In England, you must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings (a list of examples for each is included in the brackets):
public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs)
transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
premises providing hospitality (bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes), except when seated at a table to eat or drink (see exemptions) from 24 September
post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
premises providing veterinary services
visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
libraries and public reading rooms
places of worship
funeral service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels)
community centres, youth centres and social clubs
exhibition halls and conference centres
public areas in hotels and hostels
storage and distribution facilities
You are expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it. More detailed advice on the application of these requirements in different settings can be found in the government’s guidance for working safely.
You should also wear a face covering in indoor places not listed here where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Face coverings are needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They are also advised to be worn in care homes.
Enforcement measures for failing to comply with this law
Premises where face coverings are required should take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law.
The police can take measures if members of the public do not comply with this law without a valid exemption and transport operators can deny access to their public transport services if a passenger is not wearing a face covering, or direct them to wear one or leave a service.
If necessary, the police and Transport for London (TfL) officers have enforcement powers including issuing fines. From 24 September this will be £200 (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days) for the first offence.
Repeat offenders receiving fines on public transport or in an indoor setting will have their fines doubled at each offence.
After the first offence, there will be no discount. For example, receiving a second fine will amount to £400 and a third fine will be £800, up to a maximum value of £6,400.
Since the spread of Covid 19 around the world I like many others have been looking for natural herbs to help stay healthy. Of course there are lots of herbal remedies being touted on YouTube and some herbal distributors injecting hashtags relating to a virus to help push there product up the search engine.
I usually buy my spices from the local Delhi Shop mainly because of the wide range and competitive prices. A few weeks ago I noticed that one of the boxes was empty, this is rare I thought, not just one box but five! The label read CARDAMOM. Is there a secret we don’t know about? Well I didn’t have time to do a search but I took a photo of the label to remind me to go investigate later.
To my amazement later on that day I found this some info on the 10 Health Benefits of Cardamom, Backed by Science! So what is Cardamom? It is a spice with an intense, slightly sweet flavor that some people compare to mint. It originated in India but is available worldwide today and used in both sweet and savory recipes. The seeds, oils and extracts of cardamom are thought to have impressive medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries (1, 2).
Here are 10 health benefits of cardamom, backed by science.
1. Antioxidant and Diuretic Properties May Lower Blood Pressure Cardamom may be helpful for people with high blood pressure. In one study, researchers gave three grams of cardamom powder a day to 20 adults who were newly diagnosed with high blood pressure. After 12 weeks, blood pressure levels had significantly decreased to the normal range (3Trusted Source).
The promising results of this study may be related to the high levels of antioxidants in cardamom. In fact, the participants’ antioxidant status had increased by 90% by the end of the study. Antioxidants have been linked to lower blood pressure (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source). Researchers also suspect that the spice may lower blood pressure due to its diuretic effect, meaning it can promote urination to remove water that builds up in your body, for example around your heart.
Cardamom extract has been shown to increase urination and decrease blood pressure in rats (5Trusted Source).
Cardamom may help lower blood pressure, most likely due to its antioxidant and diuretic properties.
2. May Contain Cancer-Fighting Compounds The compounds in cardamom may help fight cancer cells. Studies in mice have shown that cardamom powder can increase the activity of certain enzymes that help fight cancer (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
The spice may also enhance the ability of natural killer cells to attack tumors (8Trusted Source).
In one study, researchers exposed two groups of mice to a compound that causes skin cancer and fed one group 500 mg of ground cardamom per kg (227 mg per pound) of weight per day (7 Trusted Source).
After 12 weeks, only 29% of the group who ate the cardamom developed cancer, compared to over 90% of the control group (7Trusted Source).
Research on human cancer cells and cardamom indicate similar results. One study showed that a certain compound in the spice stopped oral cancer cells in test tubes from multiplying (9Trusted Source).
Even though the results are promising, these studies have only been conducted on mice or in test tubes. Human research is needed before stronger claims can be made.
Certain compounds in cardamom may fight cancer and stop the growth of tumors in mice and test tubes. Human research is needed to validate if these results apply to humans as well.
3. May Protect from Chronic Diseases Thanks to Anti-Inflammatory Effects Cardamom is rich in compounds that may fight inflammation. Inflammation occurs when your body is exposed to foreign substances. Acute inflammation is necessary and beneficial, but long-term inflammation can lead to chronic diseases (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12).
Antioxidants, found in abundance in cardamom, protect cells from damage and stop inflammation from occurring (13Trusted Source). One study found that cardamom extract in doses of 50–100 mg per kg (23–46 mg per pound) of body weight was effective in inhibiting at least four different inflammatory compounds in rats (14Trusted Source). Another study in rats showed that eating cardamom powder decreased liver inflammation induced by eating a diet high in carbs and fat (15Trusted Source).
Though there are not as many studies on the anti-inflammatory effects of cardamom in humans, research shows that supplements may increase antioxidant status by up to 90% (3Trusted Source).
The antioxidant compounds in cardamom may help protect cells from damage and slow down and prevent inflammation in your body.
4. May Help with Digestive Problems, Including Ulcers Cardamom has been used for thousands of years to help with digestion.
It’s often mixed with other medicinal spices to relieve discomfort, nausea and vomiting (1). The most researched property of cardamom, as it pertains to relieving stomach issues, is its possible ability to heal ulcers.
In one study, rats were fed extracts of cardamom, turmeric and sembung leaf in hot water before being exposed to high doses of aspirin to induce stomach ulcers. These rats developed fewer ulcers compared to rats that only received aspirin (16Trusted Source). A similar study in rats found that cardamom extract alone could completely prevent or reduce the size of gastric ulcers by at least 50%.
In fact, at doses of 12.5 mg per kg (5.7 mg per pound) of body weight, cardamom extract was more effective than a common anti-ulcer medication (17Trusted Source). Test-tube research also suggests that cardamom may protect against Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria linked to the development of most stomach ulcer issues (18Trusted Source). More research is needed to know if the spice would have the same effect against ulcers in humans.
SUMMARY Cardamom may protect against digestive issues and has been shown to reduce the number and size of stomach ulcers in rats.
5. May Treat Bad Breath and Prevent Cavities The use of cardamom to treat bad breath and improve oral health is an ancient remedy. In some cultures, it’s common to freshen your breath by eating entire cardamom pods after a meal (1). Even the chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley uses the spice in one of its products.
