Balance Your Life With Dr. Melissa

As you may know, it’s Naturopathic Medicine Week. In honor of this, Nutrafol has decided to celebrate some of our brilliant medical minds!

Here’s a Q&A with one of our resident Naturopathic Doctors, Dr. Melissa Anzelone. Melissa earned a biology degree from King’s College and a doctorate degree in Naturopathic medicine from the University of Bridgeport. In the six years Melissa has been in the Naturopathic medicine field, she’s exemplified her passion by helping patients balance their bodies & lives through gentle, therapeutic methods.

But enough from us – check out Melissa’s Q&A about being a Naturopathic Doctor, what makes Naturopathic medicine different, and the best methods to ensure your experience with Nutrafol is a successful one!

Nutrafol: First things first, Dr. Melissa, what IS a Naturopath?

Dr. Melissa: Great question! A Naturopathic Doctor is a medical professional trained in natural and integrative therapies. Think of it as combining the wisdom of nature with modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods and principles, Naturopathic Doctors focus on holistic and proactive disease prevention. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, Naturopathic Doctors help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. Most importantly, Naturopathic Doctors serve to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create an environment that is healing internally and externally.

Our in-house Naturopaths, Dr. Tess (lower left) and Dr. Melissa (lower right).

NF: So…kind of like a doctor of eastern medicine?

Dr. Melissa: That’s partially correct. Eastern Medicine is also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This modality originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years. TCM providers use herbal medicines and various mind/body practices. I’m sure you’ve heard of acupuncture, which is a way to manage or prevent health problems.

Naturopathic Doctors, on the other hand, employ many modalities including homeopathy, botanical medicine, nutritional supplementation, physical medicine, diet/lifestyle modification and hydrotherapy. In addition to this, some Naturopathic Doctors hold an acupuncture license which allows them to use TCM herbs and acupuncture.

NF: What role do plants and nutraceuticals play in your practice?

Dr. Melissa: A HUGE role! It’s important to note that not all vitamins and plants are created equal. Naturopathic Doctors only use high quality supplements from trusted sources to ensure efficacy of the remedy. Nutraceuticals – aka vitamins and plants – are substances that have physiological benefit or provide protection against chronic disease. They may also be used to improve health, delay the aging process, prevent chronic disease, or support the structure or function of the body. Naturopathic Doctors can use these powerful remedies to manage anything from acid reflux to improving hair health!

NF: What’s the most common trigger you see causing hair loss that people can possibly fix themselves through lifestyle changes?

Dr. Melissa: Stress and digestive function are the most common triggers for hair loss. Stress can cause our digestion and absorption to decrease, so much so that our stress hormone tells our digestive system to stop working! Stress management is a tricky trigger to manage, but with professional coaching people can learn to reduce their stress response to the things that once “drove them crazy”, and practice long-term resilience habits. It’s all about putting positive psychology techniques into action.

Another technique is to develop a practice of mindful eating, including eating when our bodies tell us to eat and eating with others at set times and places. When our digestive function is optimal, we are able to absorb the nutrients and proteins needed to build beautiful hair.

Yoga and exercise are also amazing to control stress.

 

NF: Can you tell us a little about the Hair Mineral Analyses we offer here at Nutrafol?

Dr. Melissa: Our Hair Mineral Analysis (HMA) provides a detailed examination of the various elements of your hair via advanced ICP Mass Spectrometry technology. After measuring your body’s levels of over 60 essential minerals and toxic metals, our hair health experts construct a comprehensive metabolic profile of your body. They then walk you through your results and make personalized recommendations geared towards optimizing your growth process.

NF: How important is a holistic lifestyle to promoting hair growth?

Dr. Melissa: A holistic lifestyle is KEY to promoting hair growth! Balancing a healthy whole foods diet with at least 7 hours of sleep per night, as well as managing your stress sets the stage for healthy hair growth.

NF: Anything else we should know, Dr. Melissa?

Dr. Melissa: Our medical team is here to support you with any questions you have. We got into the business of hair health to help people. We want to see you successful on our product! We are here as a partner in progress throughout this journey to troubleshoot any problems you have and celebrate all successes.

