Lice are not just contagious but a bother to everyone. Though most people talk about heal lice there are other types of lice that have been left unmentioned for long. Not because they don’t affect people but simply because people have concentrated so much on the head lice.
While the body and pubic lice can occur due to unhygienic and a lack of personal hygiene, head lice can happen to anyone despite how clean you are. The school going children are the most affected ones with about 12 million children infected each year with head lice. The biggest problem is managing these lice so that they are not contracted by the other members of the family.
So what are lice?
Lice are very small, parasitic insects that do not have wings and feed on human blood. They do not have wings so they don’t fly and don’t hop – in fact, they crawl. This is why those infested keep scratching their heads.
The different kinds of lice are:
Head lice – The most common type of lice develops on the neck and scalp. The lice attach their eggs to the base of the hair shafts. Head lice are always visible at the nape of the neck and over the ear.
Body lice – These lice live in clothing and bedding and only move to the skin to feed. Body lice are common in people who don’t bathe or wash their clothes regularly.
Pubic lice – These are also called crabs that occurs on the hair and skin of the pubic area. It mostly occurs on the coarse hair of the chest, eyebrows or eyelashes.
The eggs that are attached to the hair more than a quarter inch from the base of the hair shaft are likely to have hatched. They are already dead with an empty casing. It is important to kill both the lice and the lice eggs in order to be effective in lice treatments.
Lice signs and symptoms
You cannot treat lice without knowing its signs and symptoms. There are visible lice symptoms to be on the lookout for and they include:
Tickling feeling that comes when the hair moves
Visible lice on your body, hair, clothing, and scalp
Small red bumps on the scalp, shoulders, and neck
Irritability and difficulty in sleeping
Sores on the lice-infested area that is caused by itching
It is very important to note that nits or lice eggs are commonly confused with dandruff. Dandruff can be easily brushed out from the hair but lice do not budge so easily and will always remain on the hair or the scalp. The nits can also be mistaken for scabs or droplets of hairspray.
Over the recent years, there has been an increased popularity in the use of different varieties of organic products. This is because of the emphasis in the society for people to take better care of themselves and the planet. As a result, people are now using products made of all natural ingredients and avoid those with harmful chemicals. The beauty world has not been left behind, and organic products are widely available in supermarkets, spas, and salons all over the country. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider organic products for your hair.
Safe to use
Using chemical-based hair products may result in skin irritations and other severe allergic reactions. With organic hair care products, you do not have to worry about any negative reactions on your hair, scalp, or skin. This is because you are assured that the hair product you are using contains all natural ingredients. Organic products are all excellent choice for pregnant women and children.
You may never realize it, but using organic products helps to protect the environment. Toxic ingredients in most hair products may get into the environment and affect everything that they get into contact with. Natural ingredients tend to break down quickly when compared to petrochemicals, parabens, and synthetic sulfates used in mainstream hair products. Certified organic products are made using all-natural ingredients that are grown using safe and eco-friendly growing techniques without using pesticides or other practices that damage or pollute the environment.
With organic products, you will be avoiding harsh chemicals. Your potent natural ingredients will help your hair to retain its vitality and health. Many ingredients found in organic hair products are meant for nourishing your scalp and hair. In addition, they will stimulate the growth of new hair strands and prevent breakage. Natural ingredients are easily absorbed by your hair strands and this improves its cellular strength, repair damage, renew dormant hair cells and regenerate follicle stem cells to allow for healthier hair growth.
Potent, targeted ingredients
The ingredients that are found in high-quality organic products are good for your hair. Since there are no harsh chemicals, your hair will not be stripped of its natural protection. Organic products are formulated using top-notch ingredients that will purely benefit your scalp and hair. Natural ingredients are usually added to hair products for specific reasons and this makes it easier for you to choose what you need.
Organic products may seem to be more expensive when compared to other common hair products. However, you will be a getting superior quality product that will provide more value. You can purchase cheap hair care, but it is lowly priced because it is full of fillers that will not help your hair. An effective organic product will be more efficient and deliver the results that you desire and are worth paying extra dollars for.
With organic hair products, you will be guaranteed better results. The more you use organic hair care formulas, the healthier, stronger and more beautiful your hair will be. These products will not strip the color of colored hair and will deeply condition the hair to give excellent results. They will also help in fixing various hair issues such as split ends and hair breakage.
