Archive | Hair Care

A Simple Hair Loss Solution: Chasteberry (Agnus-Castus) – Will It Work for You?

Agnus Castus, a ‘gentle’ herb,has long been effectively used as a hormonal regulator, against acne, for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), hormone-based infertility, menstrual disorders and even menopausal and pre-menopausal problems. In brief, Vitex has been known to effectively work against a large number of hormone-based imbalances and health problems.

Although I could write about how Agnus Castus Vitex can work really well against acne, since it’s often a hormone-based skin problem, in this article I am concentrating on how this natural supplement can help against hair loss. The type of hair loss I am referring to here, the type Agnus Castus can treat, is the hormone-based hair loss commonly known as androgenic alopecia: this is where the hormone testosterone is converted to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) on the scalp and skin; DHT then binds to hair follicles receptors, weakening them until the hair falls out. It is the most common form of hair loss and it affects men and women. Agnus Castus affects the pituitary gland (the ‘master’ gland of the endocrine system) and helps it regulate the productions of certain hormones, resulting in a shift in the oestrogen-progesterone ratio, increasing progesterone, a very important hormone (and factor) in the most common form of hair thinning. Why is progesterone important against the falling out of scalp hair? Because, simply put, progesterone on the scalp binds to hair follicles and, this way, it prevents DHT from binding to them.

The ability of Vitex to lower prolactin levels (or rather, to decrease the pituitary gland’s secretion of prolactin) also affects hair loss. Excess prolactin levels in your body (which can be due to stress, for example) causes a number of health issues such as loss of libido, hirsutism, weight gain and hair thinning. If you are a woman and you think that your (scalp) hair loss is connected to a number of hormonal problems, such as acne, irregular periods or ovarian cysts, pre-menstrual syndrome, excessive body hair (hirsutism), early menopause (and so on), taking adequate amounts of Agnus Castus may help greatly against (scalp) hair thinning. If you suspect your prolactin levels are high, even if only slightly, it may be wise to have a blood test. My levels were almost normal, almost marginally higher than normal: yet, by taking Vitex, I resolved my hair problem and, significantly, I no longer have the great difficulty I used to have in losing weight! This to me was a ‘bonus’ result.

Make sure the doses are adequate and not too low, otherwise it won’t affect prolactin levels enough to make a change. I took 4 pills a day of 80g each until I began to notice significant results, and continued to take a similar amount later on; that was my choice after a long research. However, I recommend you do your own research and consult your doctor before taking Vitex, especially because it can interact with certain drugs; also because, as a rule of thumb, before starting any supplement (no matter how safe), it is always best to talk it with your doctor. The more you know about Vitex Agnus Castus, the better you can utilize it to stop your scalp hair from falling out.

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Cat Health and Fleas – What Harm Can Fleas Do to Your Cat?

With the responsibility of keeping a cat, comes the added task of ensuring that they are flea free. Fleas is a problem that all cat owners would have to deal with at one time or another. Ask any cat owners and I’m sure you would get a same answer from all of them and that is, getting rid of fleas on cats is not an easy task. It requires an enormous amount of effort and time to eradicate these pesky little creatures once they come into contact with your cat. What’s worse is that not only are fleas a nuisance, they are also the cause of many health problems that we see in cats.

The most common cat fleas health hazards that we see is flea allergic dermatitis or what’s commonly known as FAD. This is a skin disorder caused by an allergic reaction to an allergen found in the saliva of fleas. When fleas bite on the cat for a blood meal, it secrets saliva. The allergen in the fleas’ saliva will result in pruritus (intense itch) causing the cat to scratch and lick itself excessively. This in turn lead to hair loss and raw and inflamed skin due to the constant non-stop scratching and licking. Affected cat will feel miserable and their appetite will tend to be affected leading to weight loss.

Tapeworms infestation is another health concern brought about by fleas. Cats groom themselves by licking their hair coat. While doing so, they may ingest a flea carrying tapeworms larva and the cat get infected as a result. You can easily tell if your cat is having tapeworms by checking its anus. Chances are that you would be able to detect the presence of what look like rice grain segments of the tapeworms. Though tapeworms would not cause any major health issue in cats, their presence in the guts of cats may hinder the proper absorption of nutrients resulting in malnutrition and weight loss. This is especially so when a cat is heavily infested with tapeworms.