Saw Palmetto Clinically Shown to Help Hair Thinning

Saw palmetto for hair loss

Finding safe and natural solutions for keeping your hair healthy is a top priority here at Nutrafol. That’s why we’re excited that researchers have shown the herb saw palmetto, also known as serenoa repens, utilizes the same pathway as Propecia, an FDA approved treatment for hair loss.

Propecia vs. Saw Palmetto

The drug known as Propecia (generic name finasteride) is a fairly common treatment for male hair loss but some doctors and patients want to steer clear of this medication because of its potentially scary side effects. For men and women seeking more natural solutions, herbal supplements provide a far less risky way to maintain a head of healthy hair.

When a study showed that saw palmetto actually can help hair growth, we wanted to make sure you knew about it.

Researchers compared the efficacy of saw palmetto to Propecia in this two-year study of 100 men with hereditary male pattern hair loss. The results? While 68% of participants using Propecia showed an increase in hair growth, confirming its efficacy, 38% of participants in the group using saw palmetto alone also experienced hair growth. So while saw palmetto wasn’t as effective as the chemical drug, it was proven to work—and without the negative side effects.

Another important finding from the study was that while 38% of the saw palmetto group experienced hair growth, another 52% of the saw palmetto group experienced stabilization of loss. Slowing or stopping the progression of hair loss, in and of itself, is a desirable outcome for those fighting to preserve their hair.

Saw palmetto a natural solution for hair loss
Saw palmetto is sold in four different forms: as whole, dried berries, as a liquid extract, in tablets, and in powdered capsules.

Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss

So how does it work?

As it turns out, both the herb and the drug block the enzyme, Type II 5-alpha-reductase, from turning testosterone into DHT. As you may know, DHT is a hormone that contributes to hair-thinning by shrinking hair follicles. Smaller hair follicles means thinner hair, and nobody wants that.

Of course, taking a single herb is not a magic bullet. If only preventing hair loss were that easy! But since experts know that saw palmetto acts in a similar way to finasteride, we use the herb as part of our Synergen Complex to combat the production of DHT—one of the man culprits in male thinning. It turns out DHT not only causes hair follicles to thin over time, it can even lead to eliminating hair follicles completely. That’s why you’ve got to keep DHT levels in check.

Saw Palmetto Hair Loss Studies and Research

And rest assured, it’s not just one study that proves the power of saw palmetto. This white paper shows exactly how the herb stops the production of DHT. A small study of 10 males with androgenetic alopecia, showed a 60% improvement for those ingesting the herb. And another study, in which saw palmetto was applied topically in the form of a lotion and a shampoo for three months on 34 men and 28 women, led to a 35% increase in hair density and 67% increase in sebum reduction.

But before purchasing just any brand of serenoa repens, make sure you’re getting the real deal. Always buy from reputable companies and read the label closely to avoid unnecessary fillers. As to dosage: Several studies had participants taking 200 milligrams, twice daily, which is a good guideline to see whether saw palmetto may work for you.

Unable To Take Supplements Due To Other Medications? Nutrafol Can Still Help!

Like many of you, we read actress Sarah Hyland’s heartbreaking testimony about her struggle with hair loss years after her kidney transplant. Like Sarah, many of the people who go through this process suffer from the crippling side effect of hair loss. What’s more—due to the medications they take to stay healthy, these men and women are unable to use traditional hair supplements to counteract the issue for fear of negative reactions with their medications.

Sarah—we hear you. This is a huge problem that so many face. While you may not be able to take our supplements, Nutrafol can still help you—and others like you—in different ways.

As the thought leaders in the hair category, Nutrafol wants to be your partner in helping you navigate this difficult process. With our unique resources, specifically our dedicated team of integrated dermatologists, naturopathic physicians and on-demand hair coaches who work with individual men and women daily on an on-demand basis, we’ve developed an educated team dedicated to overall health and wellness layered with a systematic understanding of hair thinning and its plethora of causes. Our mission is to empower customers with knowledge and information of which they were not previously aware, allowing them to take control, change their routine and ultimately support and maintain their hair.

