Licensed hair stylist, Zach of Zig Zach KL, shares how scalp care is key to healthy hair.

Have you noticed more hair on the floor that can’t be blamed on the cat? This time you’re the one shedding and it may be related to stress. Yup, another pandemic side effect caused by the stress and anxiety we’ve had to endure these past few months. How do we get to the root of this problem? Literally – by taking care of our scalp.

Scalp care is crucial to hair care. You can’t have healthy hair without having a healthy, clean scalp. But what we tend to forget when we’re scrubbing our scalps is that it is skin, and should be treated as well as we take care of our face. When your scalp is strong and healthy, it will be able to retain more hair. With the uncertainty we’ve been facing causing hair loss in many, we asked Zach how we can start giving our scalps the attention it deserves.

  1. Stop using hot water! That doesn’t mean you have to give up the comfort of a hot shower, simply make the water warmer when it comes to your hair – hot water strips it of moisture and essential oils.
  2. If you can, use cold water instead to seal the moisture in your hair. This will hydrate your scalp and prevent dirt from entering it by closing the pores. You’ll also get a good energy boost!
  3. Check your shampoo labels – believe it or not, some contain harmful chemicals. Avoid sulphates, chemical fragrances and Parabens as they cause hair loss.
  4. Oily hair needs to be washed daily to keep the scalp clean and healthy. When your scalp is too oily, it can form a fungus that will leave it feeling itchy and flaky.
  5. For those who dye their own hair, make sure the colour doesn’t contain ammonia, peroxide or paraphenylenediamine (PPD). Most use a combination of these, which are harmful to your hair and scalp.
  6. Internally, you can start consuming vitamin A or multivitamins, but do consult your doctor first. Vitamin A is known for increasing hair growth and keeping your scalp healthy.

Get more advice from Zach here and follow him on Instagram for the latest looks.

Remember when fighting for change was an activist’s job? As humans, caring about social issues is only the right thing to do, but if you find yourself constantly refreshing social media and checking the news for emerging threats worldwide – you might be addicted to bad news, and like all addictions, it can be harmful.

No, we’re not saying ignorance is bliss. When tragedies keep us glued to our screens, it can cause compassion fatigue – a form of burnout that’s commonly found among caretakers and healthcare professionals. But the rise of social media activism has manifested an unfair expectation for everyone to stay on top of every single issue, leaving us feeling either guilty or exhausted.

So is compassion fatigue caring ‘too much’? According to GoodTherapy, the concept also known as second-hand shock or secondary stress reaction is “a type of stress that results from helping or wanting to help those who are traumatised or under significant emotional duress”. Below are a few symptoms of compassion fatigue:

If you experience any of these signs, it’s time to take a break – your mind needs to rest, just like your body does. Here’s how you can cope with compassion fatigue and prevent burning out:

As the activist and writer, Audre Lorde, once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare”. Don’t feel bad about taking a step back because there’s an increasing number of people ready to carry on where you left off. You can’t stand up for social justice when you’re barely hanging on, so do what you need to do to stay positive, strong and healthy.

If you still feel overwhelmed, please seek help from a mental health professional.

Can you believe it’s almost been a year since the COVID-19 outbreak? As much as we want it to end by 2021, The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows that there is an increasing rate of infections coming from countries who were thought to be controlling their outbreaks.

We’ve experienced lockdowns, travel restrictions, strict guidelines, and just when we were getting used to the new normal – we now find ourselves preparing for another wave. If you’ve started to feel stressed and anxious again from all the fear and uncertainty, here’s how you can cope with those difficult thoughts:

  • Acknowledge what you’re feeling

The World Health Organization puts it best – when we are unaware of our thoughts and feelings, we get hooked on them. Start noticing what you’re thinking and how it makes you feel. By understanding your feelings, you’ll be able to avoid getting consumed by your thoughts.

  • Practice grounding yourself

When you start to feel overwhelmed and distracted, you need to slow down and refocus your attention to the present. Start by focusing on your breathing and then move on to your surroundings. When you worry about the future, your thoughts begin to race so you need to remind yourself that you are in the present.

  • Educate yourself

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has advised that we get to know the facts about the coronavirus to help reduce the stress from fake news and rumours. Discuss your concerns with a doctor and prepare yourself by finding out where and how to seek treatment.

  • Take care of your body

Stress can also affect your physical health, so it is important to eat healthy food, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Although there are no foods or dietary supplements that can prevent or cure COVID-19 infection, these are healthy ways to strengthen your immune system.

  • Connect with others

If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, share how you’re feeling with someone you trust or talk to a mental health professional. You can socialise with your family and friends to help distract your mind from stressful thoughts.

 

Remember, it is normal to feel anxious and you don’t always have to be positive – your emotions are valid. Make sure you’re aware of what you’re feeling, and find reassurance in knowing that there are plenty of resources and welcoming arms to help you.

Let’s take care of ourselves and each other during these trying times!