Your hair is one of the first things about your appearance people notice. This is why we spend countless hours styling it before we head out the door. But without the proper nourishment, your hair can become weak, brittle and dull and even begin to fall out.
With the right supplement to your daily diet, you may be able to turn the condition of your hair around.
Natural Supplements for Healthy Hair
If you feel like you've tried everything to restore your dry or damaged hair, or if it's thinning, the solution may lie in what you're putting into your body. Certain nutrients in our food as well as herbal extracts can support the tissues of the body to keep them strong and resistant to damage. This includes the hair.
Consider adding one of these supplements to your routine to support hair health from the inside out:
1. B Vitamins -- There are eight B vitamins and those most often recommended for the hair are folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. B vitamins help may help to strengthen the hair while also making it more shiny and full. While there are very strong doses available, B vitamins are water soluble, so whatever the body doesn't need will be excreted.
2. Horsetail -- Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) extract is a rich source of silica, a mineral that may help strengthen the hair and nails to prevent breakage. It's also known to have antioxidant benefits for the body, protecting it from the damage of free radical invaders.
3. MSM -- A type of naturally occurring sulfur, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is also known to strengthen the hair follicle, possibly by encouraging collagen production. Collagen is a protein found within the hair and the skin which supports its structure.
4. Bioflavonoids -- Found in citrus fruits mainly, bioflavonoids are a type of antioxidant. As mentioned before, antioxidants prevent free radical compounds from causing damage to the cells. This damage leads to aging and breakdown.
5. Iron -- One of the most recognizable symptoms of an iron deficiency is dry and brittle hair. That's because iron is needed to bring oxygen to all parts of the body through the blood, including the hair. This encourages it to grow and remain strong. However, taking more than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) isn't advised, so make sure you pay attention to how much you're getting through diet and any multivitamin supplement you're taking before consuming additional iron.
If you're concerned about hair loss or damage and want to add a supplement to your routine, be sure to speak with your doctor first if you have a diagnosed medical condition or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals can impact people differently and may interfere with any prescription or over-the-counter medications you take regularly.
More Ways to Support Hair Health
Beyond supplements, there are simple changes you can make to your routine to protect the health of your hair. Here are some suggestions that can strengthen the hair and prevent breakage and split ends:
Never brush wet hair.
Sleep with coconut oil on dry hair one night a week (bottom half of the hair shaft only).
Make sure your diet includes healthy fats like omega-3s.
Avoid wearing hats all day long when possible.
Heat style hair on the lowest setting possible.
Don't take very hot showers or baths, which can strip the hair.
Choose a sulfate-free shampoo to prevent drying.
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About The AuthorDr. Matt Marturano, ND is a licensed naturopathic physician and received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and also has a dual Bachelor of Science in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. In addition, Dr. Marturano currently is a member of the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is the Director of Recruitment - Integrative Medicine for Orchid Holistic Search.
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