At Nutrafol, we’ve implemented numerous test modalities that are helping us guide our customers on a tailored regimen and are heavily investing in research and innovation as it relates to one’s hair. This allows us to better understand the root causes of why one might experience poor hair health. We’ve also introduced the Hair Mineral Analysis Test, an ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy) test, in August of 2017, to help our customers better understand their individual stressors that impact hair health.  To date, we have guided hundreds of customers towards a personalized hair regimen that includes lifestyle and diet modifications.

In short, we are more than a supplement—we are a brand that is here to help you navigate this difficult journey. Our experts are at your disposal, offering their expertise and unique knowledge as the foremost experts in this arena. While this is a difficult issue, it is not one that you have to face alone. To speak to a Nutrafol expert and to learn more about your options for healthy living, contact support@nutrafol.com.

 

Photo credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

15 Harmful Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

harmful shampoo ingredients

Did you know that your shampoo can contain ingredients harmful to both you and the environment? Chief among them: Sulfates. But what exactly are sulfates, and what other problematic shampoo ingredients should you avoid? Instead of harmful shampoo brands to avoid, we’ve made a list of 15 common and not-so-nice shampoo ingredients to watch out for — and why. What are the main ingredients of shampoo to skip? Read on to find out.

1. Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

What are sulfates? Sulfates are very strong detergents that work through a chemical reaction, in which they bind with the sebum on our scalp and with water. When you rinse out the shampoo, sulfates take all the oils and residue with them. But while cleansing, they can also damage the hair, make it brittle, and increase frizz.

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

This sulfate creates a lathering foam some people love, but it can compromise follicles when left on the scalp and it has other toxic effects on the human body. Yikes! Anyone with color-treated hair or dry hair should definitely avoid SLS, as it can fade your color and strip your strands of natural oils.

3. Parabens

Parabens are also known to be harmful. They are used as a preservative to prevent bacteria from growing in cosmetics and shampoos. Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to increased growth of breast cancer cells.

4. Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride is another name for salt. Sodium chloride in shampoo and conditioner is mainly there to make the consistency thicker. Salt can make an already sensitive scalp dry and itchy, which can eventually cause hair loss.

5. Polyethylene Glycols (PEG)

PEG is a thickening agent derived from petroleum that is often contaminated with byproducts. There has not been sufficient research done to conclude that PEGs themselves are as toxic as shampoo ingredients, but common byproducts in PEGs can be harmful.

6+7. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)

DEA and TEA are also emulsifiers and foam agents that reduce surface tension so water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients can blend together. In 1998, researchers found a link between the topical application of DEA and cancer in animals, but the effects on humans are unclear. The European Commission has banned DEA in cosmetics.

8. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen and has been proven to be absorbed through the skin in animal testing. Manufacturers often add it to products directly as a preservative, but it can also be released over time through a chemical process from other types of preservatives. If you’re wondering what to look for, a common one in shampoos is quaternium-15. They can also be found in chemicals used for Brazilian blowouts at hair salons.

9. Alcohol

Most alcohols have a drying effect, and the higher up in the ingredient list it appears, the more of it the product contains. Some alcohols that are not as bad for dry hair begin with a “C” or an “S,” like Cetearyl alcohol and Stearyl alcohol. They can actually help your hair retain moisture. The ones that are bad if you already have dry hair usually have a “prop” in their name, like Isopropyl alcohol or propanol.

10. Synthetic Fragrances

Products that have “fragrance” on their label can contain thousands of hidden chemicals. Some ingredients in fragranced cosmetic products can disrupt the reproductive system and cause cancer or asthma. They can also irritate the skin and scalp, which can lead to hair loss.

11. Synthetic Colors

Most shampoos and conditioners are dyed with a synthetic color to make them look nice. These colors come from petroleum or coal-tar sources, all of which come with harmful health effects. Synthetic colors will normally go by FD&C or D&C combined with a number.

12. Dimethicone

Dimethicone is a type of silicone that is used in a ton of hair products and contributes to product buildup that makes your hair feel greasy. Since it acts as a protecting cover on the surface of the hair, it stops moisture and nutrients from coming in and instead collects dirt and residue. It can clog the pores on the scalp and cause skin irritation.

