3. Some Common Disorders
Disorders of the shaft or follicle can cause either of two extremes: abnormal growth of the hair or abnormal or premature falling out of the hair. The latter is often incorrectly, we believe, attributed to the aging process and should, more properly, be attributed to a failure to nourish and take care of the hair.
Sometimes fungi which imbed themselves in and around the mouth of the follicle, can give rise to a variety of hair diseases. Small crusts can form which slough off; or lesions, as in ringworm, can develop and become annoying and very itchy.
Minute insects and mites can take up residence, not only in the hair on the scalp, but also in pubic hair.
Dull or dry hair can be caused by malnutrition, but also by physical or chemical agents. Chemicals used in permanent waving, or in many shampoos and lotions, especially those which contain alcohol or free alkalies, can cause these conditions and can also give rise to itchy rashes and pimples, some even with pus. Alcohol is an offensive agent to all skin surfaces. It can penetrate the outer membranes of the cells very easily and destroy them.
When the body becomes excessively hairy, it is often, but not always a response to a need for protection from the elements. Carl H. typifies the latter. Carl loved the outdoor life. Years of playing, scantily attired, in and around the waters of the Pacific Ocean at all seasons and for hours on end had caused abnormal hair growth all over Carl’s body. The hair on his chest was fully four to six inches long and as much as two inches on his legs and thighs. Carl, now approaching sixty years of age, has so much hair on his body that he finds it most uncomfortable to stay indoors even in the cold of winter and rarely feels the need to wear any clothing except for a pair of scanty shorts. In fact, he is visibly uncomfortable if required to put on a light cotton shirt!
In a few cases excessive hair growth has been traced to a tumor on an adrenal gland or to some malfunctioning of another of the endocrine glands, specifically, the pituitary, the thyroid and/or the ovary. However, medical researchers tend to leave the problem-solving there without tracing the actual cause of such malfunctioning: namely, a toxic condition of the body.
It would appear that young men are increasingly bald. Few males seem to reach maturity without some hair loss. In fact, implants and the fitting of toupees is a growing and lucrative business and appears to be a phenomenon of our times. A normal head of hair, thick and luxurious, is indicative of a sound body. The appearance of baldness is believed to be indicative of systemic deterioration being manifested in the cranial area.
Just as clinical study of most individuals suffering from major chronic (vertical) diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, reveals a past history of evolving pathology which begins with acute afflictions characteristic of the very young and ends in progressive chronicity, so does a general decline in the appearance of the hair seem to reveal a similar developing pathology.
Among the more common signs of a progressively serious hair and scalp pathology we can include the following:
- Persistent dryness of the hair and scalp.
- Tenderness to the touch in certain areas.
- Falling hair with increasing thinning of the hair.
- Receding hair line.
- A bald spot appearing on the top of the head in a limited area (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary lists over 20 different types of baldness according to precise location and/or its suspected origin.) Alopecia is a general term with prefix or suffix being attached for a more precise identification as, for example, alopecia liminaris frontalis, which identifies a loss of hair restricted to the hair line, a condition most commonly seen in members of the black race; or alopecia universalis, or total baldness.
- Excessive oiliness.
- Discoloration of the hair; streaking, etc.
- Small bumps or concretions.
Dryness and dandruff appear to be early symptoms of more serious trouble ahead. Itching, of course, provokes excessive scratching with the possible wounding of follicles. Bad combs, brushes made of synthetic fibers, teasing of the hair, burning with caustics and chemicals—all can cause gradual and even permanent hair loss by damaging the hair roots beyond repair.
Some fifteen years ago Dr. Elizabeth’s hair was perfectly straight and very coarse. She decided to have a permanent wave. The beauty operator failed to apply a neutralizing agent to counter the chemicals used in the waving lotion. On the following day, her scalp was covered with a fiery red rash which extended into the ears and down the back of her neck. The hair itself was curled so tightly that it seemed to consist of tiny reddish gray corkscrews! Her condition became so serious that it eventually ended up in the courts with a settlement after considerable testimony offered by the attending physician to the effect that Elizabeth’s hair and scalp condition was due to the chemical action of the waving lotions.
As a result of this abuse the hair in the front part of the (head became very thin and a tiny bald spot appeared on the top of the head. It is interesting in this discussion to note, however, that hair has regrown to a remarkable extent in this area and the bald spot is no longer there due, without a doubt, to the fact that the hair cells were not permanently destroyed.
It is interesting to note, too, that during the intervening years during which time Elizabeth’s health and general vitality have grown enormously due to incorporating the principles of Natural Hygiene into our living and eating practices, her new crop of hair has changed from its former coarse, bristle-like, straight texture to a much finer texture and it is also now softly curly. Dr. Elizabeth no longer bothers patronizing expensive beauty shops except for an occasional haircut!
