Hair Care Myths and Facts

You will find hundreds of hair care beauty tips on the Internet, but how do you sort the facts from the myths. This list provides you with the most common hair care myths that you should stop believing.

  • Washing your hair daily will not make it dull and dry. If you have dry hair, it’s most likely from applying a lot of chemicals, exposure from heat, and over-styling.
  • Shampooing twice is good for the hair. Well, not really. Wash your hair once daily to keep it clean but doing it more than once can strip it of its natural oils.
  • Exposing your color-treated hair to heat and bleach will change its color. You might want to stay away from the beach, spa, and pools in Singapore during hot days if you want your hair to stay healthy and shiny. If you need to go out, make sure that you apply a sun protector on your hair or wear a hat.
  • It is better to wash and rinse your hair with cold water. Hot showers are divine, but you should opt for cold baths if you love styling your hair. Just like heat and chemicals can damage your hair, so will hot water.
  • Hair doesn’t grow faster if you trim it regularly. Remember that your hair does not have blood vessels, so it would not know the difference if it has been cut or not.
  • Regular brushing does not necessarily make your hair shiny, but brushing is a good way to massage the scalp and bring out the natural oils that protect the hair.
  • Rubbing your hair vigorously with the towel will not necessarily damage it, unless of course you already have damaged hair from too many treatments and hair coloring. Remember, however, that the water in your hair can potentially reduce its tensile strength when friction is applied.
  • There is no remedy for split ends, so save your money instead of buying hair repair products. Regular trimming will make your hair look less damaged, but it will not solve the problem either.
  • Extreme stress can cause hair fall, but alopecia is rare unless you have a genetic predisposition to baldness or your hair is extremely damaged.
  • Pulling out one strand of hair does not mean two strands will grow in its place. Ingrown hair comes from improperly shaving or pulling hair.
  • Coloring your hair while you’re pregnant can have negative side effects on the child, however, the studies are conflicting. Still, most stylists and doctors will advise against it.
  • You do not need to change your shampoo and conditioner regularly if they already work. Your hair does not magically develop an immunity from the chemicals. However, if you have chemically-treated hair, you should switch to sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to avoid damage.
  • Coloring can cause hair damage. To some extent, yes, it can weaken your hair. But if you want good results, consult a reputable stylist and use only the best products you can afford.

Why is Blood Typing Important?

Blood typing is important in the hazardous blood transfusion procedure, but what are the blood types and how are these determined?

Blood Types and Genes

Your blood type is determined by your genes, specifically by the combination of the alleles you inherit from your parents. If you can recall from your biology class, alleles are the forms of the gene within one chromosome which are responsible for the codes of enzymes that create the A and B antigen. Possible combinations include, A, AB, B, and O which make up the ABO blood group. You might be surprised, however, that there are at least 20 blood group systems today including the Rh (rhesus) factor blood group, which is characterized by the presence of Rh antigen in the blood. This then makes up a total of 8 blood groups in humans.

Mixing Blood Types

How did people know that using a different blood type on a patient is fatal? You guessed it. Failed experiments in blood transfusion that resulted in deaths happened until 1901 when the human blood groups were finally identified by Karl Landsteiner. Mixing two different blood types will result to agglutination or clumping, causing cracks in the red cells, releasing toxic hemoglobin. The response is triggered by the body’s immune system which produces antibodies against the foreign blood cells. As a result, the blood vessels will clog up and stop circulating.

Finding Your Blood Type

To find out a person’s blood type, a blood sample must be taken to a laboratory and mixed with three reagents of three antibodies for A, B, and Rh. The laboratory technician will then observe what will happen with the mixtures to determine which one has agglutinated and are not compatible for the person’s blood type. The sample that shows no indication of agglutination is considered compatible. People with Rh negative blood can receive donated blood from Rh positive donors, but the next time he/she receives another set of Rh positive blood transfusions, there could be a problem.

Compatibility Issues

Even between a pregnant woman and her fetus, there could be some problems in the blood compatibility, if for example, a father is Rh positive type and a mother is an Rh-negative blood type. Their combination will result in a fetus with a positive Rh antigen. The result could be fatal for the baby and may result in hemolytic disease caused by the mother’s antibodies attacking the fetus’ red blood cells. Thankfully, this can be prevented with injections of Rh immune globulin during pregnancy and after delivery of the newborn.

Blood, Tissue, Organ, and Marrow Donation

Blood transfusion might be recommended in the following cases: severe anemia, bleeding during surgery, injuries and blood loss, cancer, and bleeding disorders, but careful testing is always done. Even when receiving tissue, organ, and bone marrow from a donor, both the recipient and the donor should be tested for compatibility before transplantation. Blood typing and HLA testing are done to ensure that the donor and the recipient match.

