Our hair growth cycle explained…

At MONPURE we’re about treating hair loss at the root cause. But to learn more about hair loss, it’s important to learn about hair growth. Our resident dermatologist Dr Sue Ann Chan explains further… How does hair grow? Like skin cells, our hair undergoes a cycle of growth, transition, rest and renewal. This consists of the anagen phase (growth phase), catagen phase (transition phase), and telogen phase (resting phase). It is important to understand our hair growth cycle in order to help diagnose and manage a variety of scalp conditions, which may result in hair loss.  A hair shaft (a strand of hair) grows within a hair follicle at a rate of 1cm per month on average in a healthy individual. The hair shaft consists of 3 main layers – medulla, cortex and the hair cuticle (which is the outermost layer of the hair). Here's how the hair growth cycle works: Anagen phase⁠ During this time, the hair shaft is growing within a hair follicle. The anagen phase lasts an average of 3-5 years before the follicle becomes dormant, but varies from person to person as it's dependent on your genetics, age and health. Normally, 80-95% of your hair would be in its anagen phase.⁠ ⁠Catagen phase⁠⁠ This is a period of transition where growth of the specific hair shaft comes to a halt and the hair follicle shrinks. Around one to three percentage of our hair would be in this phase at any one time. This phase take approximately one to four weeks. Telogen phase⁠⁠ In the telogen phase, the hair follicle rests and doesn't grow. This phase takes approximately two to four months. At the end of the phase, the hair shaft is expelled from the hair follicle (i.e. the hair falls out) and this cycle starts again.⁠ What causes hair loss? Hair loss can happen when the anagen phase gets decreased and the hair shaft enters the telogen phase prematurely. This can be due to a number of factors, for example taking certain types of medications (certain contraception pills, anti-coagulants, epilepsy medications); after childbirth; or if an individual is undergoing radiation treatment such as chemotherapy. Various skin conditions on the scalp can also cause hair loss (e.g. severe inflammatory conditions such as eczema and psoriasis). What can I do to prevent hair loss? I advise my patients to care for their scalp in the same way as they care for the skin on their face. Too often the scalp gets neglected, which can lead to hair loss and a dull appearance in the hair in general. That’s why regular cleansing, hydration and exfoliation of the scalp are so important. I would also advise to minimise ‘wear and tear’ to your hair; for example avoiding blow drying your hair on a high heat setting; wearing your hair in tight hairstyles that can put pressure on the follicles; as well as using harsh chemicals on your hair and scalp. Maintaining a good scalp care regime, with targeted products such as the scientists behind MONPURE have created, is so crucial to preventing these issues. Regular cleansing, hydration and exfoliation of the scalp are key - all of which MONPURE aims to address. If you have serious concerns with regards to your hair loss, it would be advisable to seek advice from a doctor or dermatologist to obtain appropriate diagnosis and medical treatment for your scalp, preferably at an earlier stage, before hair loss becomes advanced.  Any more burning questions on scalp and haircare, please send them to info@monpure.com and our hardworking team will be happy to assist. Shop the MONPURE range here

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MONPURE’s guide to meditation

At MONPURE, we’re well aware of the toll issues like hair loss can take on your emotional wellbeing (and vice-versa). And while our products were created to look after your scalp and hair health, we believe a holistic approach is important, to deal with both the physical and mental factors of scalp discomfort and hair loss.   To mark both World Meditation Day and Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to look at the importance of maintaining good mental health practises. Just as you might go for a run every day or hit up a spin class to stay in physical shape, meditation or relaxation rituals are a way of ‘checking in’ with your mental health, to help build your mindfulness muscle so that you don’t get stuck in negative thought patterns that can be damaging to both body and mind. And when you can combine a relaxation ritual with your regular hair routine, then so much the better! Rather than lathering up for hurried 10 minutes in the shower, we created MONPURE for people to take time out to properly treat their scalp and hair – and feel less frazzled in the bargain.  With that in mind, we spoke to Minal Bhanshali, a qualified yoga instructor and founder of lifestyle brand 7over7, a scented candle range designed to enhance meditation and relaxation. Minal grew up with many Ayurvedic traditions – Ayurveda is a holistic wellness practice, which has been followed in India for thousands of years. As a result, meditation is a key part of her life – so we sat down with her to find out more. What is the importance of meditation and relaxation? Minal Bhanshali: Throughout the day, we are bombarded with so many sights and sounds that assault our senses on an hourly basis. This overstimulation not only affects our bodies’ circadian rhythms (basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of our brain and regulates when we are asleep and awake). This in turn creates sleep disorders but also leads to a feeling of being overwhelmed, which in turn cripples our nervous system. There is an extensive body of research in neuroscience led by experts like Dr Joe Dispenza, who have dedicated their lives to showing the direct correlation between the state of our nervous system and its effect on brain function and our entire physiology.  Studies have shown that effective meditative practice and relaxation rituals help us process what goes on around us and give us deeper access to what is going on in our internal lives. This means that when we go to sleep, our bodies are better able to rejuvenate and heal as opposed to trying to process incoherent, frantic signals. Along with giving us clarity of mind and more considered thoughts and actions, meditation can really help us cope with uncertainty, overwhelm and anxiety – especially during times of crisis. Meditation is also a very powerful tool for self-development, so taking up a regular practice while we’re spending a lot of time indoors can mean we can be in a better form, more effective in meeting our goals through real personal growth. How would you start a meditation ritual for people who might not have tried it before? Start small with 5 – 10 minutes and then build up your practice.  The best way to start is trying meditation after a yoga practice. Yoga postures were designed by the ancient yogis to enable the body to sit a meditative state for long periods of time and to help channel the energy from the ground up. So, after yoga is the most ideal time when the body and mind are more receptive to the benefits of meditation. Create a space and a little ritual to your practice to make it more meaningful. Ensure there is a good flow of fresh air in the room, a dimmed light and it will help set an intention for your practice with a mood enhancing candle. What position should your body be in? What should you be sitting on?  Ideally, you’d want to be sat on the floor, propped by a few cushions with your back straight and palms facing the ceiling. This posture is an openness to receive and enables a better flow of energy from the root of the spine to the crown of the head. If you don’t have the flexibility to sit cross-legged, you can sit on a chair but always make sure you hold your back straight and support the base of your spine with padding if needed. The most important things to bear in mind are: The intention you set when you go into the practice The object isn’t to control your mind – it is to detach from it by just becoming more aware… and following what comes up from your subconscious mind Ease into the practice and let your breath guide you. When in doubt, just go back to the natural rhythm of inhaling and exhaling.  How often should people try this? As often as you can and it feels good. The moment you feel you ‘should’ get it in, you’ll have lost the practice. By creating rituals around the practice, it becomes more enjoyable and something to look forward to – like a retreat. Ideally I would recommend practicing mediation as you would any form of fitness – 3 – 4 times a week and building up a daily practice if it is something you feel you benefit from. You can mix it up just like you do with fitness – a longer guided meditation one day, followed up a shorter transcendental practice another. There are no rules. If you’re a complete beginner, guided meditation is the best way to focus your thoughts and breathing. Downloading apps like HeadSpace, which can talk you through each practice, are a good place to start. In the meantime, scalp massage is another way of helping to relax the body and mind – especially if our Nourish & Stimulate Scalp Mask is applied beforehand! Minal has a few tips to get you started…  Masks are great for scalp massage. Not only do they nourish the hair, but as great hair begins at the root, the importance of a healthy scalp matters. Gentle massage will directly relief any pressure and stress. I’d recommend liberally applying Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask or Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum and using the texture to glide the fingertips in circular motions around the nape, the points on the back of the ears, the temples, the forehead and the crown of the head. Being aware of any tension and holding gentle pressure there will help you to relax more deeply. This gentle massage enables better sleep, a more alert mind when done during the day and a deep sense of wellbeing. It’s the ultimate form of self-care! You can also use our Clarifying Scalp Scrub as part of a head-masasge ritual. Discover more about it here… Want to know more about the scalp, hair and self-care? Send any burning questions to our team of experts at info@monpure.com