We have observed one other case where almost straight hair has become so much more curly and changed in texture that it has attracted the comments of friends and associates. This woman is an athletic instructor in an elementary school. She keeps her hair cut quite short since she has to take frequent showers because of the nature of her work. After a year or so following a greatly-improved dietary intake, her hair is noticeably improved in texture and possesses a lovely natural curl.
Persons who lose their hair, however, more often than not exhibit a past history of catarrhal troubles, nervousness, diseases of other areas of the skin. Their past medical hhistory often shows that they experienced many of the common childhood diseases; some have venereal diseases. Then there are others who may have suffered blows and bruises during childhood. For example, the cuffing of children on the side of the head may lead to baldness in later life. Many participate during the formative teen years in such physical contact sports as football where multiple blows are often sustained.
Dyes, bleaches, excessive shampooing with soaps, the application of chemical poisons in the form of salves, tonics, and various cure-alls advertised for dandruff and itchy scalp—all can be factors leading to falling out of the hair and baldness.
Certain drugs, for example, those used in chemotherapy, especially drugs containing mercury and iodine and most particularly cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) commonly used to treat lymphomas and certain types of leukemia, lead to hair loss, often to complete baldness. Many of these are capable of membrane simple diffusion or can be actively transported to cause cell death. Interestingly, too, is the fact that cytoxan and some of the other drugs also cause nausea, malfunctioning of the liver and drastic reduction in the number of leucocytes (hypoleucocytosis—the loss of white blood cells).
And yet, the vast majority of people, like little lambs following the bellweather lamb to the slaughter, just apply the most widely and glamorously advertised lotions and creams to their hair and scalp and pop all manner of poison pills like children popping “M and M’s,” and never question their effectiveness or suspect the dangers that may lie waiting in the wings.
It appears that most people who suffer from chronic diseases of the hair and scalp have been constipated for years and, more often than not, the solid-fluid ratio within the body has become deranged to the extent that their bodies lack suppleness and flexibility and the body channel routes have become clogged with abnormal amounts of solid debris accumulated through wrong living and eating habits to such an extent that the circulatory powers of the body have been greatly curtailed. Obviously, such systemic deterioration does not occur overnight. It is one that takes time; such conditions are, no doubt, like all chronic diseases, years in the making.
Normal sexual activity stimulates the flow of the sebaceous glands of the scalp. It is possible that overstimulation of these glands, however, causes them, in lime, to produce less and may exhaust the vitality of the hair itself.
Wounds, burns, and excessive heat which again accelerates the action of the sebaceous glands, can cause death of the hair cells and subsequent hair loss.
In all baldness that remains on-going, there has been death, death of the hair cell. As noted, hair cells can die from numerous causes, but all hair loss (barring, of course, loss from some milder external cause) can be traced, in the final analysis, to insufficient or total lack of circulation of the blood to the papilla which houses and feeds the root (the papilla is often called the “mother” of the hair since it is through this organ that the hair is fed).
Most overweight people show pronounced hair loss. People who eat a preponderance of cooked food rarely have healthy-looking hair and often exhibit thin straggly-looking hair. We have noted that persons who are heavy meat eaters quite often have very thin sickly-looking hair.
Overnutrition and the eating of cooked foods “inflate” the body and build toxic-laden adipose tissue.
Nutrients which should be directed to hair follicles do not arrive due to increased blood viscosity (thick blood), a condition which impedes the circulatory powers of the body. The body then stores the available nutrients wherever it can and they are usually used to build fatty tissue which is, in its turn, used to store uneliminated and ever-accumulating toxic debris. Excess fat, therefore, becomes a toxic vault and the possibility is ever present that, under stress, this “vault” can open wide and throw its death-dealing contents into the mainstream to impede and destroy life.
A diseased scalp is an indication of the presence of impurities, toxic metabolites, in the bloodstream. The hair, like every other part of the body is nourished by the blood. Dr. Shelton points out that until the general health is such as to “guarantee to the hair adequate nutrition, through the blood, the hair cannot be improved.”
To keep the beauty of the hair throughout life, it must be protected from violence and it must also obtain adequate amounts of all nutrient factors day after day throughout life. For example, a lack of vitamin A in the diet may cause the hair to be coarse and ugly. It is believed also that a lack of some of the B vitamins or of iron, copper, and/or iodine may cause the hair to fall out and that lack of other vitamins, especially pantothenic acid; para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA; and inositol, may cause the hair to gray prematurely.
