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Hair loss can be worrying, embarrassing, and difficult to treat, but it affects most people at some point in their lives. About 85 percent of men and 45 percent of women experience significantly thinning hair by the age of 50. Aging isn’t the only cause of hair loss, however, with many medical, dietary, and lifestyle factors playing a role.

Aging

Hair loss is most often caused by aging, so check how old your parents were when they started losing hair. This can help you estimate a timeline of your own scalp longevity. Some hair loss is natural once you’re into your 40s.

Alopecia

Alopecia occurs when the immune system starts mistakenly attacking hair follicles, limiting hair growth and causing round bald spots. It can be severe, permanent, and reoccurring, although the hair loss is mild for many people. Treatments are improving, however, so consult your doctor if you’re seeing completely hairless circular patches.

Stress

Emotional stress can cause balding or trigger alopecia in some people (particularly if it runs in your family). Try to get your stressors under control by adjusting your lifestyle, meditating, or seeing a psychologist. Your hair most likely will grow back over time.

Pregnancy

Bald patches commonly occur during pregnancy due to the influx of hormones that carrying a baby produces. The hair almost always grows back, but make sure to check in with your doctor if you see any significant scalp changes.

Going Off The Pill

Switching or going off contraceptive (birth control) pills can cause temporary hair loss in some women as the body readjusts to its natural levels of androgen and estrogen. This type of hair loss is particularly common in younger women.

Steroid Use

Anabolic steroids, most often used by bodybuilders and athletes, can also alter your hormonal balance and cause hair loss. This usually isn’t permanent, but it can be a sign that you need to give your body a break from steroids.

Too Much Vitamin A

Excess vitamin A can cause premature balding and hair loss in some people. Make sure your supplements contain less than the recommended daily limit of 5,000 IU.

Hypothyroidism

An underactive thyroid gland, known as hypothyroidism, can lead to significant hair loss as the body fails to produce enough hormones to keep the hair follicles active. Thyroid medications usually help with the hair loss as well as the underlying problem.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder that causes sufferers to twist, tug, and pull out strands of hair from their head, eyebrows, or eyelashes. The underlying issue is psychological, so trichotillomania is best addressed by a cognitive behavioral therapist.

Intense Styling

Excessive usage of chemical hair relaxers and tight braids can cause the hair shaft to weaken and fall out. This hair loss can be permanent, so avoid intense styling and be gentle with your hair as it grows in.

Hair loss can be scary but it doesn’t have to rule your life. Reach out to a medical professional if you think that your hair loss is significant, and assess the treatment options available to you.

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Celebrate Your Style with Your Own Signature Fragrance

It may seem like the ultimate in alchemy – transforming different aromas into one stunning signature perfume – but it is not completely shrouded in mystery. In fact, you can create your own perfume, one that is unique to you. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment, but you do need some ingredients before you get to choose your essential oils, and create your own blend.

You will need an alcohol base for your perfume. Vodka is a popular choice as it’s odorless, and there is always some left over for a cocktail. You will also need a collection of old perfume and cologne bottles and sprays that can be opened. These should be thoroughly washed and dried to remove all traces of old scent.

Now you need to consider the structure of your perfume before you start experimenting. A classic perfume consists of top notes, middle notes and base notes. The top note is the ‘zing’ of your perfume that will be evident as soon as you put it on, but it doesn’t as long as the others. The middle note will come into play after the top note has faded. The base note is a long lasting aroma that anchors the rest.

You will see from this that you need to structure your perfume to fade gracefully. The very best perfumes do this – they don’t just vanish all at once, as lesser perfumes do, or fade to a cheap base note. The best base notes are the heavy, warm scents such as sandalwood or patchouli. Both have an oriental aroma although patchouli is much stronger. Amber is another common base note that is suitable for most perfume types. Musk also popular and anchors a perfume very well. Note that it is synthetically made now instead of taken from an animal. Greener base notes can be found in vetiver, rosemary, cedarwood and oakmoss. Once you have decided on your base note (or notes, you can combine them) you can move on to the middle notes.

These are the aromas that give your perfume its character, and set its direction – this can be floral, classical, sensual, youthful and so on. Among the middle notes you will find the longer lasting floral scents, such as rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang. Herbal scents such as thyme, clary sage and rosemary, and spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger are all popular middle notes.

The lighter top notes can be chosen from among many floral and citrus scents – here you will find lavender, violet, mimosa – lemon, lime and orange. Let your own taste guide you in choosing the notes for your perfume, but don’t be afraid to experiment. A touch of spice may be just what your floral mixture needs to set it apart and make it your own, a hint of sensuality may be just the right note to anchor your green and woody scent to your own personality.

The real secret to blending essential oils is to use a dropper and a glass bottle. Put in your chosen base notes first, then add the rest, adjusting to get the scent you want. You will need only a few drops or less of each. Then add your oil mix to the alcohol, filling the bottle to the top. You will need a fine funnel to do this, or you can fill it with a dropper, which will take more time.

When you have created your own signature scent, you can also create your own range of products. Add it to fragrance-free products like baby shampoo for your hair and baby oil for after bath care. Sprinkle a few drops into fine arrowroot powder for talc and add to plain sorbolene for skin care.

You can also sprinkle it on patterned paper to scent your underwear drawer, on writing paper and envelopes to make your letters extra special and add to potpourri to give your home your own very personal touch.

Lastly, give your signature perfume a name. Take a leaf out of the celebrity book and use your own name and a word that inspires you. Use your computer to create labels for your products. In other words, be your own ‘It Girl’.


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