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What Makes Hair Healthy? Plus, a DIY Hair Mask!

What Makes Hair Healthy? Plus, a DIY Hair Mask!

Posted by Dr. Hannah Sivak with Brendan Leonard on Oct 1st 2021

This week, our Founder, Dr. Hannah Sivak is giving us the inside track on some tips for healthy hair. Take it away, Hannah!

How Do I Get Healthy Hair?

The hair is made by cells but is not made of cells. Hair is “just” protein but, such complicated protein!

The hair we see is the hair shaft, which has no biochemical activity and is considered dead: the cells that the hair bulb formed a while ago, inside the scalp, are now mostly keratin. Keratin structure makes hair so resilient that it can resist harsh conditions. Hair will grow for years without noticeable damage, although UV light will bleach the melanin in the hair shaft and lighten hair after a sunny summer.

So, what do you need to keep your hair healthy? 

In theory: treat it the way you would treat any protein. 

Protect it from heat, oxidants, chemicals that will modify the protein, etc. Plus, protect the live tissue (your scalp), making more of that extraordinary protein that is our hair. For instance, don’t use strong detergents on your scalp, don’t expose it to heat.

Ha! That’s exactly the opposite of what we do!

Hair Fashion

As soon as humans started grooming their hair, culture/fashion demanded that we expose hair to heat (!), bleach and dyes (!!), strong chemicals (!!!), and traction (!!!!). 

And that was before social media. 

Most of the stress our hair suffers is not natural stress but the result of treatments dictated by fashion. But we can try to prevent these harsh treatments from affecting the capacity of our scalp to produce new, healthy hair. Let’s try to be sensible and remember that your scalp and hair have to last for many, many decades.

Keeping Your Hair Healthy

The keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) is the growth factor that tells the scalp to make hair. It is a precious resource that Skin Actives makes available to you. Use it! Our Advanced Ageless Hair Serum is the most advanced hair and scalp treatment around.

What’s in those shampoos and hair conditioners and hair relaxers, perms:

Shampoo - Shampoos are needed to clean your hair, but first, “do no harm”: shampoos shouldn’t contain strong detergents like sodium dodecyl sulfate that can damage the scalp by extracting structural lipids

Hair Conditioner - The conditioner you use contains chemicals with positive electrical charges that will cling to the hair. The chemicals in the conditioner collect on the edges of the damaged scales of the cuticle, helping to smooth over and fill in the breaks and cracks. As a result, the hair tends to become more manageable and shinier; proteins and dimethicone are helpful in this process. Colored or permed hair needs extra care, and conditioners and other products can help by patching up the damaged hair cuticle.

Panthenol - Panthenol is a chemical found in a wide variety of products for both hair and skin. It is absorbed into the hair and helps retain moisture, and antioxidants will protect the hair from oxidants in the environment. However, no antioxidant is a match for the strong oxidants used to modify hair color and shape.

Hair Dye - Strong chemicals are also used to color hair, increasing the permeability of the hair so that it can absorb the dyes; the process involves the use of potent oxidizing agents (peroxides) and alkali.

Hair Shaping Treatments - It is possible to change the shape of the hair (in a perm or with hair relaxer) by destroying the characteristic properties of keratin, which means using chemicals to break down the disulfide bridges that give keratin its strength, and letting the disulfide bridges reform after the hair is forced into a new shape. Since heat-based perms were invented way back in the early 1900’s, milder and less harmful methods have been created to break down the keratin structure and reform it in the desired shape.

Some Hair Health Take-Aways - Try to avoid unnecessary damage to the capacity of your scalp to keep forming new hair; take measures to prevent the strong chemicals used in perms and coloring from contacting the scalp. Whatever you do, don’t try to save money on a perm or hair color; it can cost you dearly, like hair loss.

A DIY Hair Mask Recipe

You will need:

Extra Credit: 1 oz. Every Lipid Serum (ELS) is optional for the mask, but it is important for the health of your scalp. You can use it separately, warming it up in some hot water before applying it. If you will apply it separately, use it after the sea kelp mask.

How to make your super-duper mask: add KGF and amino acid booster to the sea kelp and mix well. Don’t worry if the powder is not completely dissolved; it will, eventually. Add a few drops of ELS and mix again (unless you decide to use the ELS separately).

Apply the mask to the scalp. The hair itself will not benefit much from anything, although it will feel softer after you rinse the mask eventually (leave it as long as you can).

Take this opportunity to have a nap or relax listening to your favorite music.

If you would like to hear more informative takes directly from Dr. Hannah, check out her personal blog here.

Meanwhile, Skin Actives Scientific has a tremendous selection of products for hair. These products have been designed for both women and men who are looking for thicker, fuller hair. Even if you are just taking care of the hair you have, we think you’ll see great results with these great KGF-powered products!

Double Action Hair Serum - If you are looking for thicker, stronger hair, our Double Action Hair Serum is for you. Applying this nutrient dense serum to your scalp will deliver keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) where it needs to be to signal hair production to dormant cells. Our in-house studies have shown truly staggering results and proven that Double Action Hair Serum is just as potent for beard growth as hair growth.

Hair Care Serum with ROS BioNet™ and Apocynin - Remember above when Dr. Hannah was talking about the role that antioxidants play in healthy hair? Well if you want to maximize those antioxidant benefits, next-level your routine to our Advanced Ageless Hair Care Serum, packed with our patented blend of antioxidants and apocynin. 

Brow and Lash Serum with ROS BioNet™ and Apocynin - While both the hair on your scalp and your eyelashes are composed of the proteins that we call hair, they are very different. If you find lashes to be a challenge or are just looking for longer, thicker lashes, skip the OTC drugs with chemistry altering side effects and try our Brow and Lash Serum with ROS BioNet™ and Apocynin. Protein growth signals from KGF, antioxidants to protect one of your most valuable features and nutrients for healthy growth, who could ask for more?

Thanks for catching up with us again this week Skin Actives Family. We know that we promised a big surprise in this message, but thanks to the complications of trade in this day and age we’re going to have to push our announcement back a couple of weeks. Join us here Tuesday next week, when our Season of Giving begins! We can’t wait to share it with you!