I want my hair to be strong, resilient, resists breakage, shiny and easy to manage. How do I revitalize my hair and keep it healthy?
Hair is a deeply rooted part of a person’s identity and plays a role in one’s confidence, especially for those who have experienced hair loss. Genetically, hair can be straight, curly, wavy and natural in color such as brown, blonde, black, or red.
Although genetics has a role, there are things that you can do to keep your hair healthy.
Taking care of your hair
It is essential that you are aware of your hair type, is it oily, dry or normal?
If your hair is shiny, it may be the result of the natural oil being distributed throughout the hair.
Then choose the right shampoo and conditioner to nourish your hair and scalp. If you use products that are not appropriate for your hair type they can actually cause damage. In addition, review the ingredients in the products. Ingredients such as ammonium lauryl sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate can cause damage to your hair.
When washing your hair, avoid using extremely hot or cold water. Be gentle when its wet since it is more susceptible to breaking ends. With that said, afterwards do not use a brush, but use a wide tooth comb to get tangles out.
Brushing your hair daily is good. It is normal to if you lose a little hair when you are shampooing or brushing your hair. The reason is that hair has a regular growth cycle and new hair replaces the small amount that was lost.
If you are experiencing large amounts of hair loss it is best to talk to your physician.
Be sure to have your hair trimmed on a monthly basis. This will help your hair to be healthy and reduce the amount of split ends.
Nutrition to nourish and revitalize the hair
It is critical that you consume a well-balanced diet with enough fruits and vegetables to make your hair healthy, but also are beneficial to your overall health and well-being.
It will be worth it to obtain great looking hair by adding the essential nutrients into your diet.
Reaping the benefits of healthy hair comes from eating a healthy diet
What should I eat to improve the health of my hair?
Eating a balanced diet with enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains is important for the hair and the scalp.
Protein: Hair mainly consists of protein, so evaluate how much protein you are consuming and be sure that you are eating a moderate amount in every meal. Individuals who do not consume enough protein may have weak, brittle hair and loss of hair. Protein also helps during the aging process
Sources include lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and low fat dairy products. You may want to include a protein shake in the morning and include collagen. Protein has been shown to be helpful for the hair, skin and nails.
Vitamin A: A fat soluble vitamin that is important for all cells in the body. Although, the hair truly needs vitamin A for growth. Glands of the scalp make sebum to moisturize the scalp and hair follicles. Vitamin A is necessary to make sebum.
Diets low in vitamin A have been shown to cause hair loss. One shouldn’t over consume the amount of vitamin A because it could be harmful to your overall health. Following the Daily Values provided on supplement panels is a good choice. Also, foods with a good source of vitamin A are carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, milk and eggs.
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin with great antioxidant properties extinguishing free radicals. These free radicals can cause damage and block hair growth and increase hair to experience aging effects. Vitamin C is also needed to make collagen, which is found in the hair structure. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and supplements.
Zinc: It is an essential nutrient for the body, including the immune system, but is essential for the hair. If the diet is low in zinc, one could have problems with hair loss. Although one should not consume large amounts since it could cause health problems. Good sources include nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans and cashews. It is also found in supplements.
Biotin (vitamin B7) is a water soluble B vitamin that is required by the body for the hair.
In the body, biotin is used as a cofactor for particular enzymes in metabolic pathways to help convert some nutrients into energy. It is described in scientific papers to have a role in the structure of keratin found in the hair, skin and nails. There is a small amount research data in humans regarding biotin’s effects on the hair. There is some research that demonstrated biotin helped individuals with hair and nail growth problems. Biotin is provided in foods like meat, eggs, bananas, soybeans and some nuts.
Biotin and Zinc: There is research that indicates that in the body, biotin may influence zinc levels. Some animal studies show that when biotin is low, zinc levels are also reduced.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a compound containing sulfur with health supporting properties. There is some research that shows it has a positive effect on hair growth. The study performed showed promising results, but the doses that were used were high. MSM may work on the cellular level by improving the structural bonds to increase the strength of keratin in hair.
In summary, hair is a deeply rooted part of a person’s identity and is important for one’s confidence. Although there are genetic factors, one can do things to help revitalize and improve the health of their hair. Selection of the shampoo and conditioner intended for the type of hair is essential. Consuming a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains is necessary for the hair and the scalp. Certain nutrients have demonstrated benefits to hair and scalp that include protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, biotin, zinc and MSM.
If you have a health condition and or take medication, it’s always best to check with your healthcare provider prior to starting an exercise program and/or taking supplements.
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