Fleas may also cause anemia in cats. They feed on the blood of cats. Though one flea will only feed on a minute quantity each time, the combined quantity by hundreds of fleas living off the poor cat can be considerable especially in young and immature kittens.

Feline Anemia Infection or FIA is another parasitic infection caused by fleas. Fleas are carriers of the blood parasite call Haemobartonella felis that can cause rupturing of red blood cells in cats. This again may cause anemia in cats resulting in death if severe and not treated.

The only way you can protect your cats from these dreadful diseases is to have a proper flea control for cats. How To Treat Cat Fleas will show you how you can eradicate these pesky creatures before any harm caused. Get to know the right products to use and how to use them to keep your cat flea free.

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Kerastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Smoothing Shampoo

Kérastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Smoothing Shampoo perfectly cleanses the hair and detangles into shiny and soft hair. The shampoo contains Kerastase Nutritive and shore oil results into the development of the smooth hair cuticle. By using this shampoo, it becomes easier to supple, soft and leave hairs detangled. Hairs become healthy and shiny by making use of this shampoo. it makes it easier to style the hair according to their need and requirement.

Certain directions need to follow before making use of this shampoo, which includes use of wet hair, lather, and rinsing of hair thoroughly. The main of the Kérastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Smoothing Shampoo is to maximize the effectiveness of shampoo because of the powerful and constructive formula used in the making of the shampoo to give a new life to the hair

Kérastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Smoothing Shampoo produces spectacular types of stage filling styles that is the perfect combination of the sensual softness and full on volume. Online it becomes simple to buy the product and get full knowledge about how to make use the Kérastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Smoothing Shampoo and when under what conditions. It never prickles the pocket of the person and available easily in online stores with a demonstration so that it becomes easier to make decision.

The shampoo fulfills perfectly the function hair moisturizing, straightening and nourishing. To supple, soften and tangles the massive thick hair is the main aim of this shampoo. One can easily adjust the massive thick hair according to their face by using this shampoo. It becomes easier to style the hair according to their need and requirement. Certain directions need to follow before making use of this shampoo, which includes use of wet hair, lather, and rinsing of hair thoroughly.

Rich treatment offers by the Kérastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Smoothing Shampoo that leaves the hair fiber rejuvenated and replenished. It is a technically advanced form of shampoo, which makes the hair beautiful and shiny. Online there are Kérastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Relax Smoothing Shampoo stores are available that offer different types of shampoos according to the texture of hair at an affordable cost just with a click of mouse. It makes the hair stronger, manageable and softer. The shampoo easily returns the warm blonde tones of hair and makes beautiful and stronger in such a manner that it adores the personality of a woman who make use of this shampoo. It helps in the increasing of tonal integrity and longevity in hair

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Review of SunSplash Tanning and D Lite (No Tan) Systems

If you are like me, a deep tan is quite appealing. However, the sun exposure that is required to achieve that beautiful tan is far from appealing. I will add to that by saying that some exposure to the sun is important to ensure that your body receives the right amount of Vitamin D, and that your Melatonin levels fluctuate appropriately. Apart from spurts of sun exposure, it is not safe for your skin to receive much more than this. If it does, you will face the complication of burning, and even serious problems like skin cancer. Here, I will review a product that I used to achieve a natural looking tan by not having to expose myself to dangerous levels of sun exposure – SunSplash Tanning and D Lite (No Tan) Systems.

It all started when a friend of mine visited a local tanning salon. The results that she achieved were remarkable. Her reasoning for pursuing this method of tanning was that she was too busy to spend hours in the sun in order to get the tan that she had wanted for so many years. She then suggested to me that I participate in tanning bed exposure to achieve the tan I had always dreamed of. You see, I work from home and I educate both of my active boys from home. My husband also worked from home, but we would often find ourselves scraping the barrel for enough time to do all of the things that we had to do on a day to day basis – much less time to visit a tanning salon.

My husband and I worked it out and he stated that he would take care of things if this is what I wanted to do, but to be careful. I was so excited! That is until I took the time to research tanning beds. I quickly learned that this form of tanning provides no health benefits, and over time, it can actually damage your organs and other internal components of the body! Needless to say, I quickly changed my mind on this little experiment and never made it to the tanning salon. My interest was peaked, however, and I decided that I should take the time to determine if there were any other types of safe alternatives to tanning beds. This is when I ran across a website that sold the SunSplash Tanning and D Lite (No Tan) Systems.

