Taken from BBC Earth, narrated by Richard Attenborough. This feat is quite astonishing!
Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three phases:
Anagen – This is the growth phase. The longer a hair remains in the Anagen phase the longer it will grow – this depends on genetics but it can last 2-6 years.
Catagen – This is a transitional phase that hair goes into once Anagen phase has ended. The hair follicle will shrink, the papilla detaches and the hair is no longer attached to its ‘life supply’ of nutrients. Hair is no longer growing.
Telogen – Also known as the resting phase. The follicle remains dormant and the hair will be anchored in place. Depending on the strength of the follicle, it will eventually soften and the hair will eventually break free and shed.
The phases run simultaneously so some hairs on your head will be in the Anagen phase and others in Telogen. For each hair strand, the Anagen phase should start again once the Telogen phase is complete, but some people may experience a longer Telogen phase meaning hair is shedding but no new hair is growing. This may result in thinning of the hair, so what we want to do is effectively ‘jump-start’ the Anagen phase and encourage the growth phase to begin.
Hot water strips the hair of moisture and weakens hair strands making it more perceptible to breakage.
Make sure you are washing your hair with lukewarm water and not hot water. You want to open the hair cuticles to clean your scalp which lukewarm water will do, then close the cuticles which will help reduce hair loss and frizz so ensure you finish washing your hair with a blast of cold water.
Cut down using a hair dryer or heating tongs every day. Heat can weaken your hair so even just going an extra day without using a hairdryer or tongs can dramatically improve the condition of your hair. Ideally gently towel-dry your hair until it is around 60% dry and then use the hairdryer on a medium setting.
Comprised mainly of smaller medium-chain fatty acids, this 100% natural oil is able to penetrate more deeply and faster than other conditioners. A tub of coconut oil which can be bought at your local pharmacy will last you a few months and it is packed with vitamins and fatty acids to help nourish your hair.
The numerous benefits of using coconut oil on your hair include:
• Stimulates hair growth by penetrating deep into the follicles
• Provides amazing moisturisation for dry hair
• Adds shine to hair
• Reduces protein loss in your hair – the only oil to do this
• Contains anti-bacterial properties to soothe an itchy or flaky scalp
Blood glucose is another name for blood sugar. When carbohydrates and sweets are eaten, they are turned into glucose in the body. At this point, they are either used for energy immediately or stored away for energy later. When blood glucose levels elevate, it is usually the result of insulin not being released sufficiently from the pancreas, as is the case with diabetes. A high level of glucose is also commonly called hyperglycemia, and symptoms that can be seen with it include blurry vision, extreme thirst and having to take many trips to the bathroom. When blood glucose levels are high, there are various ways to cure the problem.
The body uses the stored form of of glucose, called glycogen, for energy when it is exercising. Doing weight training, running, cycling, swimming or any form of cardiovascular exercise can help lower glucose levels. Even 30 minutes of walking a day can be beneficial.
Foods that are both high in saturated fat and sugar can have a negative effect on blood sugar levels, and should be avoided. Some examples of these are fast foods, processed baked goods, cakes and sweets.
The glycemic index is a table that shows how fast a carbohydrate is absorbed into the blood stream. Foods that are high on this index are called simple carbs and foods that are low are called complex carbs. Complex carbs are low because they have a high amount of fiber in them, which can keep blood glucose levels stabilized. This is the type of carbohydrate that should be consumed. Some examples are fruits such as oranges, apples and cherries, oat bran and oatmeal.
Beverages can also cause blood glucose levels to be high. Some examples of these are fizzy drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened teas and sweetened coffee drinks. In place of these beverages, water should be consumed. It has no calories or sugar, and it helps to flush impurities from the body. According to the Institute of Medicine, women should consume 2.7 liters a day and men should consume 3.7 liters a day.
Other than adjustments in food, there are also various supplements that can be taken to control high blood glucose. They help with the breakdown of carbs in the body, and they also help with insulin release and storage. Some of these include chromium, cinnamon, zinc and ginseng.