Each region in this vast world has its own unique characteristics and conditions that distinguish it from other areas. These distinctions arise from the general climate, prevalent customs, traditions, dietary habits, and overall living standards of its inhabitants, among other factors. As you've likely discovered in your research on hair care, external factors can significantly impact the health of your hair.
The environmental conditions in the region where you reside can lead to various issues for your hair. Therefore, understanding the environmental features of your region is essential for hair care and avoiding the negative effects of these factors on your hair's health. In this article, we'll discuss the most common hair problems in the Arab world, especially in Gulf countries, caused by the prevailing environmental conditions, to help you adapt and protect your hair.
Key External Factors Affecting Hair Health in the Arab World:
1. High Temperatures:
One of the most significant external factors affecting hair health is the weather conditions, especially high temperatures. The Arab world, in general, and Gulf countries, in particular, experience exceptionally high temperatures, especially during the summer. This is due to their proximity to the Tropic of Cancer, where the sun's rays are most intense, resulting in record-high temperatures. Consequently, these elevated temperatures are a leading cause of hair dryness, dandruff, and split ends.
2. High Humidity:
Some Arab countries, like Qatar, the UAE, and eastern Saudi Arabia, record extremely high humidity levels. This can affect both the body and hair health. High humidity leads to excessive perspiration, ultimately contributing to hair dryness and the development of split ends over time.
Many regions in the Arab world lack abundant vegetation, which has significantly increased temperatures and the frequency of sandstorms. Vast areas are covered by sand dunes and deserts. Sandstorms can lead to the accumulation of dust and sand on the scalp, causing irritation and dandruff. Additionally, you may find yourself washing your hair frequently, exposing your scalp to the chemicals present in shampoos, which can lead to hair dryness and hair loss.
4. Wearing the Hijab:
The prevalence of hijab among women in these regions can indirectly contribute to hair problems. Contrary to the common belief that hijab prevents nourishment and causes hair loss, the hijab actually protects hair from external factors such as wind, temperature, and air pollution. However, the issue lies in the habits of women who wear the hijab. They might neglect their hair's care, assuming it's always covered and unseen. This neglect can lead to various hair problems. Here are some tips for maintaining healthy hair while wearing the hijab:
- Choose high-quality fabric for your hijab, preferably silk or cotton.
- Avoid wearing the hijab immediately after washing your hair to prevent moisture that can lead to dandruff.
- Regularly moisturize your scalp with natural oils.
- Avoid wrapping your hijab too tightly to allow proper ventilation.
- Continuously comb your hair to stimulate blood circulation in the scalp.
5. Poor Diet:
Recently, some regions in the Arab world have been facing a decline in living standards due to various reasons. This situation can have an impact on dietary habits, potentially leading to a deficiency in essential elements for hair health, such as vitamins and certain minerals (like zinc and iron). This deficiency can weaken the hair, making it brittle and lackluster, ultimately resulting in hair loss.
Most Common Hair Problems in the Arab World:
Dandruff is one of the most widespread hair issues in the Arab world. This is primarily due to the high temperatures that cause hair dryness and stimulate scalp flakiness. Additionally, elevated temperatures indirectly contribute to this problem by increasing the frequency of hair washing. As a result, the scalp becomes more susceptible to the chemicals found in hair shampoos, leading to scalp irritation and flaking.
2. Dry Hair:
Dry hair lacks the necessary moisture, which can make it appear rough and have a dull color. While the primary cause of dry hair can be genetic, with a shortage of sebaceous glands responsible for moisturizing the hair, external factors like heat, sandstorms, and humidity play a significant role in exacerbating the issue of dry hair. An unbalanced diet can also contribute, as it may lack the essential nutrients required for producing the scalp oils necessary to moisturize the hair.
3. Oily Scalp:
The process of sebum production is a physiological phenomenon essential for protecting the hair shaft and scalp. However, with rising temperatures, particularly in the summer and an increased frequency of hair washing, the scalp is excessively exposed to water. This, in turn, leads to increased sebum production by sebaceous glands, resulting in an oily scalp. The roots of the hair become heavy, and the oils tend to stick together, making the hair appear perpetually greasy and affecting your chosen hairstyle's appeal.
4. Dull Hair:
High temperatures can contribute to damaging the outer layer that covers the hair, which gives it its shine. Consequently, hair may appear dull and lacking in vibrancy. The chemicals found in shampoos can also contribute to this if hair is washed excessively, causing the hair to lose its natural luster.
5. Hair Loss:
Hair loss is one of the most prevalent and impactful hair problems in the Arab world, affecting people's social lives significantly. One of the primary causes is poor nutrition resulting from low living standards in some regions of the Arab world. Following a diet devoid of essential elements for hair health, such as vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc, can weaken hair follicles and lead to hair loss. Additionally, poor nutrition can give rise to health problems like anemia, which can further increase hair loss rates.
6. Split Ends:
The issue of split ends and rough tips initially arises due to hair dryness caused by exposure to high temperatures or high humidity levels, which leads to a lack of hair moisturization, particularly at the ends. The second reason for split ends is the accumulation of dust and dirt on the scalp, hindering the delivery of natural hair oils to the ends, leading to inadequate nourishment and causing them to become brittle. Dust accumulation also results in a decrease in the level of keratin in hair fibers, affecting their flexibility and resistance, making them prone to splitting.
In conclusion, you must understand that the region in which you live plays a significant role in your hair's health, through various external factors and prevailing environmental conditions. Therefore, it's essential to learn how to adapt to your environment and protect your hair from these external factors to prevent various hair problems that can affect your overall well-being.