How Sulfate Free Shampoo Benefits Your Hair

sulfate free shampoo

You may have heard of sulfate free shampoo and that using shampoo without sulfate can be beneficial for your hair and beauty regimen, but why? To better understand why sulfate free shampoo may be best for your hair, you should know what is sulfate free shampoo, what do sulfates in shampoo do to your hair and what are the benefits of sulfate free shampoo?

Sulfates 101: What Are Sulfates?

Sulfates are a type of cleansers that are highly effective at removing dirt and oil from the hair and body. They usually appear on the ingredients list of a beauty product as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, and can be found in the formula for most rinse off beauty products, including shampoos, face wash, body wash, soaps and more.

Clean hair sounds like a great thing, so you may think having sulfates in your shampoo is good. But while sulfates are good at cleaning, they can have some drawbacks if you have certain types of skin or hair. Sulfate shampoos are considered safe when used briefly and rinsed out thoroughly, but some people may have reactions such as redness or skin rash if they’re sensitive to sulfates. Let’s take a look at some of the problems a shampoo formulated with sulfates can cause.

Side Effects of Sulfates in Shampoo

There are sometimes where shampoo that contains sulfates can be damaging to your hair and body. Here’s a closer look at those symptoms, which may also answer: Why use sulfate free shampoo?

  • Scalp irritation: Sulfates are known to irritate the skin. When applied as a detergent on your scalp, they remove oil, but they remove this oil so effectively that they can actually strip away your scalp’s protective layer too. With a compromised barrier to your scalp, it’s very easy for harmful bacteria to get in and for needed moisture to get out. This can leave your scalp dry, itchy and more sensitive.
  • Dry hair: Your scalp isn’t the only thing that suffers. Sulfates can also affect your hair. You may compromise healthy and glossy hair if you use sulfate-laden shampoo because the sulfate gets rid of oil so well that it strips away some of your hair’s natural moisture and shine. The effect is compounded if you have already have dry and curly or frizzy hair that already has difficulty retaining moisture.
  • Fading color: The same principle with sulfates drying out your hair also applies to its effect on hair that has been dyed or otherwise colored. Sulfates strip the color from your hair, undoing the effects of your hair dye and causing your hair color to fade more quickly or appear dull.
  • Hair loss: The research isn’t fully conclusive on whether sulfates in shampoo directly cause hair loss, but there have been some claims that sulfates can contribute to hair loss, thinning and shedding indirectly, by causing inflammation of the scalp. It makes sense that by compromising the scalp, sulfates impact its ability to effectively grow healthy hair.

It may be a good idea for you to use a sulfate free shampoo if you have sensitive skin, dry hair, naturally curly hair, dyed/colored hair or you want to take every precaution to avoid the possibility of indirectly contributing to hair loss.

sulfate free shampoo
For better-looking hair, try a sulfate free shampoo and experience the difference.

Sulfate Free Shampoo Benefits

So should you use a shampoo without sulfates? The answer is yes! Switching to a sulfate free shampoo is always beneficial for your hair. Sulfate free shampoo not only preserves natural oils on your scalp and hair, but also is a more color safe option for hair that has been dyed.

Two potential drawbacks you may experience when you switch to sulfate free shampoo involve the way it lathers (or rather, doesn’t) and how effectively it removes dirt and oil if you have hair that tends to get very oily. Sulfates cause shampoo to lather well, and because they’re such powerful cleansers, they more easily remove dirt and oil from hair.

If you miss the lather or don’t think your hair is getting as clean as you’re used to, give your hair some time to adjust to your sulfate free shampoo routine. As with everything else related to hair and beauty, it can take time for you to see results. Be patient and you’ll start to see your hair feels and looks much better after switching to a sulfate free shampoo and start seeing the sulfate free shampoo benefits in action.

Want to see even more positive changes for your hair when switching to sulfate free products? Try taking natural hair growth supplements to get healthier, stronger and thicker hair.

Resveratrol benefits that will help you with unhealthy hair

Reservstol benefits

Nutrafol recently covered topics such as “What is resveratrol?” and what nutrients contain the substance. So, it should come as no surprise that the next article our resveratrol series is about resveratrol’s benefits.

What are the benefits of resveratrol?

In a previous article, we discussed that for people experiencing hair loss associated with aging, using resveratrol supplements can help. But how exactly does this work?