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Hair wisdom – true or false?

From our recent Mother’s Day competition, we received a slew of interesting tips and advice (thank you to everyone and their mums for participating!). We spotted a few well-known words of wisdom that a lot of us heard growing up – which sparked our interest. We decided to delve a little deeper, to get to the ‘root’ of the matter with the help of our resident doctor and dermatologist Dr Sue Ann Chan. Read on to find out which of the more well-known hair tips actually do pass muster... “Rinsing hair in cold water will make it shinier” ...True! We’re not saying you should take cold showers for the rest of your life (brr!) but giving your hair a final rinse in cold water helps to seal all the tiny bristles in your hair cuticle, making them lay flat. This makes it more reflective when the light hits it, making your hair look oh-so-shiny. “Letting your hair dry naturally is the best way to keep its condition” It depends... While air-drying means less damage with heated hair dryers, it’s not always a good idea. For example, sleeping with wet hair is a big no-no because there’s less chance of it being exposed to air, which can cause mildew and bacteria to grow. Hair is also most fragile when it’s wet, so air-drying means it stays damp for longer, making it more vulnerable to breakage. Obviously excessive use of heated styling tools is going to do way more damage over time, but if you choose to let you hair dry naturally, just bear the above in mind (as the song goes: ‘it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it!’). “Washing your hair everyday strips it of its natural oils” ...True! Frequent washing can be damaging and drying for your hair – as well as leaving your scalp irritated. Plus your scalp’s oil glands are likely to overcompensate, giving you greasy roots, so then you’re stuck in a vicious circle. If you’re exercising every day and you have to wash it after a workout, then a sulphate-free shampoo such as MONPURE Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo will be less abrasive and won’t zap your scalp of moisture.  “Eating crusts will make your hair curly” ...False! Naturally curly hair all depends on the type of hair follicle you have (the same goes for straight hair). Saying that, eating crusts can be good for your hair in general. They are rich in melanoidins – special compounds which help produce the 'good' bacteria we need for our gut to function properly and benefit our overall health (including hair health).  “Lemon juice is the best natural way to lighten your hair in the sun” ...False! Lemon juice is a known scalp irritant and when exposed to UV rays, it has the potential to cause a reaction called phytodermatitis which leads to redness and itchiness. (The best way to use lemon juice right now? Drink it! It contains vitamin C to help support the immune system which is especially needed at the moment!) Want thicker, fuller hair? Swerve the myths and turn to our scientifically proven ingredients – shop the range here.  

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Why a scalp scrub should be a staple in your haircare regime

Article written by Viola Levy Scrubbing up is an underrated joy – take it from me. Buffing away those little granules of goodness over your skin can wake you up out of your morning grump and give scaly limbs a new lease of life. Any good scrub worth its salt (whether it contains actual salt or not) should have a heavenly scent, with beads that invigorate the skin without being scratchy (some scrubs I’ve tried are like rubbing shards of glass on one’s skin, I kid you not…) So why scrub away at your scalp, you ask? Isn’t a good old shampoo n’ rinse enough? Well, as mentioned in previous posts, it’s high time we stopped neglecting our scalps and give them some long-awaited loving. Look after it and you’ll be rewarded with less itching, dandruff and irritation – not to mention thicker, fuller hair for your troubles. When it comes to neglecting our scalps, the majority of us have a lot to atone for. And using a scalp scrub is the first step on the road to recovery. And as with the skin on your face, your scalp has its fair share of dirt and debris. But with your hair covering it, it’s less noticeable and something we tend to overlook. However, left to its own devices, all this gunk can easily build up – causing scalp irritation, itchy, flaky skin and stunted hair growth to name but a few.  Similar to facial and body scrubs, scalp versions like MONPURE’s Clarifying Scalp Scrub work in the same way. Before you step in the shower, gently massage them in (on a dry scalp, so there’s more friction) to exfoliate away any clutter that might be clogging those hair follicles. Instead of microbeads, this contains biodegradable jojoba beads, conditioning shea butter and nourishing argan oil extract. Anyone who’s been on the receiving end of a scalp massage will tell you, rubbing this stuff in is a sheer unadulterated joy, and – like most things in life – something that shouldn’t be rushed if you want to enjoy it.  De-stressing and slowing down are not things that come easily to me, but this has certainly flipped my regular hair-washing routine from a hurried 10-minutes in the shower to an enjoyable ritual worth lingering over. If you’re not sure how to get that scrub through your hair so it reaches your scalp, here’s a technique I’ve found that works quite well: take a tiny amount on your fingertips and rapidly tousle it through your strands, working quickly until you find your scalp so it can work its magic (you don’t want the majority of it to get lost in your hair on the way). And if you’re worried about those tiny beads getting stuck in your strands, fret not. Take it from someone who has wild, frizzy locks that wouldn’t look out of place in a Victorian gothic novel – this stuff rinses out reasonably well (make sure you flip your head over under the shower to make doubly sure). I’ve been using it once a week with no rogue grains hidden in my scalp post-wash. One last thing, before you get scrub-happy, a word of caution comes from our resident dermatologist Dr Sue Ann Chan: “Not all skin types are suitable for scrubbing – if you have any dermatological conditions, do consult your dermatologist before using scalp scrubs as these can sometimes irritate the skin if you have a pre-existing scalp condition such as scalp eczema or scalp lupus etc.” Click here to shop it now.