While there are many NYC hair transplant surgeons, not all of them can perform the procedure safely and efficiently. Hair transplant is a procedure that touches your health and look. Choosing a hair transplant surgeon is therefore critical to your wellbeing both during and after the transplant. Without a professional hair transplant surgeon, you will put yourself in great danger. You will also not get value for the money that you invest in the hair transplant procedure.
Due to an increase in the number of hair transplant surgeons across the country, finding the right hair surgeon can be overwhelming. To avoid falling into the trap of fake or inexperienced hair transplant surgeons, consider the following factors when choosing a hair transplant surgeon.
Background and Training
A sure way to select the best hair transplant surgeon is considering the backgrounds and training of the available surgeons. Start by finding out whether a prospective surgeon has been certified by the board of dermatologists or surgeons. Professional certification proves that a hair transplant surgeon is well trained and experienced in performing hair transplant procedures. Most competent hair transplant surgeons are members of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery.
If the surgeon is not willing to show you any proof of the above, it’s advisable that you find another hair transplant surgeon. Additionally, ask the surgeon about their experience. A good hair transplant surgeon will prove their experience by showing you samples of their past procedures. This includes before and after photos of patients that have undergone hair transplant at their clinics. You can also ask for referrals and contact people that have undergone hair transplant at the clinic of a surgeon.
Specific hair transplant techniques offered
Hair transplant is a broad field with different procedures. The two main techniques in this field are Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). Even though both techniques are effective in hair transplant, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s important that the surgeon explain them in details and guide you in choosing the best procedure depending on your condition and needs.
Once you decide to undergo a hair transplant procedure, it is advisable that you choose a surgeon that can perform it. If a surgeon is only skilled or experienced in performing one of these procedures only, they will most likely be biased in providing their recommendation. Thus, you may undergo a procedure that might not effectively work for you. Finding a doctor that offers both procedures is therefore the way to go. Make sure that the surgeon explains the procedure that you want to undergo in details and answer your questions satisfactorily. This is very important because it will enable you to make a more informed decision.
Choosing the best hair transplant surgeon can be a challenging task. That’s because you want the hair transplant procedure to be safe and produce amazing results. If after talking to a surgeon you feel like something is not right, try another surgeon. In addition to proper training, as well as background and experience, choose a surgeon that listens to your needs attentively. Choose a hair transplant surgeon that is determined to help you achieve your goals.
It is unbelievable how Dubai has transformed over the years. Such is the growth of this Middle Eastern country that it has left all its neighbor way behind in terms of infrastructure, connectivity, pro-business environment and diverse population.
The emergence of Dubai as the global city has propelled many multi-national companies to set up their businesses here due to which lots of people have migrated here in search of jobs or to open their own businesses.
Apart from this, Hair transplant in Dubai is another segment which has grown over a period of time. With the right help from the government and the strict rules that regulate this industry, hair transplant in Dubai has progressed by leaps and bounds.
Reasons behind the emergence of hair restoration clinics in Dubai
There are a number of factors that contribute to the popularity of hair transplant in this desert country like:
The residents of Dubai especially males suffer from drastic hair loss and as we know there is no other permanent solution other than hair transplant
Also, affordable hair transplant cost in Dubai is one of the major reasons why people prefer to undergo this procedure here. You can get more than three thousand grafts for only about $9000 to 12000 (AED36000 to 45000).
Dubai is behind none when it comes to world-class infrastructure and advanced technology. The same holds true for the ultra-modern hair transplant clinics which are fitted with the latest medical equipment.
Even the hair transplant surgeons here are the world best having the best of training and experience of many years. You will be surprised that Dubai attracts the most talented pool of professionals including doctors and surgeons.
Moreover, Dubai is a favorite with tourists from all over the world. And it has been observed that many tourists prefer undergoing hair transplant surgery while on vacation. Don’t be shocked! The reason behind this is hair transplant is a minor out-patient procedure which can be performed in a day or two and it does not require excessive post-surgery care.
Dubai is the most developed country in the Middle East due to which the people from the neighboring countries prefer coming here for their treatment and hair transplant is no exception.
Why do people living in Dubai experience severe hair loss?
There has been a lot of research on this topic that residents of Dubai experience drastic hair loss. It has been found that water and climate of Dubai is the main culprit. The tap water here is hard water that contains a high level of chlorine and sodium which weaken the hair, in the long run, causing it to fall off.
