Should you be Brushing or Combing?

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Feature image from WILLIAMYAN

The Combing / Brushing debate

A long time ago, when my partner and I were working full time, a family friend recommended a new hairdresser for the two of us.  We were busy working stupid hours and found it hard to fit in ‘normal’ activities like going to the hairdresser.  Millie, who did after-hours house calls, came to our home late one Tuesday night and changed my life forever.

She saw what no other hairdresser had seen before – My hairbrush.  Millie caught sight of my hair clogged round plastic brush in the bathroom and freaked out.  A fine toothed comb lay beside it on the bench.  She asked me to brush my hair a little and I did.

She watched in horror at my slap and tear brushing technique and she demanded that I stop immediately.  She asked me if anyone had ever shown me how to brush my hair before.  I said No.

I’d never thought about it before.  Millie insisted I toss out my brush, and recommendedI buy a boar hair bristle brush and a wide toothed comb.  The next time she came to our house to cut our hair, she taught me how to use them.  Here is what I learned.

What is the difference between Brushing and Combing your hair?

When I was growing up, combing and brushing your hair was spoken about as same thing.  The tools were interchangeable and no one could really explain to me what the difference was.  It has taken me 25 years, a kindly hairdresser and a little research to really understand the fine art of hair brushing and the reasons why we should be combing sometimes.

idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
the lazy comb

Brushing Your Hair

  • The first reason to brush is to clean your hair.  Brushing is the best means to remove skin flakes, dust, dirt and hair products from your hair.

When your hair is out, it picks up dirt and pollution from the air.  Dry skin from your scalp gets tangled in your long locks and you might find doesn’t look very shiny.  That is because your hair is probably dusty.  Brushing your hair is the best way to remove all this dirt from your hair.

  • The second reason to brush your hair is to spread the natural oils through your hair that are produced in the scalp.  Scalps have a natural moisturising system, which is why the hair around your scalp might seem a little oily.  This oil needs to be moved down your hair shaft to nourish and moisturizing the entire length of your hair.

The little bristles of your hairbrush stimulate your scalp to secrete more oil, lubricating and protecting all your hair.

Brushing your hair is meant to be slow, deliberate and gentle.  Brushing your hair is the best way to clean the hair, move the natural occurring sebum from your scalp down the hair shaft, smooth and soften your hair.  Hair brushing is meant to take time.  Hair brushing is a beauty therapy.

WHICH BRUSH? – Always use a natural BOAR HAIR BRISTLY BRUSH.  They come in different sizes from SMALL BRUSHES and LARGER BRUSHES.  It just depends on how much hair you have.

For the details you need to know HOW TO BRUSH YOUR HAIR while it is still very fragile, keep reading here.  Brushing your hair should usually happen at night time.

Combing Your Hair

AIM – Combing your hair is the best way to manage your hair if it’s wet, tangled or needs styling.  Your hair is at it’s most fragile when wet, so a wide toothed comb is best for in the shower and when using a conditioner.  If your hair is particularly tangled, remember to comb from underneath the tangle, don’t comb from above.  Oh no!

Use a comb when you are pulling, parting and styling your hair.  Combing is also the best precursor to brushing as it gets your hair ready and can be used to divided easily into sections after it has been combed.  Combing your hair should mostly happen in the morning.

WHICH COMB? – Start with the widest biggest comb you have and then get smaller  Always use a LARGER SHOWER DETANGLER for combing your hair when wet and a SMALL COMB for being really gentle and smoothing your hair.

In summary – Brush your hair slowly to clean and nourish it – with a boar hair bristle brush – at night.  Comb your hair to detangle and style it – with a wide toothed comb – during the day.

I hope this helps.

Vitamin E

ITP, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, itp blood, immune thrombocytopenia, itp, Prednisone,

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a very important and interesting vitamin.  Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities.  In addition to its activities as an antioxidant, vitamin E is involved in immune function, regulation of gene expression and other metabolic processes.

It is important that you inform yourself about vitamin E before self administering as vitamin E is an active vitamin that may interfere with other medications.

Vitamin E deficiencies can be just as harmful to the body as taking an excessive amount.  There is a risk of toxicity if vitamin E is taken without the proper precautions and medical support.  This article is not a comprehensive account of the risks and benefits of vitamin E, but an introduction to your own research.

vitamin e, ITP - low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, itp blood, immune thrombocytopenia, itp, Prednisone,

Vitamin E and Health

Many claims have been made about vitamin E’s potential to promote health and prevent and treat disease. The mechanisms by which vitamin E might provide this protection include its function as an antioxidant and its roles in anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and immune enhancement.

A primary barrier to characterizing the roles of vitamin E in health is the lack of validated biomarkers for vitamin E intake and status to help relate intakes to valid predictors of clinical outcomes.