Now, with this tanning method, I discovered that it produces nearly the same amount of sunlight that the actual sun produces, which meant that it also helped the body receive a sufficient amount of Vitamin D. Melatonin levels could also be regulated by using this tanning system which includes approximately eight different lights. So, basically, this was much safer than standard tanning beds in that it uses reflective lighting technology to deliver the rays that help tan the skin and provide nutrients to the body! I could not believe it.

Now, after just a couple of months of using the SunSplash Tanning and D Lite (No Tan) Systems, I sport a luxurious tan. In addition to this, I look and feel better all the way around. I highly recommend this system to anyone who desires the same!

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Subclinical Hypothyroidism Symptoms: Should You Be Worried About This Thyroid Disorder?

Subclinical hypothyroidism symptoms can start at any time so you should be prepared and educated about the signs. Although it’s not an easy disease to diagnose, you should still have some concern over some of the symptoms and get checked.

Subclinical hypothyroidism happens when a person’s TSH level (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is slightly high. Thyroid stimulating hormones are not created in the thyroid gland, but in the pituitary gland. The main function of the TSH is to assist the thyroid gland into producing greater amounts of thyroid hormones.

If you have a higher TSH level, this means that you could be suffering from hypothyroidism. If you are not getting enough TSH, that could lead to hyperthyroidism.

The big debate in the medical community is when to treat patients who are showing subclinical hypothyroidism symptoms or signs. Some doctors feel that it is only necessary to monitor these patients, and other doctors want to give medicine to stop it from developing into full-blown hypothyroidism.

There is a strong case for treating the elderly or those with weakened immune systems once they start showing symptoms. The feeling is that people in these risk groups are more likely to have hypothyroidism in the near future.

Here is a Checklist of Well-Known Subclinical Hypothyroidism Symptoms:

  • Unexpected weight gain
  • Difficulty in getting a full night’s sleep
  • Problems and changes in menstruation
  • Difficulty in concentrating and easily forgetting things
  • Inability to tolerate the cold
  • Extremely dry skin
  • Bouts of depression
  • Problems with vision
  • Premature hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of some hearing

Most subclinical hypothyroidism symptoms aren’t any different than regular hypothyroidism. The symptoms are broad, and include things you see in many other illnesses. Subclinical hypothyroidism symptoms are not always present in some cases. Some patients are asymptomatic. This is what makes this condition so hard to diagnose.

Other Facts about Subclinical Hypothyroidism:

  • Sufferers have an elevated risk of heart failure in the future.
  • Women increase their risk of having miscarriages and giving birth to infants that could suffer developmental disorders.
  • A low dosage of thyroxine is suggested for certain risk groups, including people with a family history of atherosclerosis and those with other cardiovascular problems.
  • From the majority of patients who were suffering from this condition, those who had some sort of treatment, felt better overall.

So, what should you do if you think you are showing subclinical hypothyroidism symptoms? The first thing you should do is schedule a doctor’s appointment and get tested. If it is positive that you do have this illness, you should discuss all of your options with your doctor. There is no reason to make hasty decisions, because you have time to think it over.

If you choose not to take any medication, you need to monitor your symptoms closely over the following months. If they get severe, or you are having other issues, you should definitely get treated.

What’s important is that most cases of hypothyroidism can be treated fairly easily if they are taken care of early enough. Plus, there are many online resources that can educate you and help out on your road to recovery.

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Commonly Known and Lesser Known Hypothyroid Symptoms

When hypothyroidism begins, several things happen, usually gradually. The first is lack of energy and ambition. You just seem to lose desire for activities you’ve enjoyed in the past. You feel unusually tired and apathetic, but can’t figure out why. You begin to crave carbs and begin to snack regularly. This is your body’s way of trying to stay awake. You’ll try not to give into it, and when you can’t fight the cravings, you set yourself up for horrible eating habits and weight gain that are difficult to reverse. You might already be taking some thyroid supplements, but they’re obviously not enough. Warning: if you are taking prescribed thyroid medication for underactive thyroid, do not add kelp as it will raise your blood pressure to frightening and dangerous levels. I learned this the hard way.

