How can you improve the health of your hair?
Updated: Feb 27, 2022
Hair is considered as your crown, especially if you are a woman. A good looking and healthy hair gives you that boost of extra good feel. In my below article I will cover the life cycle of the hair growth, foods to eat to support healthy hair growth, what supplements to take and other natural solutions to consider incorporating into your weekly self-care routine.
What are the main reasons for hair loss?
Most common hair loss is from excess androgens (super testosterone) in the body. It causes the thinning of the hair on scalp. Other reasons include PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome), thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism), decreasing estrogens in menopause, stress (acute and chronic), chemotherapy, poor nutrition (low protein diet) etc. As you can see there are quite a lot of reasons for hair loss, but there is also a lot you can do yourself to reduce hair-loss and improve hair-growth.
What does hair growth cycle look like?
There are four distinct phases in the hair growth cycle:
Anagen (upward, repetitive) phase- this is when hair is sprouting up in your scalp. Growth phase lasts from 3 to 5 years. Your hair grows around 1cm a month, up to 15cm a year.
Catagen (end of anagen phase, down)- this is shorter phase- around 10 days. Hair growth slows down and hair follicles shrink during this phase.
Telogen phase (resting phase, means also completion of growth phase, end). It lasts around 3 months- no active growth but hair does not fall out either.
Exogen phase- in this phase hair is exiting the hair follicle and falls out. It takes around 2-5 months for hair in this phase. It's completely normal when you loos 50 to 100 hair in this phase.
Each hair follicle is independent from each other, so we only shed certain number of hairs a day (80-100 a day on a healthy head of hair).
How to have luscious gorgeous hair?
There are several things you can do to improve the quality of your hair. Below I am covering the basic things.
It's important to get appropriate amounts of fats and a moderate amount of protein in your diet. You need to have enough healthy fats and protein in your diet.
Aloe vera has a lot of vitamins and minerals that can keep your hair strong and healthy. Because of aloe vera’s antifungal and antibacterial properties, it also helps with dandruff. Aloe vera gel’s enzymes can rid the scalp of dead cells and promote the regeneration of skin tissue around the hair follicles. If you consume half a cup twice a day, you will start to see the difference how your hair looks and feels. Beyond thickening your hair, aloe vera will also give you healthier skin and nails.
Manage your stress
In order to take care of your stress levels you don't need to swing to the other side of continuum- to do drastic changes in your day-to-day life. Think how can you reduce your stress even 5% a day- whether it's through meditation, hydration, walking outside, increase your levels of joy, taking a break from your computer, going to bed 20 minutes earlier etc. Taking small steps makes a world of difference over time. Think how can you improve your joy and happiness on a day to day basis.
Food and Supplementation
Below are some of the most important nutrients for healthy looking hair and how to get them through through food and supplementation.
Vitamin D- as we know Vitamin D helps with the overall immunity. Foods that are high in vitamin D- oily SMASH fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring); meat; liver; egg yolks etc. It's important to get a minimum of 4000-5000 iu's vitamin D3 a day, throughout the year.
Omega-3 fatty acids- these are anti-inflammatory and counter-act the sympathetic stress response. They help with your overall stress-load. You can find Omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and in the SMASH fish. You can also supplement with a high quality Omega-3 fish oil.
Zinc- is good for combatting dandruff and inflammation, it helps with excess hair loss. Great source of zinc are beef and oysters. Depending on the state of your hair loss, you could supplement 2-4 months to start seeing a shift in loosing less and less hair.
Iron- people who are vegan tend to run slightly anemic. Also women who have heavy menstrual bleeding- this could lead to more hair loss. Consuming meat and organ meats (like liver) is very important to get the absorbable form of heme iron into your system. You can also take a pill form of organ meats if you dislike the taste of liver. You can colostrum and collagen for hair health.
Vitamin B12- this should be consumed in a supplement form especially by vegans as vitamin B12 helps with production of oxygen rich red blood cells.
Biotin- known for fortifying and thickening hair and nails and improving thhe quality of your skin. You can find biotin in foods like almonds, egg yolks, nuts an seeds, liver, sweet potatoes, legumes, mushrooms etc.
There are different essential oils you can use on your hair. Below I am mentioning jus three of them.
Rosemary- it's known to help with hair growth and itchy scalp. You can put it neat on the scalp or mixed with olive oil or coconut oil. After washing your hair in the shower- massage 8-10 drops of rosemary essential oil onto your scalp. Many people also claim that rosemary can prevent baldness, slows down greying, and can be used to treat dandruff and dry scalp.
Peppermint- it will help to maintain the oil balance in your scalp to ward of dandruff and it helps to stimulate hair growth same way as rosemary does.
Geranium- this is very great for soft and shiny hair
You can also mix the three above essential oils together and put on the scalp.
It's also good to give some additional love and care towards your hair, by doing some home-made masks.
Recipe 1 for softening and hydration
Half of avocado, 1 full egg, a table spoon of olive oil. Mix or blend all together. Don't put the mask on scalp, but rather from mid-half to the ends of hair. Keep it for few hours and rinse it off with shampoo.
Recipe 2 for adding additional shine
1 raw egg, 1 ripe banana, 1 heap tablespoon of honey. Mix all together and put from roots to tip of you hair. Keep for 30-60 minutes and rinse off.
Hopefully you received some good tips how to start to better care for your hair, naturally.