Posts tagged with "Good Housekeeping"

Showing your true colors: What you didn’t know about gray hair

November 8, 2018

Some people don’t turn a hair when they start going gray; others run straight for the colorist. But for those who embrace the natural look, there is good news. According to AARP, “Gray hair is having a moment. Now more than ever, women are feeling empowered to embrace their natural roots as they age.”

And while the advocacy group for those over 50 does not mention men, they, too, have stopped shunning those silver streaks.

What started the trend? Maybe there is just strength in numbers, as Baby Boomers begin to show their age: By 2029, fully 20% of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65.

Now, as millions of Americans dump the dye and go for authenticity, Good Housekeeping has posted a story on the “root causes” and recommended care of your newly metallic mane.

1. Normal aging is the biggest culprit. Okay, no surprise here, the lifestyle magazine says. Dermatologists call this the 50-50-50 rule. “Fifty percent of the population has about 50% gray hair at age 50,” Dr. Anthony Oro, a professor of Dermatology at Stanford University, told Good Housekeeping. And like skin, hair changes its texture with age, says Dr. Heather Woolery Lloyd, director of Ethnic Skin Care at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

2. Your ethnicity makes a difference. Caucasians tend to go gray earlier—and redheads, the earliest of all. Then Asians. Then African-Americans. Scientists haven’t figured out why yet.

3. Stress seems to play a role. “Stress won’t cause you to go gray directly,” says Roopal Kundu, an associate professor in Dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “But stress is implicated in a lot of skin and hair issues.” During an illness, for example, people can shed hair rapidly. And hair you lose after a stressful event—such as a course of chemotherapy—may grow back a different color.

4. Lifestyle makes a difference. Smoking, for example, stresses your skin and hair. “Low vitamin B12 levels are notorious for causing loss of hair pigment,” says Karthik Krishnamurthy, director of the Dermatology Center’s Cosmetic Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

5. Hair and its color are separate things. Hair stem cells make hair, and pigment-forming stem cells create pigment. Typically, they work together—but either can wear out, sometimes prematurely. Researchers are trying to determine whether a medicine, or something you could put on your scalp, could slow the graying process.

6. Your hair basically bleaches itself. You may be familiar with hydrogen peroxide as a way to go blonde, but it’s also the way we go gray. According to a 2009 study conducted by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, hydrogen peroxide naturally occurs in our hair follicles, and as we age, it builds up. This build-up blocks the production of melanin, which forms our hair’s pigment.

7. Your hair doesn’t turn gray—it grows that way. A single hair grows for one to three years; then you shed it—and grow a new one. As you age, your new hair is more likely to be white. “Every time the hair regenerates, you have to re-form these pigment-forming cells, and they wear out,” says Stanford’s Oro.

8. Gray hair isn’t coarser than colored hair. Gray hair actually is finer than colored hair, but it may seem drier because our scalps produce less oil as we get older. Another reason? Your hair may also ‘feel’ coarser if you pull out your first few grey hairs, because constant pulling-out of hair can distort your follicles.

Finally, the experts say, gray hair turns yellow in the sun. Wear a hat, or spray on a hair sunscreen to keep those silver strands at their best.

Research contact: @karenspringen

Behind closed doors: Closing bedroom doors saves lives

October 18, 2018

You probably brush your teeth, wash up, and put on something comfortable before getting into bed—but there is another essential task that you should tack on to that nightly routine. Closing the bedroom door could save your life, in the event of a house fire, Good Houskeeping magazine warned on October 10.

Nearly 60% of people sleep with the bedroom door open, according to a recent survey conducted by the safety certification organization Underwriters Laboratories (UL). However, it turns out that leaving the door ajar is not so smart: A closed door can slow the spread of flames, reduce toxic smoke, improve oxygen levels, and decrease temperatures when a blaze breaks out…

UL says that 30 years ago, you had up to 17 minutes to escape from a house fire, but today’s homes burn more quickly. Why? Open floor plans provide oxygen and don’t provide barriers. And synthetic building materials and furnishings burn at a much faster rate than the natural products used decades ago.

In fact, today, UL says, the average time to escape a home fire has dwindled to just three minutes or less . And during a fire, a closed door can mean the difference between 1,000 degrees and 100 degrees.

“You want to have an escape plan and practice it regularly because there is a limited time window to act,” said Stephen Kerber, director of UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute, told The Washington Post last year. “We can’t emphasize enough: If you can get out, get out.”

The Institute is promoting an effort, called CloseYourDoor.org, to spread the word about fire safety. Kerber hopes that ‘the campaign finds the same cultural ubiquity for fire safety awareness as “Stop, Drop & Roll” has for years.

 “What we need is a modern message,” says Kerber. “If ‘Stop, Drop & Roll’ is for when your clothes are on fire, ‘Close Your Door’ is for when your house is on fire and you cannot get out. It’s the modern version of what needs to be done.”

Research contact: @carolinepicard_