A study made 2011 in Archives of Biochemistry & Biophysics found that resveratrol was shown to have many therapeutic effects on diseases and disorders. This including those diseases of the skin.
Resveratrols function when it comes to the skin is that it helps to protect it. It protects skin from damage and shows promise in addressing issues related to skin aging. Which is why resveratrol is so wittily referred to as the pharmaceutical fountain of youth.

Now, you may wonder what all this jabbing about skin and skin diseases have to do with resveratrol and hair. You see, hair follicles are located within the dermis, one layer of the organ that is your… that is right, your skin.

So overall poor health of the skin will impact the ability of the hair follicle to function normally. A condition that can lead to thinning hair or even hair loss. The role resveratrol plays in promoting healthy skin is one of the contributions it makes in the body’s ability to grow hair

reservstol benefits
Did you know that one of the benefits of resveratrol is that it can help maintain healthy hair? So make sure to take supplements with this substance.

And another study…

…released in 2013 made by the Oxford Journal studied the link between resveratrol and improvements in cardiometabolic health. One of many resveratrol benefits that this study did highlight was the potential for improved endothelial function. Endothelial, you may ask? Endothelial function. You see, suffering from an endothelial dysfunction, may have serious effects on your wellness. Meaning that this could cause reduced blood flow to the hair follicles. Which can lead to a reduction in its ability to stimulate continued growth of the hair. And we all know that blood flow to the hair follicles is incredibly important for the survival of the hair.

 

 

Wrapping it up

The resveratrol benefits are…

  • Improves overall cardiovascular health, which promotes full body wellness
  • Reduces the effect of age-related issues which includes age-related hair issues
  • Improves overall health and reduces effects of underlying issues related to unhealthy hair
  • Improves endothelial function which can help promote blood flow to the hair follicles which is important if you want your hair to grow

Photo: healthmindandkat via Flickr.

Try this resveratrol boosting smoothie for healthy hair

In a previous post, Nutrafol mentioned the importance of taking resveratrol supplements, but there are also other ways to increase your intake. And those are….

…eating well

Supplements are a great resveratrol source but it does not mean that you need to limit yourself to only that. Ingesting resveratrol through your diet is a great way to complement those supplements.

Although you can take it as a supplement, it is also possible to make some dietary changes in order to increase the amount of resveratrol ingested through food. And the best part? The foods that contain this little miracle substance happen to be pretty yummy too.

Foods where resveratrol can be found

  • Peanut butter – although it does not contain much of it, peanut butter does have a small amount of resveratrol.
  • Dark chocolate – natural, dark chocolate has a small amount of the substance as well. The higher the cacao percentage, the better it is.
  • Blueberries – natures own little antioxidants, and a significant one. Not only are these little blue berries a good source of antioxidants, they are also a good source of resveratrol.
  • Red grapes – now, it is not the meat itself that carries the substance, it is the skin of red grapes. The substance carries over into wine as well, so none of it is lost.
  • Nuts – Walnuts, cashews, almonds and pistachios are all nuts that are a good source of resveratrol.

So now that you know which nutrients are going to help you increase your resveratrol level, how about blending them all together? So without further ado, this is how you do it.

resveratrol
Make a smoothie with all the nutrients containing resveratrol and your hair will thank you.

The Ultimate Resveratrol Smoothie

This smoothie is packed with all your favorite resveratrol foods. It is the quickest way to massively boost your levels of resveratrol in a healthy way. Although you might think it is easier to eat a dark chocolate and blueberry cookie, or drink a bottle of red wine to boost your levels, this could be harming your hair in other ways. Let’s stick with the smoothie to be on the safe side. So this is what you need for your smoothie:

  • One scoop of hemp protein
  • 1 large handful of frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1 handful of frozen or fresh red seedless grapes
  • 2 chunk of high cocoa content chocolate (70% or more)
  • 1 large handful of mixed nuts including cashew nuts
  • Almond milk (if available, if not use bottled water) to desired consistency
  • Bonus points if you have a splash of pumpkin seed oil

Drink the smoothie once a week for a month to top up your resveratrol levels and then have it whenever you feel like it. The pumpkin seed oil is added as an extra bonus because it has been shown to improve hair count.

Photo: Easy Healthy Smoothie via Flickr.