The hair boosting hero serum that started it all

Every product in the MONPURE range plays a special role in helping the scalp look and feel its best so your hair can flourish. But there was one serum that we started with which is particularly dear to the MONPURE family.  Our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum targets an issue that many of us struggle with, hair thinning and hair loss – which affects 40% of women and 70% of men in their lifetime. But this doesn’t just happen as we age. Stress is a huge cause of hair loss. When we’re stressed we release a hormone called cortisol, which can affect our hair growth cycle (why the phrase “tearing one’s hair out” isn’t just a figure of speech!). Thankfully once our stress levels return to normal so does our hair growth (the same goes for hair loss during pregnancy, once you’re no longer pregnant), but you still might want to use some products to speed up the process – one of the reasons our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum was created in the first place.  The core of the MONPURE philosophy is that healthy hair starts with the scalp. And that is should be treated with as much care as the skin on our face – with the same ingredients that will keep the skin cells youthful and energised. Our scalps are prone to the same ageing deficiencies as the skin on our face, and an ageing scalp equals dull, thinning hair and an increase in shedding – which can spiral into hair loss if we’re not careful. But then there are people who can go to the opposite extreme. We were shocked at the harsh chemicals and treatments people were resorting to, in a bid to combat hair loss. If your hair treatments are too strong, this can cause the scalp to product too much oil that will congest pores and make hair look thin and lank. We’ve created a gentler, safer solution with our range, and our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum was what started it all. We wanted something that would really deliver results, yet not feel like paint stripper or cause irritation and be full of synthetic chemicals. So we settled on a special pumpkin seed extract, which our resident dermatologist Dr. Sue Ann Chan is a big fan of. “Pumpkin seed extract is becoming more widely used in helping to treat hair loss,” she says. “Testosterone in our body produces a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which in excess may cause hair loss in certain individuals. This chemical is released by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which pumpkin seed extract helps to block. That’s what makes it effective in preventing hair loss, which is why it’s the star ingredient in MONPURE’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum.” It also contains castor oil to ‘feed’ the scalp and stimulate blood flow which works to boost hair growth, while retinol and lactic acid exfoliate to sweep away any dead skin and debris that can block the pores and inhibit hair growth. A few drops rubbed into your scalp every day (or every few days) should be enough to kick-start those follicles and you will probably start to see a reduction in hair loss and increased thickness within a few weeks of using it. Click here to shop Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum and learn more about what it can do. It also works wonders when used as part of our Great Lengths regime, which you can learn more about here.

The skincare ingredients that work wonders for your scalp too

“Skincare shouldn’t just stop at the hairline” is a mantra in the MONPURE offices and for good reason. So many of the ingredients that we’re familiar with in our serums, cleansers and moisturisers also do fantastic things for the skin on our scalp. You’ll probably be familiar with retinol. Dermatologists have long sworn by it as a solution to a number of skincare dilemmas, from scarring and wrinkles, acne and pigmentation. It’s an ingredient beauty fans and ‘skintellectuals’ are highly likely to be familiar with. But it’s not been cropping up in scalpcare. *Adopts movie trailer voice* Until now… While hair loss continues to affect roughly 40% of women, people are starting to wake up to the fact that retinoids can have the same anti-aging effects on the scalp – and hair loss – as they do on the face. Our Follicle Boost Density Serum starring a potent form of retinol called retinyl palmitate, which is retinol combined with the fatty acid palmitic acid. (This also occurs naturally in the body and is a renowned anti-oxidant, good for strengthening and repairing cells.) Consultant dermatologist and MONPURE Ambassador Dr. Sue Ann Chan sheds some more light on this: “While retinoids have been a hot topic in facial skincare - fewer people are aware of how they can similarly rejuvenate the scalp. Recent research has shown that retinoids not just possess exfoliating properties, they can also help with the treatment of hair loss.” “For example, the retinyl palmitate in MONPURE’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum works to clear the scalp of dead skin and debris, which can then encourage hair to grow through thicker and stronger to maintain healthy hair.” And how about AHAs – heard of those? These are alpha hydroxy acids to give them their full name, they work to dissolve dead skin cells, dirt and debris and slightly stimulate the skin’s healing mechanism to speed up cell turnover. They’re widely used in acid toners to exfoliate and renew skin that’s dull and prone to congestion and guess what? It does the same for your scalp! Lactic acid is a popular AHA (any vegans reading this, don’t worry – it’s not milk-derived!) and features in our Nourish & Stimulate Scalp Mask, together with our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum.  As well as AHAs, there are BHAs – well, in fact there’s only one BHA (or beta hydroxyl acid) and that’s salicylic acid. This cleanses at a deeper level, purging pores of congested oil and dirt and features in our Hydrate & Soothe Scalp Serum. And for those looking for a hefty hit of hydration, Pro Vitamin B5 (otherwise known as Pantothenic Acid) is widely used in face creams, masks and toners. And it’s another winning ingredient in our Hydrate & Soothe Scalp Serum, absorbing moisture from the air like a sponge to prevent dry, itchy scalps. About to embark on your new scalpcare regime? Click here to shop the MONPURE range and to learn more about their products. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and become a part of the MONPURE community.  

Our hair growth cycle explained…

At MONPURE we’re about treating hair loss at the root cause. But to learn more about hair loss, it’s important to learn about hair growth. Our resident dermatologist Dr Sue Ann Chan explains further… How does hair grow? Like skin cells, our hair undergoes a cycle of growth, transition, rest and renewal. This consists of the anagen phase (growth phase), catagen phase (transition phase), and telogen phase (resting phase). It is important to understand our hair growth cycle in order to help diagnose and manage a variety of scalp conditions, which may result in hair loss.  A hair shaft (a strand of hair) grows within a hair follicle at a rate of 1cm per month on average in a healthy individual. The hair shaft consists of 3 main layers – medulla, cortex and the hair cuticle (which is the outermost layer of the hair). Here's how the hair growth cycle works: Anagen phase⁠ During this time, the hair shaft is growing within a hair follicle. The anagen phase lasts an average of 3-5 years before the follicle becomes dormant, but varies from person to person as it's dependent on your genetics, age and health. Normally, 80-95% of your hair would be in its anagen phase.⁠ ⁠Catagen phase⁠⁠ This is a period of transition where growth of the specific hair shaft comes to a halt and the hair follicle shrinks. Around one to three percentage of our hair would be in this phase at any one time. This phase take approximately one to four weeks. Telogen phase⁠⁠ In the telogen phase, the hair follicle rests and doesn't grow. This phase takes approximately two to four months. At the end of the phase, the hair shaft is expelled from the hair follicle (i.e. the hair falls out) and this cycle starts again.⁠ What causes hair loss? Hair loss can happen when the anagen phase gets decreased and the hair shaft enters the telogen phase prematurely. This can be due to a number of factors, for example taking certain types of medications (certain contraception pills, anti-coagulants, epilepsy medications); after childbirth; or if an individual is undergoing radiation treatment such as chemotherapy. Various skin conditions on the scalp can also cause hair loss (e.g. severe inflammatory conditions such as eczema and psoriasis). What can I do to prevent hair loss? I advise my patients to care for their scalp in the same way as they care for the skin on their face. Too often the scalp gets neglected, which can lead to hair loss and a dull appearance in the hair in general. That’s why regular cleansing, hydration and exfoliation of the scalp are so important. I would also advise to minimise ‘wear and tear’ to your hair; for example avoiding blow drying your hair on a high heat setting; wearing your hair in tight hairstyles that can put pressure on the follicles; as well as using harsh chemicals on your hair and scalp. Maintaining a good scalp care regime, with targeted products such as the scientists behind MONPURE have created, is so crucial to preventing these issues. Regular cleansing, hydration and exfoliation of the scalp are key - all of which MONPURE aims to address. If you have serious concerns with regards to your hair loss, it would be advisable to seek advice from a doctor or dermatologist to obtain appropriate diagnosis and medical treatment for your scalp, preferably at an earlier stage, before hair loss becomes advanced.  Any more burning questions on scalp and haircare, please send them to info@monpure.com and our hardworking team will be happy to assist. Shop the MONPURE range here