I have been a hypothyroid sufferer for 30 years. I was originally diagnosed by an old-fashioned European doctor. He was a gem. Then I had to switch to a modern, young South African doctor with a large and fragile ego, who knew nothing about thyroid glands but based everything on blood tests, which he didn’t really understand. As a person with hypothyroidism, it is hard to get any respect from the medical community. General practitioners and endocrinologists alike seem to know and care little about people suffering from hypothyroidism. Their “gold standard” is the TSH test, and most of them use the old standards of readings between .6 and 6 instead of the new readings of .3 and 3 that the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists adopted in 2003. These new readings allow more people (it’s mostly women, particularly those who are middle-aged, who suffer from hypothyroidism) to be diagnosed and treated. Too bad the professionals that we trust to look after our health don’t seem to know or care that the standards have changed. Endocrinologists, by and large, specialize in diabetes. This is where their primary interest seems to lie. The first endocrinologist I was referred to told me that she doubted I’d ever been hypothyroid and that my thyroid gland was habituated to being overstimulated. She was so wrong! Then I was referred to another endocrinologist who misdiagnosed my thyroid virus for Grave’s Disease (overactive thyroid.) The medication she prescribed raised my TSH to about 22. When I stopped taking that medication, my TSH dropped to 4.7. She told me my 4.7 TSH reading was now normal. It clearly wasn’t normal for me because I still had hypothyroid symptoms. Consider that normal or average clothing sizes could be between 6 and 14, and that you fall into this category. How many of these sizes will fit? If a size 10 fits you, why would you wear a size 14? TSH is much like that. You have to find the number that fits YOU. When you have been told for the nth time that your TSH is in the normal range, read these symptoms, most of which are commonly known, but some of which aren’t.

1. Fatigue. This is not the same as tired. This refers to falling asleep at work, during conversations, as soon as you get into a vehicle. You can’t stay awake. You need at least 10 hours sleep at night, but within a couple of hours of waking up, you begin to battle to stay awake. You nod off during conversations, which you can’t focus on anyway. You avoid socializing in the evening because you can’t stay awake.

2. Sluggishness. You move slowly physically, but even your brain is slow. Your thought processes don’t work properly.

3. Increased sensitivity to cold. Summer’s not too bad, but in the winter, there is no way to get warm or stay warm. You wear extra layers and surround yourself with space heaters. It helps, but you’re still cold.

4. Constipation. You drink lots of water and eat next to nothing, but your body processes everything slowly. Constipation follows.

5. Pale, dry skin. Skin color is pasty-looking, and skin is always dry, no matter what kind of lotion you use. My heels were so rough that every day they chewed through my socks even though I filed the roughness away daily and used foot balm.

6. A puffy face.

7. Hoarse voice. Your voice takes on a gravel-like quality at times.

8. Elevated cholesterol level.

9. Weight gain that makes no sense. You’re too tired to eat, but gain weight anyway.

10. Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness. Flexibility and mobility are gone. You move like a lead weight. If you crouch or kneel, you can hardly get up again, and it hurts to crouch or kneel anyway. Even bending down is difficult and painful, for instance, trying to reach for something you dropped under a desk.

11. Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints. Or all of them. Any sprain you’ve had begins to hurt again. Hips, fingers, ankles ache and don’t bend properly and contribute to your moving like a lead weight.

12. Muscle weakness. You can barely walk. Walking is slow and tiring. When I brushed my teeth, I had to put my arm down and rest at least 2 to 3 times to finish brushing my teeth. You fall into chairs as opposed to sitting down, and it’s a struggle to get back into a standing position from sitting. Getting out of a car is difficult, and getting into a pickup truck a little higher off the ground is equally difficult.

13. Heavier than normal menstrual periods. By now I don’t have those any more, but when I did, I all but hemorrhaged for at least four days out of the seven or eight that my period lasted. I had to put plastic on my mattress because I would wake up during the night having bled through and past the tampon, and leave a blood trail down the hall to the bathroom. Wasn’t fun.

14. Brittle fingernails and hair. Hair is dry, brittle and unhealthy looking. Nails can’t be grown long without breaking.