Harmful shampoo
Do you know all of your shampoo ingredients? Some of the ingredients in your favorite shampoo can be harmful to you.

13. Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Cocamidopropyl betaine is another foam booster. Although it’s derived from coconut oil, it can have negative effects. This surfactant is used in hair products along with dimethylaminopropylamine, which can cause skin irritation, allergies, rosacea, and eczema.

14. Triclosan

Triclosan was banned from being used in antibacterial soaps in 2016 but is still allowed in toothpaste, shampoos, and deodorants. It’s a chemical antibacterial agent known to cause hormone disruptions, which can lead to cancer and affect fetal development, among other things.

15. Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl palmitate is the ester of retinol combined with palmitic acid. It’s a known skin irritant that can cause peeling, scaling, redness, and itching. Side effects of retinyl palmitate may include cancer, reproductive problems, and organ toxicity.

Harmless Shampoo Ingredients

While there are many bad ingredients in shampoos and harmful shampoo brands, plenty of shampoos use only natural, non-toxic, and organic ingredients, and you can even make your own homemade hair treatments using things from your kitchen. If you are suffering from hair loss or unhealthy hair growth and think chemicals such as the ones mentioned above may to blame, try switching to a natural alternative. You can also try taking natural supplements that contain plant-derived ingredients that work synergistically to help your natural hair growth.

What You Need to Know When Dealing with Postpartum Hair Loss

Becoming a mother can be very rewarding and simultaneously very challenging. Your body is going through a whirlwind of changes, and in the middle of all this you do not expect your hair to start falling out in clumps. But for some women it does.

This is referred to as postpartum hair loss, telogen gravidarum, and telogen effluvium. This excessive hair shedding occurs most often between two and four months after giving birth, and according to statistics from the American Pregnancy Association, between 40 and 50 percent of women are affected.

But what is the reason for this postpartum hair loss? We asked Dr. Christine Carlan Greves, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist practicing in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Greves has been working with a lot of these cases and is familiar with postpartum hair loss.

“When a woman is pregnant, she has a lot of extra hormones in the body, including estrogen,” she says.

postpartum hair loss
Shedding hair as a post-baby reaction is something that cannot be prevented but it is however a condition that is a temporary one.

“The estrogen helps protect us from losing our hair. Then when she has the baby, there’s a sudden change in the hormone levels, including a drop in the estrogen. And this shift can cause a response in the body that may affect the hair cycle,” she continues, adding that breastfeeding might also be a contributing factor to excessive hair shedding.

“When breastfeeding, the prolactin levels are increased. That hormone, that is responsible for breast milk production, has been associated with hair loss as well”, Dr Greves explains.

Shedding hair as a postpartum reaction cannot be prevented but is however a  a temporary condition. While it does correct itself after some time, it certainly does not hurt to take extra care of your hair during this period. The following remedies are ones that you can easily do at home.

 

Things To Do When Dealing with Thinning Hair

    • Use a Volumizing Shampoo
      Volumizing shampoos tend to contain something called dimethicone, which is a silicone-based polymer that coats and seals the hair. While this does not stop hair from shedding, it will give your hair the illusion of looking fuller to compensate for the temporary thinning.
    • Condition Light
      When conditioning your hair, make sure to only condition the roots. If you condition the strands further out as well, it will weigh the hair down, making it easier to break and fall off.
    • Stimulate Your Scalp
      Use massage to increase the blood flow to your scalp, but also invest in a scalp treatment that will help you clear all the dead skin cells around the hair follicles. This will make the hair follicles stay open, which will promote hair growth.
    • Choose Softer Hairstyles
      Do not pull your hair back too tightly, as the traction can lead to hair loss. Try putting a scarf over your hair instead of ponytailing it.
    • Invest In a Supplement
      Biotin seems to be the natural choice for many people looking for a supplement to help with their hair. But why not try a hair supplement that contains biotin AND other natural ingredients? Nutrafol’s supplement contains enzymes naturally found in the body which help nurture healthy hair growth. It is designed to provide essential nutrients for growing healthy hair and targets the potential triggers of thinning hair. Note: Nursing mothers should wait until they’ve stopped breastfeeding to begin taking Nutrafol.

