Hello friends ! Hope you are all doing well. This week I'm talking about a topic that is closely related to skin, and when considered medically actually falls under the same category - the integumentary system; and that is hair health !
As you may know I'm super passionate about helping you to look and feel your best self - and I think we tend to look our best when we are in optimal health, so this is a perfect topic. I have linked my youtube video to accompany this post again this week - for those of you that prefer the video form :)
Before I tell you my tips and go through the important nutrients for healthy and lustrous hair - I'm just going over a couple of factors that can contribute to unhealthy hair, thin hair, and hair loss.
If you are loosing hair - and I don't mean the usual amount of shedding but if you feel like your hair is thinner than usual it may be due to one or more of these reasons:
- High stress levels can cause a ‘shock’ to your hair growth cycle which in extreme cases can result in hair thinning due to more of your hair shedding rather than growing
- Hormonal imbalances such as high levels of androgens / male hormones can cause hair loss, as well as for some people during pregnancy and after menopause
- Illnesses such as autoimmune disorders, thyroid imbalances and skin disorders could also be the potential cause for your hair thinning
- Some medications can also cause your hair to thin out
Nutrients you need for thick healthy hair - if you’re not getting adequate amounts of these in your diet this could also be the cause for your hair looking lack lustre
- protein: your hair is made up of around 91% protein or amino acids, some of which we know are literally essential to get through the diet as they cannot be manufactured in the body. sources of protein include of course, dairy, meat, eggs, but also beans and lentils, and vegetarian sources such as tofu and tempeh. Vegetarian sources of protein however are not complete and therefore you need to include a larger variety of protein sources in order to be taking in the adequate amounts and variations of amino acids.
- Iron and zinc are also essential for healthy hair as they are needed for your hair to grow. If you are iron deficient or actually anaemic you may find you have thinner hair. Sources of iron again include red meat, but can also be found in your dark leafy vegetables, beans and lentils and other vegetarian sources - however again it is not always ready absorbed and useable for the body. Zinc can be found in oysters, nuts, beans, lentils and again your red meats.
- Omega 3 fatty acids are also important in the strength and shine of your hair. Good sources of this include oily fish such as salmon, but also nuts such as walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts
- The B vitamins are also important for the look of your hair in terms of shine and texture - a good source is eggs.
In general, ensure you are eating a diet that is high in plant foods - with lots of variations in the vegetables, fruits nuts and seeds you are actually eating. A little bit of meat and dairy is good as well but ensure you aren't overdoing it as these can be inflammatory sources of protein if consumed in excess.
In terms of external practices there are a few things I like to do to help promote thick healthy hair:
- Scalp massages with an oil - you can really use any kind of oil but something I like to do is use lavender infused grape seed oil, so its not too thick to wash out. You can add essential oils that will also help further with scalp stimulation. The idea here is to promote extra blood flow to your head which in turn is more likely to promote hair growth. You can even turn your head upside down and massage so the blood is really flowing to your head but obviously don't do it for too long and be careful - also don't do this if you have a headache or anything as it will make it worse. You can also use a natural oil on the ends of your hair after you wash it to put some moisture back in - do it while the hair is still wet
- use natural / non toxic products for your shampoo and conditioner - I only use natural products anyway but Im putting this in because it is actually important in promoting hair growth as some of the more conventional products can cause a build up in your hair and somewhat block the follicles - and also just make your hair look not as nice in the long run
- Don't wash your hair every day ! I like to wash mine every 2 - 3 days. I don't let it get completely dirty / greasy because obviously I still leave my house and have to do things so Im not walking around with dirty hair and I don't use dry shampoo because I feel like it really blocks up the follicles and I find is hard to wash out. Anyway you can wash your hair still frequently just not everyday just so that your natural oils aren't completely stripped which can result in dry hair. Also another note on hair washing do not use your shampoo on the ends of your hair ! its only for your scalp. if you're putting it on the lengths of your hair you will be drying it out. Conditioner only goes on the ends and not on the scalp.
- use a wooden hair brush so that you can actually pull some of these natural oils down from your scalp throughout the rest of your hair
Hope you all enjoyed this post and video ! Let me know by liking the video or leaving a comment.