Health Lines: Natural hair solutions

Updated 14 November 2012
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Health Lines: Natural hair solutions

Our hair likes the simple life but that is not what it gets because we are never quite happy with the hair we have got and seek to change it. If it is curly we want it straight. If it is dark we want it light. This can lead to extreme procedures that cause the hair to become dry.
Many people look for the quick fix for dry hair but like an expensive cashmere jumper you need to take gentle care of it and not fry it with hot irons.
When our hair looks great we feel wonderful, so let’s look at natural solutions because natural solutions work best long term. You may find a cosmetic shampoo full of silicone and polymers that will give high shine for today but long term any kind of plastic coating will damage the hair and scalp. I am always in favor of natural products and solutions.
There are many reasons for dry hair and some environmental conditions are:
Desalinated water, hot desert sun, silica in the air, extremes of temperature and humidity.

Moisture is key
The more you wash hair and the more detergent you put on hair the dryer your hair will be.
Generally speaking our scalps make sebum (oil) to protect the hair and if you wash your hair too often and use too much shampoo you make the scalp and hair dry.
You’ve heard it before but it’s worth saying again: You are what you eat and drink. The best moisture for the body is water: Water is moisture.
Drink more water and the body will be more moisturized. Moisture is what you need, because moisture is what is lost. Drink a lot of water. Not only will this help prevent wrinkles but also it helps give the moisture to your hair. If you put a teaspoon of cod liver oil in your juices in the morning, eventually you will see a real difference in your skin and hair.

Desalinated water
Desert countries rely heavily upon desalinated water to provide tap water. In a study into the effects of desalinated water, samples of hair fall were collected from all hair using desalinated water. It was found that a larger percentage was damaged hair. The desalinated water treatment plants add chlorine to kill the bacteria and then add lime (a calcium compound) to help stabilize the water. Both of these additives have a damaging and drying effect on hair. Always use an Anti-Sal shampoo at least once per week.

Styling
Style your hair how you want to, but be informed of the choices you are making. If you cook your hair you damage the hair strands. You can straighten or blow-dry your hair on a low setting; it does not need to be hot. If your curlers are too hot to hold they are too hot for your hair and will damage it.
Always opt to style on the lowest heat setting possible.
Other reason for dryness can be blow-drying, curling irons, foiling, tinting, bleaching or perming hair that robs the natural moisture from the hair.

Nutrition
Even the things we eat can provide nutrients or the lack of. Should we choose to eat the foods that offer nothing but calories our hair will also reveal this.
Fish with its natural oils will bring much needed health to your body and hair. It takes about three days for the nourishment of what we’ve eaten to go to our hair.

Brushing
Another tip is old-fashioned, brushing from the roots following out to the ends. It is like a home health treatment to your scalp and hair. Today few people brush their hair, yet it promotes growth, increases circulation and moisture. This takes time and discipline but the rewards can be radiant.

Weekly massage
A special hair oil massage is an essential weekly treatment to protect and strengthen hair. It can feed the scalp, improve the circulation to the hair follicles and deliver really strong, shiny hair. Oil can also be used to protect hair when swimming and sunbathing.
Exercise also promotes hair health. This doesn’t mean that if you have thin dry hair today it will be thick and a normal texture tomorrow. But you start to exercise you should begin to see improvement in about a month.

Ask Alva
I'm an eighteen-year-old student about to start a new year at school and with it comes a heavy school load. I would like to know how much exercise I need to do a week to be healthy. — Anil


At such a young age it is very important to take care of your fitness levels now as it will affect your fitness levels in later life. I recommend doing an hour of physical exercise every day. I would advise doing some exercise in the morning before you go to school as it helps to wake you up. If there are no sports at your school I would advise taking up tennis lessons at your local tennis club or joining a local sports team or gym. — Alva

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Chip Wickham ushers in winds of change on the jazz scene

Updated 22 May 2018
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Chip Wickham ushers in winds of change on the jazz scene

PARIS: The hotly hyped “British jazz invasion” has been the toast of international scenesters for some months now, with breathy adjective-heavy sprawls penned on both sides of the Atlantic paying tribute to a fresh generation of musos who grew up not in the conservatoires but the clubs, channelling the grit and groove of grime into a distinctly hip, 21st century strain of freewheeling, DIY improvised music.

Now the Arab world has its own outpost in the form of Chip Wickham, a UK-born flautist, saxophonist and producer whose second album grew out of extended stints teaching in the GCC. “Shamal Wind” takes its name from the Gulf’s primal weather patterns, and there’s a distinctly meditative, Middle Eastern vibe to the title track, a slow-burning, moody vamp, peppered with percussive trills, with hints of Yusef Lateef to be found in Wickham’s wandering woodwind musings.

There’s rather less goatee-stroking to be found across the four further up-tempo cuts, which swap soul-searching for soul-jazz, soaked in the breezy bop of a vintage Blue Note release. Recorded over a hot summer in Madrid, a heady Latin pulse drives first single, “Barrio 71” — championed by the likes of Craig Charles — with Spanish multi-percussionist David el Indio steaming up a block party beat framing Wickham’s gutsy workout on baritone sax.

Having previously worked with electronic acts, including Nightmares on Wax and Jimpster, one imagines the dancefloor was a key stimulus behind Wickham’s rhythmically dense, but harmonically spare compositional approach. Phil Wilkinson’s sheer, thumped piano chords drive the relentless nod of second single “Snake Eyes,” Wickham’s raspy flute floating somewhere overhead, readymade to be skimmed off for the anticipated remix market.

In truth, Manchester-raised Wickham is both too thoughtful, and too thoughtless, to truly belong to the London-brewed jazz invasion — Shamal Wind yo-yos between meditative meandering and soulful strutting with a wilful disrespect for trend.