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True or False: Russia once used to tax its people for growing a beard.

1 user answered

Ankit Sharma, Bangalore
User, Level 8 Contributor
This is true. This tax was introduced in 1703 in Russia specifically meant for people with beards by the then ruler of Russia Peter the Great who is credited with the modernisation of Russia. Amongst his biggest achievements are the establishment of a well-trained army, an equally good navy and the laying the foundation to a city we now call St. Petersburg. But this was simply not enough for Peter. He wanted more. And he wanted to change the fashion sense of his people most of all. He wanted the to imitate the European fashion.
Peter had in 1697 gone on a tour of the Western Europe during which he was very impressed by the progress and modernity of Europe. At that time in Europe, beards were not fashionable and not many people he saw sported beards. Peter wanted to imitate this as well.

On his return from his European tour a year later in 1798, a grand reception was thrown in his honour. Among the crowd were senior diplomats, aides, and officers of the army. After embracing and talking to his aides and friends, he suddenly pulled out a razor and started shaving their beards one by one. If it was anyone else there would have people shoving the person off of them. But who could do so to a king! And that too for a man who an almost a 7-foot tall giant.


Soon enough after this, peter banned beards and ordered that all his subjects need to shave off their beards. He even asked police officers to forcibly shave off beards of people on the spot if they opposed it. However, opposition to this policy grew. So Peter introduced the Beard tax with different tax range for different classes of people from a peasant to a merchant to soldiers.

All of this just in order to make his people look more European! Despite its unpopularity, the law remained in place until 1772 which was 47 years after the king's death.
Funnily enough, beards are all the rage nowadays, just take a look at this 60+-year-old European grandpa who was offered a modelling contract for his beard.
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Is there a cure for baldness?

1 user answered

Parikshit, Patna
User, Level 8 Contributor
There is a story about Prophet Elisha in the Old Testament which might be of interest to you. Prophet Elisha who is bald is a great believer of god and a miracle worker. He is considered a saint in many churches across the world.

One day while he was walking through the streets of Bethel, he came across a group of young men who insulted Prophet Elisha by calling him a 'baldhead'. Prophet Elisha did not like this and called for the assistance of God. Suddenly two female bears come from the woods and kill 42 of those young men who had insulted Prophet Elisha.

So yeah. God punished those young men who had insulted Prophet Elisha. And that is a very harsh punishment by any standards for calling someone bald. But it is interesting to note here that God chose to punish these young men rather than to grow hair on Prophet Elisha's head. Even gods don't have an answer for baldness.

So there you have it. There are artificial methods like hair fixing or putting on a wig, but so far there has not been any natural method to cure baldness.
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Why do men sport beards?

1 user answered

Megha Nagar, Delhi
User, Level 7 Contributor
Well, I, too, was quite curious about this. I always thought that a beard itches, yet so many men sport it! Especially the large, bushy ones. No, I am not talking about large, bushy men. I am talking about large, bushy beards. Large, bushy men are called Bigfoot, I guess? Wait, is the plural of Bigfoot, Bigfeet? Hahaha! I just made myself laugh!

Anyway, to dig out the answer, I asked some of my male friends why they sported a beard. Well, they are all useless, so ultimately I had to look up on the internet. I came across views of men on beards and this is what I found out-


1. BEARDS ARE COOL

Well, I am a girl and I don't sport a beard. But a beard definitely looks cool! It's fun pulling on them!However, I must warn you that you may get thrashed for this. Especially if you are a guy pulling on another guy's beard. That is just absurd. And gross.


2. BEARDS MAKE MEN LOOK HOT

As a girl, I can confirm this. Beards, in fact, make men look much hotter and attractive! More women like men with beards! Grow it out, buddy! However, men with a "I am homeless" look aren't attractive, okay? Groom it out, too, buddy!


3. BEARDS MAKE MEN LOOK OLDER

Well, not "a hundred years old" older. Just the right kind of "older". As in, wiser. Men who clear it out look like kids. Well, men are kids, but clearing out the beard makes them look like kids. No, please. Women do not date kids!


4. BEARDS ACT AS A FILTER

Yeah, I have heard they filter out the dust and pollution. I don't know, though! However, I do have a question! Do men use shampoo on their beards as well? Do they brush and oil them, too?