Are Keratin Treatments Dangerous? These Are the Facts

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. NICOLE KLUGHERS, ND

on June 23, 2017

A keratin treatment is an increasingly popular way of achieving smooth and shiny hair even when it is humid out. When summer comes, hair tends to frizz up and get out of hand. This treatment has gained wide popularity among women, but it turns out it might not be a great idea.

This treatment also goes by the name Brazilian blowout, Brazilian keratin treatment or a straightening treatment. But back in December of 2016, the Environmental Working Group together with Women’s Voices for the Earth filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration. It cited the agency’s “failure to protect the public from dangers associated with popular hair straightening treatment.”

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What is This About?

Keratin is the protein that the hair is made up of, consisting of eight amino acids. It plays an important role in our hair growth and hair regeneration. So adding more keratin to hair logically makes the hair stronger and improves the quality of damaged hair.

Traditional keratin treatments used to contain formaldehyde, the chemical that is commonly used in building materials and in the production of household products. The lawsuit alleges that the FDA has done too little to protect people from this chemical, as it has been aware for years that keratin treatments can cause severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, eye irritation and nosebleeds in the stylist that is frequently exposed to it.

So to try making keratin treatments popular again, stylists started promoting theirs as a “formaldehyde-free” treatment. Instead they used methylene glycol. However, that is not much better. It is simply diluted with water. “The use of methylene glycol is a ploy to avoid the use of formaldehyde,” said David Andrews, a senior scientist from EWG in a recent interview.

And as the formaldehyde gets released in the air with heat, using the methylene glycol has the exact same effect as the traditional one. Once the stylist blow-dries the hair or uses any other heat tool, the chemicals are out in the open. Even clients, who are not as frequently in contact with the mixture as the stylists, have reported symptoms.

How a Keratin Treatment Works

But to some people, the risks are worth it. Even though formaldehyde has been linked to cancer, the results of a keratin treatment are pretty spectacular. With age and the use of many products, hair can become very porous. This is what makes hair frizzy which can lead to tangles and breakage. “Your hair is made up of keratin, so the treatment is putting the protein back into the hair, which is often lost due to age and chemical services,” said stylist Abraham Sprinkle.

However, you have to be careful. If you have very fine and straight hair, it is not much help. Curly or frizzy hair will see the most results. And if you are blonde, certain mixtures can affect you hair color, as not all formulas are made the exact same way.

  • You will have to go through a pre-treatment that removes buildup and prepares the hair cuticle. This involves a clarifying shampoo.
  • Keratin is applied to the hair with a brush and penetrates the cuticle. It will strengthen the keratin bonds in the hair and make it smooth. To avoid oversaturation, a fine-toothed comb can be used to distribute the mixture. This normally takes between 10 and 15 minutes.
  • After that, the hair is styled to turn it into the requested shape, usually with a blow-dryer and hair straightener. Just think about not using too high heat.
  • Afterwards, use a special type of shampoo to maintain the smooth silkiness for as long as possible. Also wait with washing it for at least 48 hours, and do not put it up in a ponytail for the same period of time.

The Healthy Options

If you do opt for a keratin treatment, pick one that is definitely free from formaldehyde. Some go the old-fashioned way and use silk from silkworms, and some you can even do yourself at home. You will not only spare your own health and the environment, but also the health of your stylist.

Resveratrol and you – this is what you need to know about the ingredient

As you may know, Nutrafol’s supplement contains the ingredient resveratrol. But what you might not know is what resveratrol is. So let’s start there.

What is resveratrol?

Have you ever heard that one glass of red wine per day is good for you? Yes? Good. Did you ever wonder why it is good for you? The answer is resveratrol. Resveratrol is a substance that naturally occurs in the skin of red grapes as well as other fruits. However, it is a common misconception that red wine is a healthy drink, due to resveratrol content. In reality red wine contains very little, especially if the grapes are machine process, as most are these days.

So yes, a glass of red wine per day is good for you in other terms. But if you are drinking it because of the resveratrol, then you would actually be much better off just eating the grapes.

Dark chocolate is also rich in resveratrol. So next time your sweet tooth kicks in, make sure to buy a chocolate with a decent amount of cacao. The higher percentage, the more volume of resveratrol.

What has been said…

Scientists have been busy lately researching the benefits of resveratrol and much is being discovered about this substance. Findings have shown that it has a wide range of benefits that could actually pave the way for a new generation of highly effective drugs. This substance can help with everything from hair to diabetes to obesity even and in some cases may even combat cancer.