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MONPURE’s guide to meditation

At MONPURE, we’re well aware of the toll issues like hair loss can take on your emotional wellbeing (and vice-versa). And while our products were created to look after your scalp and hair health, we believe a holistic approach is important, to deal with both the physical and mental factors of scalp discomfort and hair loss.   To mark both World Meditation Day and Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to look at the importance of maintaining good mental health practises. Just as you might go for a run every day or hit up a spin class to stay in physical shape, meditation or relaxation rituals are a way of ‘checking in’ with your mental health, to help build your mindfulness muscle so that you don’t get stuck in negative thought patterns that can be damaging to both body and mind. And when you can combine a relaxation ritual with your regular hair routine, then so much the better! Rather than lathering up for hurried 10 minutes in the shower, we created MONPURE for people to take time out to properly treat their scalp and hair – and feel less frazzled in the bargain.  With that in mind, we spoke to Minal Bhanshali, a qualified yoga instructor and founder of lifestyle brand 7over7, a scented candle range designed to enhance meditation and relaxation. Minal grew up with many Ayurvedic traditions – Ayurveda is a holistic wellness practice, which has been followed in India for thousands of years. As a result, meditation is a key part of her life – so we sat down with her to find out more. What is the importance of meditation and relaxation? Minal Bhanshali: Throughout the day, we are bombarded with so many sights and sounds that assault our senses on an hourly basis. This overstimulation not only affects our bodies’ circadian rhythms (basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of our brain and regulates when we are asleep and awake). This in turn creates sleep disorders but also leads to a feeling of being overwhelmed, which in turn cripples our nervous system. There is an extensive body of research in neuroscience led by experts like Dr Joe Dispenza, who have dedicated their lives to showing the direct correlation between the state of our nervous system and its effect on brain function and our entire physiology.  Studies have shown that effective meditative practice and relaxation rituals help us process what goes on around us and give us deeper access to what is going on in our internal lives. This means that when we go to sleep, our bodies are better able to rejuvenate and heal as opposed to trying to process incoherent, frantic signals. Along with giving us clarity of mind and more considered thoughts and actions, meditation can really help us cope with uncertainty, overwhelm and anxiety – especially during times of crisis. Meditation is also a very powerful tool for self-development, so taking up a regular practice while we’re spending a lot of time indoors can mean we can be in a better form, more effective in meeting our goals through real personal growth. How would you start a meditation ritual for people who might not have tried it before? Start small with 5 – 10 minutes and then build up your practice.  The best way to start is trying meditation after a yoga practice. Yoga postures were designed by the ancient yogis to enable the body to sit a meditative state for long periods of time and to help channel the energy from the ground up. So, after yoga is the most ideal time when the body and mind are more receptive to the benefits of meditation. Create a space and a little ritual to your practice to make it more meaningful. Ensure there is a good flow of fresh air in the room, a dimmed light and it will help set an intention for your practice with a mood enhancing candle. What position should your body be in? What should you be sitting on?  Ideally, you’d want to be sat on the floor, propped by a few cushions with your back straight and palms facing the ceiling. This posture is an openness to receive and enables a better flow of energy from the root of the spine to the crown of the head. If you don’t have the flexibility to sit cross-legged, you can sit on a chair but always make sure you hold your back straight and support the base of your spine with padding if needed. The most important things to bear in mind are: The intention you set when you go into the practice The object isn’t to control your mind – it is to detach from it by just becoming more aware… and following what comes up from your subconscious mind Ease into the practice and let your breath guide you. When in doubt, just go back to the natural rhythm of inhaling and exhaling.  How often should people try this? As often as you can and it feels good. The moment you feel you ‘should’ get it in, you’ll have lost the practice. By creating rituals around the practice, it becomes more enjoyable and something to look forward to – like a retreat. Ideally I would recommend practicing mediation as you would any form of fitness – 3 – 4 times a week and building up a daily practice if it is something you feel you benefit from. You can mix it up just like you do with fitness – a longer guided meditation one day, followed up a shorter transcendental practice another. There are no rules. If you’re a complete beginner, guided meditation is the best way to focus your thoughts and breathing. Downloading apps like HeadSpace, which can talk you through each practice, are a good place to start. In the meantime, scalp massage is another way of helping to relax the body and mind – especially if our Nourish & Stimulate Scalp Mask is applied beforehand! Minal has a few tips to get you started…  Masks are great for scalp massage. Not only do they nourish the hair, but as great hair begins at the root, the importance of a healthy scalp matters. Gentle massage will directly relief any pressure and stress. I’d recommend liberally applying Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask or Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum and using the texture to glide the fingertips in circular motions around the nape, the points on the back of the ears, the temples, the forehead and the crown of the head. Being aware of any tension and holding gentle pressure there will help you to relax more deeply. This gentle massage enables better sleep, a more alert mind when done during the day and a deep sense of wellbeing. It’s the ultimate form of self-care! You can also use our Clarifying Scalp Scrub as part of a head-masasge ritual. Discover more about it here… Want to know more about the scalp, hair and self-care? Send any burning questions to our team of experts at info@monpure.com

Find out more

Hair wisdom – true or false?

