RTE Guide March 13 - 19 2010: HEALTH & WELL-BEING by Suzanne Byrne
"Hair and scalp problems are very common and most people will experience some hair-care problem at some time in their life", says Trichologist Deborah Whelan, who manages the Galway Trichology Clinic.
"But with all the different hair-care products there is alot of confusion, so if you are worried about your hair, then the best thing to do is go and see a specialist."
Deborah Whelan's top tips:
Wash your hair daily, but use warm rather than very hot water, so that you don't stimulate excess oil secretion from the glands in the scalp. Your diet is key, so look after what you eat. Get plenty of fruit and vegatables and a sensible amount of red meat. You should not put the shampoo directly on to your scalp but lather first in you hand. Knowing what product suits you is vital. In general you don't want ones that are too high in detergents or have too many added oils. Know when there is something wrong. Look for any signs of change, such as soreness or itching of the scalp, hair loss or flaking that occurs for over 2-3 weeks.
- The problem: Greasy hair. The cause: This common condition is caused by excess oil secretion from the scalp. Expert advice: "If you have greasy hair, then you should avoid high-fat foods such as oily fish and cheeses", says Whelan. "You should wash the hair frequently, but only condition the ends of the hair and not the scalp. Anti-mitotic shampoos can be very beneficial."
- The problem: Split ends. The cause: Split ends are often linked to heating the hair using straighteners, blow drying and curling irons. Expert advice: Once the hairs have reached the stage where they are splitting or breaking the only thing to do is to get a trim. People who use too many chemical products tend to suffer more and it is important to replenish the moisture with conditioners to prevent recurrence."
- The problem: Dandruff. The cause: The main cause of dandruff is yeast that occurs naturally on everyone's scalp, which can irritate the scalp. Lumps of dead skin cells form, the skin starts to itch and peel, then flakes develop. Expert advice: "Anti dandruff shampoos can be very effective", says Whelan. "But it is important to remember that your scalp may be fairly sensitive and go for shampoos that have natural anti-mitotic ingredients. If problems persist, go to see a Trichologist.