 

Resveratrol
Red wine and dark chocolate are two things that contain resveratrol.

But it all started…

With Michio Takaoka, the discoverer of resveratrol, followed by David Sinclair. It was David that introduced his ground breaking research that showed that resveratrol has many potential pharmaceutical uses. One such area of research has been into its link to a group of enzymes known as sirtuins, which can create proteins that regenerate cells.
Sirtuins are localized within the mitochondria. Mitochondrion are the parts of a cell where cellular respiration and energy production occur, and are associated with the overall health of the organism. Your overall health.

So if the mitochondrion is improved, it can have a variety of benefits on your wellness. And that promotes positive overall physical health.

Resveratrol is also known as a flavonoid, a class of phytochemicals that has been shown to have significant health benefits. Based on resveratrol’s potential to promote overall health, there are significant implications in its ability to help with hair thinning.

How is this possible?

Scientists are studying resveratrol as a potential treatment for diseases such as cancer. It is also being studied for its effectiveness in reducing the effects of aging in humans. When tested on rodents, resveratrol has shown to have a positive impact on age-related diseases.

As more studies continue to suggest the benefits of resveratrol, you may consider adding a supplement that contains resveratrol to your diet to support your health and your hair.

 

Photos: Stefano Mortellaro via Flickr.

Petra Bensted via Flickr.

Samumed, the Biotech Startup that Targets Stem Cells to Cure Hair Loss

Samumed is the name of a biotech startup based in San Diego. It was founded in 2008, and the company has since then focused on developing tissue-level regeneration and finding a cure for degenerative diseases. CEO Osman Kibar is a billionaire who has his mind set on reversing the effects of aging. One step in that mission is focusing on curing baldness. And it seems like the company is succeeding.

What is Samumed?

This company has already received hundreds of millions of dollars in funding thanks to its promise to find a way to erase wrinkles, regrow hair and even regrow cartilage in bad joints. Samumed could be the first company to actually slow down aging. Considering the secrecy around its science and research, and other biotech scams like the one of Theranos, the blood testing company that was valued at $9 billion but turned out to be nothing, people have been skeptical of Samumed as well.

But the owners of Samumed know all this and say that even they thought the technology was too good to be true. However, even though the company hasn’t revealed exactly how things work, they are transparent with their data. Any product will also have to be approved by the FDA before entering the market.

How Does it Work?

In the body, there are progenitor stem cells, which repair certain organs. The repairing process is initiated by a set of proteins called the WNT pathway. This group of proteins is in charge of regulating cells, so if you adjust the amount of certain WNT genes, you can trigger the stem cells into repairing certain organs. As we grow older, our levels of WNT go down. This is why, for example, older people often get osteoporosis. And that is because the WNT activity in out body doesn’t produce enough bone cells.

This is the function Samumed is planning on targeting in curing baldness. It has already tested its topical treatment for androgenetic alopecia, the pattern baldness that most commonly affects middle aged men. The company is hoping that the treatment will activate the WNT pathways that are related to hair growth, and make dormant hair follicles wake up again and start producing hair. The treatment is called SM04554.

Samumed
Samumed claims to be able to reverse some of the most common effects of aging – bad joints, wrinkles and hair loss.

Studies on Efficacy

Last year, Samumed presented a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. In the test, researchers divided 300 men into three test groups. One received a .15% dose of the treatment, one received a .25% dose of the treatment and one was a placebo group. SM04554 works much like other hair loss treatments on the market – you apply a topical cream on the scalp.

The cream was applied once a day for 90 days. 45 days after the treatment stopped, researchers analyzed the results and realized SM04554 was indeed very effective. Both the groups that used the real treatment saw an increase in hair count – but the results were more efficient in the group that used the smaller dose.

The men that were given 0.15% saw an increase in hair growth of about 10%, while the men that were given the 0.25% dose saw an increase of about 7%. The placebo group kept losing hair. Important to note is that this was a relatively short test period. But still, subjects continued to see results even after the treatment period ended. Even better – researchers observed no side effects.

So, What is Next?

Samumed is currently testing seven different drugs in human trials. The company plans on having their products available on the market by the end of the year. The WNT technology could be efficient in many different areas. Most notably, Samumed plans on using it to find treatments for colon cancer, degenerative-disc disease, tendinopathy and wrinkle eradication.