15. Depression. No need to elaborate.

16. Muscle cramps. You develop cramps in muscles from head to foot. Fingers, forearms, back, abdomen, legs. These cramps happen numerous times during the day and for no logical reason. My arms, hands and fingers cramped up when I cut up meat to eat.

17. Hair loss. It’s not just the hair on your head, although that thins out a lot. It also affects pubic hair and underarm hair. That can all but vanish. Eyebrows also fall out, particularly the outside corners.

18. Sinus infections. You have recurring sinus infections even though you have never had a history of sinus problems.

19. Snoring. You begin to snore even though you’ve never had a snoring problem in the past.

20. Craving for carbohydrates. You begin to crave chips, chocolate, candy, baked goods and anything with sugar. Your body is trying to stay awake and carbohydrates provide quick energy. Doesn’t help with keeping the weight down either.

21. Irritability. Little things set you off and enrage you. Everything becomes personal and you get angry enough to want to physically harm the offender.

22. Edema. You retain water. You look puffy and blubbery, particularly in the abdominal area. Makes you short of breath when you exert yourself – even going for a walk can leave you breathless.

23. Forgetfulness. You become sharp as a bowling ball. You try to commit something to memory, but your brain is a sieve.

24. Slow heart rate. Your resting pulse can drop below 60 beats per minute.

25. Low body temperature. My temperature was consistently between 35.8 to 36.2 C, which also explains why you feel cold.

26. Painful intercourse. Having sex hurts, and add to that, you wind up with muscle cramps from the waist down.

27. Light sensitivity. Your eyes can become unusually sensitive to sunlight.

My advice? Shop around for a doctor who is willing to learn together with you about thyroid problems. General Practitioners are generally more reasonable to deal with because they have no learned bias where thyroid is concerned. My GP told me the 4.7 was too high and told me to take 50 mcg of thyroid supplement. I took 100 mcg. My TSH dropped to 1.9. She was happy with that but I wasn’t. I still didn’t feel right, and remember that only YOU know how you should feel. Remember what I said about the clothing sizes? I took another 25 mcg and the TSH dropped to .5. She used the standard of .4 to 4, so she was still happy and I was too. I finally felt normal again. Don’t let doctors bully you into believing that diet, exercise and/or antidepressants will cure what ails you when you know that isn’t the problem. Shop around for a doctor who will listen to you and work with you. Google “Mary Shomon”. She is a great source of good and useful information and advice on thyroid issues. There is hope and there is help. It’s just a matter of finding them.

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Safe Pubic Hair Removal for Teenage Boys – 5 Steps to Follow

Many teenage boys feel uncomfortable with the appearance of their pubic hair near their genitals. In order to keep the sensitive area clean, they are advised to remove the hair from time to time. Some boys find it hard to get rid of the hair by using razor. In fact, the whole process can be completed easily if the right techniques are used.

Let me share with you some useful steps which you can follow:

Step 1: Take hot shower

Before you start the shaving process, you are reminded to take hot shower for at least 10 minutes. The heat of the water will help to soften your skin and relax the hair follicle. After taking the shower, wipe the pubic area with dry towel.

Step 2: Apply the shaving cream on the pubic area
You should then apply shaving cream or gel before you start shaving your pubic area. If you are not used to shaving cream, you can choose to use hair conditioner. It helps to soften your hair. Applying the cream enables you to glide the razor easier and smoother. You can also avoid yourself from razor burns and ingrown hair.

Step 3: Trim the hair on your genitals with trimmers
Many people are worried that their genitals will be hurt during the hair removal process. To be frank, it is not advisable to use razor to shave the genitals. In order to get rid of the hair on the genitals, you are advised to use trimmers to trim the unwanted hair. After clearing the hair on your genitals, you should then use razor to shave other areas. You are suggested to use a razor with a pivoting head and multiple blades. It will give you a smooth and close shave. Please bear in mind that you must not use electric razor because it is a danger to your genitals. Since pubic area is a sensitive zone, you need to shave it with extra care. Shave according to the direction of hair growth.

Step 4: Rinse your pubic area
While you are shaving, you should make use of the brush to help to uplift the hair for closer shave. After you have finished shaving, you should then rinse the shaved area with warm water again. Make sure you don’t miss out any hidden area and your “down there” is clean and clear.

