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An ideal woman is often pictured to be a person with a slender figure with long hair. Hair has always been important for every woman because it somehow reflects their personality. Having long shiny hair can seduce a man, it can land a woman in a shampoo commercial, or get compliments from others. It can reflect a woman’s health and gives an impression that she is healthy, and that she is taking good care of herself. Of course, not all women would want long hair. It depends on their character, the weather, their lifestyle, and so on. Hair has its own life cycle, usually from two to six years of hair growth. Each hair grows at least one centimeter per month. Ninety percent of the hair on the scalp is growing at any given time, while the remaining ten is at its resting phase. Specifically for women with long hair, it is considered normal for them to shed some hair as part of the cycle. Not to worry, since it is normally replaced as it grows back in the same follicle on one’s head. Most people lose about fifty to a hundred of head hair strands a day. If one is losing more than those mentioned, a particular health condition can be seen, which would be hair loss. Also called alopecia, it is basically the excessive hair loss of one person. This specific health condition may arise due to several causes. From three or four months after an illness or a major surgery, the patient may suffer from hair loss. This is usually temporary and is related to the stress of their particular illness. Another cause could arise from hormonal problems, primarily from imbalanced male and female hormones (androgens and estrogens). Pregnancy can also cause hair loss, usually three months after the woman conceived her baby. This is also related to the woman’s hormones, because during pregnancy, high levels of female hormones cause the body to keep hair that normally falls out. When such hormones get back to pre-pregnancy stages, hair falls out and the hair cycle starts normally once again. Certain medications can also cause hair loss, including blood thinners, gout medications, chemotherapy medications, birth control pills, and anti-depressants. Hair treatments, such as hair coloring, bleaching, straightening, perms, and certain hairstyles (braids and cornrows) can also contribute to a person’s hair loss. A condition called traction alopecia is present if a person ties or pulls her/his hair tightly that causes tension on the scalp. This particular condition may be permanent if the hairstyle is worn for a long period of time, long enough to damage the person’s hair follicles. Hair care is important to avoid these hair conditions. By eating a well balanced diet, hair is given its full health benefits. Washing hair gently with shampoo once a day, lathering gently, and not rubbing the hair too much on the towel to dry proves effective in taking care of one’s crowning glory. Avoid the use of hair dryers as much as possible, and style hair when its is dry or damp, not when still wet. Be careful to use certain hair care products as there are chemicals (especially those found in hair coloring or hair straightening treatments), which can also damage the hair.