If it is true that Samumed’s drugs can reverse common aging effects like hair loss, wrinkles and bad knees, they would be the first of their kind. We should know by the end of the year whether the products will pass FDA regulations. Until then, go the traditional way and live a healthy life. For now, that is the best we can do to slow down aging.

Text by Emma von Zeipel

Beer for Hair: Treatment, Benefits, and More

beer rinse

Beer for your hair? We’ll cheers to that! Washing hair with beer has many benefits for your scalp and hair. But why is washing hair with beer good for your hair? Here’s a closer look.

Benefits of Beer for Hair

Beer, that ever-so-popular brew, can add strength and shine to dull, limp hair. The best part is that you don’t need to drink the beer to get the benefits. Using beer for hair growth and improved appearance is as simple as applying it to your scalp and hair.

Why is beer good for your hair? The malt and hops in beer are loaded with protein, which nourishes and strengthens your hair. By putting beer in hair, dry and damaged hair can be repaired to its former lusciousness, thanks to the nutrients. The protein binds to hair that’s become dehydrated from blow drying, styling and harsh weather, leaving the hair restored and with more body.

The benefits of beer for hair don’t stop there. Using beer in hair can also make your hair shinier. As the proteins bind with hair cuticles, the newly smoothed surface will better reflect light, making your hair look shinier. Beer also contains B vitamins, which will help make your strands shiny.

 

Stylist Luigi Parasmo, who has worked for on runway shows for couture brands like Versace, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, believes beer can make everything better in the hair department.

Parasmo says beer for hair works well because the alcohol acts as a cleansing and shine agent while also having a softening effect.

beer rinse
If you do not want to rinse your hair with beer, transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and spray it on instead, using it as a leave-in conditioner.

Beer for Hair as a Shampoo, Rinse or Leave-in Conditioner

We’ve explored what a beer rinse can do for your hair before. If you need a reminder of how to use beer in your shampoo or conditioner regimen, here’s a reminder.

To use beer as a hair rinse when you wash your hair, mix it at room temperature with an equal amount of water and add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar will help lessen the beer smell. After you shampoo your hair, use the beer rinse as your conditioner.

For best results, let the mixture soak for a few minutes before rinsing. While a beer rinse can be too drying to use every day, doing it once or twice a month works as well as a pricey clarifying shampoo when it comes to removing buildup from hair products.

A beer rinse isn’t the only thing that you can do. You can also use beer as a leave-in conditioner. For a leave-in conditioner, transfer the mixture to a spray bottle, spray it on and go. As mentioned before, the proteins in beer bind to the hair shaft, which also creates volume. So if you have fine, thin hair, this can deliver tons of volume.

Many people have seen fuller, thicker hair by trying a beer rinse. But while this method fortifies existing ones, it doesn’t help you grow new hair. But because beer is rich in proteins and vitamins from the natural barley and hops, it does contain some necessary nutrients for supporting healthy hair.

Conclusion: How Beer Provides Benefits for Hair

  1. Beer contains protein, which can strengthen your hair.
  2. Beer has an acidic pH, which makes your hair shiny by tightening the cuticles.
  3. Beer contains hops, which are natural astringents.

Summer is Here – These are the Best Summer Hairstyles of 2017

The best summer hairstyles are easy to accomplish and maintain. As the weather gets warmer and the sun comes out, we want easy and fun ways to style our hair. It has to be able to stand the wind and sunshine, and maybe last for a whole day at the beach followed by a garden party. We have the best tips for hairstyles for the summer.

Chunky Topknot

A topknot is super easy if you have the right tools. Start with hair that is not recently washed – the dirtier the better. This makes it keep its shape they way you want it to. Make a high or low ponytail depending on your preference, and then twine the hair around the base into a bun. Fasten it with either bobby pins or a bigger hairgrip. Spray with a texturing hairspray and pull out some hairs around your face to make it look more relaxed.

Side Braids

Make a few smaller French braids on the side of your head and let them join the rest of your hair and put it all up in a loose ponytail. To do a French braid, just start out as a normal braid. After making a foundation of a couple of crossovers, start adding more hair with each one, so that it always stays close to your scalp. Add some saltwater spray when you are finished to give it a salty, textured look.

Just Curly

Nutrafol | Summer Hairstyles
In the summer you want your hair to look effortless and relaxed – but still great.