Step 5: Apply aloe gel

In order to avoid skin irritation, it is important for you to apply aloe gel or powder on your sensitive area after shaving. By doing so, you will not feel the pain or itch on the shaved area.

By following the above mentioned steps carefully, you will be able to remove the unwanted hair in a safe manner. For teenagers, their hair is not as much as the adults. Hence, they don’t need to spend a long time to shave their hair.

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How to Use Aloe Vera to Remove Skin Moles

Skin moles is a problem for many people nowadays. However, there are many effective ways to remove them from surgery to home remedies. In this article, I will tell you about aloe vera and how to use it to eradicate your skin blemishes.

First of all, it is important to understand, that not all types of moles are harmless. Some of them may be cancerous and require additional attention. You cannot remove this type of skin blemishes using home remedies because it is very dangerous and that is why, you should determine the type of your blemish before removing it. I recommend you to visit a local dermatologist to do that. He will inspect your mole and answer all your questions.

If your skin mole is benign, you can think about various home remedies that have already helped thousands of people from all over the world. One of the most popular remedies is aloe vera. People successfully used it thousands of years ago to treat various skin conditions and it still works. The fact that aloe vera gel can be bought in any shop for a very low price and that it does not leave any scars make this remedy #1 choice for all people.

So, how to use this method? There are 4 steps that you will need to do. First of all, clean area near your blemish with sope. Then, rub aloe vera gel on your blemish.You can make gel from the plant yourself. You will only need to squeeze the plant. After this, leave your mole overnight covered by any type of bandage. This method should be used at least every day.You will soon notice how your mole changes and becomes drier. In 2-3 weeks it will fall off. However, it is important to leave it fall off on its own and not touch it because it can cause scarring.

To sum up I would like to say that this is not the only remedy and if it did not help you do not give up and try other remedies. All people are different. Some pople manage to remove their skin moles in a matter of days after starting using this method while others see no results. I hope you found this article useful and it will help you clean your skin and rise your self confidence. Thanks for reading my article and good luck!

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You Can Heal Your Body From Hypothyroidism Naturally!

Over five million Americans have it, and it is estimated that over ten percent of women suffer from it. While the disease is very common, it also has harsh side effects. The disease basically means that you have a sluggish thyroid, which keeps your body from metabolizing properly. The most common symptom among people who have hypothyroidism is that they constantly feel tired or sluggish. Other symptoms of the disease include hair loss, weight gain, increased difficulty losing weight, brittle hair, hair loss, dry skin, an inability to tolerate the cold, frequent muscle aches, constipation, depression, abnormal menstrual cycles and a decreased libido.

The good news is that you can actually help boost your energy naturally by getting a better lifestyle. By doing this, you will feel more healthy overall and you will even lose weight! If you have a good lifestyle, your body will be healthy and well maintained, and you will recover from illness more quickly, weigh less, respond to stress better, and just feel better overall. The first thing that you can do to help your hypothyroidism is to change your diet.

Most typical American diets consist of many highly processed foods and not nearly enough fruits and vegetables. Although many things can contribute to the onset of hypothyroidism, many people hypothesize that an overload of toxicity within the body is a major cause of the disease. But you can cleanse your body by simply changing your diet. First of all, avoid iodized salt. Instead, use Celtic salt, Japanese salt, or a good quality sea salt. Next, it will help if you eat more things with coconut in them. It does not matter whether you eat the nut meat, oil, or milk, all of these will have the same positive effect on your body. Also, eat more fish will increase healthy fatty acid needed by the body.

But the most important thing that you can do to help your body naturally heal itself from hypothyroidism is to eat more green vegetables and fresh fruits! There are a few vegetables in the cabbage family that will actually worsen your hypothyroidism. These include brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kale, mustard greens and spinach. You can still eat these, just make sure that you eat it moderation. Vegetables that will combat hypothyroidism include leafy greens, alfalfa, carrots, green peppers, watercress, beets, celery, parsley, sprouts, and seaweed.

Since it is sometimes hard to consume so many fruits and vegetables in one day, a wonderful option is to juice the fruits and vegetables. Juicing gives you all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are in the fruits and vegetables without filling you up as fast. For example, it takes a whole bag of carrots to make one glass of carrot juice. Delicious and healthy juices you can add to your diet can be made of any blend of apples, cranberries, alfalfa, apricots, grapefruits, pineapple, kelp, grapes, celery, carrots, or grapes.

