The show had a welcoming audience and I got the chance to meet hundreds of fabulous women who wanted to know the truth about the health of their hair. After examining a number of scalps and analysing hair under my microscope, it was clear that there was a trending of bad habits that had been adopted purely out of a lack of information and education. That is no-one's fault and it is difficult to get clear and truthful tips on how to look after one's hair in such an advice saturated market, where everyone has a favourite brand they are willing to recommend.
The first bad habit I noticed was: Too Much Product!
Products are being used over excessively on the hair, with very little actually being absorbed into the hair shaft. Others are layered on so thickly that it rubs off on anything that touches the hair. You need to stop and think;
"If a product is leaving residue in my hand every time I touch my hair, is it really managing to penetrate the hair?"
Body Moisturisers do not leave our body greasy and sticky, so why should our hair products?
The second bad habit I noticed was: A Clogged Up Scalp!
I noticed many visitors who came to see me were specifically asking me what products could they moisturise their scalp with?
I have two comments for this; Firstly, if your scalp is healthy your natural sebum production should be plentiful enough to moisturise your scalp. Not only is sebum perfectly pH balanced for our scalp, it is also anti-fungal and keeps the scalp hygienically and moisturised.
Secondly, if your scalp is dry and flaky, how do you know you aren't actually suffering from a scaling condition that needs medicated treatment and good management?
I meet many patients, who come to me thinking they are silly to ask about their dandruff when in actual fact, following a trichological examination, I can determine that they are actually presenting with seborrhoeic eczema or psoriasis or even contact dermatitis. You should not have to put up with a flaky/dry/itchy scalp and please do not think that applying product directly to the scalp is going to solve your problem. Always seek specialist advice if you notice your scalp is scaling and itchy as treatment can help to eliminate or manage the condition.
The third bad habit I noticed was: Massaging Your Hair Away!
Thinning hair and bald patches are common sight from the aftermath of weaves, extensions and tightly worn hairstyling. Thin hair density and balding can also be genetic , dietary or even autoimmune. But some visitors attempts to regrow this hair and encourage improved circulation through massage (rubbing at the hair and scalp) was actually doing more damage than good. Blissfully unaware and always with the hope to improve their hair growth rather than hinder it, these visitors have unknowingly been rubbing hair away in the exact places they were hoping it will grow back.
Just as the backs of our socks become threadbare after rubbing against our shoes day-in day-out, hair can become weaker and weaker when presented with direct mechanical trauma (scalp rubbing). A follicle can only put up with so much injury before it ceases to produce hair and becomes atrophied. When a follicle gets to this stage there is nothing one can do to regrow the hair apart from transplant surgery. Please, please don't let it get that far. If you have a weak or receding hair line, a parting that has become exaggerated or bald patches that you hope to fill, seek specialist advice and DO NOT RUB!
Finally, I want to say thank you now to Wunmi Akinlagun for executing an exciting and professional event. I look forward to more.
Teresa Angelina Richardson MIT