Relaxed beach hair is the best. The summer hairstyle that is the easiest to accomplish is to just spray your hair with saltwater spray when it is moist, and put it up in a loose bun. After it is almost dry, let it out and it will probably be at least wavy. If your hair is super straight or heavy, use a curling iron instead. Remember to always use a heat protectant before. Make big, loose curls and then pull your fingers through to make them less polished and more relaxed. Finish with either saltwater spray or shine spray, depending on what look you are going for.

Super Sleek Slick-back

One of this years summer hairstyles that is easy to achieve is the slick back. It is perfect for the hot, humid summer days when your hair just cannot do what you want it to. Having a sleek slick-back is really in for the summer season of 2017. Just use quite a bit of hair mousse and pull your fingers through your hair to fix it. You can also use strong hold gel, either with the mousse or on its own, which will accomplish that wet look and hold the hair in place.

Pastel Colors

A lot of people dye their hair lighter and crazier in the summer. The pastel or platinum silver trend is still going strong. For those with light hair there are many new products that claims to dye your hair just by using it in the shower like a shampoo, or hair dyes that you can use at home. If you have darker hair this will be a longer process and take a few rounds of bleach first. If you go for that look, it is even more important to take care of your hair by using hair masks, conditioner, heat protection and to not use shampoo too often.

Cut it Off

This season, one of the most popular summer hairstyles is to cut the hair shorter and wear it in a bob. The winner cut is sharp and angular. Easier to maintain than long hair and the hair is already styled thanks to the geometrical cut. If you feel even braver, the pixie is still in style and even easier to maintain.

For All Summer Hairstyles – Protect From the Sun

Remember to always protect your hair from the sun when outside – the radiation from the sun is as damaging to your hair as to your skin. Use a sunscreen spray or wear a hat. Use a sunscreen spray or wear a hat. Also use a heat protecting spray before styling with any heat tools. And drink lots of water, as hydration keeps the hair and the body healthy in the heat.

 

 

Scalp Cooling: A Way To Combat Hair-Loss During Chemotherapy

Scalp Cooling: A Way To Combat Hair-Loss During Chemotherapy

A trademark side effect of cancer is hair loss, but that may no longer have to be the case. The effectiveness of scalp cooling, a method to prevent chemotherapy induced hair loss, has been outlined in several recent studies conducted at University of California, San Francisco and University of Baylor College of Medicine.

What is Scalp Cooling?

According to an article by the American Cancer Society, “Cooling Caps to Reduce Hair Loss”, scalp hypothermia, or scalp cooling, is a method of cooling the scalp with ice packs or cooling caps during, before and after each chemotherapy treatment to reduce the effects of chemotherapy on hair loss cells. We have previously written about how this treatment is already widely used in Europe and is gaining ground in the U.S.

How Does it Work?

Chemotherapy uses cytostatic drugs, or drugs that prevent cell growth and division, to stop cancer cells from rapidly dividing by attacking the body’s cells. While chemotherapy attacks cancer cells, it also attacks healthy cells, such as hair cells, which will result in hair loss.

In an article released by Cornell Weill Medical, “Scalp Cooling Can Help Some Breast Cancer Patients Retain Hair”, Dr. Hope S. Rugo, a UCSF professor that led the study, explains the theory behind scalp cooling. Dr. Rugo says the cold temperatures slow hair follicle cell division, and therefore creates a less susceptible environment for the damaging effects of chemotherapy.

Blood vessels dilate when the body is exposed to heat and constrict when the body is exposed to cold. When the body becomes too hot, the blood vessels will dilate so that the blood can flow closer to the surface of the skin so heat can be released from the body. When the body is exposed to cold the blood vessels will constrict to conserve heat in the body.

According to the aforementioned American Cancer Society article, when cooling constricts the blood vessels in the scalp, the amount of chemotherapy that is able to reach the cells of the hair follicles reduces; therefore, the effect of chemotherapy on the follicle cells reduces and as a result there is less hair loss from the scalp.

How Effective is it?

According to a study in JAMA by the University of California, San Francisco, scalp cooling has proved to be an effective method to combat chemotherapy induced hair loss. The study aimed to answer whether or not scalp cooling associated with a lower risk of hair loss when used by women receiving chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer. There were 122 patients in the study receiving non anthacycline-based chemotherapy and 50% or less was found in 66.3% of the patients using scalp-cooling group vs. hair loss of 50% or less was found in 0% of patients in the control group after four weeks of chemotherapy.