In addition, the climate of Dubai plays havoc with your tresses. Because of the high temperature, you tend to feel hot and sweaty. Due to it, you tend to wash your hair every day thereby stripping your scalp of natural oils. This, in turn, makes your hair dry and frizzy.
Also, the nutritional quality of the food is an issue here as it grows in red sand and the crops have been exposed to a high level of pesticides and fertilizers.
All these factors with the addition of fast-paced lifestyle and a huge amount of stress affect the hair in an adverse way.
Which is the best technique being used for hair transplant in Dubai?
Basically, there are two techniques when talking about hair transplantation. One being Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and the other being Follicular unit extraction (FUE).
Nowadays, fewer people opt for FUT which is the traditional way of performing hair transplant as this technique leaves behind ugly scars and takes a longer time to heal due to sutures.
More and more people go along with FUE procedure are it is an advanced technique which is non-invasive and gives great results.
However, in Dubai, stem cell FUE hair transplant is a rage which is also called Direct Automated FUE. This technique falls under FUE hair transplant but is a more advanced procedure.
Herein around 50% of your donor hair follicles re-grow which is not possible in any other technique and scarring is also rare. You do not need any bed rest and the recovery period is very short. But you have to pay more for Stem cell hair transplant which falls in the range of AED 14 to 37 ($4 to 10) per graft.
So you see Dubai has a lot to offer when it comes to hair transplant and there are top clinics to choose from. You will surely not regret your decision for undergoing Hair transplant in Dubai.
There is plenty of hope and a good chance of success when restoring damaged and dry hair. However, you’ll succeed only if you don’t neglect any part of the treatment. Hot styling, coloring, bad haircare, lifestyle, and even your diet can make your locks damaged, brittle, and extremely dry. If your locks are like this, you need to overhaul your haircare right away as the longer they are damaged the higher is the risk of that damage becoming permanent. Damaged and dry hair treatment is a gradual process that requires specialized care and possible change of some lifestyle habits.
Damaged and Dry Hair Treatment Guide: 3 Golden Rules
1. Learn to be gentle
The first and most important rule of caring for dry and damaged hair is to be very gentle in handling it. This means no shampoos laden with sulfates and parabens, no breaking your hairs with rough brushing, no rubbing your tresses with towels or pulling it too hard when shampooing.
Extremely dry hair is very-very brittle, so the lighter and more gentle are your touches, the lesser is the chance of breaking it.
The basic rules to follow are:
Brush your hair gently starting from the ends and gently unknotting it while you move closer to the roots.
Be careful when washing your locks and massage your scalp very gently.
Pat your hair dry with a soft towel made of natural fabric instead of rubbing or wringing it.
Cut down on styling that requires the use of a hairdryer or hot iron.
2. Buy haircare products that meet your specific needs
Using shampoos and conditioners for dry hair isn’t always the best option. Choose the type of product to buy depending on the source of your problem. In many cases, the issue of damage and extreme dryness comes from color treatment. Bleaching, in particular, often causes this kind of problems.
In this case, you’ll need to use specialized products for colored and bleached locks. For example, a shampoo with a purple pigment designed specifically for platinum blonde locks. The pigment neutralizes the yellowing effect of the bleach and helps keep the locks silvery. You can also find tinted shampoos and conditioners for dark-colored hair. If you color your tresses, you should consider using these solutions first as they help preserve the color. This means they help reduce the frequency of treatments and therefore reduce your need to damage your locks.
In rare cases, issues with your scalp, such as dandruff, can cause the brittleness and dryness. However, extreme dryness also causes scalp to scale, which can be mistaken as dandruff. If you aren’t 100% sure what exactly the problem is, consult a professional.
3. Use deep conditioning treatments regularly
For the majority of people, deep conditioning treatments are a kind of pleasant luxury to spoil their locks with before special occasions. However, these products are the basis of damaged and dry hair treatment.
You’ll have to use them at least once a week. This can be quite hard for some people as deep conditioners are rather expensive. You can buy a variety of them today, but choose carefully. You can find suggestions of the best products in specialized beauty publications, like Elle.
However, you can save a lot of money by making restorative and hydrating hair masks from the products in your kitchen. Dry and damaged hair reacts best to masks made from:
Mashed ripe avocado and an egg
Egg whites (3), olive oil (2 tablespoons), and apple cider vinegar (1 teaspoon)
When using these or similar homemade remedies, apply them to clean damp hair and cover your head with a shower cap. Leave for about 20-30 minutes (up to 45 for oils) and wash your locks with a soft shampoo in lukewarm water.