5. BEARDS ACT AS A HIDING CHEST

Well, legend says that men hide stuff in their beards. I don't know, is that true? Well, maybe it is! Maybe that is why women keep losing their hair bands. Maybe beards are the reason for things getting misplaced! Maybe beards are nothing but voids!


6. BEARDS HELP IN FOOD CRISIS

Well, men agree that they, in fact, munch on the leftovers stranded in their beards. Ew?


7. BEARDS ARE TRENDY

I'd totally agree with this one. They never go out of fashion. Maybe that is why more and more men sport them! I have heard they have invented accessories for beards. What do men put in their beards, now? Flowers and tiaras? (Yes, they do. And it is terribly creepy.)
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What are the kinds of chemicals that should be avoided in shampoos, soaps and facewashes?

1 user answered

Sujitha Jayaraj
User, Level 6 Contributor
We see so many advertisements for shampoos claiming to be very safe and gentle, right? Now, the chemical composition of these products are very complex, with different chemicals being used for different functions. I would like to add that since most of these ingredients are very common, some are more harmful than others Here is a list of such harmful ingredients.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)
This is mainly used for the foaming effect of shampoos. But this is a rather harsh chemical, a surfactant found in many cleaning products and also an insecticide. The sodium and ammonium laureate sulfates are known cancer-causing ingredients.
You can look for sulfate free shampoos as they have entered the market.

Fragrance
Fragrance of any kind isn’t good. It clogs the lymphatic system and induces major organ system toxicity. Also causes endocrine disruption.

Parabens
Used to prolong shelf life of an average hair-care product, parabens like methylparaben and propylparaben are chemicals that are known for their toxic nature. Parabens not only irritate the skin—which can make your scalp unhealthy—they can also affect your hormonal balance, which can result in hair loss.


Triclosan
With a moderate hazard rating, triclosan should be avoided at all costs. It can accumulate in our fat cells and keep our body in a state of toxicity. It causes irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs, and causes endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity.

Polysorbates
Used to dissolve fragrance or other oil additives. Often found in conditioners. It leaves a residue on the skin and scalp, disrupts the skin’s natural pH and destroys the natural protective barrier of our skin and scalp. Polysorbate-80 is the worst of the bunch – but stay clear of all!

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Often found in conditioners, PEG contains dangerous dioxin levels, often found as a by-product of the ethoxylation process in manufacturing. Dioxins have a direct link to cancer and also cause organ system toxicity.

Alcohol.
Almost all hair-care products contain some form of alcohol, which can dry your hair out if it is in high concentrations. Stay clear of shampoos with alcohol listed as one of the first four ingredients, as this means that there is more [than usual] in the product.

Potassium Sorbate
Potassium sorbate is used as a preservative in hair-care products. It causes skin and organ system toxicity.

Phenoxyethanol
Another preservative used in cosmetics and hair care products. Causes organ system toxicity, and is an irritant to the skin, eyes and lungs. The FDA even warned that phenoxyethanol can cause shut down of the central nervous system, vomiting and contact dermatitis.

Retinyl Palmitate
Retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, can speed the development of skin tumours and lesions, making it a possible carcinogen. Causes reproductive toxicity and organ system toxicity.

Dimethicone
Dimethicone is a silicone oil that can make the scalp and skin incredibly dry and irritated. It forms an almost plastic-like barrier on the outside of the skin and traps bacteria, sebum and impurities with it. It is also an eye irritant and is non-biodegradable and horrible for the environment.

Behentrimonium Chloride
Behentrimonium Chloride is a type of ammonium salt used as a preservative and surfactant. It is a toxic compound, with concentrations of 0.1% and higher having been shown to damage the eyes. It is irritating to the skin and causes inflammation.

Quaternium-15
This lovely chemical is another quaternary ammonium salt used as a surfactant and preservative in personal care products. It acts as a formaldehyde releaser and is definitely not safe. Formaldehyde is extremely carcinogenic, and should be avoided at all costs.

Take a screenshot, save it on your phone. The next time you go shopping, makes sure you check this list. Don't hesitate on using online shopping as many parabens free, sulfate free and organic products have hit the market and are available online. Although avoiding all of this is impossible, it is better to look for healthier alternatives. After all, health is wealth.
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What are the effects of permanent straightening on hair?

1 user answered

Shreya Mukherjee, Manipal
User, Level 8 Contributor
Hair straightening has both pros and cons.