Baylor College of Medicine conducted a similar study with 182 breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy with a taxane, anthracycline, or both. This study found that the women who underwent scalp cooling were significantly more likely to have less than 50% hair loss compared with no scalp cooling.

Nutrafol | Woman using cooling cap from DigniCap
DigniCap has made a cooling cap that has been cleared by the FDA.

Who Makes Cooling Caps?

There are a variety of different ways in which scalp cooling is practiced, ranging from simple bags of crushed ice to continually cooling machines that are placed on the head. Some companies that create these cold caps are ChemoCap, Elasto-Gel and Penguin Cap. Paxman, a UK company, created a technologically advanced scalp cooling system that circulates a non-viscous coolant through the helmet to keep the scalp cool. We have previously written about the product DigniCap, made by Swedish  company Dignitana. While the technology isn’t widely obtainable in the United States, DigniCap, an FDA cleared device, is available in the United States. Around 50 medical centers across 17 states have access to DigniCap but the expensive device, which costs between $1,500-$3,000 per patient is not covered by most insurance. While this is expensive, a non-profit organization called HairToStay offers subsidies for patients that cannot afford the technology.

How to use beer in hair to get it shinier than ever

beer in hair

Yes, you read it right, beer in hair. So besides drinking it, now you can try putting it in your hair! Beer is actually known for having beneficial effects for both hair and skin. It is the malt and hops in the beer that is rich in proteins. Proteins that help repair damaged hair and revive volume. The sucrose and maltose sugars in beer also helps create more shine to the hair. So, beer in hair – here is how you do it the right way.

Why beer in hair? – First things first

1. Pour out your beer

Not down the sink obviously, but into a jug or bowl and let it sit overnight or throughout the day. This way it will get de-carbonated and beer needs to be de-carbonated before you can put it in your hair. And remember, the more air surface your beer is exposed to, the faster it will oxidize and become flat. So choose the biggest bowl you have at home.

2. Shampoo up

You can continue using whatever shampoo you normally use but skip the conditioner. Here’s where the beer comes in. It will act as your conditioner.

  • But your de-carbonated beer into a bottle and bring it with you into the bathroom.

3. Massage it

Pour the beer from the bottle into your hair and lather it up. Massage it for approximately one minute.

  • While you are at it, poor some beer on your skin as well. Beer is very beneficial for your skin too. The beer sediment or brewer’s yeast helps reduce sebum production and control oily skin on your face and scalp.
  • You can also start dipping the ends of your hair with beer first. Let it set for about five minutes before rinsing your entire head with beer.

4. Rinse it

Now, do not rinse it off completely. Leave some off it in your hair and the effect will be even better.

  • Remember: the results, like with so many other things, can not be seen right away. So have patience and give it a few washes first.
  • Do not do the beer wash everyday. If used on daily basis it can dry your hair out so use it with caution.
beer in hair
Essential oils directly applied or added to your beer rinse – it is good for your hair either way.

Add a little something something like…

Essential oils…

As alcohol in your hair, can be damaging and dry it out, it is always wise to think what can be done to prevent this. In this case, it is simple – add a few drops of essential oils into your beer. There is a few you can choose from:
Lemon oil: Adds shine (if the shine from the beer is not enough), strengthens the hair and fights against dandruff.
Almond oil: It moisturizes and soothes the scalp.
Chamomile oil: Leaves your hair softer and gives it more shine.
Jojoba oil: Moisturizes the scalp and adds nutrients to your hair.
Lavender oil: Fills your hair with antioxidants, nourishes and moisturizes it.
Sandalwood oil: If your ends are dry and split, this is a miracle oil.

…or apple cider vinegar

Nutrafol has previously mentioned what apple cider vinegar does to your hair but there is no harm in repeating it again. Vinegar helps with counteracting rough or brittle feeling hair. It smoothens out the scales or cuticles found on each of strand of hair. Shampoo does the opposite. So if you want to leave your hair nice and smooth, this is what you need to do:

  • Try raw apple cider vinegar instead of the commercial one. Raw vinegar is not processed and has much of the good nutrients to improve hair texture.
  • You can mix 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 8 ounces (250 ml) of water and skip the beer completely. Wash it the same way as you would wash it with the beer.
  • As with the beer, using vinegar rinse on daily basis, can dry your hair out. So use but do not over-use it. If you are looking for other natural ways, there are a few others that you can choose from.