EVERY HAIR ON YOUR HEAD (or not).

Thick, thin, curly, coarse, fine, and even absent; hair is typically something we are rarely satisfied with. Those who have curly, wish for straight, those who have straight, wish for curly.

hair redThe redheads wish for something a bit darker and the brunettes wish they were blonde. Although, truthfully it depends quite often on whatever the “fashion” industry dictates is fashionable in any given season. Today while in the town of Bath, in the UK, I learned that hair extensions were a popular item during Roman times. The style dictated a change of color and more hair than someone actually had, they would purchase the hair of others to supplement their own tresses. Then after layering them appropriately over wire or willow, they would curl them in ringlets with an iron rod that had been heated in the coals. Wow... I think that’s still going on today!!
So, maybe you don’t like the amount or color or length of your hair but it serves an amazing purpose. From a basic content perspective, hair is pretty straight forward and simple. It is made of a type of protein called keratin. It is anchored into the skin through a follicle, similar to how a bulbed plant or flower anchors into the earth and then grows upward. 

Good circulation is important to your hair shaft, since it is blood vessels that feed and nourish the follicle and hair bulb. Each hair follicle has a growth period, a resting phase, and then a transition phase in which a new hair begins to grow and pushes the old hair out of the follicle. Your hair color is dictated by the melanin in your hair follicle, as you age your body stops producing the melanin in the follicle and your hair turns gray.
The hair on our head keeps us warm since we lose about 25% of our body heat through our head. It also protects against injury and sunburn. Anthropologists also believe that we have retained the hair on our head because it is aesthetically pleasing and becomes one aspect of attracting a mate.

hair extensionsThe question is how much of our thoughts about hair are primal and unconscious and how much are stimulated by social messages. I’m curious what the very first hairstyles looked like and what products were used. One thing we do know, humans have been styling their hair for several thousands of years. Take for instance the Clonacavan Bog Man found in Ireland in 2003. Archeologists believe he hails from the Iron Age and one of the most outstanding features about him (other than the horrific torture he appears to have undergone) was his hairstyle. It was styled using pine resin and plant gels and tied with a hair tie.  

A couple more interesting facts about hair? Many indigenous and religious traditions believe that the hair on your head has spiritual meaning, in some cases representing our connection to the divine or the purity of our thoughts. In some Native American traditions, to cut your hair means to sever your past from your future. I think unconsciously many of us carry a similar belief. I mean, who hasn't gone and gotten a new hairstyle once a drastic change in life has occurred? 

The absolute best way to take care of your hair? Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of clean fluids. Some herbs and spices stimulate the scalp, like rosemary, eucalyptus, and even burdock root. You can make a brew of rosemary and burdock to pour over your hair as a finishing rinse, you can also finish with a rinse of apple cider vinegar. They all stimulate the scalp, clean the hair follicle of any goop from hair products and leave a nice shine. 

Best foods for hair?  Nuts, eggs, berries, carrots, sweet potato, avocado, salmon, dark green leafy veggies, and quality sources of protein. 

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