The reason why cardamom can lead to minty fresh breath may have to do with its ability to fight common mouth bacteria (19Trusted Source). One study found that cardamom extracts were effective in fighting five bacteria that can cause dental cavities. In some test-tube cases, the extracts prevented the growth of the bacteria by up to 0.82 inches (2.08 cm) (20). Additional research shows that cardamom extract can reduce the number of bacteria in saliva samples by 54% (21). However, all of these studies have been conducted in test tubes, making it unclear how the results may apply to humans.
SUMMARY Cardamom is often used to treat bad breath and is a component of some chewing gums. This is because cardamom might be able to kill common mouth bacteria and prevent cavities.
6. May Have Antibacterial Effects and Treat Infections Cardamom also has antibacterial effects outside of the mouth and may treat infections. Research shows that cardamom extracts and essential oils have compounds that fight several common strains of bacteria (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
One test-tube study examined the impact of these extracts on drug-resistant strains of Candida, a yeastthat can cause fungal infections. The extracts were able to inhibit the growth of some strains by 0.39–0.59 inches (0.99–1.49 cm) (26Trusted Source).
Additional test-tube research found that essential oils and extracts of cardamom were just as, and sometimes more effective than standard drugs against E. coli and Staphylococcus, bacteria that can cause food poisoning (23Trusted Source). Test-tube studies have also shown that cardamom essential oils fight the bacteria Salmonella that leads to food poisoning and Campylobacter that contributes to stomach inflammation (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
Existing studies on the antibacterial effects of cardamom have only looked at isolated strains of bacteria in labs. Therefore, the evidence is currently not strong enough to make claims that the spice would have the same effect in humans.
SUMMARY The essential oils and extracts of cardamom may be effective against a variety of bacterial strains that contribute to fungal infections, food poisoning and stomach issues. However, research has only been conducted in test tubes and not in humans.
7. May Improve Breathing and Oxygen Use Compounds in cardamom may help increase airflow to your lungs and improve breathing. When used in aromatherapy, cardamom can provide an invigorating odor that enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise (27).
One study asked a group of participants to inhale cardamom essential oil for one minute before walking on a treadmill for 15-minute intervals. This group had a significantly higher oxygen uptake compared to the control group (27). Another way that cardamom may improve breathing and oxygen use is by relaxing your airway. This may be particularly helpful for treating asthma. A study in rats and rabbits found that injections of cardamom extract could relax the throat air passage. If the extract has a similar effect in people with asthma, it may prevent their inflamed airways from restricting and improve their breathing (28).
SUMMARY Cardamom may improve breathing by stimulating better oxygen uptake and relaxing air passage to the lungs in humans and animals. . May Lower Blood Sugar Levels When taken in powder form, cardamom may lower blood sugar.
One study found that feeding rats a high-fat, high-carb (HFHC) diet caused their blood sugar levels to remain elevated longer than if they were fed a normal diet (15Trusted Source).
When rats on the HFHC diet were given cardamom powder, their blood sugar did not stay elevated for longer than the blood sugar of rats on a normal diet (15Trusted Source).
However, the powder may not have the same effect in humans with type 2 diabetes. In a study in over 200 adults with this condition, participants were divided into groups that took only black tea or black tea with three grams of either cinnamon, cardamom or ginger every day for eight weeks (29Trusted Source).
The results showed that cinnamon, but not cardamom or ginger, improved blood sugar control (29Trusted Source). In order to better understand the effect of cardamom on blood sugar in humans, more studies are needed.
SUMMARY A study on rats suggests that cardamom may help decrease high blood sugar levels, but more high-quality human studies are needed.
9. Other Potential Health Benefits of Cardamom In addition to the aforementioned health benefits, cardamom may be good for your health in other ways as well. Studies in rats have found that the high antioxidant levels in the spice may prevent both liver enlargement, anxiety and even aid weight loss:
Liver protection: Cardamom extract may decrease elevated liver enzymes, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. They may also prevent liver enlargement and liver weight, which reduces the risk of fatty liver disease (30, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
Anxiety: One rat study suggests that cardamom extract may prevent anxious behaviors. This may be because low blood levels of antioxidants have been linked to the development of anxiety and other mood disorders (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
Weight loss: A study in 80 overweight and obese prediabetic women found a link between cardamom and slightly reduced waist circumference. However, rat studies on weight loss and the spice have not found significant results (15Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source) The number of studies on the link between cardamom and these potential benefits is limited and mostly done on animals.
Furthermore, the reasons why the spice may help improve liver health, anxiety and weight are unclear.
SUMMARY: A limited number of studies suggests that cardamom supplements may decrease waist circumference and prevent anxious behaviors and fatty liver. The reasons behind these effects are unclear but may have to do with the spice’s high antioxidant content.
10. Safe for Most People and Widely Available Cardamom is generally safe for most people. The most common way to use cardamom is in cooking or baking. It’s very versatile and often added to Indian curries and stews, as well as gingerbread cookies, bread and other baked goods.
The use of cardamom supplements, extracts and essential oils is likely to become more common in light of the promising results of research on its medicinal uses. However, there is currently no recommended dose for the spice since most studies have been on animals. The use of supplements should be monitored by a health professional. Furthermore, cardamom supplements may not be suitable for children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Most supplements recommend 500 mg of cardamom powder or extract once or twice a day. The FDA does not regulate supplements, so be sure to choose brands that have been tested by a third party if you’re encouraged to try cardamom supplements by a healthcare provider. If you’re interested in trying cardamom, remember that adding the spice to your foods may be the safest way.
SUMMARY Using cardamom in cooking is safe for most people. Cardamom supplements and extracts have not been thoroughly researched and should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
The Bottom Line Cardamom is an ancient remedy that may have many medicinal properties. It may lower blood pressure, improve breathing and aid weight loss.
What’s more, animal and test-tube studies show that cardamom may help fight tumors, improve anxiety, fight bacteria and protect your liver, though the evidence in these cases is less strong. However, little or no human research exists for a number of the health claims associated with the spice. More studies are needed to show if or how the results of preliminary research apply to humans.
Nevertheless, adding cardamom to your cooking may be a safe and effective way to improve your health. Cardamom extracts and supplements may also provide benefits but should be taken with caution and under the supervision of a doctor.
MCT oil is a supplement often added to smoothies, bulletproof coffee and salad dressings.
As the name suggests, medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. Due to their shorter length, MCTs are easily digested and many health benefits are linked to the way your body processes these fats.
So Let’s Get To The Bottom Line First!
Taking MCT oil could have many benefits and very few risks.
For starters, it contains fatty acids that can promote weight loss by reducing body fat, increasing fullness and potentially improving your gut environment.
MCTs are also a great source of energy and may fight bacterial growth, help protect your heart and aid in managing diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and autism.