So if you are currently experiencing postpartum hair loss, are not nursing, and are in the process of growing your hair back, Nutrafol may be a great addition to help your hair remain healthy and strong as it begins to naturally regrow.

Chemical Treatments – the Damage They Can Do to You and Your Hair

The road to beautiful, smooth hair is paved with good intentions. But before you try something with good intentions that ends up doing more harm than good, there are things you need to know. We are here to tell you why a natural solution may be the safest option.

These days women seem to opt for chemical straightening and smoothing treatments as often and easily as a normal haircut. But these popular salon services have been questioned because of harmful side effects. So what exactly is happening to your hair when getting a chemical treatment?

Chemical Treatments Can Cause Your Hair Structure to Change

Each hair is made up of chains of keratin, a naturally occurring protein. Certain chemical treatments involve coating each hair strand with a strong chemical, then warming it up to activate the formula. This can affect the way these keratin chains are held together – and by doing so, it changes the structure of your hair.

There are several types of chemical treatments that claim to give you smooth and straight hair – the Brazilian blowout (a keratin treatment) and the Japanese straightening perm are the most common. Both processes can affect the hair structure, but the Japanese – being a permanent treatment – uses the strongest chemicals and therefore poses the greatest risks in terms of damaging your hair.

Chemicals Can Also Cause Hair Damage and Health Issues

But there are side effects that are more immediately apparent than a change in your hair structure. Some women have experienced burnt hair and hair loss, others tend to end up with drier hair than before. But the women who have suffered only damaged hair can count themselves lucky, as these treatments can also cause damage to our health. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, breathing in formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions to the skin, eyes and lungs, asthma, and even blindness, if you get it in your eyes.

Chemical Treatments
Formaldehyde is also a known carcinogen, which means it is proven to cause cancer in humans.

 

Chemical Smoothing Treatments Contain High Levels of Toxic Ingredients

It is safe to say that formaldehyde – used in many keratin treatments – is not good to be around. “In general, every client and stylist [exposed to keratin chemicals] complains of burning eyes, difficulty breathing, and burning sensations,” stylist Kelly Merriman told Cosmopolitan in a recent interview. Customers that have gone through this type of treatments have also complained of throat and mouth ulcers, dizziness, headaches, flu-like symptoms like vomiting, eye damage, loss of taste and smell, and fatigue, according to the Environmental Working Group, EWG. And because exposure is added over time, hair stylists are even more likely to suffer from serious symptoms.

While the chemical is not supposed to touch anything but the actual hair during the procedure, accidental skin contact can cause blisters or rashes on the scalp, face and neck. But that is just in the short term. Formaldehyde is also a known carcinogen, which means it is proven to cause cancer in humans. Higher levels and prolonged exposure pose greater risks. This might explain why hair straightening products containing the chemical are already outlawed in some countries such as Canada, France, and Ireland. This should clearly make the appeal of natural solutions even bigger.

“Formaldehyde-free” Hair Chemicals Can Still Contain or Release the Ingredient

An investigation made in 2011 by the EWG found that formaldehyde-free products can still contain the chemical. Out of the 16 companies that make hair-straightening products that the EWG tested, none included formaldehyde in their product ingredient list, but all of them did contain high levels of the dangerous chemical. In fact – all 16 companies exceeded safety limits set by the industry safety panel, Cosmetic Ingredient Review. The way they get away with it is by claiming that when formaldehyde is mixed with water, a new chemical called methylene glycol is created. For a list of all ingredients to keep an eye out for, as they are all other names for formaldehyde, check Nutrafol’s article about the Brazilian blowout.

Chemically Treated Hair Can Continue to Release Toxins After You Leave the Salon

Using a curling iron, straightening iron or a blow-dryer after you go home could release irritating fumes long after you leave the salon. This is because some ingredients used in chemical treatments are not formaldehyde per se, but will form formaldehyde when heated up.

