It’s been said that hair is a reflection of our well-being. Yet most of the damage our hair endures is self-inflicted. Poor eating habits can starve hair of nutrients. Overwashing, blow drying, and using a flat iron can make matters worse, leaving hair dry and damaged. But if our bad habits are the problem, adopting healthy new habits can renew our hair’s crowning glory.
Feed Your Follicles
When hair needs some serious Rx, it’s time to reach for the nutrients it may be craving.
Biotin. This B vitamin is necessary to spur cell growth, production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. Touted for its ability to strengthen hair, biotin can also help enhance hair’s manageability, according to one Italian study. It’s also essential for preventing hair loss, especially as we age. A number of natural shampoos and conditioners contain biotin to nourish hair topically, but you can also support hair from within by taking a biotin supplement.
Borage, Evening Primrose, and Flax. Supplementing with essential fatty acids from these natural sources can condition hair from the inside out. Research suggests that these healthy oils can stimulate growth and make hair more pliable by mimicking sebum, the scalp’s own natural oil.
Zinc. Low zinc levels can wreak hair havoc and may even cause hair loss. If you are suffering from unexplained hair loss, ask your health care provider to check for a zinc deficiency. If supplementation is called for, be aware that zinc can block copper absorption, so make sure that your supplement also contains 1 to 2 mg of copper.
MSM. Preliminary studies suggest that taking supplemental MSM can stimulate hair growth and boost brilliance and thickness. Since the structural proteins in hair (keratin) contain very high levels of sulfur, some scientists believe that sulfur from supplemental MSM can be used by keratin-forming amino acids to create healthier hair.
Natural Tress Relief
Eating healthful foods and taking the nutrients mentioned above can go a long way toward making your hair happy. But it’s also important to treat your hair with tender loving care—and natural products. Harsh chemicals and procedures such as bleaching, straightening, or perming can damage keratin, making hair dull and frizzy. They can also lead to a head full of split ends. So steer clear of any hair care products that contain sodium laurel sulfate (a harsh detergent), triethanolamine (a dispersant that may cause cancer), or preservatives such as parabens or diazolidinyl urea.
Instead, check labels for ingredients such as chamomile, elder, horsetail, oatstraw, rosemary, and vitamin E. All are great additions to help foster a healthy mane you can be proud of.
weleda rosemary Hair oil For instant shine, softness, and more manageability, apply a few drops of this nourishing hair oil. The fragrant oil is great for all hair types.
ReserveAge Organics Keratin Booster This breakthrough formula is the first of its kind to feature "solubilized keratin" for hair, skin, and nail health. It also has biotin and resveratrol.
Nature's Gate Biotin strengthening shampoo Packed with biotin and other fortifying ingredients (including amino acids), this gentle shampoo breathes new life into fine, weak hair.