Stress can affect all of us, for many different reasons. It could be work-related stress, relationship stress, financial stress, and so on. There are so many different reasons you might be stressed, but what those reasons are don’t matter, and you should never be embarrassed about the cause. What does matter is prioritizing your well-being, because stress can cause several serious health issues including:
1. A Lowered Immune System
When your body is stressed it produces adrenaline and other hormones that give you the extra edge and push you to need to deal with the challenge at hand. It is these very hormones, however, that put stress on your immune system, making you susceptible to illnesses.
2. Hair Loss
Stress, typically, causes the body to produce cortisol, the flight-and-flight instinct that heightens our awareness. High cortisol levels, however, mean that other hormones that promote healthy hair and even cell regeneration aren’t being produced. Similarly, telogen effluvium can occur, where your stress can force many of your actively growing hairs into the telogen (resting) phase, causing an increase in hair loss. In some cases, your body’s immune system could actively attack your hair follicles. Thankfully, in most cases, your hair should return to normal after you have dealt with your chronic stress.
3. Heart Strain
Stress puts a lot of strain on the body. It can cause stomach issues, muscle pain, but most worryingly, it can cause heart strain. Stress hormones can make your blood vessels constrict as well, which further increases your blood pressure and your risk for heart attack or stroke.
All of these symptoms must be managed, because they can exacerbate the stress you already have, worsening your mental and physical condition. Learn how to combat stress early on, and you can manage it before it becomes a problem. Ways you can relax vary, and include:
1. Healthy Eating
Healthy eating leads to a healthy body, which in turn can help combat many of the worst symptoms of stress. Aim to eat more fruits and vegetables (which can boost your immune system) and foods that produce serotonin, like those high in fiber. What you should avoid at all costs, however, are foods that cause your blood pressure to rise, like fatty foods, sugar, and caffeine.
2. Meditation Techniques
Meditation can mean a lot of different things, but the focus here is to break away from your stressors and focus on breathing. Guided relax hypnosis techniques can help you reset your stress, allowing you to break out of the negative downward spiral that chronic stress causes.
3. Improve Your Sleep
Stress can affect your sleep quality, which is why you should adopt a new bedtime regimen. To start, turn off all electronics in your home off once the sun sets, as it is the blue-light from these devices that can disrupt your circadian rhythm, worsening your sleep on a daily basis. Then, before bed, try the meditation techniques you’ve found work for you. Be consistent with your routine, and you’ll see an improvement in your sleep quality. And another way to improve sleep is through use of essential oils which are very effective in relieving stress so go ahead and buy an essential oil diffuser for your bedroom.
4. Start A New Hobby
Starting a new hobby or more deeply pursuing an existing interest is another great way to combat stress. Whether it’s a new sport, taking an online course in photography, or learning a new craft, focused activity helps take the mind off stress inducing thoughts. For example, I am learning how to make my own t-shirts with a heat press. The whole process from making a design, to cutting the design, to pressing it on a t-shirt takes concentration and thought, and I find it very satisfying. I find it very calming and I have a fantastic product to give away or sell at the end!
Don’t let stress get you down. It can be painful, it can be psychology damaging, and it can be fatal. Instead, prioritize your wellbeing and your health, so that you can live a better, happier life.
Everyone wants smooth and lustrous tresses and most of us spend a lot of time and money maintaining our manes only to wake up and have a bad hair day. Let that be a thing of the past by liberating your locks (and your wallet!) with these 5 easy to make and use natural leave in conditioners. If you are a DIY beginner remember that this is meant to be fun, maybe have a girls’ night and make it with friends. Come on, let your hair down and get smooth healthy hair. Let's Get Started:
Milk and Honey
A warm DIY leave in conditioner good for all hair types and long-term use, this recipe utilizes the healing power of honey and the scalp-invigorating power of cinnamon to leave hair luscious.
Ingredients & Supplies:
Two glass bowls (one small to fit into larger) shower cap Four tablespoons milk Two tablespoons honey Two tablespoons cinnamon ¼ cup mayonnaise Two eggs
Preparation and Use:
In a glass bowl, crack your eggs and add the mayonnaise and the milk. Mix together until eggs are incorporated. Then add in honey and cinnamon. Heat the conditioner until mildly warm in a hot water bath by putting the smaller bowl into the larger bowl which you fill with hot water. Wash your hair and then wring out the excess water until semi-dry for better moisture retention. Pour the natural leave in conditioner and smooth over full length of hair then secure in a shower cap. Leave on for about half an hour and wash your hair with baby shampoo.