Natural Treatments are Always Safer

Even though it is not the same as a straightening procedure, trying a natural dietary supplement can have a great impact on your hair quality and hair health. You might feel that it is enough, and that putting your hair and health in danger for a chemical smoothing treatment is just not worth the risk. When going for an all-natural solution, you do not have to worry about what possibly harmful chemicals you are exposing your hair to.

Plant-based supplements do not have the synthetic fillers and toxic chemicals that are common in other supplements and treatments. One of the most desirable traits of plant-based supplements is that you know what you get. There are also natural hair treatment options that can do the job, if they contain keratin but no harmful chemicals. But simple homemade treatments like coconut oil or an avocado mask can also make your hair shiny and happy.

The Best Ways to Increase Your Hair Growth the Natural Way

How to grow long hair

We have all heard about them – endless natural methods that can help you improve your hair quality and aid healthy hair growth. Yes, there are plenty of home remedies that people use to try to regrow their hair, but in order to pick a remedy that actually works, it pays off to read up on the the right research supporting such methods. So what works and what doesn’t? Among so many remedies and treatments, it can be hard to determine what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to hair growth. This is what we know so far.

Consider This For Natural Hair Growth

Increase hair growth
Washing your hair often will not cause hair loss.
  • Stress

    Stress is not doing your body nor your hair a favor. When you are shocking your body and putting it through physical or emotional trauma, it also shocks the hair follicles which can stop them from growing. Studies have attempted to show a correlation between stress and hair loss. One study focused on a chemical mixture that blocks the effects of stress on the gut. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, used mice that were genetically altered to produce more stress hormones. As a side effect of being more stressed, the mice had gone bald.

  • Hair Care

    There is some confusion about whether hair care contributes to hair loss or not. For example, washing your hair often will not cause hair loss, but you should not over-use heat tools as they can damage, burn or dry out your hair. However, if this happens, the hair will grow back. Hair dye is another cause that is wildly discussed. Most hair-coloring treatments contain chemicals that can damage your hair and make it fall out, leaving you with temporary hair loss. Some hairstyles, such as tight plaits or ponytails can cause hair loss because of the tension it creates on the hair. However, hair care products such as gel and hairspray, do not cause hair loss.

  • Scalp Massage

    A study conducted in Japan showed that scalp massage could increase hair thickness. The men involved in the study had regular massages over a 24-week period. After the trial, researchers could conclude that, while hair growth rate did not improve, thickness improved significantly. Researchers believe this has to do with the increased blood flow and direct stimulation of the cells.

Feeling Uninspired? These Are the Best Hairstyles for Fine Hair

hair inso

Having very thin and fine hair can pose a challenge if you like a voluminous updo or thick curls. It can be hard to create volume by yourself, without the help of a professional. But many people with thick hair envy you! There are a ton of hairstyles that are easier to create and that look better on someone with thin hair. We have a list of the best hairstyles for fine hair.

  • The Angled Cut

If you cut thick hair at an angle, especially if you have shorter hair, it tends to blend together in thick waves and it is hard to even see the shape that the hairdresser had in mind. If the hair is curly, the effect is even less visible. However, this is a perfect cut for those with finer hair, as every strand falls into place. An angled bob also creates an illusion of thicker hair, thanks to the different layers and lengths. If you also add some waves using a curling iron or rollers, it will definitely add more body to the look.

Hairstyles for fine hair
Bangs and a Medium length.
  • Bangs and Medium Length

Having bangs with thick hair is kind of a challenge. Most of the time, they do the opposite of what they are supposed to and bend one way or the other. Many people with thick hair also have frizzy hair, which may not be the look you want when cutting bangs. But cutting bangs to a medium length hair, is one of the best hairstyles for fine hair. With thinner hair, the bangs will just fall down and create a relaxed and chill look. This will also make the hair around your face look fuller. You can make tousles in the rest of the hair using saltwater spray, or go the other direction and straighten it to the max. Either way looks good with well-behaved bangs.

  • A Feminine Ponytail

This is another hairstyle that is perfect for those with fine strands. Make the ponytail hight on your head and wrap a strand of hair around the hair tie to hide it. If you curl only the ends of the hair you will make them bouncy and achieve that retro look. If you want to add more volume, start off by using a dry shampoo close to your scalp and tousle your hair.