Potential drawbacks may include increased hunger and possible fat accumulation in your liver. However, as long as you keep to 1–2 tablespoons per day and use it to replace — not add — to your normal fat intake, any negative side effects are unlikely.
At the end of the day, MCT oil is a convenient way to take advantage of all the health benefits MCTs have to offer.
So where does it originate from
MCT oil is most commonly extracted from coconut oil, as more than 50% of the fat in coconut oil comes from MCTs. These fats are also found in many other foods, such as palm oil and dairy products.
Four different types of MCTs exist, of which caprylic and capric acid are most commonly used for MCT oil. In some cases, these specific types have unique benefits.
Here are 7 science-backed benefits you can get from adding MCT oil to your diet.
1. Promotes Weight Loss in Several Important Ways
There are several reasons why MCT oil may be beneficial when you’re trying to lose weight.
MCT oil has been shown to increase the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin. It may even be better than coconut oil in keeping you full. One study found that people taking two tablespoons of MCT oil as part of their breakfast ended up eating less food for lunch compared to those taking coconut oil.
The same study also discovered a lower rise in triglycerides and glucose with MCT oil, which may also influence the feeling of fullness.
Additionally, taking MCT oil has been shown to significantly reduce body weight and waist circumference. Researchers even report that it could help prevent obesity.
MCT oil has about 10% fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts and avocados
Your body also processes MCTs differently, which may help you burn calories
Your body can use MCT oil as an instant source of energy, making it unnecessary to store fat for this purpose. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that your body may adapt to this dietary change, leading to only temporary results.
MCTs can be converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat when carb intake is low. If you’re following a ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs yet high in fat, then taking MCT oil can help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis.
Lastly, your gut environment is very important when it comes to your weight. MCT oil can help optimize the growth of good bacteria and support the gut lining, which could also help you lose weight.
MCT oil may support weight loss by increasing fullness, fat loss, energy burning, ketone production and by improving your gut environment.
2. Instant Source of Energy That Can Also Be Used to Fuel Your Brain
MCT oil has been dubbed a super fuel since your body absorbs MCTs more rapidly than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which contain more carbons in their fatty acid chains.
Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break down like longer-chain fats do.
In the liver, the fats are broken down to be either used as fuel or stored as body fat.
Since MCTs easily enter your cells without being broken down, they can be used as an immediate source of energy.
When you’re on a ketogenic diet, MCTs can also be converted into ketones in the liver.
These ketones can pass through your blood-brain barrier, making them a convenient source of energy for your brain cells.
MCT oil is easily absorbed and transported throughout the body. It can be used as an instant source of energy or can be converted into ketones to fuel your brain.
3.May Reduce Lactate Buildup in Athletes and Help Use Fat for Energy
MCT oil has gained popularity amongst athletes. During exercise, rising lactate levels can negatively impact exercise performance.
Interestingly, MCTs may help with lactate buildup. One study found that athletes who took 6 grams or about 1.5 teaspoons of MCTs with food before cycling had lower lactate levels and found it easier to exercise, compared to those taking LCTs. Furthermore, the study found that taking the MCT oil before exercise may help you use more fat instead of carbs for energy.
Even though MCTs can increase fat burning during exercise, study results are mixed as to whether MCT oil can help you exercise better. One study showed it could improve swimming capacity in mice, but another human-based study found no improvement in endurance performance in runners.
At the very least, the results of one animal study suggest that MCT oil does not negatively affect exercise performance, which is encouraging.
MCT oil can increase fat burning and reduce the need for carbs during exercise. However, it is unclear whether this translates to improved exercise performance.
4. Could Help Manage Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease and Autism
Studies have shown that MCT oil and a ketogenic diet may help manage conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism.
While the ketogenic diet has gained popularity amongst people wishing to lose weight, it was first introduced as a way of managing epilepsy.
Scientists found that fasting increases ketone production and that this may reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.
Since MTCs can be converted into ketones, they may be beneficial in managing epilepsy. However, the type of MCT may be important. One test-tube study showed that the MCT capric acid improved seizure control better than a widespread anti-epileptic drug.
Another study in rats found that the same MCT blocked receptors in the brain that cause seizures, though more human studies are needed. In addition, it’s important to note that a ketogenic diet is not for everyone and can be challenging to follow long term.
If you are considering a ketogenic diet to help manage your epilepsy, talk to your doctor or nutrition professional first.
Alzheimer’s disease impairs your brain’s ability to use sugar. An MCT ketogenic diet offers an alternative energy source: ketones. This allows brain cells to survive better. It also blocks a receptor in the brain that causes memory loss.
One study found that a single dose of MCTs improved short-term cognition in 20 people with Alzheimer’s disease with a certain gene type, namely APOE ɛ4-negative.
While genetic factors play a role, evidence suggests that 20–70 grams of supplemental MCTs that include caprylic or capric acid can modestly improve the symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s.
Overall, the benefits of MCT oil in Alzheimer’s disease are promising, but longer and larger scale studies are needed .
MCT oil may also help children with autism.
One study found positive overall improvements when a ketogenic diet was followed for 6 months. Another study found that adding MCTs to a ketogenic and gluten-free diet substantially improved autism behaviors for 6 of the 15 children involved. Because autism is a spectrum condition, it can affect people in different ways.
This means that adding MCT oil to your child’s diet may help to varying degrees or may show no positive effects. More research is needed here, as well.
If you are considering a ketogenic diet to help manage your child’s autism, talk to your doctor or nutrition professional first.
MCT oil may improve brain function, which could have benefits for people with epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and autism.
5. Contains Powerful Fatty Acids That Fight Yeast and Bacterial Growth
MCTs have been shown to have antimicrobial and anti fungal effects.
Coconut oil, which contains a large amount of MCTs, has been shown to reduce the growth of Candida albicans by 25%. This is a common yeast that can cause thrush and various skin infections.
A test-tube study also showed that coconut oil reduced the growth of a disease-causing bacteria called Clostridium difficile.
Coconut oil’s ability to reduce yeast and bacterial growth may be due to the caprylic, capric and lauric acid in MCTs.
MCTs themselves have also been shown to suppress the growth of a widespread infectious fungus in hospitals by up to 50%. However, note that most of the research on MCTs and immune support has been conducted via test-tube or animal studies. High-quality human studies are needed before stronger conclusions can be made.
MCT oil contains fatty acids that have been shown to reduce the growth of yeast and bacteria. Overall, MCTs may have a variety of antimicrobial and anti-fungal effects.
