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Oprah's 3 Biggest Hair Problems and Their Solutions

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The January, 2012 issue of Oprah’s magazine “Oprah” brings to its readers the results of a Facebook survey that asked readers to share their biggest hair health issues. Read on and discover what Oprah and her experts have to say about the 3 biggest hair problems her readers face and the solutions for solving their hair woes.

In an article written by journalists Jenny Bailly and Alessandra Foresto for “Oprah” magazine titled “How to Get Happier Hair,” the writers address the 3 biggest problems women complain about regarding their hair. The importance of healthy hair is multifactorial. According to the writers, not only does your hair say volumes about your style, age and your sex appeal, but also about your health and that as a result, women go to great lengths toward their hair obsession.

The following is a description of the 3 biggest hair problems women face and how you can achieve happier, healthier hair.

Hair Problem No. 1: I’m going Gray!

Going gray eventually happens to everyone. The good news is that the majority of the time it is a gentle transition that can be lessened with the right choice in dyeing solutions:

For hair that has only a few noticeable grays, Oprah’s experts advise using a low-peroxide vegetable dye that stains gray hairs slightly so that the hairs are just a little lighter than their natural color. Doing so has the added benefit of appearing like highlights without the added cost by a beautician.

For hair that has large streaks of gray, it time to move up to a semi-permanent color that will blend the gray with your natural color. Semi-permanent dyes have enough peroxide to cause some lightening of your hair, so you may want to go to a slightly darker color to achieve a good match to your natural color.

For hair that is 30% gray or more, it’s time to upgrade to a permanent dye that contains even more peroxide. Unlike the non-permanent dyes, this one does not shampoo out and will begin to leave noticeable gray roots around 4 weeks after applying color. Adding highlights and touchups to noticeable areas can extend times between dye jobs.

Hair Problem #2: I’m frazzled by frizz!

Frizz is typically the result of damage done to the cuticles surrounding hair follicles. Like old shingles that lift off of a roof, cuticles when damaged and overly dry begin to lift away from the shaft of the hair follicles giving it a fuzzy, frizzy look. The best treatment for this type of hair is to re-moisturize it.

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Oprah’s hair experts recommend a 45-minute process to battle frizz by beginning your morning with a 15 minute-shower using a shampoo and conditioner that contains moisturizers like silicones, panthenol and shea butter--all three act to seal the cuticles. Furthermore, you should avoid products with volume-building ingredients like wheat, rice and silk proteins.

The next step is a 5-minute process of towel drying your hair by lightly pressing your hair between layers of towel using your palms. Do not rub dry as this will disturb the cuticles. Follow with detangling of your hair using a wide-toothed comb.

The third step is a 10-minute process of applying a generous amount of a creamy leave-in conditioner from root to tip.

The final step is a 15-minute process to allow your hair to dry to about 50% followed by using a blow dryer pointed downward with a large round brush attachment. If your hair is still a little on the fuzzy side you can add a little more leave-in conditioner to further moisturize it.

Hair Problem #3: I’m losing it!

According to the writers, up to 60% of women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. The causes of hair loss include genetics, hormone imbalances—especially in peri- and post-menopausal women—an allergic reaction, a high fever and stress. However, the most common cause is a genetic condition called "androgenetic alopecia."

Androgenetic alopecia in women is also known as female pattern baldness where the hair becomes thinner overall, but without the receding hairline as seen in male pattern baldness. Androgenetic alopecia is associated with an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and is characterized by a hormonal imbalance that can manifest with irregular cycles, acne, excess body hair and weight gain. If you suspect that you may be suffering from androgenetic alopecia you should see your doctor about it for treatment.

Treatment for thinning hair is typically treated with two FDA approved medications—Minoxidil (Rogaine) and Finasteride (Propecia and Proscar). Finasteride is used to halt production of androgen hormones that can contribute to hair loss.

However, in the near future, hair loss may be treatable with stem cell therapy as well as with a form of the eyelash-growing drug “Latisse.” Latisse contains an active ingredient called “bimatoprost” that is awaiting FDA approval as a topical hair-loss cream. Approval is expected by 2014.

For more information about what to do about greying hair, going bald and other hair problems the following informative articles are gleaned from hair experts on The Dr. Oz Show as well as a do it yourself home test to determine whether you are experiencing unusual hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia.

Image source: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Source: Oprah Jan. 2012