  • A Very Short Bob

A short bob cut – or if you are really brace, go even shorter an try a pixie – is definitely easier to pull off if you have thin hair. The hair is easier to shape and does not demand a lot of attention to look good. The angles and layers that it takes to cut this kind of hairstyle also makes your hair look fuller.

bob cut
A bob cut.
  • Blow-Dried Curls

The thing with thin and fine hair is that hairstyles – like curly ones – last longer because the hair is not heavy enough to weigh the curls down. Using a curling iron, or – better for your hair health – foam rollers or braids, to create waves will immediately create an illusion of more action. Blow-drying your hair after washing it while using a round brush to make waves will give it volume. Make sure to use a volumizing mousse and finish with a lightweight spray to fix the look.

  • If You Can’t Be Bothered to Style Your Hair

If you lack the time or energy for a lot of styling, be happy that thin hair can look good with minimal effort! Many of the best hairstyles for fine hair do not really demand much.

But – if you suspect that your hair is thin for some other reason than your genetics, looking over your health is a good idea.

Female hair loss is quite common, but most of the time it has an explanation and a solution. Hormonal changes, vitamin deficiencies, stress or pregnancy can all cause hair thinning in women. A healthy diet is important to fight this, as well as enough sleep and a checkup to make sure there is no medical reason. A natural hair supplement could also aid healthy hair growth.

Female Pattern Baldness – An Overview

female baldness

Up to 50 percent of men experience hair loss before hitting 50. Yes, that many, and yes, the issue is that common – as are the treatments. Everything from transplants costing thousands of dollars; to the well known drug Propecia, with its libido-losing side effects; to faithful natural solutions that are long-lasting because they work on making the entire body healthy rather than focusing only on the hair.

The main type of hair loss for both genders is androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern hair loss or male pattern hair loss.

Female pattern baldness may not be as common, but for those affected it can be even harder, as a shaved head is sometimes not a desired look among women as it is for men. No matter the reason for the hair loss, the anxiety and stigma that follows with female pattern baldness is stressful for many.

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?

Harvard Medical School wrote this about androgenetic alopecia:
“As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens. Which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition. Such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine.”

What Causes Female Pattern Baldness?

The causes are many, including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. When the clinicians explain female pattern hair loss, they most commonly use the Ludwig Classification from 1977. The Ludwig Classification divides female pattern hair loss into three categories:

  • Type I is mild, with minimal thinning that can be camouflaged with hair styling techniques.
  • Type II moderate and is characterized by decreased volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part.
  • Type III is extensive with a see-through appearance (sometimes total baldness) on the top of the scalp.

 

Almost every woman will eventually develop some kind of female pattern hair loss. When it occurs will depend on your DNA. For some it can start as early as puberty, for others during menopause. The risk rises with age, and the risk is higher for women who have a history of hair loss on either side of the family.

What Can You Do?

The most common treatment is through medication – here are some of them:

Anti-androgens
Some anti-angrogens are Aldactone and Propecia, but these androgen receptor-blocking drugs are not really for women to use. There are only a few studies on what affect they have on women, which means little reliable evidence that they are effective or even safe. Therefore these options are really only open to men.

female hair loss
Almost every woman will eventually develop some kind of female pattern baldness. When it will occur, depends on your DNA.

Iron Supplements
When women lose hair, iron deficiency can be one of the causes. Get your clinic to test you and see if you are short on iron. If the iron level is less than 70 nanograms per milliliter, then your doctor may suggest taking an iron supplement.

Botanical Supplements
Going green is always a wise suggestion. Botanical supplements contain many of the nutrients your hair needs. These kind of supplements are usually sourced from herbs and vitamins that go along well. The ingredients target the potential triggers of thinning hair and provide your hair with the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

B well – The Importance of B Vitamins for Healthy Hair Growth

B vitamins for healthy hair growth

I can vividly remember my mom reminding me to take my Flintstones Chewable vitamins every morning. I think we all grew up hearing our parents talk about the importance of vitamins, but what do they really do? Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help all cells and organs do their jobs; your follicles among them. Just like every cell in the body, hair follicles are alive and need support of vitamins to keep them healthy.