From our recent Mother’s Day competition, we received a slew of interesting tips and advice (thank you to everyone and their mums for participating!). We spotted a few well-known words of wisdom that a lot of us heard growing up – which sparked our interest. We decided to delve a little deeper, to get to the ‘root’ of the matter with the help of our resident doctor and dermatologist Dr Sue Ann Chan. Read on to find out which of the more well-known hair tips actually do pass muster... “Rinsing hair in cold water will make it shinier” ...True! We’re not saying you should take cold showers for the rest of your life (brr!) but giving your hair a final rinse in cold water helps to seal all the tiny bristles in your hair cuticle, making them lay flat. This makes it more reflective when the light hits it, making your hair look oh-so-shiny. “Letting your hair dry naturally is the best way to keep its condition” It depends... While air-drying means less damage with heated hair dryers, it’s not always a good idea. For example, sleeping with wet hair is a big no-no because there’s less chance of it being exposed to air, which can cause mildew and bacteria to grow. Hair is also most fragile when it’s wet, so air-drying means it stays damp for longer, making it more vulnerable to breakage. Obviously excessive use of heated styling tools is going to do way more damage over time, but if you choose to let you hair dry naturally, just bear the above in mind (as the song goes: ‘it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it!’). “Washing your hair everyday strips it of its natural oils” ...True! Frequent washing can be damaging and drying for your hair – as well as leaving your scalp irritated. Plus your scalp’s oil glands are likely to overcompensate, giving you greasy roots, so then you’re stuck in a vicious circle. If you’re exercising every day and you have to wash it after a workout, then a sulphate-free shampoo such as MONPURE Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo will be less abrasive and won’t zap your scalp of moisture.  “Eating crusts will make your hair curly” ...False! Naturally curly hair all depends on the type of hair follicle you have (the same goes for straight hair). Saying that, eating crusts can be good for your hair in general. They are rich in melanoidins – special compounds which help produce the 'good' bacteria we need for our gut to function properly and benefit our overall health (including hair health).  “Lemon juice is the best natural way to lighten your hair in the sun” ...False! Lemon juice is a known scalp irritant and when exposed to UV rays, it has the potential to cause a reaction called phytodermatitis which leads to redness and itchiness. (The best way to use lemon juice right now? Drink it! It contains vitamin C to help support the immune system which is especially needed at the moment!) Want thicker, fuller hair? Swerve the myths and turn to our scientifically proven ingredients – shop the range here.  

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Why a scalp scrub should be a staple in your haircare regime

Article written by Viola Levy Scrubbing up is an underrated joy – take it from me. Buffing away those little granules of goodness over your skin can wake you up out of your morning grump and give scaly limbs a new lease of life. Any good scrub worth its salt (whether it contains actual salt or not) should have a heavenly scent, with beads that invigorate the skin without being scratchy (some scrubs I’ve tried are like rubbing shards of glass on one’s skin, I kid you not…) So why scrub away at your scalp, you ask? Isn’t a good old shampoo n’ rinse enough? Well, as mentioned in previous posts, it’s high time we stopped neglecting our scalps and give them some long-awaited loving. Look after it and you’ll be rewarded with less itching, dandruff and irritation – not to mention thicker, fuller hair for your troubles. When it comes to neglecting our scalps, the majority of us have a lot to atone for. And using a scalp scrub is the first step on the road to recovery. And as with the skin on your face, your scalp has its fair share of dirt and debris. But with your hair covering it, it’s less noticeable and something we tend to overlook. However, left to its own devices, all this gunk can easily build up – causing scalp irritation, itchy, flaky skin and stunted hair growth to name but a few.  Similar to facial and body scrubs, scalp versions like MONPURE’s Clarifying Scalp Scrub work in the same way. Before you step in the shower, gently massage them in (on a dry scalp, so there’s more friction) to exfoliate away any clutter that might be clogging those hair follicles. Instead of microbeads, this contains biodegradable jojoba beads, conditioning shea butter and nourishing argan oil extract. Anyone who’s been on the receiving end of a scalp massage will tell you, rubbing this stuff in is a sheer unadulterated joy, and – like most things in life – something that shouldn’t be rushed if you want to enjoy it.  De-stressing and slowing down are not things that come easily to me, but this has certainly flipped my regular hair-washing routine from a hurried 10-minutes in the shower to an enjoyable ritual worth lingering over. If you’re not sure how to get that scrub through your hair so it reaches your scalp, here’s a technique I’ve found that works quite well: take a tiny amount on your fingertips and rapidly tousle it through your strands, working quickly until you find your scalp so it can work its magic (you don’t want the majority of it to get lost in your hair on the way). And if you’re worried about those tiny beads getting stuck in your strands, fret not. Take it from someone who has wild, frizzy locks that wouldn’t look out of place in a Victorian gothic novel – this stuff rinses out reasonably well (make sure you flip your head over under the shower to make doubly sure). I’ve been using it once a week with no rogue grains hidden in my scalp post-wash. One last thing, before you get scrub-happy, a word of caution comes from our resident dermatologist Dr Sue Ann Chan: “Not all skin types are suitable for scrubbing – if you have any dermatological conditions, do consult your dermatologist before using scalp scrubs as these can sometimes irritate the skin if you have a pre-existing scalp condition such as scalp eczema or scalp lupus etc.” Click here to shop it now.

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The hair boosting hero serum that started it all

Every product in the MONPURE range plays a special role in helping the scalp look and feel its best so your hair can flourish. But there was one serum that we started with which is particularly dear to the MONPURE family.  Our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum targets an issue that many of us struggle with, hair thinning and hair loss – which affects 40% of women and 70% of men in their lifetime. But this doesn’t just happen as we age. Stress is a huge cause of hair loss. When we’re stressed we release a hormone called cortisol, which can affect our hair growth cycle (why the phrase “tearing one’s hair out” isn’t just a figure of speech!). Thankfully once our stress levels return to normal so does our hair growth (the same goes for hair loss during pregnancy, once you’re no longer pregnant), but you still might want to use some products to speed up the process – one of the reasons our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum was created in the first place.  The core of the MONPURE philosophy is that healthy hair starts with the scalp. And that is should be treated with as much care as the skin on our face – with the same ingredients that will keep the skin cells youthful and energised. Our scalps are prone to the same ageing deficiencies as the skin on our face, and an ageing scalp equals dull, thinning hair and an increase in shedding – which can spiral into hair loss if we’re not careful. But then there are people who can go to the opposite extreme. We were shocked at the harsh chemicals and treatments people were resorting to, in a bid to combat hair loss. If your hair treatments are too strong, this can cause the scalp to product too much oil that will congest pores and make hair look thin and lank. We’ve created a gentler, safer solution with our range, and our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum was what started it all. We wanted something that would really deliver results, yet not feel like paint stripper or cause irritation and be full of synthetic chemicals. So we settled on a special pumpkin seed extract, which our resident dermatologist Dr. Sue Ann Chan is a big fan of. “Pumpkin seed extract is becoming more widely used in helping to treat hair loss,” she says. “Testosterone in our body produces a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which in excess may cause hair loss in certain individuals. This chemical is released by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which pumpkin seed extract helps to block. That’s what makes it effective in preventing hair loss, which is why it’s the star ingredient in MONPURE’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum.” It also contains castor oil to ‘feed’ the scalp and stimulate blood flow which works to boost hair growth, while retinol and lactic acid exfoliate to sweep away any dead skin and debris that can block the pores and inhibit hair growth. A few drops rubbed into your scalp every day (or every few days) should be enough to kick-start those follicles and you will probably start to see a reduction in hair loss and increased thickness within a few weeks of using it. Click here to shop Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum and learn more about what it can do. It also works wonders when used as part of our Great Lengths regime, which you can learn more about here.