Four Easy Ways to Help You Improve Your Posture

Having great posture goes a longer way than simply staving off a slouch and making you look tired or unconfident: great posture is also about keeping your body, and more importantly, your spine, aligned correctly in order to minimize strain. With proper posture, you will not only experience far lesser pain in your neck, shoulders, and back, but you also help strengthen otherwise weaker muscles, and even improve your overall breathing.

Here are five easy ways that will help you improve your posture:

Lifting

Maintain a straight back when carrying a load. Ideally, you should be lifting items with your core engaged and your heat upright while your knees are bent and taking most of the weight. As you lift the object towards you, position your shoulders and bend only at the hips and knees.

Sleeping

Maintaining proper posture when sleeping is just as important when you’re awake. Whether you’re lying flat on your back or on your sides, keeping your spine straight is a great way to reduce back pain and guarantee more, and better, sleep. To do this, be sure to maintain your spine’s natural posture by keeping only one pillow and let your head rest on it, rather than your shoulders on your neck.

Standing

Slouching when you’re standing not only gives other people the impression that you’re unconfident, but also add more stress to both your feet and your spine. To avoid this, it’s important to keep in mind that standing properly involves positioning your pelvis and your spine to take that stress, rather than the spine and the feet. Aside from wearing flat shoes for better support, be sure to follow these steps in order to stand upright properly:

  • Keep your head upright and center (chin must be parallel to ground)
  • Pull back your shoulders gently
  • Draw in your stomach slightly
  • Unlock your knees
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width
  • Center your weight on your feet

Aside from appearing more confident, which is a definite plus wherever you go, standing straight also gives you the boost of energy that you need to get through the day.

Sitting

When you’re facing a computer screen all day, it can be difficult to maintain proper posture when it’s much easier to simply slouch. However, this has the cost of straining your back muscles and ligaments, as well as adding unnecessary pressure to your spine.

Aside from choosing the right chair that accommodates your height, it’s also important to keep your arms bent to ninety degrees and allow your back to rest on the chair’s lumbar support, which you can do by standing straight.

Additionally, be sure to prevent unneeded neck strain by making sure your computer screen is within eye level.

Five Crucial Ways to Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check

Unlike other types of health conditions, having a high blood pressure isn’t always something you can see or feel, and you don’t usually know you have it until it’s serious enough to cause significant problems and increase your chances of getting other complications.

However, the good news is that you don’t always need medication in order to improve the symptoms of hypertension. In fact, there are many lifestyle changes you can adopt in order to keep your blood pressure in check, such as the following:  

Decrease your salt intake

Sodium is the easiest way to raise your blood pressure, and if you notice that your heart rate is up after eating a hearty meal, then you need to change your dieting habits. While you can’t eliminate all sources of sodium from your diet (you still need to consume a small amount for your body’s daily needs), you can shift towards a cleaner and healthier diet with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Watch your waistline

The bigger the number on the weighing scale, the higher the blood pressure also tends to be – but that’s not the only thing you need to be looking out for. Aside from a high blood pressure, having a high body mass index in proportion to your height can lead to conditions such as sleep apnea, which can also further raise your blood pressure. Losing a small amount of weight can be really helpful here, as well as keeping an eye on your waistline.

Take deep breaths

When you have high blood pressure, means that your system is compensating for not having enough oxygen by trying to get it as quickly to your entire body as possible, and this is where deep breathing comes in. The best way to inhale is by imaging your stomach as something like a balloon. Take a deep breath slowly and allow that balloon to inflate, and exhale slowly.

Sleep early, wake up early

Not getting enough sleep is another big factor that contributes to stress, which in turn contributes to higher blood pressure. To make sure you get enough sleep, you can try setting your alarm to make sure you go to bed early at night and early in the morning for a full seven to eight hours of sleep.

Learn effective stress management

The most important thing you need to know when you have high blood pressure is that you not only need to minimize getting into stressful situations, but that you also need to know how to handle them better if you do encounter them.

This includes, but isn’t limited to, balancing work and life in a way that lets you get the most out of both. If you think you’re focusing on work too much, it’s best to allow yourself to take a break to focus on your loved ones and your health.

Adverse Effects of Over-Illumination

Here in Singapore, the streets come to life at night with the help of artificial lights. Yes, some are unnecessary lighting but it can attract attention, that is important. But do you stop for a while and contemplate about light pollution especially when you see high intensity lighting? Singaporeans should understand light pollution particularly its one type – over-illumination.

Light pollution can have ill effects on humans as well as the ecosystem. Light pollution is actually the result of globalization and development. With this in mind, many people just think that it is inevitable. This kind of thinking will be our downfall. It is time that we are aware of our surroundings and do our part to make it a better place.

