There’s the obvious things such as getting to know a new town or city, making new friends, and adjusting to life away from home but there are also less obvious things, such as your general health and condition of your skin, hair and scalp.
So we asked Lisa Gilbey MIT, a member of The Institute of Trichologists from The Northants Hair & Scalp Clinic to give us her expert advice on how to keep a healthy lifestyle and maintain healthy hair when at university.
“At this time of year I see many male and female students in the trichology clinic complaining of losing too much hair in the shower or when they brush it.
This is quite common due to exam stress from the two to four month period ago with the lead up pressure and the actual sitting of the exams.
We all shed 80 to 100 hairs a day naturally but a disruption to the usual hair cycle ratios of what sheds away naturally increases. This usually settles and returns back to normal within a few weeks if no other underlying conditions are present so treatment or expensive vitamins are not required.
Eating at university can become a chore – cooking for yourself – and also the expense of eating good food when money is short. We all need a varied diet for healthy, strong hair and the normal functioning of the body which consists of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water intake.
Good sources of cheap food to look after yourself when your mum is not there to cook for you are cheese, wholegrain pasta/rice, tuna, chicken, frozen vegetables, nuts and looking for reduced meat, fruit and vegetable items near their use by date.
Drinking plain water is not only cheap but cleanses the body unlike drinking too many sugary and fizzy drinks which makes the body very acidic. The body does not absorb its nutrients efficiently at this pH acidity level.
Eating junk or convenience food does not only contain a high salt level but will also deplete the nutritional food you do consume.
This type of food promotes greasy hair and skin which will block pores and cause spots. A good multivitamin can support a diet but not be substituted for food.
Eating a protein based breakfast and not skipping meals is very important. Eating every four hours will keep your body ticking over and help keep your concentration levels while in class.
Those students who suffer with a scaly scalp will almost certainly find late nights; poor diet and using cheap shampoos will exacerbate their condition. Spicy foods, alcohol and sugary foods will increase irritation on the scalp along with perfume and lanolin in cheap shampoos.
The Simple range of shampoo and conditioner is an affordable brand that is hypo-allergenic and gentle on cleansing the scalp. An itchy, mild scaly scalp may benefit from using a T-Gel shampoo to help relieve the scaling. Stronger products are available from a trichology clinic to dermabraid the areas in more persistent scaling like psoriasis and eczema's.
The importance of using home dyes safely must be stressed to avoid an allergic reaction and potentially a visit to hospital in extreme cases. Saving money by dying your hair yourself is one way of still looking good when the cash is short. A skin test 72 hours before applying your colour is essential by patch testing behind your ear the same colour you will be using. You can suffer an allergy at any point in your life despite using the same colour before or dying your hair many times over the many years.”
Lisa can be contacted directly on 07792 305 480 for hair and scalp problems.