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The skincare ingredients that work wonders for your scalp too

“Skincare shouldn’t just stop at the hairline” is a mantra in the MONPURE offices and for good reason. So many of the ingredients that we’re familiar with in our serums, cleansers and moisturisers also do fantastic things for the skin on our scalp. You’ll probably be familiar with retinol. Dermatologists have long sworn by it as a solution to a number of skincare dilemmas, from scarring and wrinkles, acne and pigmentation. It’s an ingredient beauty fans and ‘skintellectuals’ are highly likely to be familiar with. But it’s not been cropping up in scalpcare. *Adopts movie trailer voice* Until now… While hair loss continues to affect roughly 40% of women, people are starting to wake up to the fact that retinoids can have the same anti-aging effects on the scalp – and hair loss – as they do on the face. Our Follicle Boost Density Serum starring a potent form of retinol called retinyl palmitate, which is retinol combined with the fatty acid palmitic acid. (This also occurs naturally in the body and is a renowned anti-oxidant, good for strengthening and repairing cells.) Consultant dermatologist and MONPURE Ambassador Dr. Sue Ann Chan sheds some more light on this: “While retinoids have been a hot topic in facial skincare - fewer people are aware of how they can similarly rejuvenate the scalp. Recent research has shown that retinoids not just possess exfoliating properties, they can also help with the treatment of hair loss.” “For example, the retinyl palmitate in MONPURE’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum works to clear the scalp of dead skin and debris, which can then encourage hair to grow through thicker and stronger to maintain healthy hair.” And how about AHAs – heard of those? These are alpha hydroxy acids to give them their full name, they work to dissolve dead skin cells, dirt and debris and slightly stimulate the skin’s healing mechanism to speed up cell turnover. They’re widely used in acid toners to exfoliate and renew skin that’s dull and prone to congestion and guess what? It does the same for your scalp! Lactic acid is a popular AHA (any vegans reading this, don’t worry – it’s not milk-derived!) and features in our Nourish & Stimulate Scalp Mask, together with our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum.  As well as AHAs, there are BHAs – well, in fact there’s only one BHA (or beta hydroxyl acid) and that’s salicylic acid. This cleanses at a deeper level, purging pores of congested oil and dirt and features in our Hydrate & Soothe Scalp Serum. And for those looking for a hefty hit of hydration, Pro Vitamin B5 (otherwise known as Pantothenic Acid) is widely used in face creams, masks and toners. And it’s another winning ingredient in our Hydrate & Soothe Scalp Serum, absorbing moisture from the air like a sponge to prevent dry, itchy scalps. About to embark on your new scalpcare regime? Click here to shop the MONPURE range and to learn more about their products. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and become a part of the MONPURE community.  

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Your journey to beautiful hair begins here

You’re probably already interested in treating issues like thinning hair, hair loss and an itchy, irritated scalp. Well you’ve come to the right place, as MONPURE was created to treat everything hair and scalp-related, on the basis that scalp health equals hair health – and thicker, fuller hair at that. This section is where you’ll find everything you could possibly want to know about growing and caring for your hair from the scalp upwards (as that is really the only way you’ll see a difference), as well as an in-depth, transparent look at what our products actually contain and what they will do for your hair. Hair loss is a growing problem … and one of the issues MONPURE was created to treat. It affects 40% of women and 70% of men in their lifetime. Yet so many of us neglect to care for our scalp the way we care for the skin on our face – despite the fact that studies have shown that they both age at the same rate. Your scalp is also prone to irritation; whether it’s using too-hot water in your shower, tight hairstyles that tug the hair away from the skin, sun exposure and city pollution. Throw stress, hormones and pore-clogging styling products into the mix and it’s clear to see why scalpcare is so important for maintaining that type of glossy, healthy mane we all covet. MONPURE have the solution We are a collective of experts, from dermatologists and scientists, to established beauty editors and award-winning journalists, all of us wanting to find real solutions to common issues such as hair loss and thinning. We had enough of treating this problem with harsh toxic chemicals (which are bad for both you and the planet), so we created MONPURE as a way of transforming how we care for the scalp, bridging the gap between skin and haircare. The result is a range of results-driven yet gentle vegan formulas, developed to meticulous standards in our German labs, made with recycled and recyclable packaging. We started out with two serums Namely, our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum and Hydrate & Soothe Scalp Serum – we consider these to be our flagship products and the lynchpin of we’re all about: vibrant hair growth and optimum scalp health. MONPURE grew from there and after much careful development, we expanded into capsule range of products, designed to be used together as part of a multi-step regime: Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo and Conditioner, Nourish & Stimulate Scalp Mask and Clarifying Scalp Scrub. Each one is packed with potent botanicals and results-driven active ingredients. (Click here to read about the products in more detail.)  A word on ingredients... At MONPURE we believe in full transparency, so here is where you’ll find a more in-depth look at what we put in our products – and what we leave out. We’re not about ‘miracles in jars’ and ‘top secret formulas’ – we want you to learn exactly what our ingredients do and just why they’re so great for your scalp and hair. Our products star a host of nourishing botanicals and potent actives all designed to care for the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. Some, you might be familiar with, others you may not. For example, skincare enthusiasts might recognise exfoliating lactic acid and pore-cleansing salicylic acid – popular ingredients in facial skincare, they also work wonders on the scalp, sweeping away any dead skin and debris that might inhibit hair growth. While restorative silk peptides are another hero of our range, working to strengthen and repair the hair follicle without weighing it down. We’re also all about ingredients that help increase blood flow to the scalp (encouraging hair to grow through thicker and fuller) – such as pumpkin seed extract, which stars in our Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum. Click here to browse our range and read more about these fantastic ingredients – and many others. We don’t peddle false promises While being highly potent and results-driven, MONPURE aren’t about ‘quick-fixes’ or ‘overnight miracles’ or any other dubious claims you might find in some of the darker corners of the internet. Hair growth and long-term hair and scalp health take time and commitment, and MONPURE products are designed to be used as part of a holistic regime – there are no short-cuts. Reducing stress, cutting down on scalp-clogging hair products (such as dry shampoo) and introducing nutrient-rich follicle-friendly foods into your diet are some of the ways you can start to see a visible difference. Here is the place where you can find out all about them, with expert tips and advice from our resident renowned dermatologist Dr. Sue Ann Chan. The MONPURE team are also here to help every step of the way, so feel free to drop us an email at support@monpure.com with any questions or queries you may have and we’ll be happy to help. What clean beauty means to MONPURE Given the amount of nasty toxins in our beauty products, which are bad for both our bodies and the planet, MONPURE pride ourselves on being clean. So what does this mean? We avoid common synthetics and questionable ingredients, such as parabens, silicones, sulphates, microbeads, formaldehyde, mineral oil, or talc. Instead we opt for natural, sustainable alternatives such as nourishing silk peptides, exfoliating jojoba beads and hydrating Pro Vitamin B5. With our ethos as ‘the clean foundation for healthy hair’ we’re constantly innovating and developing our formulas, and are always on the lookout for natural ingredients that work hard to deliver the same results as their synthetic counterparts. What’s more, all of our ingredients are sustainably sourced from all over Europe, and we ensure all of the suppliers we work with adhere to our strict environmental standards. Plus, we’re 100% vegan and cruelty-free. This is so important to us, as we don’t believe that animal cruelty or animal products / byproducts should have any place in our beauty regime.  Click here to browse our range, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and become a part of the MONPURE community.  MONPURE – The clean foundation for healthy hair. 100% vegan with no silicones, sulphates, formaldehyde, microbeads, mineral oil, talc + more.

