Beauty and Health 101

23 Apr


Trichology sounds like some sort of bug, but it really is the technical term for the study of hair.  It is important to understand the properties of hair because it determines many factors such as how it reacts to chemical services, why it behaves in certain manners, and the health of the hair and how to treat it.

Now, I don’t know about all of you, but when I am having a bad hair day, I certainly DO NOT want to be in the public eye.  So, yes, I will admit to the fact that I am somewhat vain which presents one of the biggest purposes of hair: ADORNMENT.  All of us tend to be a little persnickety and anal when it comes to our hair, and as a result of our perpetual fussiness, we refuse to leave the house or succumb to the infamous baseball cap or my never fails me tried and true ponytail when the hairdo is just not working that day.

Any bald man will attest to the other purpose of hair, especially during the below freezing temperatures in the winter and the blazing hot months of the Midwest.  If you guessed  PROTECTION of the head from heat and cold, then you are correct.  No wonder I hate to wear my hair up or in a pony tail during the winter and just the opposite during summer.  Hair protects the head from injuries as well, thank goodness; could you imagine walking around with a giant scab on your head?  At least the hair hides the imperfections!  Oh, but for those who suffer from alopecia, a little makeup concealer does the trick.

Hair is mainly composed of the protein keratin and approximately 50.65% carbon 6.36% hydrogen, 17.14% nitrogen, 5% sulfur, and 20.85% oxygen.  Basically this is saying that hair is mostly protein and water.  Darker hair typically has more carbon and less oxygen and lighter hair is the opposite.  The sulfur content is significant to receiving chemical services, especially perming, and that includes straight perms too.  So those of you who have high sulfur content,  rotten egg smelling water, I highly recommend getting a well water treatment prior to any chemical services to remove the sulfur coating from the hair.  Some water has high iron content, so it is important to remove this mineral as well.  When the hair is coated with these minerals, the chemicals have to work harder to get through the cuticle into the cortex of the hair to change its structure.  I know some of you men secretly color your hair (or you think it is a secret);  this applies to you as well.  Now, if you always wondered why your blonde highlights continue to maintain the orange hue that resembles that rusty old pipe, well, then it is time for a treatment and like magic, those golden tones reemerge.  This is true for those who have gray hair as well.  The gray hair tends to take on a dingy color and the well water treatments can spruce up its vitality.


Most of us are familiar with the study of skin better known as dermatology.  If I had to go to college all over again at the age of 18, I would focus my attention to becoming a dermatologist specializing in cosmetic dermatology.  It seems that in comparison to other physician specialties, there is a shortage of dermatologists; I usually have to wait at least a month or more for an appointment and then at least 6 hours in the waiting room.  I didn’t realize the demand for dermatologist, and they never work weekends, are never on call , no hospital rounds, and do very little cutting.  What a dream job to be administering Botox and performing lunch time chemical peels; I’d be in heaven and would  be rolling in the dough!  Have you recently been to the dermatologist lately?  Have you seen what they charge your insurance for a less than 15 minute visit?????

The skin is our largest organ, and in case you didn’t know, it does have appendages.  Who would have ever thought that the skin has appendages, like an arm or a leg?  Hair, nails, sweat and oil glands are considered to be the appendages of the skin.

There are six functions of the skin:

1.  Protection

Skin protects our body from injuries and bacterial invasion.  It is waterproof because the epidermis is covered in sebum (oil produced by the sebaceous gland).  It is resistant to minor injuries, chemically active substances, temperature variations and various bacteria.

2.  Sensation

When nerve endings are stimulated, the skin responds to touch, heat, cold, pressure and pain.  Sensory nerve endings  are near the hair follicles.  Just think goose pimples…..

3.  Heat Regulation

The skin protects our bodies from environmental factors.  Internal body temperatures are 98.6 F or 37 C, so as  temperatures change outside, blood and sweat glands of the skin make adjustments for the body to cool by the evaporation of sweat.

4.  Excretion

Perspiration from the sweat glands is excreted through the skin.

5.  Secretion

Sebum oil produced by the sebaceous glands provides lubrication for the skin which keeps it pliable and soft.  This oil also keeps hair soft.

6.  Absorption

Absorption does occur in the skin; however, it is limited.  Creams and lotions are absorbed through hair follicles and sebaceous gland openings.  This is why we have to apply lotions to our skin regularly.


I sometimes find it comical to see people’s reaction when I tell them I once weighed in at 180 pounds; they are in complete disbelief.  Those who know me from my high school and college days and my family and old friends can confirm the fact, and those who haven’t seen me in a very long time are amazed at the transformation. So because inquiring minds want to know, the very famous question is posed:  HOW DID YOU LOSE YOUR WEIGHT??????

When I decided to lose the weight, I decided to make a commitment to myself, not for anyone else but me.  This is probably the most important step to a weight loss program because if you don’t make the commitment, it eventually will fail.  Everyone is different, so each individual needs to find what works for them according to their busy schedules, but the bottom line is, you have to make time for yourself.

What individuals do not realize is that weight is all based on the amount of calories that are consumed and expended.  One pound is equivalent to 3500 calories.  This means that if you want to lose one pound for the week, you must cut your caloric intake by 3500 calories for that week.  For example, if you normally consume 17,500 calories a week (2500 per day) you must decrease your total by 3500, so your total caloric intake should be 14000 (2000 per day).  If you want to lose 2 pounds, well then you must decrease by 7000 per week. To use the previous example, your total intake for the week should be 10500 (1500 per day).  Once this is done, you will see a 2 pound weight loss.

Other factors to keep in mind is that carbohydrates are 4 calories per gram, proteins are 4 calories per gram and fats are 9 calories per gram.  This is essential information when learning to change your life style.

In the next edition, I will talk about how many calories you need in order to lose or gain weight by using  the basal metabolic formula.


It is the Easter holiday, and it is time to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.  God gives us many gifts, and when we open each gift, we find a blessing.  Yes, we are all truly blessed.


2 Responses to “Beauty and Health 101”

  1. Misael April 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Good work!

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