6. May Reduce Risk Factors for Heart Disease, Such as Weight and Cholesterol
Heart disease is a growing problem. Some factors that increase your risk include high cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, being overweight and smoking.
MCT oil has been shown to support weight and fat loss. This may, in turn, help reduce your risk of heart disease. A study of 24 overweight men found that taking MCT oil combined with phytosterols and flaxseed oil for 29 days reduced total cholesterol by 12.5%. However, when olive oil was used instead, the reduction was only 4.7%.
The same study also found better reductions in LDL or “bad” cholesterol when the MCT oil mixture was added to their diet. Moreover, MCT oil can also increase the production of heart-protective HDL or “good” cholesterol .
It can even significantly reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker that increases the risk of heart disease. Additional studies found that MCT-oil-based mixtures can have a positive effect on other heart disease risk factors, as well.
MCT oil may reduce heart disease risk factors such as weight, cholesterol and inflammation. Adding it to your diet could help lower your risk of heart disease.
7. May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels and Support Diabetes Management
MCT oil may also have benefits for those with diabetes. Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, which makes diabetes harder to manage. However, MCTs have been shown to reduce fat storage and increase fat burning.
One small Chinese study of 40 people with diabetes found that those who consumed MCT oil daily had significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and insulin resistance, compared to those taking corn oil containing LCTs.
Another study found that when 10 people with diabetes were injected with insulin, they needed 30% less sugar to maintain normal blood sugar levels when they consumed MCTs, compared to LCTs. However, the same study did not find any effect of MCTs on reducing fasting blood sugar levels. Therefore, other factors such as timing and the amount of food eaten may influence the effects of MCT oil.
MCT oil may help manage diabetes by reducing fat storage and increasing fat burning. It may also help you control your blood sugar.
Potential Drawbacks of MCT Oil
Although MCTs are considered safe, they may have some disadvantages.
May Stimulate the Release of Hunger Hormones
While MCTs can increase the release of hormones that help you feel fuller longer, they may also stimulate the release of hunger hormones in some people
A study on people with anorexia found that MCTs increased the release of two hormones that stimulate appetite: ghrelin and neuropeptide Y.
People who took more than 6 grams of MCTs per day produced more of these hormones than those who had less than 1 gram per day.
However, it is unclear whether the increase in these hormones actually causes you to eat more.
High Doses Could Lead to Fat Buildup in the Liver
High doses of MCT oil may increase the amount of fat in your liver in the long term.
One 12-week study in mice found that a diet in which 50% of the fats were MCTs increased liver fat. Interestingly, the same study also found that MCTs reduced total body fat and improved insulin resistance.
However, keep in mind that high doses of MCT oil, such as those in the study above, are not recommended. Overall, more research is needed on the long-term effects of MCT oil.
MCTs are high in calories and usually only make up about 5–10% of your total calorie intake. If you are trying to maintain or lose weight, you should consume MCT oil as part of your total amount of fat intake and not as an additional amount of fat.
MCT oil increases the release of hunger hormones, which could lead to increased food intake. In the long term, it may also increase the amount of fat in your liver.
Source Previously Written by Sharon O’Brien on May 14, 2018
MCT Oil 101 – A Review of Medium-Chain Triglycerides
Written by Mary Jane Brown, PhD, RD (UK)
Supplementing with MCT oil is a popular way to cause fat loss and increase energy levels. MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride.
Other topic to review
1. How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science
Written by Kris Gunnars, BSc
A simple 3-step plan to lose weight fast, along with numerous effective weight loss tips. All of this is supported by science (with references).
2. The Ketogenic Diet 101: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide
Written by Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN
The ketogenic diet (keto) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that causes weight loss and provides numerous health benefits. This is a detailed beginner’s…
Every Celebrity That Has Long-as-Hell Hair Right Now
Article by Diane Shawe Author
See how celebrities from Nicki Minaj to Kim Kardashian are all-out working the extra-long hair trend? Other stars are going X-treme long and adding inches with sweeps of butt-grazing hair.
So although short lobs were going strong with celebrities like Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner cropping their cuts just a month or two ago the hair-toss boomerangs they now have access to has started trickling down to the ordinary guys on the street.
There’s long hair, and then there’s extra long hair. The former is the uninteresting look which is now considered average! The latter is a luxury reserved for one-name A-listers like Kim, Nicki, Rihanna, Ariana…the list goes on.
Nothing says “I’m rich and important” like stick-straight, shiny, or long bouncy wavy butt-length (or in Nicki’s case, ankle-length) strands– says Diane Shawe expert hair extensions consultant and author.
Just think of the amount of upkeep it requires, the price of extensions or custom wigs, and the sheer implausibility of doing regular-person, day to day activities with 32 inches of hair affixed to your head?
You need to be Somebody to pull it off–so it’s no wonder the divas of our time have taken to owning the look lately but, the look is out there on the streets now and some girls are even rocking Xtreme long braids to achieve that ultimate head turning attention.
So how can you achieve this look on the streets without spending thousands?
Pre made ponytails starting from £40- £120 depends on the length and density.
High grade heat tolerant Wigs are the best because you can blow out the look to keep the locks looking shiny and in good condition. Prices vary but an investment from £70 – £300 and you can rock that look anytime throughout the year.
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Selection of Celebs with extreme long hair extensions
THE 20 MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONAL STYLE BLOGGERS RIGHT NOW AND WHY BLOGGING CAN HELP YOUR BRAND
Available from Amazon
When twitter came out and account holders tweeted what they ate, we all thought twitter had a short life span. Now the media rummages through top celebrities tweets to find something sensationable to report about. Would be employers have been know to use candidates social media postings as evidence against them.
The era of the Personal style bloggers use to get caricatured as either geeks or pretty, brainless girls who dress up for their camera-wielding boyfriends and post their results to a WordPress blog.
But wait a minute, with instagram, Facebook, linkedin and twitter integration most of these bloggers have grown quiet influential with hundred of thousands of followers. Over the past decade, these independent publishers have become a real force in the fashion industry — not just snapping up front row seats at fashion shows, but landing major campaigns and collaborations with brands, becoming regular guests on TV shows like “Today” and “America’s Next Top Model,” and turning their blogs into multimillion-dollar businesses. Some have become household names. Independent European bloggers are harder to pin down as most of them are linked to magazines.
To determine the ranking, consideraction was given to:
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest followers, as well as website traffic. These numbers gave us a snapshot of how many people these bloggers are reaching every day.
Brand extensions. We gave props to bloggers who have used their influence to create original products.