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Why you need a conditioner for your scalp

by Viola Levy - It’s been received wisdom throughout my hair-washing life that you do not let any scrap of conditioner near your scalp. None at all. And as a greasy-haired teenager this was something I took as gospel. “Shampoo the roots, condition the ends” was the motto we all received from teenage magazines. However rules are made to be broken. And as the years passed and my haircare routine got more sophisticated, having long since left conditioners in the past and upgraded to masks that provided my frizz-prone strands with a much more of an intense moisture hit.  Hence I’d seen the humble conditioner as hitherto redundant, despite the fact my dry scalp was still a burning issue, yet one that I was happy to sweep under the carpet. (As we tend to do where our scalp issues are concerned – putting up to 10 products on our face, yet beyond The Wall of our hairline it’s a desolate wasteland of neglect).  Yet that was before I discovered the wonders of ‘Essence-Conditioner’ (which I like to think of ‘diet conditioner’ or ‘conditioner-lite’). Case in point is MONPURE’s Strengthening Essence-Conditioner whose texture is ultra fine, a world away from gloopy, pancake batter-like consistency I was used to. This stuff is so fine and featherlight that it can be massaged into the scalp without leaving my roots a greasy mess, finally solving the issue of the dry scalp-oily hair conundrum that has puzzled scholars since the dawn of civilisation.  Like an ‘essence’ for the skin, this quenches thirsty scalp-skin without being too heavy-handed, locking in moisture thanks to conditioning vegan silk peptides. But once I’ve dried my hair, it still retains the ‘just washed’ bounce without being weighted down by product. Plus, it’s nourishing enough to be worked through the hair itself down to the ends.  Among its nourishing cocktail of scalp-loving ingredients are aloe vera and argan oil; a suave double-act, that work to moisturise and condition with aplomb. Since using it, I’ve noticed a marked reduction in itchiness, eczema and flaky skin on my scalp (which would normally flare up with stress and hormonal fluctuations throughout the month – not so, since using this).  Very few of us would wash our face and not replenish the skin with some sort of moisturiser afterwards, so why after shampooing our scalp, do we tend to leave it at that? A rookie error I hope the creation of this clever conditioner can correct…

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How we’re making a difference …

At MONPURE we care as much about the planet and its furry inhabitants as we do your scalp and hair. We know the beauty industry doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to sustainability, so at MONPURE we believe in protecting our beloved planet every day. Here are a few ways we’re making a difference... “Clean ingredients. Consciously chosen.” – What does that mean? We know the word ‘clean’ gets banded about as often as a pellet in a pinball machine. So let us elaborate… ‘Clean’ isn’t just another marketing buzzword we’ve thrown in for good measure. We established MONPURE with a mission, to bring together the best, most potent natural ingredients possible with minimal harsh chemicals like sulphates, silicone and parabens. Hence every product in the MONPURE range stars nourishing botanicals and potent actives sustainably sourced from all over Europe. But we’re not about to rest on our laurels; we remain committed to finding the very best alternatives that are kind to your scalp and don’t pollute the earth. PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free None of our ingredients or testing processes involve animals or any animal by-products. This has been our stance from the very beginning and we intend to keep it that way – no animal should suffer so that we can be beautiful (or healthy for that matter). One of the ingredients we use that we’re particularly proud of is Silkgel- a pioneering new vegan alternative to regular silk peptides. Produced via a process of fermenting plant starch, it’s been clinically proven to not only repair fragile or damaged hair strands, but also protect the hair and scalp from harmful pollutants as well as bacterial adhesion. Recycled and recyclable packaging  We’re very conscious that our packaging doesn’t end up in a landfill. Four of our products are packaged in recyclable glass jars and bottles, with the Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo and Strengthening Essence-Conditioner housed in plastic bottles that use post-consumer recycled plastic and are themselves 100% recyclable. Our shipping boxes and product packaging are printed using soy ink and our ecommerce orders use 100% biodegradable and compostable packing chips. We only work with ethical suppliers Our commitment to the environment goes beyond our own offices. We believe who we choose to partner up with is just as crucial, supporting those who are similarly keen to make a change. That’s why our suppliers have been handpicked for having the highest ethical standards and are often involved in many environmental and social initiatives themselves. For example our warehouse have won several awards in social enterprise, while several of our manufacturers only work with natural ingredients and substitute toxic chemicals with more environmentally friendly products.  Discover the MONPURE range and help support us as we support the planet. Shop now.