Pros :
1. The hair looks straight and gives a real good look and is ready for a glam, casual, party, any kind of look.
2. Changes your appearance altogether and adds to the beauty of your personality.
3. The hairs after straightening are frizz free and gives a lesser trouble to you.
4. The hairs don’t strangle among themselves as your normal hair does. So it is pretty easy to manage them.
5. It allows you to do a wide range of experimentation with the straightened hair can be easily braided or moulded in the way one wants to and get a perfect hairstyle.
6. The hair gets a symmetric look after the straightening. And thus, there are no hills and mountains formed in the head while making out styles.
7. Straightening gives a sleek, shiny, straight and manageable appearance and doesn’t need blow dry or straightener after every wash.
8. Every morning after you get up you would see that your hair would make a different kind of hairstyle every time until you comb it down. This is usually a very difficult and time-consuming process. But after straightening, you need not care about the mess of each morning.

Cons :
1. One of the most common disadvantages of hair straightening is the dryness of hair. Since the hair is chemically treated and those chemicals are really harsh on the hair, they take away all the moisture of the hair.
2. There are slight chances of developing an allergy. The hard chemicals used to permanently straighten the hair are in general not good for the scalp and the hair follicles. Thus, one can be really prone to develop an allergy. Redness , itchiness, scraps and irritation in the scalp are the common symptoms.
3. Having the same style every single day, day in and day out can be very boring. It can lead to a bit of irritation and frustration os having the same old look with no scope of changing them immediately.
4. Another severe con of straightening is hair fall. The chemicals are so strong that they make the hair weak from the roots and hence the hair fall becomes a real issue. Any product or therapy cannot prevent the hair fall.
5. The straightening also flattens the hair thus making it appear like your hairs have thinned. They are less volume able and looks like a thin streak of hair sticking to your head. The hair fall you might experience also adds to the thinning look of the hair.
6. They hair looks good for first 6 months but as the time passes it starts looking like you have worn a wig over your head and carrying everywhere. It looks very unnatural at times.
7. Also after a certain time when the new hair starts growing from the scalp, it grows in its original form (wavy, curls, straight etc) and mixes with the permanently straightened hair. Thus, this mingling of the hair gives it a very shabby and messy appearance and this doesn't look good at all.
8. After hair straightening, the hair requires a very high maintenance. Only specific products (shampoos, serum, conditioner, oil) can be used and no other product than prescribed can be used. Those products prescribed are really expensive and increases expenditure drastically. Also, a certain amount of spa and therapies are necessary to keep the hair shiny and smooth and maintain properly which again adds to your pocket.
9. You generally lose the natural bounce of the hair. It looks faker than anything. You don’t get the same shine you had previously.
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What impact does hair colour bring in personality? Does it have any negative effect?

1 user answered

Shreya Mukherjee, Manipal
User, Level 8 Contributor
Hair coloring is an age old fashion trend. From times immemorial people have been experimenting with the colour of their hair. The current day and age have given people a lot more colours to choose from like red, blue, purple, brown, blonde, beige and much more. In fact, it would be better said that there are innumerable options that are available in the market nowadays when it comes to choosing the coloring styles which is discussed in brief below:

1. Highlights –In this kind of hair colouring the applied color is prominent and visible. The base color just adds to its background and doesn’t have much role. The hair color dyed are brighter than the base color hence called as highlights.
2. Lowlights –Here the dye color is not very significant or prominent. The base color of the hair is much darker than the hair color dyed. The shade of the hair color dyed is much lighter and gives a vibrant effect to the hair base color. Lowlights are not too popular in India but are commonly seen in Japan and in Animes.
3. Streak – Here only a small section of the hair is colored in the form of bright streaks and not the entire hair giving it very beautiful appearance.
4. Bottom – Here only the bottom section of the hair is colored leaving the top part as it is giving your hair a layered kind of look.

Hair color has an impact on the personality as well :
1. Adds a new look to the face .
2. Enhances the beauty of the hair.
3. Adds to the personality and changes it completely.