It factor. We talked to industry insiders about whom advertisers are loving right now, and who is moving the most products via affiliate links.
Google News searches. Headline makers were rewarded for extending their reach beyond their own network.
1. Chiara Ferragni, The Blonde Salad
The 27-year-old Italian, who now lives in Los Angeles, has the broadest reach of any individual fashion blogger on our list, with more than 3 million Instagram followers. She’s a global star, as popular in Europe as she is in the U.S. What’s more, links from her site drive traffic and conversions, according to many of the brands with whom she has partnered. She was also recently named to an expert panel that will help determine the shortlist.
2. Aimee Song, Song of Style
Song, 28, is a Los Angeles-based interior designer whose straightforward street-style shots have made her popular with brands and readers alike. Song also has an incredible Instagram following — 1.9 million — and has worked hard to build her YouTube audience as well, with more than 28,000 subscribers to her channel.
3. Wendy Nguyen, Wendy’s Lookbook
Yet another L.A.-based blogger, Nguyen, 31, is best known for her YouTube channel, which currently boasts 600,000-plus subscribers. (Her 2011 video, “25 Ways to Tie a Scarf” has been viewed over 29 million times.) Nguyen’s point of view is unique in that she grew up in the foster system, and has opened up about her experiences to her readers.
4. Kristina Bazan, Kayture
This Swiss-model blogger, 21, has an impressive reach on Facebook — with more than 1.1 million likes — in addition to a major presence on Instagram, Twitter, etc. Bazan is a favorite of high-end brands: she’s worked with Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Piaget, among others.
5. Julie Sariñana, Sincerely Jules
The 29-year-old blogger, who lives in Los Angeles, started her site in 2009 — early, compared to many of her peers. Her easy, approachable style has translated well into her own line of t-shirts, printed with often inspirational, occasionally irreverent, quotes.
6. Rumi Neely, Fashion Toast
Neely, 31, launched Fashion Toast in 2007. Her particular style of blogging — photo-heavy posts featuring cool clothes and model poses — has greatly influenced the generation of influencers who have followed her. While Neely has collaborated with established brands in the past, she recently launched her own line. Are You Am I, a collection of slip dresses, tap pants and distinctly cut tees, is notable for its specificity. For fans who want to emulate Neely’s style — and there are plenty of them — there is nothing more perfect.
7. Nicole Warne, Gary Pepper Girl
One of three bloggers to land Lucky‘s February 2015 cover, the Sydney-based Warne, 25, first launched Gary Pepper as a vintage e-commerce site in 2009. Warne started out blogging and modeling the clothes as a way to market the website, and by 2011, it was one of the largest online vintage retailers in Australia. However, the young entrepreneur’s side project soon became the main event, and in 2012 she shut down the e-commerce leg of Gary Pepper to focus on her blog-driven business.
8. Blair Eadie, Atlantic-Pacific
The New York-based Eadie, 29, is best known for her accessible, yet educated, approach to fashion. Based in San Francisco when she launched the blog, Eadie has worked as a merchandiser for brands like Gap and Tory Burch, which means she has a professional edge when it comes to outfit posts. And brands like love working with her because she has a reputation for converting readers into shoppers.
9. Julia Engel, Gal Meets Glam
The San Francisco-based Engel, 23, is seen as an up-and-comer in the space. She’s already amassed a large following across platforms, from Pinterest to Instagram. Appealing to the same sorts of readers who worship Lauren Conrad’s pretty aesthetic, Engel’s site is easy to navigate, with lots of opportunities to shop affiliate links.
10. Nicolette Mason
Mason, who writes a monthly column for Marie Claire and designed her own collection for Modcloth last fall, is one of the most in-demand bloggers working right now. The 29-year-old writer played a role in the promotion and social media around Target’s new plus-size collection Ava & Viv and is also a budding TV personality, offering style advice on programs including “Today” and “Good Morning America.” Mason is notable because she uses her blog as a platform to discuss bigger social issues, including race, sexuality and body image.
11. Shea Marie: Peace, Love Shea
The Los Angeles-based blogger and TV host, 27, has the high-fashion-meets-Southern-California look brands eat up. She’s worked with the likes of Dior, Gucci, H&M and Guess.
The OG fashion blogger and best friend of Fashion Toast‘s Rumi Neely, the New York-based, Philippines-bred Bryan Grey Yambao has transformed from an online-diary keeper to a celebrity and fashion insider. While other bloggers from his era have fallen off the map, Yambao, 32, has remained relevant by branching out. Memorable projects include a collection with furrier Adrienne Landau and a hosting spot on several seasons of “America’s Next Top Model.”
13. Elin Kling
The New York-based Kling, who is Swedish, was one of the first bloggers to collaborate with a brand on a collection. (In 2011, H&Mreleased a Kling-designed line.) But her fantastic stand-alone label, Toteme, has transformed Kling, 31, from a blogger to a full-fledged designer.
14. Zanita Whittington
The Stockholm-based Aussie, 28, was one of Lucky‘s February cover stars. Along with modeling and blogging, Whittington is also serious about photography. Her site is a sort of “how to” for aspiring bloggers, with service pieces on starting a blog and building an audience.
15. Gabi Gregg, Gabifresh
One of three plus-size bloggers chosen to star in the campaign for Target’s new Ava & Viv collection, Gregg started her blog in 2008 when she couldn’t find an entry-level job in fashion journalism. Now 28 and based in Los Angeles, the blogger has appeared on the “Today” show, designed a sell-out swimwear collection, and partnered with brands including Misguided, Nordstrom and Laura Mercier.
16. Danielle Bernstein, We Wore What
The New York-based blogger, 23, started her site as an FIT undergrad eager to capture the style of her fellow students. It soon transformed into a personal style forum, leading to a design project with Topshop.
17. Jessica Stein,Tuula Vintage
This Sydney-based blogger, 25, spends a good chunk of her time traveling, and sharing her adventures via Instagram. (She’s currently parked in the Maldives.) Brands like Dior Beauty partner with her for the obvious reasons: she has great taste and an enviable life.
18. Susanna Lau, Style Bubble
Forever the no. 1 blogger to fashion insiders, the 31-year-old Lau is now one of the industry’s leading voices. While her creative outfit posts are still appreciated, she is even more loved for her sharp opinion, contributing to publications including Elle UK and Business of Fashion, as well as posting regularly on her own site.
19. Chriselle Lim, The Chriselle Factor
With a massive YouTube following, the Los Angeles-based wardrobe stylist, 29, offers her audience plenty of tips and tricks via video. She’s worked with brands including Coach and Banana Republic.
