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Beauty: Hairdresser about the house; Chrissie's having a bad hair day, and sleeping on her friend Polly's floor isn't helping, nor is her huge stack of styling products. Lucky for her that Charles Worthington's on hand with some useful advice...

Episode three: Chrissie's frazzled hair crisis Having spent the night on a mattress on Polly's floor, Chrissie feels out of sorts. Her sleeping arrangements left a lot to be desired and where was she meant to be hanging up her (extensive) wardrobe? Standing in the bathroom, she realises that she is experiencing the mother of all bad-hair days. Her job as a beauty therapist on Virtual Airlines has caused big problems on the static front. All those long, carpeted corridors at Heathrow, the nylon upholstery and the beret she's forced to wear, ensure that sparks fly every time she brushes her hair. It's no wonder she's failed to pull the handsome dot.com entrepreneur who commutes to New York every week; each time she gives him a back massage he complains of static shocks. And now this. She looks like Dougal from The Magic Roundabout. She gets out every hair product she can lay her hands on in an attempt to groom her sorry, straggling strands - but to no avail. What her stressed-out mane really needs is some back-to-basics haircare...

Charles says...

If your hair is suffering like Chrissie's, it pays to consider your lifestyle. In a perfect world we would all be calm, collected and look the picture of health. Unfortunately, though, all too often we are subject to stress, but how we deal with it determines how well we cope and, ultimately, how good we look. Taking supplements, exercising and eating well, sleeping well and relaxing will not make your life go more smoothly, but it will give your inner resources an extra boost. This will help you manage stress and still have enough energy left to keep your inner light shining brightly.

Stressed hair When you are worried and stressed, the first part of the body to become tense is the shoulders. When the neck and shoulders are constricted, the supply of oxygen and blood to the scalp is inhibited. Inevitably, your hair becomes stressed, too, and the signs are a flaky scalp, dull hair and, eventually, hair loss. When you are stressed, your nails and hair are the first to be ignored by your body's natural vitamin distribution process. It is absolutely essential to replace lost minerals and vitamins, both internally and externally.

Try these six tips to help stressed-out hair:

1 Massage the scalp and learn to relax. It relieves tension and increases blood flow, which nourishes the root and hair follicle. Gently work your fingers around your head, massaging all the time. Start at the perimeter of the head and work inwards, making sure your fingers never leave the scalp.

2 A flaky scalp can be due to dehydration - especially after too much alcohol - so take a bath to unwind, rather than reaching for the wine bottle, and always drink at least eight large glasses of water every day.

3 Consider supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals.

4 Eat your greens. Green vegetables have a high iron content that will encourage the growth of healthy hair.

5 Eat oily fish. The oils encourage the flow of sebum, and give flexibility to the hair.

6 Essential oils are good for well-being and can also benefit the scalp and hair when a few drops are diluted in vegetable oil or warm water. Rose absolute is moisturising; tea tree and eucalyptus have antiseptic properties, which are soothing for a dry, tight scalp; and lavender is very relaxing.

l Next week: Hairdryers out - it's party time

Taken from City Hair by Charles Worthington, with illustrations by Jason Brooks (pounds 6.99, Carlton Books)
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Welch, Tricia
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 10, 2000
Words:596
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