off with cold. Brunettes should add a little vinegar; blondes, lemon juice. Selenium once had a reputation as a hair conditioner; recent research confirms. Selenium shampoos are available.

Supplements: Vitamins B (complex), B6, Choline, C and E. Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin B12 (50mg thrice daily).

Aromatherapy. 2 drops each: Sage, Nettles, Thyme; to 2 teaspoons Gin or Vodka, and massage into the scalp daily. ... hair care

Hair – Dry

Internally, and externally where lotions, creams etc are available. Burdock root, Comfrey, Elderflowers, Geranium, Marshmallow, Nettles, Parsley, Sage.

Itchy scalp. Catmint leaves and flowers, Chamomile, Comfrey. ... hair – dry

Hair Falling

To arrest recent fall-out where baldness has not been established. See: HAIR LOSS for internal treatments.

Topical. Massage scalp with creams or lotions of Jojoba, Aloe Vera, or wash with strong teas made from Burdock, Sage, Elder leaves, Walnut leaves or Nettles. Apple Cider vinegar.

Aromatherapy. 2 drops each: Sage, Nettles, Thyme to two teaspoons Gin, Vodka or strong spirit. Massage into scalp daily.

Supplements. Biotin, a growth factor, seems to slow down hair loss and is a substitute for oestrogen in a penetrating cream applied to the scalp. Inositol 300mg; Zinc 15mg, daily. ... hair falling

Hair – Greying

Rinse hair with strong decoction of Rosemary, Red Sage or Oak bark: believed to temporarily allay greying of the hair.

Supplements: PABA, Vitamin B-complex, Kelp, Selenium, Zinc. ... hair – greying

Hair Loss

Alopecia. Baldness. Shedding of the hair in patches leaving glossy bald areas. It is normal to lose about one hundred hairs a day, but severe stress such as unemployment, divorce or death in a family may considerably increase hair loss. Losses of long-standing are seldom recovered.

Causes: hormone deficiency (Agnus Castus) in females, where it may be associated with failing thyroid or ovarian function. In such cases, other agents include: Helonias, Motherwort, Black Haw bark. Other causes may be pregnancy, the menopause, or simply discontinuing The Pill. Certain skin diseases predispose: ringworm (Thuja), eczema (Yellow Dock), from thyroid disorder (Kelp, Blue Flag root).

Exposure to some cosmetics, excessive sunlight, strong chemicals and treatment of cancer with cytotoxic drugs may interfere with nutrition of the hair follicles. To ensure a healthy scalp a correct mineral balance is essential calling for supplementation of the diet with vitamins, selenium, zinc and silica. Yellow Dock is believed to counter toxicity of chemicals; Pleurisy root opens the pores to promote sweat and action of surface capillaries.

Baldness sometimes happens suddenly; eye-lashes or beard may be affected. Though emotional stress and a run-down condition is a frequent cause, most cases are not permanent, returning to normal with adequate treatment.

Baldness of the eyebrows alerts us to a lowered function of the thyroid gland, being an early outward sign of myxoedema. A pony-tail hair style or the wearing of a crash helmet may cause what is known as traction alopecia. Heavy coffee drinkers invariably lose hair lustre.

Soviet Research favours silica-rich plants internally and as a lotion: Horsetail, Burdock, Nettles, Bamboo gum.

Growth of hair is assisted by improving surface circulation of the scalp which is beneficial for conveying nutrients to the hair roots and facilitating drainage. Herbal vasodilators stimulate hair follicle nutrition and encourage growth: Cayenne, Pleurisy root, Black Cohosh and Prickly Ash, taken internally. A convenient way of taking Cayenne is the use of a pepper-shaker at table.

Topical. Hair rinse. 2-3 times weekly. Infusion: equal parts Yarrow, Sage and Rosemary. 1oz (30g) to 1 pint (500ml) water. Simmer gently five minutes. Allow to cool. Strain before use.

Cider vinegar – minimal success reported.

Day lotion. Liquid Extract Jaborandi half an ounce; Tincture Cantharides half an ounce; Oil Jojoba to 4oz. Shake well before use.

Oily lotion. Equal parts Olive and Eucalyptus oils.

Bay Rhum Lotion. Oil of Bay 50 drops; Olive oil half an ounce; Rum (Jamaica or other) to 4oz. Shake well before use.

