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We have about 100,000 strands of hairs on our head. Each grows for two to six ye ars.

It's normal to shed some 50 to 100 hair strands a day. When hair falls out, a new strand eventually replaces it. Hair has an evolutionary function. It prot ects our scalps from the scorching sun and in colder climates it helps to contro l heat loss. Healthy and well-groomed hair affects how we are perceived. Basic Hair Care Try to avoid excessive exposure to the sun, chlorine and salt water. The sun can make the hair brittle so protect your hair if going out into the sun by wearing a hat or using an umbrella instead. Or avoid going out into the sun between 12 PM to 3 PM when the harmful rays of the sun are at their strongest. Apply a conditioner with ultraviolet (UV) protection and remember to reapply it if you swim. Don't put strain on your hair strands by brushing too much or too vigorously. Th e story about brushing your hair 100 times a night is not true. Overbrushing the hair simply makes it brittle and may cause the scalp to produce excess oil. Use a wide-toothed comb to untangle hair, starting from the ends. Metal combs can damage delicate hair shafts. Try to be gentle with your hair. Fighting to untangle it will only cause it to b reak. Besides external factors what you eat counts, too. A balanced diet is essential for healthy hair. Consume enough meat, fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure tha t you will get enough vitamins A, E and B, as well as proteins, iron and iodine. Clean Hair Cleansing tips for hair include choosing a shampoo for your hair type. It should leave hair shiny and feeling clean, not dull and sticky. Try to change your shampoo from time to time. To prevent build-up of residue on the hair shaft, use a deep cleansing shampoo o nce a month. Never wash your hair in too hot water. Water that is too hot can burn the scalp and damage hair. After shampooing, rinse till water is clear. Shampoo that hasn't been rinsed off properly can cause a flaky scalp that is often mistaken for dandruff. To prevent tangling, use a conditioner on clean hair and do not rub it into scal p or it may cause scalp irritation. Rinse out the conditioner completely unless it's the leave-in type. Wet hair is extra-vulnerable. Never rub hair vigorously or brush or comb more than necessary. Pat hair gently with towel, wrap and let soak up for a minute or two when drying it. If using a hair dryer, do not dry fully. Let hair dry naturally if possible or u se the cool air setting on the hair dryer. Care for Oily Hair Greasy hair has several causes including heredity, high hormonal activity or und er- or over-washing. Wash hair as often as necessary with a mild shampoo and conditioner meant for oi ly hair. Do not over-brush or over-touch hair or as it over-stimulates the sebaceous glan ds. Try to use a comb instead of a brush. Care for Dry or Damaged Hair Avoid harsh chemical d. Or if you really must dye amage your hair so much. If you have very dry e make it look even drier. Choose a shampoo and treatments like perms and colorings until hair has recovere your hair use a vegetable-based dye that will not d hair avoid using very light colors like blonde because thes conditioner that will moisturize the hair. It is very impor

tant to protect hair from harmful elements and this is especially so for dry hai r. For example, when swimming, use a swimming cap to protect hair from chlorine. Care for Combination Hair An oily scalp with dry ends could be caused by harsh chemical treatments. Try to avoid going for hair treatments at the salon more than once a fortnight. Switch to a comb instead of brush. When washing the hair apply shampoo to scalp, and conditioners to ends. Get hair trimmed every six weeks. This keeps split ends to a minimum. Preventing Hair Loss The aging process, heredity, hormonal changes (e.g. post-pregnancy) and some dru gs may cause hair loss. If you are unsure about the cause, it is best to consult a doctor. This is espec ially so if you notice that your hair is falling out in clumps and patches of sc alp are visible. To avoid traumatizing the hair do not tie or braid it too tightly. Stress is also a triggering factor in hair loss. Women also tend to lose hair af ter giving birth. This is natural and the hair loss usually stops by the third o r fourth month after giving birth. Antidandruff Strategies Use an antidandruff shampoo, more often at first and then decrease use as the da ndruff clears. Antidandruff shampoos are sold at pharmacies and supermarkets. Th ey can either contain zinc pyrithione (ZPT), coal tar, selenium sulfide or an an tifungal. Some antidandruff shampoos can only be bought if the pharmacist is pre sent. However, consult a doctor if dandruff does not clear within two weeks, or if scalp is extremely painful, itchy or inflamed. See the doctor right away if i nflammation appears on other body parts as well. Resist scratching the scalp to prevent infection.