Finally, be sure to avoid as many processed and refined foods as you can. Avoid antihistamines, chlorine faucet water, fluoride, and iodine. People who switch to this diet find that their cholesterol plummets and that they lose a ton of weight! Although it can initially be a hard adjustment, most people find that in the long run, it is well worth it. They look and feel so much better, and they can even wear jeans that they fit into way back in college!

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Shaving Your Head – Advice For the First-timer

Shaving your head is an art, one committed baldies perfect over years of figuring out what works for them. But for the first-time head shaver, a few simple guidelines will help your first head shave go smoothly.

Shaving your head bald, for some, is a scenario they’ve gone through mentally many times before actually taking a razor to their scalps. For others, their first head shave is an impulsive, spur-of-the-moment thing. I’d have to say my first head shave was a bit of both. I did have the benefit of some knowledge of head shaving technique, but I basically had to figure it out for myself. A good beginner’s guide to shaving your head sure would have been nice. In that spirit, here’s a fairly comprehensive outline of the basics, from somebody who has been bald by choice for 17 years.

Be careful

One of the mistakes people often make when shaving their heads for the first time is to forget that a previously unshaven scalp is very sensitive.

It’s understandable to want a perfectly smooth head right away. I know I did the first time. Bald means smooth, and you want to be bald. But this can lead the inexperienced head shaver to shave the same areas repeatedly from multiple angles, pressing too hard on the scalp and often continuing after the shaving cream has stopped offering any lubrication and started to get sticky. The result can be nicks, irritation and ingrown hairs marring your beautiful bald head the following day. Not good.

Clean your scalp, and lather well

The first thing to consider is a clean scalp, free of dirt, excess oil, etc. If you’re shaving your head for the first time and don’t happen to have a friend who is skilled with a straight razor, I’m assuming you’ve clipped your hair to the scalp and are now covered in hair clippings. Before you go any further, wash your head with soap and water. Better yet, take a shower. If this is not practical in your particular circumstances, at least wipe your head down with a warm wash cloth.

Your next concern is good lubrication. There are lots of good products out there, some specifically for shaving your head Some commercial shaving creams are better than others. I recommend if you’re going the canned shaving cream route to get a moisturizing shaving gel specifically for sensitive skin. I rather like Aveeno shave gel, with colloidal oatmeal.

Canned shaving cream should still be used with a shaving brush. Put a generous amount of gel on your head, wet your brush and work that shaving cream into your scalp with a firm circular motion, kind of like brushing your teeth. Work your way around your head, wetting the brush occasionally. Don’t be in too much of a hurry. Lathering up is an important step, and it can also be fun.

Myself, I haven’t used shaving cream in years. I find good bar soap (natural handmade soap, not your typical Irish Spring or Zest) does a great job. Some kinds of hand lotion are nice, as are sugar scrubs made with natural oils. I personally like to use a sugar scrub, which exfoliates and leaves a light coating of oil that I just lather right over top of. I’ll get into scrubs in more detail in a future post.

Use a good razor

Now that you are lathered up, get a razor with a brand new blade. Always use a new blade on virgin scalp. I can’t stress that enough. You’ll be experiencing a bald head for the first time, so don’t make it a sore, itchy, reddish one.

I’ve tried just about every popular razor, and the best one for shaving your head, in my opinion, is the Gillette Mach 3. There are cheaper razors, there are fancier ones, and there are ones made specifically for shaving your head, but of all the options, the Mach 3 is just about the best head shaving razor out there. Its design allows lather and hair to pass right through, so it requires less rinsing and unless the hair you’re shaving is longer than an eighth of an inch, it’s virtually clog-proof. And it also seems to give the greatest number of comfortable head shaves per blade than any razor I’ve tried. One blade can last me two or three weeks, and still give a good shave when its indicator strip has not only changed color, but just about worn away completely in the middle. But I’m a head shaver of almost 20 years. For a beginner, I’d recommend changing razor blades much more frequently. If the razor seems to pull or drag or feel at all uncomfortable on your scalp, change the blade. As your scalp gets tougher and you get more experience at shaving your head, you’ll figure out what works for you.