Oil Rosemary: rub into hair roots.

Russian Traditional. Castor oil half an ounce; Almond oil 1oz; Oil Geranium 15 drops; Vodka to 6oz. Rub into hair roots.

Aromatherapy. To 1oz Castor oil and 1oz Olive oil add, 10 drops each – Oils Neroli, Lavender and Rosemary.

Gentian plant extract. Japanese scalp massage with extract from roots to thicken thinning hair. Some success reported.

Supplements. B-vitamins, Kelp, Silicea Biochemic salt. Zinc. Low levels of iron and zinc can cause the condition.

Note: Studies show that male occipital baldness confers a risk of heart disease, being associated with a higher total cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure than men with a full head of hair. Frontal baldness has not been found to be associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease and myocardial infarct. “It seems prudent for bald men to be specially vigorous in controlling risk factors for such conditions.” (S.M. Lesko, Journal of the American Medical Association, Feb 24, 1993, 269: 998-1003) ... hair loss

Hair – Oily

To condition. Calendula, Clary, all kinds of mints, Horsetail, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Southernwood. Internal and external. ... hair – oily

Hair – Surplus


HAKIMS. A group of herbal therapists, usually Indian or Muslim, who practise the Ayurvedic system of medicine. See: AYURVEDIC.

HALFA SUDANI. Sudanese grass. Hamareb. Traditional reputation in Egypt and the Sudan for breaking- up gravel and stone. Due to high salt content in soil and water, gravel is a common native affliction.

Tea: whole plant: 1oz to 1 pint water simmered 5 minutes. 1 cup freely until all is taken during the day. Continue until positive results ensue. ... hair – surplus

Hairiness, Excessive

See hirsutism; hypertrichosis.... hairiness, excessive

Hair Removal

Hair is usually removed from the body for cosmetic reasons.

It may also be shaved from around an incision site before surgery.

Temporary methods include shaving, waxing, depilatory creams, and waxing; electrolysis is the only permanent method of removal.... hair removal

Lanugo Hair

Fine, soft, downy hair that covers a fetus. Lanugo hair first appears in the 4th or 5th month of gestation and usually disappears by the 9th month. It can still be seen in some premature babies. Lanugo hair sometimes reappears in adults who have cancer. It may also occur in those with anorexia nervosa or be a side effect of certain drugs, especially ciclosporin.... lanugo hair

Hair Follicle

a sheath of epidermal cells and connective tissue that surrounds the root of a *hair.... hair follicle

Hair Papilla

a projection of the dermis that is surrounded by the base of the hair bulb. It contains the capillaries that supply blood to the growing *hair.... hair papilla

Hairy Cell

an abnormal white blood cell that has the appearance of an immature lymphocyte with fine hairlike cytoplasmic projections around the perimeter of the cell. It is found in a rare form of leukaemia (hairy-cell leukaemia) most commonly occurring in young men.... hairy cell

Hair Transplant

A cosmetic operation in which hairy sections of scalp are removed and transplanted to hairless areas to treat alopecia (baldness). There are several different techniques.

In strip grafting, a strip of skin and hair is taken from a donor site, usually at the back of the scalp or behind the ears. The removed hairs and their follicles are then inserted into numerous incisions made in a bald area, known as the recipient site. The procedure usually takes 60–90 minutes. The patient is given a mild sedative and anaesthetic on the donor and recipient sites. The donor site heals in about 5 days. Transplanted hairs fall out shortly afterwards, but new hairs grow from the follicles 3 weeks to 3 months later.

Other transplant techniques include punch grafting, in which a punch is used to remove small areas of bald scalp, which are replaced with areas of hairy scalp; flap grafting, in which flaps of hairy skin are lifted, rotated, and stitched to replace bald areas; and male pattern baldness reduction, which involves cutting out areas of bald skin and stretching surrounding areas of hair-bearing scalp to replace them.... hair transplant

Menkes Kinky-hair Disease

a genetic disorder characterized by severe learning disabilities, seizures, poor vision, colourless fragile hair, and chubby red cheeks. It is inherited as an X-linked (see sex-linked) recessive characteristic. There is no treatment and affected infants usually die before the age of three. [J. H. Menkes (1928–2008), US neurologist]... menkes kinky-hair disease

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