20. Jane Aldridge, Sea of Shoes
Another blogging pioneer, the Dallas-based Aldridge started her site at age 15. Eight years later, she’s still at it, partnering with brands like Lovegold and Cartier on a regular basis.
Most Bottled Water is FILLED With Fluoride, Here’s a Complete List of Brands to Avoid
“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,”Grandjean says. “The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”
As with other fresh water supplies (e.g., spring water, lake water, river water), bottled waters have low levels of fluoride.
Fresh surface water contains an average of just 0.05 ppm. To put this in perspective, artificially fluoridated water (using industrial-grade fluoride chemicals) contains 0.7 to 1.2 ppm fluoride, which is 14 to 24 times more than the average natural level.
Fluoride Health Problems
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the presence of fluoride in public drinking water (fluoridation). For starters, before fluoride was used to fight cavities, it was (and still is) used in insecticides and rat poision.
Fluorosis is a condition that wears down the enamal of the tooth, leaving behind white spots, making the teeth more vulnerable to cavities and decay. Fluorosis is a very real health condition that can effect both children and adults. More and more evidence is mounting against the use of fluoride, even in small amounts. But it doesn’t appear to be a critical issue according to the US Surgeon Generals, as the last 5 Surgeon Generals have supported the fluoridation of drinking water. Incidentally, the claimed health benefits almost always point to oral health. Fortunately, the CDC is calling for new labeling rules requiring manufacturers to list a product’s fluoride content, which we have found to be missing in some cases.
What is too much Fluoride?
Fluoride itself is actually required by our bodies in low doses. When consumed in high amounts, specifically the man-made fluoride that is in public drinking water, can cause problems.
An estimated 5-10g of sodium fluoride can be lethal for some adults. While fluoride provides benefits to your oral health, it can also come with adverse side effects, that vary in severity depending upon the amount of fluoride consumed. Excessive consumption of fluoride can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. This can occur with doses 15 to 20 times lower than actual lethal doses (0.2-0.3mg/kg). Fluoride in exessive amounts can also cause problems in the formation bone.
Here are some bottled water brands that contain little to no fluoride:
A Better Water
Agromas Natural Mineral Water
Aquarius Natural Mineral Water
Augusta Medical – Daniels
Besco Pure Premium Drinking Water
BIOTA Colorado Pure Spring Water
Black Berry Farms
Blue Ice Natural Mineral Water
Chippewa Spring Water
Clear Mountain Spring Water
Clover Company Limited
Cohutta Mountain Spring Water
Crowne Plaza Drinking Water
Crowne Plaza Natural Mineral Water
Cruel Jacks Spring Water
Crystal Mountain Spring Water
Crystal Spring Natural Spring Water
Deep Rock Crystal Drop
Deep Rock Fontenelle
Equatorial Natural Mineral Water
Famous Ramona Water
Founders Square Bank
Fresh Brands Artesian
Fresh Brands Distilled Water
Fresh Brands Drinking Water
Glen Summit Springs Water
Glen Summit Distilled Water
Gordon Food Service
Hidden Valley Natural Mineral Water
Hillcrest Distilled Water
Hillcrest Drinking Water
Hillcrest Spring Water
Hilton PJ Natural Mineral Water
Hi-Sprint Drinking Water
Hi-Sprint Natural Mineral Water
Hon Less Natural Mineral Water
Istana Natural Mineral Water
Joe Ragan’s Pure Water
KLGCC Natural Mineral Water
Kroger Bottled Water (Reverse Osmosis)
Krystal J Artesian Water
Krystal J Distilled Water
Leroy Jenkins Ministries
Logansport Savings Bank
Masafi Pure Natural Mineral Water
Mesra Drinking Water
Mesra Natural Mineral Water
Monadnock Mountain Spring Water
Mountain Valley Spring Water
Mutiara Natural Mineral Water
New Frontier Bank
Northern Illinois University
Oasis Pure Drinking Water
Oasis Sparkling Water
Ogallala – Clear Cool Water
OUI Drinking Water
OUI Natural Mineral Water
Parmer Pure H2O
Pelangi Natural Mineral Water
Penta Ultra Premium Purified Drinking Water
Pristine Natural Artesian
Refresh Natural Mineral Water
Reiser Drinking Water
Request Foods, Inc.
Roundy’s “Purified Water”
Safeway – Refreshe
Sam’s Wine & Spirits
San Faustino Natural Mineral Water
Silver Creek Purified Water
Silver Creek Spring Water
Sky Drinking Water
Stator Bros. Markets
Teton Mountain Lodge Spring Water
United Dairy Farmers
Veta Drinking Water
Whole Foods 365
Woodland Spring Water
Wyoming Machinery “Catipillar” Spring Water
List of brands to avoid that are known to be high in fluoride:
The list contains data provided by the International Bottled Water Association that you can use to make sure you’re not feeding fluoride to yourself and your family.
Fear of failure and not standing out from the crowd will not get you far up the ladder of success
article by Diane Shawe M.Ed. Ed
Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center. Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas. One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to eat, but just as he reached out to grab a banana, he was doused with a torrent of cold water.
Squealing, he scampered down the pole and abandoned his attempt to feed himself.
Each monkey made a similar attempt, and each one was drenched with cold water. After making several attempts, they finally gave up.
Then researchers removed one of the monkeys from the room and replaced him with a new monkey. As the newcomer began to climb the pole, the other three grabbed him and pulled him down to the ground.
After trying to climb the pole several times and being dragged down by the others, he finally gave up and never attempted to climb the pole again.
The researchers replaced the original monkeys, one by one, and each time a new monkey was brought in, he would be dragged down by the others before he could reach the bananas.
In time, the room was filled with monkeys who had never received a cold shower. None of them knew why.
Don’t let toxic people kill your business or energy
It will come as no surprise to some of you but, there are three personality types that could end up sabotaging your small business, management committee or think tank team to the point where you end up not working on your business or project but working in it.
Most of us have been there. That one personality that just drives you to distraction and no matter what you do, they seem to be in complete denial.
A staggering number of small businesses have sprung up since 2014 according to the FSB 2015 report.
There were a record 5.4 million private sector businesses at the start of 2015.
This is an increase of 146,000 since 2014 and 1.9 million more since 2000.
The number of employing businesses increased by 35,000 and the number of non-employing businesses by 112,000, with the annual growth for both groups being around +3%.
Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2015 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs).
Total employment in SMEs was 15.6 million; 60% of all private sector employment in the UK.
The combined annual turnover of SMEs was £1.8 trillion, 47% of all private sector turnover in the UK.