There are many side effects to this , which are discussed below :
1. Allergy : Color dyes are synthetic in nature and are chemically made. So they can adversely affect your skin. At times, you might fall prey to an allergy if your body is not suited to that synthetic or chemically made colour.
2. Rashes : It might cause rashes to appear on the tender skin of your scalp leaving you red all over the scalp.
3. Brittle hair: These dyes can cause harm to your hair by taking away the moisture from the hair causing it to grow brittle. The ends of the hair could become non-shiny and looks extremely bad. These brittle hairs could break off at any point of time leaving you with endless worries. And in order to compensate for the brittle hair you might have to shorten the length of your hair.
4. Irritation: Hair dyes could cause skin irritation, itchiness, redness, flaky skin, discomfort etc. It may also cause burning sensations to the skin.
5. Cancer: The PPD which is found in color dyes are laboratory tested and the results say that PPD causes cancer. Since the amount of PPD is very less in the color dyes the odds to hair dyes causing cancer is very low. Another chemical that is found in hair dyes is Resornicol. It is an endocrine- disrupting chemical that increases the chances of breast cancer in a human body by disrupting the normal hormonal balance of a body.
6. Asthma :Too much of exposure to the hair dyes can potentially cause asthma. This is more likely to happen to employees in a beauty parlour who do the dyeing. This is because when dye hair the chemicals get suspended in the air which is then reabsorbed and trapped in the body which could cause the choking of lungs and the nasal passage.
7. Expenditure: Hair maintenance is costly and applying hair dyes could increase the costs for you. This is because the hair becomes fragile after applying dyes and so you would have to put additional care so as to maintain the shine, charm, strength, and luster of your hair.

There are pros and cons to everything. As they say "There is no such thing as a free lunch". Don't act upon anything just because of peer pressure or your desires. Compare and analyze everything first before making your decision.

It's your hair after all. And you would probably want it to last your lifetime.
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Lately, I am being troubled by acute hair fall. How can I control/prevent this?

1 user answered

Shreya Mukherjee, Manipal
User, Level 8 Contributor
Hair Loss has been a great issue for everybody nowadays. The reasons for hair loss are many. It might be pollution or overthinking, it could be stress or hormonal problems, but at the end of the day, all of these problems leave us with less hair for the next day. So given below are some tips that could be used to reduce or control hair loss.

1. Oil Your Hair: Oil gives nourishment to the hair. It clears the blockages of the pores in the scalp. Oil act as lubricant for the hair. It helps to respire the scalp better way making the hair healthy and reduce the hair loss. Also oiling and massaging of the scalp regulates proper blood circulation enhancing the quality of the hair and reducing fall as the scalp doesn't get dry and removes dirt after the wash.

2. Onion Juice : Onion extract is a home remedy. All you need to do is cut onions into pieces, grind them in a mixer grinder, take out the pulpy onion paste, and take out the juice out of it. The onion extract is then put in the hair as similar to the way of putting oil and leave it to dry. Onion extract prevents the scalp to be dried, passes on nutrition to the scalp for better growth of hair. The rich sulphur content onion has is really helpful for the hair growth and prevents hair loss instead makes hair thick, shiny and black as it repairs the hair follicles and the inflammations.

3. Indian gooseberry (amla) : The indian gosseberry is a hugh source of Vitamin C. Hair loss is due to lack of Vitamin C which is balanced by amla extract. It has anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and exfoliating properties which prevents hair loss in a larger scale. All you need to do is mix equal amount of amla pulp and lemon juice together. Massage the hair and scalp with the mixture and leave it overnight to dry and be absorbed. Wash it in the morning and keep your hair healthy and shiny.

4. Aloe Vera : Aloe Vera contains nutrition that directly promotes hair growth. It has alkalizing properties that helps the body to balance the pH of a person to the desired level and prevents the lack of any imbalance of pH in the body hence enhancing the regrowth of the hair. Regular use can also relieve scalp itching, reduce scalp redness and inflammation, add strength and luster to hair, and alleviate dandruff. All you need to do is apply some aloe vera gel or juice on scalp, leave to let it dry and then wash with lukewarm water. After 3-4 times of repetition of same process you can see a great change in the growth of hair.

5. Get a head massage: Massaging your scalp for a few minutes daily will help stimulate circulation. Good circulation in the scalp keeps hair follicles active. Circulation may be improved through massage by using a few drops of lavender or bay essential oil in an almond or sesame oil base.

6. Antioxidants: Apply warm green tea (two bags brewed in one cup of water) on your scalp and leave this mixture on for an hour and then rinse. Green tea contains antioxidants which prevent hair loss and boost hair growth.

7. Practise meditation :Meditation relaxes the body and releases all the stress and tension of the body. Hair loss is also due to tension and stress. So when the body is in a state of peace and calmness and no implusive behavior then obviously slowly and steadily the hair loss would be reduced.
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