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Why (and how) you should take care of your scalp

How many steps are in your skincare regime? We’re betting there’s a cleanser, maybe a toner, a serum infused with actives like retinol – perhaps even a few skin acids to exfoliate, alongside a night cream. But what about your poor old scalp? After all, it’s skin too isn’t it?  Yet it’s an area we tend to overlook, normally being covered by our hair – who really cares if it’s not looking its best, usually no one can see it, right? However, just like the skin on our face, the scalp ages too which can lead to dull, thinning hair and – in the worse care scenario – hair loss. Plus, if you’ve ever experienced the discomfort of dryness, flakiness or an itchy scalp, then you’ll know that the scalp needs as much care and attention and everywhere else on our body. Take it from the experts. Our resident Consultant Dermatologist Sue Ann Chan gets to the root of the matter. “I advise my patients to care for their scalp in the same way as they care for the skin on their face. Too often the scalp gets neglected which can lead to a dull appearance in the hair in general. That’s why regular cleansing, hydration and exfoliation of the scalp are so important.” But getting a good head start on a scalp regime doesn’t necessarily mean having to set aside yet more time out of your crazy busy schedule. (Setting the alarm for the gym at 5am? Baby woke you up at 4am? We hear you...). You can start just by focusing on products you already use in your regime. For example, choosing a shampoo and conditioner with scalp-loving ingredients, such as calming and soothing aloe vera and fortifying silk peptides, both of which star in our Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo and Conditioner. Ever used a scrub for your face in the shower? You can get those for scalps too – in fact, we’ve created one! Not only does our Clarifying Scalp Scrub smell divine (that’ll be the sweet orange oil and sandalwood), but it sweeps away dead skin and product gunk with biodegradable jojoba beads, conditioning stearic acid and nourishing argan oil extracts. And if you’re dealing with a dry, flaky scalp, our Hydrate & Soothe Scalp Serum was created to soothe, hydrate and relieve itchiness with aloe vera and vitamin-rich camellia tea oil. But it’s not just what you put on top of your scalp, but lifestyle plays a huge role too, as Dr. Chan explains. “As well as topical treatments, a healthy scalp can be maintained by ensuring sufficient nutrients in our diet (including Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B, Selenium, and Vitamin C). Plus minimising physical and emotional stress is also key in preventing major scalp issues such as hair loss.” Our secret weapon when it comes to feeling less frazzled, is to switch off all digital devices, light some scented candles and have some well-deserved downtime with our Nourish & Stimulate Scalp Mask. Just leave it on the scalp for 10 minutes to work its magic and enjoy the cooling benefits peppermint and eucalyptus oils, while its calming ingredients nourish the scalp and soothe any redness. #ScalpcareSunday anyone Ready to stock up on some hard-working scalpcare, which your hair and scalp with thank you for? Click here to learn more and shop our pioneering range. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and become a part of the MONPURE community. MONPURE – The clean foundation for healthy hair 100% vegan with no silicones, sulphates, formaldehyde, microbeads, mineral oil, talc + more.

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What your scalp and hair can reveal about your health

What are your scalp and hair trying to tell you? Many symptoms like itchiness, redness and hair loss could be down to an underlying health issue – or else it could just be because of the harsh hair products you’re using.  It’s important to prioritise natural ‘clean’ formulas that are devoid of synthetic chemicals, which can upset your scalp and affect hair growth.  But if you suspect that there’s something going on internally, here are some common culprits … Hair loss and scalp irritation can be down to stress Where the scalp is concerned, stress can cause our underlying skin conditions to become worse or even trigger a severe flare up. These include inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic eczema, seborrhoeaic dermatitis, psoriasis, scalp lupus and also alopecia (including androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, frontal fibrosing alopecia to name a few). The stress hormone called cortisol regulates the normal functioning of our hair follicles. When cortisol is present at high concentrations, it causes cells in the hair follicles to undergo apoptosis (i.e. die) prematurely by up to 40%, resulting in hair loss. Dandruff or oily scalp? This could be down to hormonal disruption Contrary to common belief, dandruff isn’t down to poor hygiene (but regular washing and brushing can lessen its symptoms). Issues like stress, puberty or pregnancy are often to blame. They can wreak havoc with our hormones, sending our body’s normal processes into a tailspin and our skin’s oil glands into overdrive. This gives our hair a greasy appearance and can also lead to seborrhoeic dermatitis, which manifests itself red, irritated and scaly skin – and often leads to dandruff.  Scalp irritation can be linked to food intolerances If we’re intolerant to certain types of food, such as gluten, lactose or sugar, this can cause inflammation of the gut – this has a direct knock-on affect with how our skin behaves, especially the scalp. People who are experiencing conditions like redness and scalp acne should get checked or try removing certain food groups from their diet (under the guidance of their GP) to see if this makes a difference. Crash dieting? It can show in your hair. Although there’s a current craze for fasting and extreme detoxing, this can have disastrous consequences when not carried out under strict medical supervision. Reduced food intake results in a lack of nutrients needed to sustain the hair follicle so it can function properly. The natural life cycle of hair is that it grows and then falls out, during which time there is a resting ‘telogen’ period. If the body doesn’t get these vital nutrients, it can actually stop new hairs from forming during this resting phase – resulting in hair loss and bald patches. ---- If you have serious concerns with regards to your hair loss, it would be advisable to seek advice from a dermatologist to obtain appropriate diagnosis and medical treatment for your scalp, preferably at an earlier stage, before hair loss becomes advanced. I would also advise to avoid common causes of hair ‘wear and tear’; for example, avoiding drying your hair with high setting heat hair dryer, not pulling your hair back in tight braids or ponytails and refrain from using harsh chemicals on your hair and scalp. Dr. Chan is an award-winning Consultant Dermatologist at the King’s College Hospital NHS Trust based at Beckenham Beacon and the Princess Royal University Hospitals. She specialises in skin cancers and in 2016 won the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) European Young Investigator Award for her research work in Skin Lymphoma. She is MONPURE London’s resident dermatologist and scalp expert. 

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A message on COVID-19 from Dr Sue Ann Chan

Our resident dermatologist explains why scalpcare is crucial during times of stress… Dr Sue Ann Chan: “As we all face our invisible enemy, the coronavirus and stand together to fight away this pandemic, stress is no doubt creeping into our daily lives. You could be a nurse working at the front line in hospitals; a teenager at school missing those all-important A-Level exams; a chef in a Michelin-starred restaurant an elderly person trying to buy groceries; or a gym junkie missing weeks of working out! It affects all aspects of our daily lives. But stress whether acute or chronic doesn’t just affect our mental health; our skin is perhaps one of the main organs acutely affected by it. Where the scalp is concerned, stress can cause our underlying skin conditions to become worse or even trigger a severe flare up. These include inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic eczema, seborrhoeaic dermatitis, psoriasis, scalp lupus and also alopecia (including androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, frontal fibrosing alopecia to name a few). The stress hormone called cortisol regulates the normal functioning of our hair follicles. When cortisol is present at high concentrations, it causes cells in the hair follicles to undergo apoptosis (i.e. die) prematurely by up to 40%, resulting in hair loss. For patients who are worried about hair loss, it is always advisable to obtain a firm diagnosis prior to exploring treatment options. In the meantime, MONPURE are one of the few brands to truly prioritise scalpcare, seeing the direct link to hair health and all of their products have been painstakingly developed with this in mind. Besides that, daily nutrition is also essential including ensuring we eat foods with sufficient iron, biotin, selenium, zinc, and folic acid. To ensure emotional and physical wellbeing during this stressful time, I urge you all to keep in touch with friends and family remotely, eat well, sleep well, stay home and support those in need however possibly can. 

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