They say that your hair is your crown. It’s one of the first things that people notice when they see you and that’s why we invest so much in maintaining it. We want it to look perfect, healthy or at least presentable.
When hair is subjected to damage, it affects many aspects of your life. It can translate to how you interact with others and your self-confidence as well. And one of the sneakiest sources of damage is oxidative stress or oxidation.
We break it down for you.
Oxidation happens when free oxygen molecules combine with other elements to cause the oxidative stress. This causes many effects like premature greying of hair because it attacks the melanin, weak hair due to affected protein levels, dryness and brittleness, stunted growth, hair loss and pH imbalances.
Oxidation is also the reason why your hair dye doesn’t last as long. It breaks down the color, which makes the dye fade away gradually or prematurely depending on how you take care of it.
There are many sources of this reactive process, which include internal and external factors. First, as you grow older, you have more free radicals so that’s one of the factors that expose you to the effects of oxidative stress. Aside from that there are external factors like pollutants which we are exposed to everyday in the environment, UV rays as well as minerals in the water we use to wash our hair.
Oxidation isn’t a good thing for your hair and that’s where antioxidants come in. They basically prevent those toxic combinations of the free oxygen radicals by neutralizing them.
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You can easily boost your hair with antioxidants through different sources.
- Diet sources
What you choose to eat will always have a direct effect on the health of your hair. Unhealthy foods like deep fried meals actually produce more free radicals which definitely affects your hair from within.
You should always strive to include foods rich in antioxidants like berries, especially blue berries, garlic, tomatoes, foods rich in vitamin A, teas like black and green tea and dark leafy greens. You can also include supplements to accelerate the healing process.
- Natural hair care remedies
Nature has answers to all your beauty needs. In this case, you can use fruits, teas and other common ingredients to make hair rinses and masks that help reduce oxidation.
Here, herbal tea rinses, pomegranate hair masks, which is one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants, honey hair masks, sweet potato masks all work.
Another way you can combat this is to buy products that have been designed to curb oxidation or those that have helpful ingredients like vitamin E and C.
- Lifestyle changes
Some habits contribute greatly to oxidative stress. Excessive drinking and smoking are always at the top of the list. They both release lots of free radicals in the body, which in turn affect your hair.
Although wine has shown some anti-oxidative benefits of hair, it should always be taken in moderation. Quitting is always the best way forward for optimum hair and body health.
Another change you should consider is managing stress levels. There could be a link between stress and oxidation.
- Hair sunscreen
Applying hair sunscreen is something that many still aren’t keen on doing. This gives the UV rays an opportunity to cause havoc on your hair and scalp. Invest in some sun block for your hair to maintain optimal protection and shine.
All these serve as protection, healing and nourishing methods to fight oxidative stress. But you have to be careful too to prevent an antioxidant overload in the body. This can lead to serious health risks like cardiovascular diseases.
In short, your hair needs antioxidants for sure. As long as you’re careful, you’ll get all the amazing benefits they have in store for you.