Some forms of eczema of the scalp may be due to a lack of essential fatty acids in the diet. All three anti-gray hair vitamins can be produced in the intestinal tract by bacteria that normally, in healthy people, reside there. When the food intake is correct and well-adapted to human needs, there seems to be no deficiency in any of these vitamins.
It is interesting also to learn that experiments at the Good Housekeeping Institute (according to Gayelord Hauser) showed that factors other than vitamin presence also influenced graying of the hair as, for example, a low red blood cell count and other abnormalities in the blood. It is worthy of note here to observe that females more often than men complain of falling hair and many who do so have menstruated copiously for years, a condition demonstrated to be a result of unhygienic living and eating practices. Falling hair is a companion disorder to anemia. Copious menstruation, when prolonged, can result in severe anemia and many women thus afflicted develop gray hair very early in life.
In animal experimentation a lack of even one of the B vitamins can cause animals to lose their hair.
When the food intake is again made optimal, the hair quickly grows in and becomes luxuriant. It is
interesting here to note that male animals lose their hair about twice as fast as female animals do and it has been suggested that perhaps baldness in males may have an unexplained sex linkage.
Our own research in this area with our two dogs, one a Doberman and the other a Collie, casts some doubt on this thesis. Both animals were “rescued,” one from the pound and one from a family whose children were abusing the puppy. The fur of both was in terrible condition, thin and very short and dull looking. For a time the animals were fed on ordinary dog food plus scraps obtained from a local slaughterhouse. The Collie was a sad-looking specimen. About three years ago we decided to try a vegetarian diet on the dogs. We fed them sweet fruits in the morning and a combination of cooked and raw vegetables in the late afternoon. We did give them a raw egg every other day.
The results were amazing. In a comparatively short time the Doberman had a shiny soft coat and the Collie was a raving beauty! We lost the Doberman, unfortunately, through an accidental injury, but the Collie’s coat of fur is thick, very shiny and of a beautiful tri-color.
It would appear most likely that baldheadedness in both men and women is the result of years of malnutrition, and in using the term “nutrition,” we include all phases of nutrition: absorption, assimilation, elimination, etc., as well as the feeding of appropriate food in a correct amount and manner; plus, associate influencing factors, such as the obtaining of sufficient sunlight, etc.
We have already observed that when the diet is improved in humans, new growth can often be observed but again we should point out that such growth would be possible only when the hair cells are still viable and not dead.
Many researchers suggest using isolated vitamins to stimulate the scalp and thus improve the condition of the hair and its growth. Dale Alexander comments how Dr. Herman Goodman, a leading dermatologist, recommends foods which are rich in vitamin A, foods such as carrots. Hygienists, however, know that there are no “target” foods, that we must have the whole spectrum and that this is provided by eating a variety of foods, but eating them in suitable combinations so as to maximize availability to the bioprocesses of the body.
It seems that most dermatologists have little understanding of the fact that we must supply the “whole” of food, not bits and pieces. Dr. Richard W. Muller who practices in several European capitols including Paris and Vienna, recommends foods high in sulfur content but then notes that iron and calcium are also important hair components. We recently had an inquiry via the mails from an individual who had a problem related to nutrition. She said that she was sitting with a box of unopened pills and tablets bearing a total price tag of $300.00 which had been prescribed for her. These consisted of all manner of vitamin and mineral supplements. She had great doubt that dosing herself this way was the proper approach. We advised her to return the whole batch unopened and begin to eat the Hygienic way.
Certainly, impaired digestion and poor eating habits can cause all manner of body troubles including disorders of the scalp and hair; especially abnormal hair loss, eczema, carbuncles and, no doubt, complete baldness, too. Most people eat too fast and do not chew their food. In excess of 90 to 95% of the foods they do eat are cooked and even these foods are poorly chosen. It is no wonder a minimum of nutrient wealth passes through the cells of the membranes lining the intestinal canal prior to entering the bloodstream for transport to hair cells and all other body cells. The average person pays for food, he eats “food,” but the body cells fail to receive the nutrients of life in sufficient quantity and in their original symbiotic proportions to do more than sustain life and this for but a brief span!
It is little wonder that the body begins to sag and that the hair becomes lifeless and lacks suitable pigmentation, or that scalps flake and itch and that eventually the hair falls out.
We recently did a bionutritional analysis and profile for a mother and son. The results were most revealing. The mother has been a faithful follower of Natural Hygiene for almost three years now, the son a faithful follower of his peer group diet of hamburgers, french fries, and coke and, is no doubt, like the vast majority of his age group, “into” drugs and alcohol, also. While the mother’s test revealed almost all readings within optimal (not “average”) lines, the 17-year-old son’s readings were largely either above or below the optimal with a number of them registering in the “dangerous” area. While other facts may account, no doubt, for some deviations, the contrasts in these two instances can rightfully, we believe, be attributed to the differences in nutritional practices noted.
