31 DECEMBER, 2021

For some of us the New Year is just a glimmer of hope on the horizon. We have all heard the one ‘I'm not buying a 2022 calendar until I see the trailer’: an understandable sentiment perhaps given the past year. But we never got to see the trailer and having got through the lockdowns, illness and restrictions of 2021 we are all wondering what 2022 will bring.
Many variables are out of our control and of course we can’t predict what the new year will bring, but there are little things we can do. Small but positive actions that we can do to help ourselves, others, and the environment.

happy new year

Concentrating on these modest achievable actions puts you back in the driving seat.
As Martin Luther King once said : ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ So, with that in mind, along with our mission to give you truly gorgeous healthy hair while respecting the environment, here are some simple, achievable goals for 2022, reinvigorating yourself from inside out.

Goal 1: Get shiny healthy hair
How our hair looks depends on many things including hormones, our health and the environment. But what we eat also makes an enormous difference. We need iron, B vitamins, zinc, omega 3, 9 and 6, calcium, selenium, vitamin A, D & C, lycopene, antioxidants, iodine, and copper, to name but a few. I will do a later post on healthy eating for healthy hair (in the interim check out our Instagram 2020 advent tips for healthy eating) but suffice here to say a balanced diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, pulses, fruit and protein is essential for glossy looking hair.

Goal 2: Maintain a healthy scalp microbiome
Your scalp is teeming with bacteria and fungi all in a symbiotic relationship with each other (1).
Why is this important? Research linking the scalp microbiome to scalp conditions including hair loss is in it’s infancy, (2,3) the majority of published works relating to the scalp microbiome and disease is related to dandruff (4, 5), but there is some early work (2,3,6) indicating a relationship between the microbiome and scalp / hair conditions. It is an exciting area of research and logic tells us that keeping our microbiome in the correct balance will help encourage healthy scalp and hair.
The following suggestions may help support your microbiome:
A - use shampoos with gentle cleansers (avoiding sulphates). The bio-fermented cleanser (surfactant) in our shampoo has been shown to be the most moisturizing when compared to 7 other well-known cleansers.
B - eat a balanced varied diet. Studies have shown that your gut microbiome has an impact on your skin and scalp microbiome (7).
C - Don’t over wash your hair. That way you can leave some natural protective oils which help support the hair shaft and follicle as well as the microbiome.

Goal 3: Reduce damage to your hair
Your hair is at its most vulnerable when wet. The outer cuticle (check out our ‘Hair, the inside story’ page for more detailed information on the cuticle of your hair) which, under the microscope, looks like overlapping fish scales or roof tiles. When wet, these roof tiles do not fit smoothly along the hair shaft but stick out at an angle. Like roof tiles they are the first line of defense, protecting the inner more fragile hair shaft from pollution, chemicals and friction.
Being gentle with your hair when wet helps reduce damage to this cuticle layer, gently rub it dry, don’t yank at the tangles with a brush but try to detangle gently with your fingers.
Likewise split ends start at the bottom and work their way up, once the hair is split it can never re – grow back in one piece. Regular trimming removes the early split ends stopping them travelling up the hair shaft.

Goal 4: Prevent hair loss
Hair grows in spurts (the alagen phase) then rests (telogen phase). Every day we shed 50-100 hairs – this is a normal part of the cycle, as this is in balance the overall amount of hair on the head stays the same. It’s when the loss outstrips the growth that we say we have hair loss.
There are many different causes of hair loss (8), all distressing. Sometimes the cause is secondary to other illnesses or treatments (such as chemotherapy), infected scalp conditions, some self-limiting, some permanent. If your hair loss is worrying and does not seem to be resolving on its own, it is worth visiting your doctor to get a clear diagnosis. But if you experience hair loss after a sudden emotional stress or acute illness it is likely to be hair loss known as telogen effluvium. This is non scarring and will regrow once the stress is removed and/ or you have recovered from your acute illness (including Covid). To that end managing stress - in your own way – be it exercise, meditation, following a hobby, relaxing with family or friends, walking the dog, is an important part of your life. It is worth taking some time now to consider how you are going to manage stress this 2022. Please look out for later blogs on all the types of hair loss and what can be done to help them.

So the New Year will bring us all fresh challenges, it’s up to us how we deal with them.
In the words of Nina Simone:
‘It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life,
for me,
And I’m feeling good’

We at An’du wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.

An’du to row gently against the tide.

Written by Tina Grayson

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31743445/
2. https://www.oatext.com/pdf/JTS-4-234.pdf (2017 what’s new in scalp diseases)
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6499469/
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6180232/
5. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep24877                                                                
6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1578219021001487
7. Review J Clin Gastroenterol Nov-Dev 2014:48 Suppl 1:S85-6.dio: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000241.
8. https://europepmc.org/article/med/28925637

Tags: new year, 2022, healthy hair, new year's resolutions

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.