Vitamin E is famous for its regenerative properties on skin, nails and hair.  The antioxidants in vitamin E actually neutralise the free radicals that cause skin damage.  We are not just talking about looking better.  Remember that you skin is your bodies largest organ, it regulates your temperature, senses your environment, detoxifies the body, absorbs nutrients through the skin and holds our whole body together.  Our skin is a very important part of our lives.

Interactions with Medications

Vitamin E supplements have the potential to interact with several types of medications. A few examples are provided below. People taking these and other medications on a regular basis should discuss their vitamin E intakes with their healthcare providers.

Anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications
 – Vitamin E can inhibit platelet aggregation and antagonize vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. As a result, taking large doses with anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications, such as warfarin, can increase the risk of bleeding, especially in conjunction with low vitamin K intake. The amounts of supplemental vitamin E needed to produce clinically significant effects are unknown but probably exceed 400 IU/day.

ITP, vitamin E, avacado, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, itp blood, immune thrombocytopenia, itp, Prednisone, Like vitamin C, vitamin E plays a significant role as an antioxidant, thereby protecting body tissue from the damage of oxidation. It is important in the formation of red blood cells and the use of Vitamin K. Many women also use it to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and mothers use it to help heal minor wounds without scarring, as it is valued for its ability to soothe and heal broken or stressed skin tissue.

Vitamin E Rich Food

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Nuts and nut oils almonds and hazel nuts
  • High value leafy greens like spinach, collard and dandelions.
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mangoes
  • Tomatoes

You can find a more detailed breakdown of Vitamin E here – The Vitamin E Fact Sheet from the National Institute of Health, US – and here – Through the  Nutrient Reference Values from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia.

I am now heading dowstairs to make these FUDGY AVOCADO BROWNIES – oh my they look amazing!


Washing Your Hair Carefully

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How to Wash Your Hair

So I have been talking a lot about how, once you start to take a huge amount of meditation, your hair starts to change.  It starts to be crap, dull, brittle and sad looking.

The best advice I can give you is to go very firm, but gentle.  I use 100% Olive Oil Soap from the Olive Oil Soap Company.  They are an Australian based company that ship all around the country.  (And ever time we have ordered a parcel to arrive at home, there is a cheeky extra to sample.  I love these guys)  This is a beautiful luxury soap, but there are cheaper olive oil soaps available online – Have a look here.


Wash Your Hair Less

Try and ease yourself into a routine where you wash your hair a lot less.  Most of us wash our hair too often, stripping it over and over of it’s natural oils.  When I chat to friends about this, they say they need to wash their hair a lot because it is so oily.  When you wash your hair too much and strip all the natural oils away, your scalp starts producing heaps of oils to replace it all.  Your skin goes into over drive.

Instead of washing your hair every single day, try to cherish these oils, as they are protecting your hair.  It is a strange transition, but easing into a less frequent wash will pay off in the long run.

Also, if you can –  Aim to wash your hair at night or afternoon, reducing the need to blow dry your hair in the morning before you head out.

How to Brush your Hair

how to brush your hair, ITP, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itp, blood disorder

Feature image from MOTHGIRLWINGS

How to Brush your Hair

Firstly, find yourself a BOAR HAIR Bristle Brush.

The boar hairs on your hair brush are packed so tightly together that the first function it performs is to remove dust, lint, dried skin and other foreign items from you hair.  It cleans your hair.  And it cleans your hair well.  But it also massages you scalp, encourages oil production and evenly distributes the natural oil down the hair shaft.  So with this in mind, be very mindful of how you brush.

1. Dry your hair thoroughly.  Then detangle your hair carefully with a comb.

2. Divide the hair into sections, starting with the hair between your ears, falling down your neck.  This way you can slowly work you way up the back of your head and over the top to the front.

3.  Starting at the tips, brush slowly up the hair shaft towards the scalp.  You should be going over and over the same place until it feels noticeably smooth, then move up the hair.

4. Once you reach the scalp, make good contact with the bristles to the scalp and brush all the way down the hair a few times.

5. Continue letting our more hair from above, and move through each section until all of your hair has been brushed.  The longer you brush the more you hair will change.

6. You can continue to brush until your hair becomes noticeably oily.

This is when the hair is quite shiny but heavy and falls against the scalp quite flat.  If you are going to brush for a long time I suggest right before bed time, as you will be able to sleep with the oil in your hair, when no one can see how stupid you hair looks and you can wash it thoroughly in the morning.  Follow the above process as often as possible.  Remember that your hair is very different now, and far more fragile.  Prednisone and steroids will be aging your hair.  Brushing your hair properly is the best and more natural therapy I have found to keep it looking fantastic.

Remember, you cannot over brush your hair (if you are doing it right)