Direction of hair growth

There is some debate over shaving with the grain vs against the grain. If you want a smooth head, you have to shave against the grain. However, I don’t recommend shaving the back of your neck against the grain, at least not at first. Anything above the ears is generally fine, but being a little overzealous on the first shave can make a mess of your neck. It might not be obvious at first, but by the next day it’s going to look like a pepperoni pizza.

What I recommend for a first-time shaver is a simple front-to-back shaving motion. Start at the forehead, and shave toward the back of your neck in nice smooth strokes, trying not to go over the same spot more than a couple of times. You’ll get the top and sides nice and smooth. The back will feel rough if you stroke upward with your hand, but it will still be pretty smooth in the other direction. Do it this way for a week or two, and then you can try angling your strokes slightly across the grain. After a while, your scalp will get used to the shaving and you can go against the grain at the back.

Never forget that if your head starts to get dry or sticky while shaving, put some more lather on, or at least wet it a little, to keep that razor gliding smoothly. This is also a good time to wet a couple of fingers and move them in little circles on your scalp. You’ll feel any spot that you didn’t get smooth, and you’ll know which direction that hair is growing in. There will be areas that require shaving in more than one direction. The crown is particularly tricky, but you also have to be careful around the hairline, behind the ears, and where the sides meet the top of your head. Feel while you shave. It will make the job easier, and it will keep your lather from drying out. For the sake of neatness and maintaining moisture, you might want to try shaving your head in the shower.

Care and maintenance

As for caring for your shaved head, I’ve never been one for creams or lotions, but you will want to keep from getting a dry scalp. An oily scalp is more likely to be a concern, as your bald scalp continues to produce oil for a head of hair that isn’t there. An occasional wipe with a washcloth or a cleansing pad in addition to your daily shower is all you need.

Time of day makes a difference. The most convenient time to shave your head is most likely in the morning, but it does come at a small price. Your scalp swells ever so slighly while you sleep horizontally, and then shrinks again after you get up. That means your smooth morning head shave will not stay smooth for long. If you’re up for a little while before you shave, the swelling will have a chance to come down and you can get a closer shave. Evening is a great time to shave, as you get a very close shave, and it actually feels great to go to bed with a freshly shaved head. But evening is not usually the time for a daily shave, since it won’t be fresh for the following day.

However, it is sometimes a good idea to have a second shave in the evening if you’re going out, just to freshen up your head and get rid of that five o’clock shadow.

As for how often to shave your head, that’s entirely up to you. Personally, I’m so accustomed to being bald, I don’t feel clean if I get any stubble up there, so I like to shave my head every day. Some people go a few days because their scalp gets irritated. I used to, but it’s been my experience that daily head shaving actually conditions the scalp better in the long run, and keeps it cleaner, thus avoiding break-outs. Skipping days actually seems to increase my chances of skin irritation, razor burn or acne.

Try it for a while

The other deciding factor for me is that I see myself as a bald man, and that’s how I want to be seen. To me, occasional stubble detracts from my baldness. It’s a reminder that there is still the potential for hair there.

In the end, you can ask ten head shavers for advice and get ten different answers. Shaving your head is a very personal thing, and if you’re committed to maintaining a bald head, you’ll do a fair bit of experimenting, which is really the only way to determine what works for you. But I hope I’ve given you a place to start.

And to stray for just a moment from the nuts and bolts of being bald by choice, there is a psychological and emotional aspect that should not be ignored. Emotionally, that first shave and the knowledge that you really are bald is an intense rush, but it can also be accompanied by initial doubt or regret, as well as a significant amount of self-consciousness. You might feel just fine, but you might also feel like everybody is staring at you. For the most part, they’re not, and that feeling will pass in time. If you do decide to shave your head, commit to keeping your head bald for at least a month. You’ll be much more comfortable with your baldness by that time, your scalp will be used to shaving, and that pale, never-shaved skin tone will have evened out to match your face. And although you might be tempted, do not cover your head up with hats unless you need protection from the sun (and you will). Constantly wearing hats will just trap dirt and oil next to the most acne-prone parts of your scalp. And besides, what’s the point of being bald if people can’t see your bald head?

By the way, after 17 years, baldness might feel more comfortable and natural to me, but reaching up at any hour of the day and feeling my smoothly shaved scalp is still a rush.

Happy head shaving.

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