Avocados are a super food for our hair so if you have an extra avocado left over from Taco Tuesday put it to a new use and give your hair vitamins and strength.
Ingredients & Supplies:
A glass bowl Half an avocado Three drops of peppermint essential oil
Preparation and Use:
Peel and mash your avocado like you are making guacamole, adding the drops of essential oil as you go. Slather up your locks and relax for a half an hour and then rinse.
Apple Cider Vinegar
For those of us who use styling products or straighteners, this tart-smelling conditioner helps to strip your hair of chemical gunk buildup leaving it smooth and refreshed.
Ingredients & Supplies:
16 ounces glass container with lid 15 ounces water Two tablespoons apple cider
Preparation and Use:
Vigorously shake the apple cider vinegar and water together so that it intersperses and pour over your hair. Avoid your eyes and mouth. You may leave it in or rinse it out. Use this conditioner after hair-raising events like weddings and proms when your hair has been over processed.
Olive Oil and Banana
This conditioner will leave your hair incredibly soft and smooth. The combination of honey, olive oil and the banana create a deeply nourishing conditioner.
Ingredients & Supplies:
A blender A shower cap Two tablespoons olive oil Two tablespoons natural honey One ripe banana
Preparation and Use:
Add all ingredients to blender, and pulse until it is the consistency of a smoothie. Apply the conditioner to clean hair and put on the shower cap. After a half an hour has passed rinse the conditioner out. For smoothest hair use this leave-in conditioner once a week or so.
Using coconut oil is like giving your hair a luxurious trip to the day spa. This leave in conditioner will do best for your hair if you give it an hour or two. This will give the fatty acids maximum time for the coconut oil to strengthen, grow, and smooth your hair.
Ingredients & Supplies:
Small bowl and larger bowl for hot water bath Shower cap Coconut oil
Preparation and Use:
Create a hot water bath by placing the desired amount of coconut oil into the smaller bowl and filling the larger bowl with hot water. Place the smaller bowl into the larger one. Once the oil is warm place the conditioner on your hair and put on the shower cap. Use the next hour or two to pamper yourself, and then wash hair. This conditioner will leave your hair smooth, detangled and shiny.
Love Your Hair Naturally
These conditioners give you the smooth hair you want all while using ingredients that are easy to find and purchase. There are many more DIY leave in conditioners you can make yourself. Try these conditioners and maintain your mane with the goodness of nature.
Hair loss is a problem that affects both men and women. Most cases of hair loss are attributed to genetics. Minor cases can be linked to illnesses, medication and stress. Medication used to treat cancer patients (chemotherapy), drugs used for heart related illnesses and birth control pills for women can also lead to hair loss. Ringworm of the scalp and thyroid disease are examples of illnesses that cause hair loss.
Treatment depends on the causative factor of the problem. They include drugs, surgery, and lifestyle changes. There are only two drugs permitted by the FDA to cure baldness. They are Rogaine and Propecia.
It is an ointment that is rubbed onto the scalp where there is no hair growth. It is however not very effective in propagating hair growth. Less than 20% of users have reported hair growth since they started using Rogaine. The lotion is more effective in slowing down hair loss than treating baldness.
This is the first pill used in treatment of baldness in men. It is very effective, although results may be easily lost once the treatment is discontinued. This drug should be used under the doctor’s guidance and prescription.
Baldness can also be cured using hair replacement surgeries, such as scalp reduction and hair transplantation procedures (slit grafting, micro-grafting and punch grafting). The best surgical procedure depends on patient’s circumstances or desires and the type of hair loss. Another procedure that has been used successfully is the Platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Although it was designed to improve the healing process of patients who had undergone joint surgery, PRP has been found to be very effective in treatment of baldness.
PRP involves separation of platelets from plasma. The plasma is then injected into bald scalp. This helps to repair blood vessels, promote cell growth and stimulate production of collagen. These are necessary for hair growth. PRP is safe and has no major side effects apart from redness at the injected area and some minimal pain.
Other Hair Replacement Methods
This is a hair transplanting technique where a section of hair-bearing area of the head is removed. It is then cut into small portions each bearing hair, known as grafts. These grafts are finally transplanted into the balding area. Common side effects of hair grafting include lack of sensation on the affected areas, swelling of the scalp, crusting on the removal and transplanted sites and itching at the removal site.
