We grow up inherently putting emphasis on our hair, why and how, we don’t know. All we know is, we are willing to snatch any hairs masks, products, or treatments off the market if it claims to strengthen our hair before you can say, Jack Robinson. The rapidity by which we are willing to experiment on our scalp, made me wonder first and foremost why we put so much focus on our hair? And secondly, is the money we are spending on our hair really worth it? After hours of research, here is what science has to say.
Why is hair important to us?
When we delve deeper into our anatomy, we realize that every feature has a revolutionary advantage that goes beyond aesthetics. Any particular feature we place focus on has an intrinsic meaning deep within our psyche that dates as far back as the caveman days. With some features, it is easier to predict their purpose with others not so much, and that is the case with our head hair.
To crack the mystery, we have to time travel back to our modest nomad beginnings, to a time we weren’t on top of the food chain. Back in those days, we were minuscule in comparison to the wildlife. As a result, cave dwellers were prone to attacks, death, and being preyed upon by meat-eaters, to adapt to the threat, our body naturally evolves to enhance our features to fit the narrative. Our existence revolved around increasing our possibility of survival, and that meant making use of every feature to its full potential, our hair included.
The hair being practically a pile of dead cells and keratin that form a chain of fibrous strands, has no nerve endings, which comes in handy for infants and children to hang on to, as our ancestors run from the threat. Consequently, longer thicker hair resembled a woman’s ability to sustain a child. Over time we began to develop a link between long hair to the survival of children, and as a result, we started to view women with longer thicker hair as better partners than ones with brittle hair. A better partner is just a scientific way to say more attractive.
Given their inability to bear entire human beings within their bodies, they functioned as guards to women. Naturally, women would want a man who is capable of protecting them and the little one during their pregnancy. Bigger men were seen as better partners, and thick bushy hair gives the illusion of grandeur. As a result, men with bigger hair and body were more likely to reproduce.
Secondly, our hair does not grow based on genetics alone, but part of the process is supplying your hair with the right vitamins, being physically healthy, and leading a mentally peaceful life. In other words, your hair can say so much about your health, and thereby your ability to sustain another life.
Do hair masks actually work?
Now that we have some background on the evolutionary advantage of hair and our intuitive predilection for hair, comes the million dollar question! Do hair masks work? With all the products on the market and the claims and the promises, you will eventually begin to wonder whether hair masks actually work.
Let’s break down the hair growth process:
Hair growth happens in 3 important phases as is the picture below represents.
For one, hair strength comes from within the body, through a good diet and a stress-free life. If you do not supply your body with building blocks necessary to produce hair proteins, there is no chance for your hair to grow strong otherwise.
Secondly, leading a life of stress will initiate a cascade of cellular activity that will terminate the life of your hair before its time. It is important to remain level-headed through stressful situations and deal with rough patches in life in a collected manner.
Thirdly, it is genetics. Sometimes, it is not within our capability to grow the hair we wish to have simply because the hair-making elements are missing essential products to begin manufacturing. In cases as such, there is a way to trigger hair growth that is somewhat recent, thanks to science.
To answer the question
In short, hair masks do not work. There is only one oil that science vouches for, and it is coconut oil. However, it is important to note that coconut oil does not promote hair growth and instead only preserves the strength of naturally healthy hair. In order for a product to maintain the inherent characteristics of hair, it has to have the ability to penetrate all the way to the cortex. By doing so, coconut oil can prevent protein loss and occupies gaps between the cells of the cuticle that would otherwise be homes to aggressive substances.
What is the guaranteed way to strengthen your hair?
As we mentioned above, growing healthy hair is not an external process that has to do with squirting a variety of products and hoping for the best. The hair growth process, aside from diet and emotional factors, depends on your genetics. In patients with damaged hair and hair loss, it was found that the levels of VEGF are lower than average.
VEGF is a growth factor that has the most significant effect on the hair growth phases. It has the ability to prolong the anagen phase and delay the telogen phase. To combat hair loss and trigger growth, you need a boost of growth factors. This is where the groundbreaking invention PRP therapy comes in. While it is not possible to take growth factors orally, it is possible to inject them.
PRP therapy draws blood from you, applies some science, and extracts growth factors from your own blood. Later, it injects the growth factors in your scalp to strengthen your hair and eliminate hair loss and damage from the source.
Although hair masks do not work, and the few oils such as coconut oil that does, usually only preserves the existing characteristics of your hair, it does not mean it is a hopeless case for you. Couple a healthy diet and stress-free life with PRP therapy to grow the mane of your dreams. Contact us if you would like to know more about PRP therapy.