We all love our manes, but the heat, the blow dries and some other factors can get on our way to have the hair of our dreams. Dubai Fashion News went all the way to France to ask one of the most knowledgeable persons in the matter how to have great hair.
Dr Christine Lafforgue is a Dermo Pharmacologist and lecturer at the French Faculty of Pharmacy Paris-Sud 11. She’s an specialist in the creation of cosmetic products and their impact. She’s also the VP of the French Society of Cosmetology and a member of the Cosmetic Scientific Council.
THE INTERVIEW: DR CHRISTINE LAFFORGUE
HAIR TYPES AND ISSUES
How can we take care of our hair when it’s oily? And if it’s dry?
The appearance of oily hair is linked to a dysfunction of the scalp. Physiologically, thin hair is more oily than thick hair and men tend to have oilier hair than women.
Dry and very dry hair is damaged by using frequently aggressive shampoos and repeated dying and bleaching, a lot of brushing and permanent colorings.
Oily hair is often the reflection of very aggressive or very frequent shampoos.
In between, there are a lot of different situations, and each one of us has his own type of hair.
How can we prevent our hair from split ends? and from dandruff?
Dandruff is linked to a very dry scalp. Very dry skin leads to the appearance of scabs, or oily hair with a high rate of the “Malassezia” yeast that alter the functioning of the scalp. We naturally have this yeast on our scalp but when it is in excess, it leads to the apparition of dandruff.
Men can have very oily hair also with a lot of dandruff. It is usually the first sign of androgenetic alopecia (or Men’s hair fall).
In all cases, preference should be given to soft shampoos that don’t boost the sebum overproduction. We should use shampoos that contain antifungal ingredients like zinc pyrithione, piroctone olamine or selenium sulfide. To have an optimal result, we need to use it for several weeks.
Hair breakage and split ends are the result of very dry hair induced by heat, scouring or aggressive treatments.
GROW, HAIR, GROW…
Why does the process of hair grow slowdown in some cases? What can we do to let the hair grow faster?
Hormones regulate hair growth. Androgens are the strongest regulators of the hair cycle. This is the reason pregnant women see their hair grow faster during pregnancy and then go back to normal after childbirth.
Our hair grows within a cycle and in an individual way. This is also why some people will always have longer hair that others. This cycle generates a constant renewal of our hair, they grow by about 1 to 3 mm per day and we all lose from 60 to 100 hairs per day.
Seasons impact also hair growth, we lose more hair around April and October.
The other important element is nutrition, and in particular Vitamin B.It is important also how we handle our hair. Very tight chignons and braids like African braids or trichotillomania (pulling out hair in continuous way) are very aggravating factors.
Finally, the light is essential to hair growth. Nails grow faster in summer because we wear uncovered shoes. All these factors are key to have great hair.
What haircare or treatments can we use to get our hair to grow faster? and to make it look better?
The visible part of hair is a dead structure and is the reflection of the scalp work. Dull hair is usually dry hair that suffered from inadequate hair treatments.
A Vitamin B cure (brewer’s yeast for example), twice a year (beginning of spring and beginning of autumn) can improve the appearance.
HOW TO HAVE GREAT HAIR IN THE GCC
In the Gulf countries, it’s very hot and in beauty salons, hairdryers and extensions are very used. How can we take care of our hair in these conditions? What is the less aggressive way to dry our hair?
The biggest enemy of great hair is the hair dryer. In fact, hair dryers are used too hot which dries the capillary stem. So, the repeated use of hair dryers is to avoid.
In all cases, we need to limit the loss of water and to maintain the film of the top of the cuticle to reduce the loss of water of our hair.
Applying oils or conditioners can be very helpful before using hair dryers and even more before using hair straighteners.
Do you recommend classic coloration or Henna?
There is no doubt that Henna can change the hair color without altering the hair itself, if it’s natural and if mixed with traditional hair treatments (like for dry hair for example).
Henna colorations on the market are usually like classical colorations. These colorations peel cuticle scales to reach the Melanin of the hair.
Hair dying will damage the capillary stem if you are applying a coloration too often. Consider the time that every coloring option will take to fade. Henna for example it is more ephemeral.
How often do we have to do haircuts? And if we have colored hair?
Whenever we wish, there’s no rule!!! The ends are older that the roots so they become thinner and more fragile.
Coloration has no impact on hair growth but can increase the alteration of splits. That is why hairdressers cut hair ends after dying it so that hair is homogenous till the ends.
TO WASH OR NOT TO WASH
How many times can we wash our hair per week to have great hair?
Washing hair isn’t the problem if using a good shampoo. It will allow us to wash our hair when we need it. But we need to be rational, we don’t need to wash our hair as frequently as our hands.
I recommend you to use a shampoo that isn’t very aggressive twice a week and if needed after, a conditioner to disentangle and coat your hair.
When we work out a lot, what are the precautions that need to be taken if we would wash our hair often?
We must use a soft shampoo, for example a 2 in 1 shampoo or a shampoo without sulfate.
What do you think of oils (castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil) as haircare?
Oils create a layer at the top of the capillary stem,so the hair is protected from dehydration.
We can do the oil bath before shampooing. If the shampoo isn’t very aggressive, the benefit of the oil will be preserved.
The oil treatment in all cases needs to be applied on the hair and never on the scalp. Otherwise, it can cause the development of yeast and dandruff.
Is the dry shampoo bad for the hair? and hairspray?
The cuticle is biologically a dead structure so dry shampoo and hairspray aren’t necessarily bad if the shampoo isn’t very detergent.
Dry shampoo is very useful for oily hair: it allows the excess of sebum to be absorbed without cleaning with a classic shampoo so it prevents from an excessive synthesis de novo from the scalp.
Dry shampoo can be used only when the scalp is a little bit oily. Otherwise, it can stick to the scalp and cause irritations and itching.
VENUS AND MARS ALSO WHEN IT COMES TO HAIR
Is there any difference between Women and Men when it comes to hair?
Yes, men have usually oilier hair and their hair cycle is shorter, therefore it’s not usual for them to have long hair. Finally, they are more concerned by Alopecia (hair loss) because of the importance of androgens.
And to finish, what advice would you give to all the women and men that want to preserve their hair?
Our hair is the result of our genetic heritage, that is, the heritage of our parents and grandparents.
Because it is dependent on hormones, we can see its final appearance only after the age of 8-10 years and after puberty. That is one of the reasons why we might miss our blond curls that we used to have when we were kids.
The hair we see is a dead structure. It’s impossible to change our hair but we try to improve it by applying treatments with more or less satisfying results.
To have great hair, we need to treat it with softness. If colorations or changes are essential, we need to do it spaced in time with good products and procedures so that we prevent our hair from irremediable damaged stems.
Plus, a healthy diet is crucial for a good functioning of our hair cycle.
Finally, there’s a psychological impact on hair growth. For example, there are cases of people who suffered hair loss after a family problem or an accident or a surgery or a move. This situation is called pelada, which is s an unexplainable total loss of hair and eyebrows. For this, we have no effective treatment for now.
If you like hair articles, check this one from Guy Tang. It is worth reading and sharing!