Where does over-illumination come in? Over-illumination is actually one type of light pollution. It happens when there is too much light for a particular activity. Before resolving this issue, it is crucial that we know the ill effects of over-illumination. Getting too much artificial light can have ill effects. Here is the list:

• Headaches: Having headaches with over-illumination is not a surprise because you often suffer from this. Over-exposing yourself to artificial light can even trigger migraines. While it is true that headaches or migraines have different factors that trigger it, the bright light can always intensify the pain.

• Hypertension: It is important that lights are turned on and off at appropriate times. If not, it can disrupt circadian rhythms and melatonin production. This will eventually lead to imbalances like high blood pressure and other related health problems.

• Insomnia: The disruption of melatonin production can cause sleepless nights. The disruption is caused by over exposure to artificial lighting. If your brain is overly stimulated because of intense lights, it cannot relax.

• Fatigue: Fatigue is actually stress that is taking over the body. It was mentioned earlier that artificial light can disrupt the body rhythms and it can cause chaos inside the body. Remember that when melatonin and circadian rhythm are off, it will be severe.

Now that you know over-illumination is not as harmless as it seems, you have to act while it is not too late. There are things that you can do to make it better. For example, when lighting a room, make sure that it is just enough and when it is not in use, turn it off. You do not only address over-illumination but also energy consumption.

Just continue to think of things to curb over-illumination. Do not wait for it to strike before taking action.

Dealing with Concussions  

Worse things happen but we can take solace from the idea that we are prepared to handle it. For example, we do not want our children to suffer concussions but because of their dauntless actions, we should at least know how to deal with it so when it happens, we can lessen the injury.

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Many Singaporean kids or even adults go to hospital emergency rooms because of concussions. Concussions are usually from heavy blows on the head. The heavy blows often lead to unconsciousness and confusion. If our child suddenly becomes unconscious because of a heavy blow on the head, we have to call the medic or rush him/her to the hospital.

Also, there is a need to call the medic or bring our child to the emergency room immediately if we notice vomiting repeatedly, agitated, weak, neck pain, seizure and slurred speech. If the victim does not suffer any of the symptoms mentioned above, we can consider first aid remedies before bringing him/her to the hospital.

Here’s how to deal with concussions:

  • Prevent the swelling: The victim should stop the activity that caused the concussion. In the case of our kids, when they realize that the blow hurts, they will stop it. It is important that the person stop whatever activity he/she is doing and then rest. We also need to apply ice unto the affected area using a washcloth.
  • Treat symptoms: The pain will be there and it will not go away instantly. For the pain, we can consider over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol). We should be careful not to give Aspirin or Ibuprofen as it may make the bruising worst.

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  • Monitor: We have to make sure that our kid is okay even if he/she insists that he/she is okay. If it is possible, we should be by their side for at least twenty four hours and observe or monitor their condition.
  • Go to the doctor: Concussions are serious so doctors should be in the picture even if we think we successfully treated concussion. It is crucial that concussions are checked by the doctors whether it is serious or not. Should the symptoms persist after discharge, we have to consult the doctor again especially if the patient develops conditions like recurring headache, vomiting, dizziness or drowsiness and confusion.

If the concussion is successfully treated, the patient’s condition will improve after seven to ten days. Hopefully our child now understands the repercussions of reckless activities. We need not be afraid of concussions if our child’s life depend on it.

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Facts About Digital Eye Strain  

The digital age has its perks but we have to be wary about its long-term effects when it comes to our health especially our eyes. For Singaporeans who spend most of their time in front of computers and other screens, they might encounter digital eye strain.

digital-eyestrain

Vision Council recently concluded its studies about digital eye strain. According to the council, one third of the population spend at least 9 hours in front of digital devices. 60% of this population is vulnerable to digital eye strain. Digital eye strain refers to the eye strain instigated by staring at digital devices for long periods.

If we are not familiar about digital eye strain, here are some truths about it:

  • Symptoms: Symptoms include irritated eyes. If we notice that our eyes are uncomfortable characterized by redness and dryness, we have to see our ophthalmologist. Other symptoms include blurry vision, headaches and back and neck pains. There are many doctors here in Singapore that specializes in eyes. We should immediately consult them.

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  • Prevention: It was emphasized earlier that prolonged exposure to digital screens lead to digital eye strain. We can conclude that if we spend less hours of staring on digital screens, we lessen our risks of acquiring such. If it cannot be helped, we have to secure computer lenses and adjust display settings.

Vision Council is also advocating the “20-20-20 habit” – every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds break and look at anything 20 feet away. This will help us protect our eyes and our vision in general. It will also help if we take vitamins and supplements good for the eyesight.

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