Dr. Lucien Jacques of Paris worked with 71 patients who suffered with disorders of the G.I. tract, all of whom complained of rapidly falling hair. Many of these patients also drank excessive amounts of tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Simply by changing the diet of his patients, Dr. Jacques not only was able to observe better digestion in his patients, but also remarkable changes in the health of the hair, including the coloring.
White sugar, all manufactured sweets such as ice cream, pastries, candy, soft drinks, processed foods of all kinds are acid-producing and nerve-destroying. If we wish to possess a head covered with thick, shiny beautiful hair, we must pay attention to the food and drink. We must drink only the purest of water and eat of those foods to which we humans are adapted: luscious ripe sweet fruits plus limited amounts of young leafy greens and fruit vegetables (non-sweet fruits), sprouts, nuts and edible seeds.
Iron is required for a thick crop of hair. Raisins, lettuce, strawberries, apples, cherries, and many other luscious fruits are well endowed with iron.
Sulphur, an essential food element, is found abundantly in members of the cabbage family, in cucumbers, in potatoes, and figs.
Silicon for strong filaments is found in leafy varieties of green lettuce, especially in romaine; it is also present in strawberries, in cucumbers, and cherries as well as in the skins of apples and other fruits.
Healthy hair requires carbohydrates to supply carbon and hydrogen for composition and the carbon for fuel. Ripe, sweet fruits furnish the finest kind of predigested energy-conserving carbohydrates to be found. This is especially true of the sweet, sweet fruits, the banana being a prime example of an almost perfect food.
Adequate protein and all the essential amino acids are found in many fruits and vegetables. The proteins found in many plant foods are biologically of optimum value.
The Law of the Minimum about which we learned earlier tells us that the absence or short supply of even a single nutrient for any extended period of time can lead to general health debilitation regardless of how well supplied we may be in all other nutrients. Tests on both animals and humans have shown that deficiencies can also reduce the hair quality and health. It would appear that there is a grand pact in nature wherein correct proportions and adequacy of all nutrients are the basic requirements of maximum health. Eating cooked foods, eating foods lacking in nutritional content, failing to chew properly, eating to excess and eating too often, the taking of isolated vitamin and mineral supplements, a lack of exercise or sunshine, long continued emotional stress exposure, indeed, a lack of any of the requisites of organic existence can lead inevitably to diminished health, and any lack of health will be reflected in a lusterless, sick-looking hair which soon starts to lose its color, to thin and fall out in ever increasing amounts. No single food factor or any combination of food factors put together by man and taken in isolation can work hair and scalp magic. The body is a unitized functioning entity. The health of the hair reflects the health status of the totality.
Many excuses are offered from time to time and by many “authorities” for thinning of the hair, for loss of color and sheen, for baldness, excuses like inherited bad genes, wearing hats which are too tight and wearing them too often, shampooing too frequently, and many others. But, these are only excuses. None are based on the known realities which define and limit the life process.
More primitive men and woman have abundant crops of hair. Whole nations of people who have lived for thousands of years on simple diets have thick healthy growths of hair. It is only “civilized” men and women who partake of poor devitalized heterogeneous messes of food in quantities far in excess of body need who suffer hair and scalp problems associated with malnutrition. It is civilized people who show meager crops of hair and damaged scalps.
Dr. Art Mollen, a Phoenix osteopathic physician and a firm believer in the benefits to be derived from regular paced jogging, does not see much prospect of extending the human life span. Pottenger’s experiments with cats at Yale showed that it takes several generations to witness the results of good eating as well as of poor eating. The goal of Hygienists should be to share their knowledge with all peoples so that, generation by generation, the human population can grow into a state of health which we presently can only envisage. Then perhaps we can prove that the Dr. Mollens of this world are wrong. As practitioners we see too many miracles resulting from following after the principles of Natural Hygiene not to believe that we can extend the life span in full health and perhaps more than double its present length.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Structure Of The Hair
- 3. Some Common Disorders
- 4. How To Care For The Hair
- 5. Establishing The Client-Practitioner Relationship
- 6. The McCarter Extended Detoxification Regimen
- 7. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Baldness By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Your Probing Mind By Dr. Vivian V. Vetrano
- Article #3: Cutaneous Medicine
- Article #4: The Body Beautiful By Max Warmbrand, N.D., D.O.
- Article #5: The Hair By J.J. Tilden, M.D.
- Article #6: Hygiene of Beauty By Tosca Mariani