The beauty, shine, thickness, and overall health of our hair is greatly affected by a variety of factors. Most of us know that excellent nutrition is the foundation for healthy hair. But there are many other issues that can cause thinning, dry, or brittle hair. For example:
~ Exposure to black mold
~ Vitamin Deficiency
~ Mineral Imbalance
~ Female issues such as PCOS
~ Thyroid issues
~ Excess Stress
~ Low Iron
If you are talking about hair loss or thinning, it is directly related to a single chemical called DHT, a by-product of the hormone testosterone. Too much DHT prevents your hair follicles from receiving necessary nutrients.
Your hair literally begins to starve to death. When a hair follicle starts down this road, you may notice texture changes, brittleness and then the hair shaft begins to shrink, reducing in length and diameter. It is best to intervene before you have significant hairloss, as this can sometimes be permanent.
THREE BEST PRACTICES FOR HEALTHY HAIR:
1. Don’t wash every day, and NEVER use anything with silicone or sodium lauryl sulfate. Those ingredients damage the scalp and thus the hair follicle.
2. Don’t wear your hair often in tight hairstyles like ponytails or braids, which can create something called traction alopecia.
3. To prevent dryness and brittleness: Use a coconut oil mask on your hair, spread throughout entire head (must include scalp) all the way to ends, and cover with a warm damp towel. Leave warm towel on your head for 30 minutes and let oil penetrate. Wash afterwards with a gentle shampoo.
BEST NUTRIENTS FOR HEALTHY HAIR:
#1 Omega 3 (EPA/DHA). You will find this in many plant foods, like hemp oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and purslane. If you are experiencing hair issues, you may wish to look into supplementation of EPA/DHA. I personally love Dr. Fuhrman’s Vegan version, as it has been tested extensively and is not rancid — unlike other Omega 3 supplements on the market.
# 2 Supplement with GLA (an essential Omega 6 that is very hard to come by in the diet) — GLA is in Black Currant Oil, Evening Primrose Oil or Borage oil. I personally would not recommend borage oil to my clients, because it sometimes has damaging substances. Black Currant Oil is your best bet — 500mg, 2x per day is an amount that works for most people. I will say this again: Black currant oil is AWESOME for hair. Truly awesome.
# 3 Make sure you are getting enough Zinc. Zinc effects the glands that attach to your hair follicles. When you’re low on zinc, these follicles get weak and cause strands to break off or fall out. Nuts are the primary plant based source, you may want to consider a supplement.
Remember, most of our food sources today are highly deficient in nutrients due to modern farming practices. Thus, many people have deficiencies despite a healthy diet.
#4 PLENTY OF ORANGE FOODS! Carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, and apricots are all good sources of beta carotene which creates healthy hair follicles.
#5 IRON: Cook spinach in a cast iron pot with lemon juice (the vitamin C helps the body with iron uptake, eat raisins, add blackstrap molasses to smoothies, have spirulina and dark leafy greens.
#6 Folic Acid, Biotin, Inositol and Magnesium: Eat dark leafy greens, and consider transdermal magnesium oil. (An amazing substance which is wonderful for many other health issues as well).
#7 SILICA: Silica is found in the outer coverings of potatoes, green and red peppers and cucumbers. Bean sprouts and raw oats are also high in silica.
#8 IODINE: Seaweed. Iodine has been shown in many studies to dramatically affect hair growth rates — this is particularly helpful for people whose hair issues are related to thyroid conditions.
** Always check with your personal health care practitioner to be certain that any supplements are particularly suitable for you and your health situation. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as those on medication need to be particularly cautious.