It involves removal of bald section of the scalp. This exposes the hair-bearing skin, which is then stretched to fill the bald area. This procedure can only be done to treat baldness at the back and on top of the head. It does not work for the frontal hairline. It can however be performed jointly with hair grafting. Common side effects of this procedure include: scalp tightness for several months, headaches and pains after surgery.
If you are not particularly comfortable with surgical methods of hair loss treatment, you may opt to use wigs. Wigs are categorized into two: synthetic wigs and human hair wigs. Synthetic wigs are manufactured from artificial fibers, while human hair wigs are created from natural human hair. If you want to have the natural feel of real natural hair on your scalp, then human hair wigs should be your preferred choice. If however you prefer a cheaper alternative towards your balding problem, then synthetic wigs should do the trick. You can visit the website to find out more about the different options of hair loss.
When looking for the best hair transplant Los Angeles option, you will come across Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT). These are the popular hair transplantation methods in this city. And, one of the most crucial decisions to make once a patient decides to undergo a hair transplant procedure is to choose between the two.
Generally, FUE costs significantly more than FUT. In fact, the cost of FUE can exceed the double price of FUT. This can be attributed to various reasons including the following:
How it is done
When performing an FUE procedure, a hair transplant surgeon extracts the follicular units from the donor area individually. This procedure comes with a risk of cutting or transecting follicular units. That’s because only the upper follicle part is directly visible. The surgeon estimates the direction of the follicles beneath the surface. Consequently, it is possible to strip or damage the follicular units of the layer when performing an FUE procedure.
If a surgeon fails to cut deeper into the skin, it’s possible to extract a follicular unit without the crucial lower part of the hair follicle. That means the unit might not survive after transplantation. And this can result in damaged or lower quality grafts. Eventually, the patient can have fragile grafts that can have a poor growth.
On the other hand, FUT entails removing a donor strip from the patient’s scalp and isolating the follicular units carefully together with the protective tissue using dissecting stereo-microscopes. This procedure is relatively easier to perform and it results in high quality grafts particularly when handled by a professional surgeon and experienced clinical assistants.
Clearly, FUT is easier to do than FUE. That’s one of the major reasons why FUE is more expensive than FUT. And, when determining a hair transplant option for you, the surgeon should explain both options to you clearly.
FUE is generally a time-consuming hair transplantation procedure. In fact, if you want to undergo an unshaven hair transplant procedure, the cost will increase further because it takes more time. Essentially, the cost of hair transplant in Los Angeles is calculated on the basis of the time taken to complete the procedure. The amount of hair transplanted or grafts required as well as the difficulty of the procedure determine the time taken to complete it. As such, these aspects of a hair transplant procedure increase time and cost of FUE.
Required skills and experience
FUE procedures require more training and experience to perform properly. Without proper training, experience and a team of qualified clinical staff, a surgeon cannot perform the procedure effectively and produce great results. Consequently, hair transplant surgeons charge more money for FUE than FUT due to the required high level of training and experience.
Generally, the cost of FUE is higher than that of FUT. However, it also varies from one clinic to another depending on the skills and experience of the surgeon as well as quality of the provided service. Nevertheless, when looking for a hair transplant doctor, consider service quality and reputation of the surgeon.
If you’re like most people, then you’re often looking for ways to keep your hair from thinning, becoming brittle, or going gray. A survey performed by a hair loss clinic in 2013 found that 94% of men are worried about losing their hair. That’s more men than are afraid of impotence, gaining weight, or even losing their teeth.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent or reverse hair loss. Vitamins, whether found in food or supplements, are one of the best. Vitamins are critical to hair growth. Knowing how to harness them could mean the difference between keeping your healthy head of hair, or taking up hat collecting.
How the Body Creates Hair
Hair is made of a substance called keratin, the same stuff that forms finger and toenails, as well as animal hooves, horns, and claws. Keratin is a very strong protein, able to stand up to the stresses of the outside world without becoming damaged or breaking down.
Whether on the scalp or elsewhere on the body, human hair is created by hair follicles. Follicles are tiny bulb-like structures just under our skin. They continually spin keratin into hair, fueled by blood vessels that bring nutrients, vitamins, and hormones. Together, these substances determine the thickness of hair, the speed at which it grows, and other factors like its color.
