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We’ve all had those days when you wake up and realize that your hair feels like straw. Maybe you’ve recently changed hair colors, or you’ve been flat-ironing your hair a lot. In any case, all of the moisture in the world doesn’t seem to help, and you relinquish yourself to a life of frizzy, broken hair.

If that sounds familiar, I have good news for you: there’s one easy-to-find ingredient that will regenerate your hair strands and bring them back to good health. The secret? Protein. All hair strands are made of protein, but they can be made fragile by any number of common processes, like dying, straightening or over-manipulating. It only makes sense that a boost of extra protein would smooth and strengthen your hair. 

However, not all protein is the same. Use these tips to make the most of this vital ingredient.

Skip kitchen DIY recipes

DIY beauty recipes are, normally, a wonderful go-to for the farm girl on a budget. However, DIY protein masks usually use ingredients like eggs or yogurt. These foods do contain protein, but the protein molecules are far too large to actually penetrate your hair. 

Instead, you want to use hydrolyzed protein, which has been broken into smaller particles that are able to easily penetrate the hair shaft.

Look at the first 5 ingredients

The easiest way to incorporate this ingredient into your routine is to look for it in conditioners, shampoos, masks or styling products. A quick scan of the list of ingredients will tell you whether or not your favorite product has protein in it, but browse carefully — if the protein is toward the bottom of the list, that means that it doesn’t contain enough to have a significant effect on your hair. If you want a real boost, look for products that contain protein within the first five ingredients on the list.

Use with caution

Not all protein treatments have the same amount of protein. Some mask treatments, like Aphogee, provide intense restoration while others have more subtle benefits. While it may be tempting to go for the intense option every time, those products can actually harm your hair if you use them too often. Too much protein is just as harmful as too little!

For best results, a treatment like Aphogee should be used only once every few weeks. In between, you can use more gentle protein treatments until you see your hair returning to shiny, healthy, happy locks.

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Not All in the Mind: 5 Physical Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety has become one of the most common long-term health problems and can have a devastating impact on work, relationships and family life. While anxiety is usually treated as a psychological problem, there can sometimes be a physical cause. Treating the physical problem will usually eliminate or reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Hormones

Hormones are responsible for many important functions in the body, including mood control. An imbalance of hormones can cause physical and mental health problems, including anxiety, mood swings, nausea and fluid retention. The menstrual cycle, puberty and menopause are all responsible for major shifts in the balance of hormones. Some health conditions, such as thyroid dysfunction, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and chronic stress, can also affect hormone production.

Gas

Excess gas in the digestive tract is a common physical cause of anxiety, as trapped gas can affect the way you breathe. Gas in the digestive tract can also make it painful or difficult to take a full breath, leading to short or shallow breaths. Shallow breathing leads to hyperventilation, a well-known cause of anxiety. Excess or trapped gas can also be extremely painful and sometimes mimics the symptoms of a heart attack, causing further anxiety.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerances can cause a wide range of symptoms that many people do not connect to the food they are eating. Anxiety, depression, headaches, digestive disorders, skin conditions and aching joints can all be the result of food intolerances. Currently, there are no reliable tests to diagnose most food intolerances, but keeping a diary of symptoms and the food you have eaten will enable you to identify patterns.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Low levels of some nutrients can cause anxiety-like symptoms, such as shortness of breath, dizziness and mood swings. Iron deficiency is common in women and can cause fatigue, dizziness and anxiety. Low levels of B vitamins and magnesium can make it difficult to relax, leading to increased anxiety, mood swings and muscle tension.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common digestive disorder that causes chronic heartburn, acid indigestion, nausea and sometimes abnormal food regurgitation. Chronic digestive problems affect the way you breathe, as it can feel uncomfortable taking a deep or long breath. This often leads to shallow breathing, which triggers anxiety. Unfortunately, anxiety can also make the symptoms of GERD worse.

Again, anxiety is usually treated as a psychological disorder, and that is reason for knowing our own bodies and doing a bit of investigating on our own. If there are physical causes such as the above that are causing anxiety or anxiety-like symptoms, then try to determine a fix for it or inform your doctor. And get on with living a healthy and happier life.


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