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With all the hair care products on the market promising shiny locks and full, bouncy tresses, it is easy to get overwhelmed with options. Many of us invest in these products because, let’s face it, first impressions matter, happen in the blink of an eye, and sometimes can contribute to that make-or-break moment.
The trick to truly healthy hair has more to do with what goes into your body than styling products and hours spent in front of a mirror. Hair loss, dullness, and hair that refuses to grow often comes from a lack of nutrients or from doing too much of a good thing.
1. Wash hair less frequently. If you wash and condition your hair every time you shower, this one may be tough to swallow. After all, shiny hair and a fresh smelling scalp are modern day hallmarks of good hygiene.
When you wash your hair often, say every day, you actually strip natural oils from the hair. These natural oils are there for a reason; they make hair naturally shiny. These oils, along with a seasonal trim, keep hair growing and prevent the ends from breaking.
If you notice that going longer than one or two days without washing makes your hair appear stringy and oily, remember that less washing is also about training your hair to accept a new regimen, which could take months.
2. Eat eggs, liver, or both. Eggs, liver, and to a lesser extent, salmon and avocado are all excellent sources of a nutrient called biotin.
If you only occasionally eat eggs and liver, that is okay as long as your gut flora is thriving and healthy.
Not sure where to find hardy beneficial bacteria? Try drinking a few ounces of Body Ecology InnergyBiotic with every meal. A few sips of this fermented beverage on a daily basis guards against gut dysbiosis, which is linked to biotin deficiency.
3. Fish oils: good for the hormones and good for the scalp. Andrea Giancoli, a Los Angeles based dietician, tells her clients that, “Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health. A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull look.” (2)
Not only are omega-3 fatty acids important for your scalp, they also influence hormone production, including the production of thyroid hormones. Many of us know that thinning hair is a classic symptom of hypothyroidism. However, sometimes hypothyroidism has more to do with exhausted adrenals or sluggish pituitary function.
4. Increase blood flow. Home remedies to promote hair growth often involve some kind of paste, usually made with ginger, and a scalp massage. In Chinese medicine food therapy books, a topical application is recommended. An ointment is made by soaking 10 g of red chilies in 50 ml of white wine for ten days. After the chilies are strained, the wine is applied to the scalp several times a day. (3)
What do a ginger paste, scalp massage, and a wine treatment infused with red chilies all have in common?
Two herbs that are frequently used for brain health and that work extremely well with the vascular system are ginkgo biloba and feverfew. It is best to work with a health care provider when using herbs to address specific concerns.
5. Soak up the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D, which the body can synthesize with enough sun exposure, actually plays a hormonal role in the body. Vitamin D also works to modulate the immune system and is used at varying doses to remedy anything from the common cold to autoimmune flare-ups.
Truly healthy hair starts with your diet, not with the hair care products that you use each day. You can treat hair loss, dullness, and even dry scalp by using the following tips:
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