I recently received the following question from one of my lovely readers:
“Greetings Linda, I am a 25 year old girl facing a huge problem, over the last 3 years my hair has been thinning and I have lost a lot of hair. This does not run in the family at all. I used to have long thick locks. My thyroid and hormones all tested normal. I am extremely depressed, is there any solution?”
Hair, just like the rest of our bodies, needs a lot of nutrition to grow vigorously. Needless to say, diet plays a huge role in the condition of our hair and it’s ability to grow. I have long hair and can tell a HUGE difference in the rate of growth when I am eating well and taking supplements.
From Care2, here are 12 natural remedies that can help boost hair growth:
- Cut back on meat: Hormonal imbalances are a primary culprit in hair loss. Japanese researchers also link excessive sebum production in the scalp to high levels of 5-alpha reductase. Their research indicated that animal fat intake may increase sebum production.
- Rev up collagen production with vitamin C: Collagen surrounds the hair strands but as we age collagen breaks down, causing hair to be more vulnerable to breaking. The best way to boost collagen is not through some expensive medical procedure, it’s by getting more vitamin C. Foods high in vitamin C include: citrus fruits, strawberries and red peppers. Supplementing with 250 mg daily can help boost collagen production which has the added bonus of reducing wrinkling. A green smoothie made with strawberries and oranges is a great way to get lots of vitamin C into your diet!
- Eat foods rich in iron: Iron is also essential for hair growth and can be found in blackstrap molasses, green leafy vegetables, leeks, cashews, dried fruits, figs, and berries. To help your body absorb iron, you’ll need enough vitamin C. Green smoothies and kale salads to the rescue!!
- Get enough essential fatty acids: Essential fatty acids from walnuts, flax seeds, fish and avocado are also important for healthy hair.
- Add the herb saw palmetto: A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that saw palmetto (serenoa repens) may increase hair growth in men. Hair growth improved in men taking 400 mg of a standardized extract of saw palmetto and 100 mg of beta-sitosterol (from saw palmetto) daily. Historically, saw palmetto has been used by herbalists for hair loss in both men and women. I like Gaia brand from iherb.com
- Address a possible underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) which can cause thinning hair: Add sea vegetables like kelp, nori, dulse, kombu and wakame, all of which are rich in iodine may be helpful to balance this condition. Avoid drinking tap water since it typically contains fluorine and chlorine, two chemicals that inhibit iodine absorption. You may also want to supplement with Gaia Thyroid Support. I use it daily and I love it! I can tell a huge difference in my energy levels, the quality of my hair, skin, & nails, and it helps reduce cravings!
- Boost biotin: Biotin encourages hair and scalp health. Dietary sources of biotin include: nuts, brown rice and oats. Once after a bad haircut I took 1000mcg of Biotin daily and my hair grew back at record speed. Even my hairstylist was shocked!! I still use it from time to time since it is so great for promoting shiny, thick, fast growing hair!
- Boost keratin production with MSM: Methylsulfonylmethane aids in the production of keratin (a protein in the hair) while doing double-duty to strengthen hair follicles. In one study 100 percent of people who supplemented with MSM showed reduced hair loss and increased growth in only six weeks. MSM is great for SO MANY reasons: joints, connective tissue, muscle repair, and healthy cartilage. I use this brand from iherb.
- Rejuvenate hair follicles with B-complex vitamins: 100 mg daily of a B-complex supplement that includes biotin and vitamin B6 can reduce hair thinning by increasing scalp circulation and rejuvenating hair follicles. This is another supplement that I take daily. It’s also great for energy, mood, and nervous system health. A must, especially for all the ladies out there, we need our B’s! It’s even more important if you are on birth control since numerous studies show that bc pills significantly reduce your B vitamin production, especially B6. If you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster or ona one-way train to crazy-town, it’s probably because you are low in B vitamins!
- Boost scalp circulation with rosemary essential oil: Rosemary essential oil has been traditionally used to increase circulation to the scalp. Add a few drops per dollop of shampoo or, better yet, add a few drops of rosemary to coconut oil and massage your scalp regularly.
The key is incorporating lots of greens, berries, and fish, into your diet. The most important supplements in my opinion are B-complex and biotin. All of the supplements listed are available through iherb.com. They have the best prices and fast shipping! You can use my discount code WAG472 to get $5 off your first order or $10 of your first order of $40 or more plus free domestic (US) shipping! But don’t be discouraged or intimidated by all the supplements, diet alone can do wonders!!
Cheers to happy, healthy, long & luscious hair!!
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