Most of these business owners would have experienced high staff turnover, partnership problems, customer complaints all of which then culminate into cash flow problems or problems with people who become perpetual saboteurs.
Lets take a look at the personality types
1 People Who Like to Be Right
2 People Who Like to Be Comfortable
3 People Who Like to Be Liked
4 People Who Like to WIN
So most of us when we are looking for someone to join the team, we are often working with a low budget which does not stretch to complicated personality assessment or expensive recruitment companies who want large upfront fees. So we tend to end up going on the ‘Oh you CV is impressive’ or ‘WoW we really get on’ or ‘Yes you so get my business needs’
But is that really enough?
Here are some key indicators that the person you’re working with or about the hire may have such a personality type:
#1 People Who Like To Be Right
They challenge your coaching
They argue with you
They say “I know that” but then do not take action
Have difficulty receiving feedback
Need to have the last word
Need to justify their choices
This personality type will make it difficult when it comes to creating duplication, receiving and implementing constructive ideas if they’re building a business with you. At the interview they may make you feel uncomfortable, but impress you at the same time.
#2 People Who Like To Be Comfortable
Here are some key indicators that the person you’re speaking with fits this personality type:
Afraid to take risks
Fine with watching TV every night instead of focusing on their business growth
Has difficulty implementing coaching
Comfortable in the current situation that they’re in
Very specific on task and hours of work
This style of person will struggle with being a self-starter and will consistently need motivation from YOU in order to build and grow the business. At the interview they may state a lot about the type of people they don’t like which could be describing themself.
#3 People Who Like To Be Liked
Here are some key indicators that the person you’re speaking with fits this personality type:
Need approval from others
Don’t want to rock the boat
Loves life when everyone is happy around them
Will say yes to others even if they disagree
Are afraid of going against the grain and looking different
This personality will have a very hard time with difficult conversations will often appear very latargic and not very helpful. They don’t want to be seen as the bad guy or gal. At the interview you may not be able to quiet put your finger on it, but you might like them because they seem as though they might not give you any trouble.
The Ultimate Personality For Building A Massive Army Of Implementers
#4 People Who Like To WIN
Here are some key indicators that the person you’re speaking with fits this personality type:
Ready to take on challenges
Have a clear vision of what they want and how they’re going to get there
Have a thick skin and don’t care about what others think
Desire for self growth
When you identify this kind of personality, act fast and figure out how to work with them, because they’re going to be successful with or without you. At the interview they may come across as enthusiastic and focused. Might also want to bring ideas to the table even before they have the job.
Can People Change?
Do you really think it’s possible to change someone’s personality to make them someone who wants to win?
What if there was an easy way to take a look at a personality type so you could better plan how to work with them and help them become a winner?
Out Now: 77 Ways to avoid Potential Business Failure
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” –Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
Like you I Never Thought I Could answer 77 questions that would help me avoid business failure – But I Finally Discovered The Secret! Here’s How…
In business, there are no guarantees. There is simply no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a small business – but you can improve your chances of success with good planning, preparation, and insight. Start by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a potential owner and manager of a small business. Carefully consider each of the following questions.
Are you a self-starter? It will be entirely up to you to develop projects, organise your time, and follow through on details.
How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people including customers, vendors, staff, bankers, and professionals such as lawyers, accountants or consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor, or a cranky receptionist if your business interests demand it?
How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly – often quickly, independently, and under pressure.
Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Can you face six or seven 12-hour work days every week?
How well do you plan and organise? Research indicates that poor planning is responsible for most business failures. Good organisation of financials, inventory, schedules, and production can help you avoid many pitfalls.
Is your drive strong enough? Running a business can wear you down emotionally. Some business owners burn out quickly from having to carry all the responsibility for the success of their business on their own shoulders. Strong motivation will help you survive slowdowns and periods of burnout.
How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business startup can be hard on family life. It’s important for family members to know what to expect and for you to be able to trust that they will support you during this time. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk in the short-term.
So Before you start – Do you know the answer to these 77 questions? Download your copy today it will be the best £3.99 you spend?
I recommend you get a little notebook and start working on each question. For those you cannot answer, find the answer and make a note. This is also an invaluabe excercise if you are already in business, it can help you clarify where you are today and help you plot where you need to get too and how to do it.
Get your exclusive copy today and save £3.00
If you want to find out if you are right for your business, we have a surprise link hidden inside this little ebook. All you have to do is Answer 10 questions and we will send you a full report which will also include your Personal Training Needs Analysis to develop your Entrepreneur skills.
Diane Shawe Author of 77 Question to avoid business failure Available from Amazon
Anyone can be affected by traction alopecia – young or old, male or female. It’s more common within certain groups of the population, because they are more likely to use some of the hairstyling techniques listed above.
For example, women and girls are more likely to notice the problem due to braids and weaves. Ballerinas – who tend to wear their hair pulled into very tight ponytails – sometimes suffer from traction alopecia around the hairline as a result.
In a nutshell – if you have a habit of doing something on a frequent basis that puts your hair under some sort of strain, then you are a candidate for traction alopecia.
Read on to discover the many ways you can prevent it from happening, or stop further damage if you’ve already noticed a problem.
Traction Alopecia Symptoms
Have you ever undone a ponytail and found your scalp feels sensitive to the touch afterwards?
Does untying your hair feel like a relief?
Does your scalp itch after you’ve had braids or a weave put in?
Have you ever taken painkillers because your hair is secured so tightly it’s given you a headache?
All of these are warning signs that your hair is under way too much tension. Your body is trying to tell you something… and you need to listen!
If not, the next thing you’ll notice is that sections of your hair are actually missing, or worryingly sparse. You can often see this more clearly around the hairline or behind the ears, but it can often happen around the crown, too. It really depends on what was causing the tension in the first place.
Some people even notice pustules (blisters filled with pus) or papules (little pimples) where the hair is under a lot of tension. This is because of the irritation being caused to the scalp and is a clear indicator that the follicles just can’t cope with the strain.
Can Traction Alopecia be Reversed?
Yes and no.
If you spot the warning signs of traction alopecia early enough and you put a stop to whatever’s causing it, then your hair will stop falling out and should – with time, patience and loving care – be completely restored to its former glory.
But if the hair follicles have been so badly traumatised for such a long period of time that they have scarred over, then the hair will not grow back by itself. Areas of the scalp where this is the case will likely look shiny.
In cases like this, you’ll need to think about some sort of surgical restoration – speak to your dermatologist to establish whether or not your traction alopecia has caused permanent scarring and to discuss the surgical options available to you.