B vitamins, in particular are essential for creating the structure of hair, providing nutrition for hair follicles, reducing stress, preventing toxicity and providing essential oxygen to cells. B vitamins are commonly recognized as a group and often work in synergy in the body, but each of the B vitamins performs a unique and important function. This vitamin group includes: B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B5, B6, B7 (biotin), B9, and B12.

Energy – B1/Thiamine & B7/Biotin

Vitamin B1 and B7 (also known as thiamine and biotin, respectively) help break down food into energy. If these vitamins are deficient, the body conserves energy by diverting it to functions that are most vital for survival. This means that organs like your heart and lungs would be prioritized over hair follicles and hair production. By providing your body with the ability to create more energy, you are enabling it to do other tasks, like making sure your hair is growing healthy and strong.

Structure – B2

Hair is made out of two proteins – keratin and collagen. Structurally, it’s like a beaded necklace, where the string is made out of collagen that threads or binds keratin “beads” together. Following this analogy, B2 helps create the energy required to thread the string through the beads, creating a bond between the two proteins. Without B2, hair strands could not be built properly and hair would appear dry and brittle.

Nutrition – B3/Niacin

An essential part of hair health is making sure follicles receive the proper nutrition. A ‘starving’ follicle produces little or no hair. B3 helps feed follicles because it is a natural vasodilator (that’s a fancy word for dilating blood vessels), thereby increasing the amount of nutrients that can be delivered to the hair follicle. Imagine a traffic-heavy highway. More cars – or in this case, nutrients – can travel if more lanes are added. When follicles are well-nourished, they’re able to grow hair properly.

Stress – B5 & B9

When we are stressed long term – like so many of us are! – our adrenals go into over drive, releasing excess amounts of cortisol (aka stress hormone). This can have a negative effect on the body and the hair follicles. B5 and B9 help regulate cortisol levels, reducing stress on the follicles and encouraging healthy growth.

B vitamins and hair growth
Hair follicles are alive, and just like the rest of our body, they need the right nutrients and vitamins to stay healthy.

Toxicity – B6

It might be strange to think about, but liver function is actually directly tied to hair health. How? The liver acts as our main detoxifying organ. It breaks down toxic substances we regularly come into contact with; like mercury, pollutants and food preservatives. If these toxic substances build up, it can affect hair growth. Vitamin B6 supports healthy liver function, so it can detoxify our bodies and reduce hair-damaging mechanisms.

 

Circulation – B12

Red blood cells bring oxygen to every cell in our bodies. Follicle cells, like all cells, need a constant supply of oxygen to build the structure of hair. B12 is a vitamin that is essential for red blood cell production. Without this vitamin, we are unable to circulate oxygen properly to our follicles so they can grow hair.

Summary

B vitamins are not only essential to overall wellness, they are necessary for optimal hair health. B vitamins provide energy, structure, and nutrition to the hair follicle. They are also essential in rebalancing the aftermath of stress, toxicity, and providing essential oxygen to follicle cells. In an effort to help you meet your hair goals, we’ve made our very own B-Booster formula – specifically designed to augment your daily Nutrafol routine. It’s not available for sale quite yet, but please call us if you’d like to learn more.

Sources: You Can Find the B Vitamins in These Foods

B1: Eggs, fruit, whole grains, liver meat, and peas. B7: Egg yolks, cauliflower, avocado, raspberries, pork, liver, and salmon.
B2:  Milk, eggs, rice, and vitamin fortified cereals.
B3:  Turkey, chicken, peanuts, mushrooms, liver, and tuna.
B5:  Chicken, beef, potatoes, eggs, broccoli, whole grains, and tomatoes.
B6:  Eggs, milk, peanuts, pork, chicken, fish, whole grains, vegetables,
potatoes, soybeans, and fortified cereals.
B9: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, peas, asparagus, chickpeas,
fortified cereal, and liver meat.
B12: Salmon, cod, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and fortified cereals.