How Vitamins Help Hair Grow
Although it’s common knowledge that hair is made of dead cells, that’s only partially true. While hair remains inside the follicle, it’s as alive as any other part of the body. It only “dies” when it grows out past the skin.
While hair is alive and being formed, it needs to be supplied with nutrients just like every other organ. The nutrients brought to hair by the blood come from food, and so what we eat determines the health of our hair. That’s why vitamins are so important for hair growth.
Just as you might eat protein to fuel muscle growth, or calcium to help your bones, it’s important to take in the right vitamins to help your body create hair. If you don’t, then you suffer a greatly increased risk of thinning or balding, going gray, or producing brittle, dry hair.
The Best Hair Vitamins
Hair benefits from most of the same vitamins that help our heart, brain, and other parts of the body. However, there are several vitamins that are especially important for thick, healthy hair.
Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, is an important vitamin to maintain healthy blood flow. It helps the blood deliver oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body. This is especially important to hair follicles. They’re delicate things, and a slowed or stopped nutrient supply will quickly cause them to give up and stop producing hair.
Vitamin B3 is also shown to play a role in the removal of excess oil and waste from the skin. This can build up in hair follicles, blocking hair growth.
Niacin is easily available in food, as well as in oral supplements and topical treatments. Meat and fish are great sources of the entire range of B vitamins, as well as in green vegetables, particularly broccoli.
Another member of the B family, biotin is well-known for its beneficial effects on hair, nails, and skin. In fact, it’s colloquially known as vitamin H, with the H standing for “haar und haut”. Those are the German words for “hair and skin”.
Biotin is an important fuel for cellular growth, fatty acid production, and in the body’s use of amino acids. Although clinical studies regarding biotin’s role in hair growth are not yet conclusive, there is very strong anecdotal evidence that biotin supplementation results in thicker, stronger hair, as well as clearer skin and healthier nails.
Like other B vitamins, biotin is most readily found in meat, poultry, and fish. Eggs and dairy are also a great source. For vegans, nuts and legumes (especially almonds), whole grains, and green vegetables are the best bets.
Vitamin D is unusual in that the body produces it naturally when exposed to sunlight. However, modern indoor lifestyles combined with winter weather means that many people don’t get enough. Today, supplementing with vitamin D is recommended by many doctors.
Our skin and hair follicles rely on vitamin D to keep functioning, and in fact contain special receptors to process the nutrient. Hair loss is one of the early symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, but luckily it can be easily remedied.
There are few natural food sources of vitamin D. Mushrooms offer plenty, as well as animal livers (beef or chicken, most commonly), and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. The best way to up your vitamin D intake is through plenty of sunshine if possible, or supplements if not.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that keeps the whole body young and healthy. By bonding with free radicals, vitamin E keeps them from interacting with our cells in harmful ways. If you keep up with your antioxidants, you’ll not only enjoy strong, healthy hair. You’ll live longer, too.
For hair, this means less chance of balding or thinning, and less chance of going gray. It also supports the immune system, protecting you from a wide range of illnesses that could lead to hair problems in future.
Aside from supplements, dairy, nuts, and green leafy vegetables are the best sources of vitamin E. Yellow cheeses like cheddar are an especially good source of the nutrient.
How to Use Vitamins for Hair Growth
Ideally, everyone would get all the vitamins they need from natural food sources. After all, the human body has existed long before pills and shampoos. We’re meant to take in everything that our bodies require through our diet.
Unfortunately, it’s just not always practical in the modern world. Maintaining a varied, balanced, vitamin-rich diet is expensive and time-consuming. Most people choose to use science in aid of their health, and use supplements.
Luckily, there are plenty of supplements available. Vitamins come in pill form, in powders that can be mixed into smoothies, or in ready-made liquid. Some vitamins even come in sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue, letting them hit the bloodstream almost instantly.
For hair, there’s also the unique option of topical application. Vitamins can be mixed into shampoos and leave-in conditioners, letting their helpful properties soak directly into hair follicles. If you’re looking to use vitamins for hair growth, this is one of the best tactics.
Hair Vitamins Work
However you choose to increase your vitamin levels, we hope this article has been helpful. For an individualized look at which specific vitamins might benefit your hair most, we recommend consulting with a doctor or medical professional. In the meantime, be sure to eat plenty of nutritious foods, and don’t be shy about trying some vitamin-enhanced shampoos. They really do work.