When Traction Alopecia Compounds Other Hair Loss Problems
If you are wearing a hairpiece – such as a clip on topper – to mask other hair problems like androgenetic alopecia, then you need to be very careful not to compound your problem with traction alopecia!
The best option is to ensure that the clips of your topper are firm, but not too tight, and that you rotate them. We also recommend undoing a couple of the clips when you’re at home – it gives your scalp a little rest from the tension.
Traction Alopecia Recovery Time
Most experts agree that your hair should recover within 6 to 9 months of you removing the cause of the problem.
If you’ve followed the guidelines given here and you are still not seeing regrowth, then it’s likely that the damage to your follicles was permanent – a fact your doctor/dermatologist can confirm. In that case, you might like to discuss the possibility of a hair transplant, which will effectively mask the problem.
What are the Causes of Traction Alopecia?
Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that happens over time. It’s caused by putting the hair under constant strain or tension and is usually caused by one or more of the following…
Very tight ponytails or pigtails
Tight braids or cornrows
Extension (single) braids
Hair weaves or wigs attached with glue, clips or tape
Certain hair clips, slides or barrettes that hold the hair tightly and are worn in the same position every day
Headbands – even fabric ones – worn day after day
Tight headgear like cycling helmets that are worn frequently or for long stretches of time and tend to rub or pull repeatedly on the same area of hair
Repeated use of hair rollers
Repeated pulling of the hair with the hands (this is an emotional condition called trichotillomania)
If you use or do any of the above, then you may find that the constant tension they cause has led to areas of thinning hair – usually around the temples or behind your ears. Alternatively, you might notice that the part in your hair looks wider than it used to.
If so, then it’s quite likely that you’re suffering from traction alopecia.
There’s more to this condition than hair simply breaking off. Instead, the constant tension in the affected area either pulls out the hairs’ roots completely, or causes the follicles to become inflamed. As time goes by, the damage to the follicles causes them to become atrophied (wasted away)… and if you don’t put a stop to the cause of the problem, they will reach the point where they no longer produce hair at all.
As discussed above, ‘treatment’ for traction alopecia is only effective before you’ve arrived at the stage of permanent damage.
But the good news is that ‘treatment’ – if you’ve caught the condition early enough – can be as simple as changing whatever hair styling and hair care practices you were using and really learning to CARE for this precious asset… your hair!
Wearing a weave
One of the biggest ironies about traction alopecia is that it’s the most common cause of hair loss for women wearing hair extension is due to the application being too tight when weaves and hairpieces are applied… yet those weaves and hairpieces are often used in the first place to enhance hair that may seem thin, or lacking in volume.
Weaves are generally applied through braiding, fusion, netting or bonding – and the sad fact is that any or all of these methods can lead to traction alopecia if used extensively, over long periods of time.
To minimize the risk of traction alopecia, or to try to prevent further damage and encourage regrowth, have your weave fitted by a state licensed professional. Yes, it may be more expensive, but you – and your hair – are worth it! Someone properly trained in hair care will keep damage to a minimum and will be able to spot potential problems and nip them in the bud.
The same goes for hair extensions, which can also cause hair loss problems in the lower half of the scalp. Have them fitted by a trained professional – don’t try to fit them yourself or have a friend do them for you.
Speak to your hairdresser about taking care of your scalp – some women find it difficult to maintain good scalp hygiene because the weave or extensions make it awkward… unfortunately, though, this can make the problem of traction alopecia worse.
When chemicals are the culprits
There’s a kind of alopecia called CCCA (central cicatricial centrifugal alopecia), also known as hot comb alopecia, or follicular degeneration syndrome. It’s almost exclusively seen in African American women and it’s often confused with female pattern baldness, because it starts at the crown and spreads to the surrounding areas.
A mixture of too much stress (traction) on the hair along with the use of harsh chemicals like dyes, relaxers and bleaches. The chemicals actually damage the keratin structure of the follicle itself, causing hair LOSS, not just hair damage.
If you suspect this is a condition that’s affecting you, speak to your dermatologist. In addition to removing the cause of the traction and stopping the use of chemicals in your hair, you may be tested for any bacterial or viral infection and possibly be prescribed topical steroids, antibiotics or topical minoxidil to encourage regrowth.
NOTE: If you must use a relaxer on your hair, have it done professionally. Specialists are seeing more and more problems caused by home relaxer kits, because it’s tempting to leave the chemicals on longer than necessary, or accidentally use a stronger formula than you really need. (Make sure they have been certified)
Braiding, ponytails, pigtails and locs
The 2008 research into the prevalence of traction alopecia in African girls and women showed that braiding caused more problems than chemicals (although the two together were worse still).
Constant, tight braiding – or other styles like ponytails that place hair under chronic tension – can affect any ethnic group. So it’s very important to take a new approach to styling hair that doesn’t rely on placing the hair under extreme tension.
The ideal solution, of course, is to allow the hair to be completely natural, without using any kind of clips, slides or ties.
The reality, though, is that this just isn’t possible for most of us. Our hair may either be unmanageable and wild looking when allowed to ‘do its own thing’ – or, like us, you may live in a climate where it’s simply too hot to have your hair hanging around your face all day.
The answer is that you can continue to secure back your hair, but you MUST change the way you do it from one week to the next. Traction alopecia is usually the result of CONTINUALLY putting the hair under EXACTLY the same tension in the same place, day after day.
How to Avoid Traction Alopecia (and still have beautiful hair!)
Change the location of your ponytail often – wear it high, low, on one side, then the other. Don’t wear a ponytail at all if your hair isn’t really long enough to need one… otherwise you’ll probably be pulling your too-short hair really hard in order to secure it.
Avoid using clipped in ponytails – the weight of them can – quite literally – tear out your hair.
Always use fabric covered hair bands – avoid bare rubber bands like the plague! And remove bands, clips and ponytail holders from the hair at night – this is when you may be putting your hair under tension without even realizing it.
Invest in satin pillowcases. They cause less friction on your hair than cotton or nylon ones – and, as an added bonus, they’re believed to help reduce wrinkles too!
Change the location of your partas often as you can. Even a simple part in the hair can trigger a problem when worn in the same position day after day.
Don’t retwist the roots of dreadlocks – watch this video for first-hand experience of how damaging this can be!
If you use hairspray or hair gel, wash it out before you next brush your hair.Brushing dried hairspray and gels out of your hair is damaging to the shaft and may cause further hair loss.
Make sure your hair is hydrated. If you’re in a dry climate – or you use air conditioning or central heating – the lack of moisture in the air can make your hair brittle and more likely to break