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.

So Many Hair Terms – Understanding Your Hair Structure

Hair structure and keratin.

Hair structure is not the same as hair texture, which is not the same as hair type – it can be confusing to keep track of all the different terms when it comes to hair health. We will help you sort out the terminology.

Keratin – the Essential Building Block

Every hair on your head is 90% keratin. Keratin is a protein built up by a combination of 18 different amino acids that you get through your diet. Together with collagen (the other protein that hair consists of) keratin forms the hair shaft which is the hair strand itself, as well as make up the hair root and form a protective layer around the hair follicle. Collagen works structurally as connective tissue, binding the keratin together. Each hair shaft has three layers – the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. This is the hair structure – how each strand of hair is built.

For many people, keratin is best well known as the substance mentioned on shampoo bottles that claim to strengthen your locks. We do not know for sure that applying keratin topically to the hair (through said shampoos) will strengthen the hair. However, it can make your hair shiny and more beautiful, so if that is your main goal, then go right ahead and use them.

What we do know is that it is important to get the right nutrients through our food in order for our hair to remain its strength. So if you do not eat a varied enough diet, or if you are too stressed to have time to eat healthy right now, or if you just want to boost your hair growth from within, a natural hair supplement may be a good idea.

The Layers of Your Hair Structure

The medulla is the inner layer of the hair and is loosely packed and disorganized. The medulla does not really do anything, but its DNA tells us from which species it comes, and from where on the body that hair would have been found.

The cortex surrounds the medulla and contains the main part of the fibrous mass that makes up a hair. This is full of keratin proteins and lipids. The cortex is what determines the strength and elasticity of your hair, and also the individual color and shape.

The outermost layer, the cuticle, is the protective layer of dead cells that you can see. The cuticle is made up of something like shingles that can open and close, letting in different amounts of moisture.

Hair types and structures.
Every hair on your head is actually 90% keratin. The keratin protein forms the hair shaft, and each hair shaft has three layers – the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle.

The molecular structure of hair will vary from person to person depending on their genetics. People with thin hair may not even have a medulla, while thick hair types normally have all three layers. But it can also differ on the same person, with some hairs having all three layers and some only having two.

All people have the same main structure – but it can still look different depending on your ethnicity. For example, African hair tends to have fewer layers of the protective cuticle, which makes it sensitive and prone to breaking. The layers of the cuticle are also more often raised. This lets in more moisture and causes it to get frizzy more easily. Asian hair often has cuticle layers that lie perfectly flat, which is why Asian hair tends to be more shiny and retains moisture very well. Caucasian hair can have a little bit of both and ends up somewhere in the middle.

What is Hair Texture and Hair Type?

Hair texture is different from hair structure as it decides whether you have fine, medium or thick hair. It describes the circumference of each hair strand. The third category to describe the hair is hair type. It defines if your hair is straight, wavy, curly or kinky. The hair types also have their own subcategories and may depend on your ethnicity.

If you have frizzy, dry, damaged or dull hair, there are endless home treatments you can try. For example, a homemade egg mask to boost shine and moisture, a scalp massage with an essential oil to improve hair growth, or a yoga and meditation session to reduce stress.

Your hair structure, on the other hand, is something you are born with and won’t be able to change. However, it can be good to be aware of that certain hairs tend to hold moisture and shine better than others, so if you have a hair structure which is more prone to breaking, it becomes even more important to add moisture to it and to protect it from things that will increase breakage – like too much sun, the use of hot styling tools and not drinking enough water.

How Foods Rich in Selenium Affect Your Hair Health

selenium rich foods

Selenium is a mineral and trace element that has many benefits for our health and hair. Working together with vitamin E, it helps to prevent oxidative damage in our bodies and promote hair growth. So eating foods rich in selenium will help ensure you don’t become deficient. Here we list the top ten selenium foods:

Selenium Rich Foods

The top foods rich in selenium are as follows:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Halibut
  • Sardines
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Beef liver
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Spinach

This is How Selenium-Rich Foods Prevent Hair Loss

Eating enough selenium-rich food is important to keep a good amount of the vital mineral in the body. As it is an effective antioxidant, selenium fights free radicals. These are not only harmful to our overall health but can also inhibit hair growth by weakening and killing hair follicles.

Selenium is vital for the proper functioning of the thyroid and this organ also regulates hair growth – if it’s out of balance, you may start experiencing hair loss and weight loss.

Selenium is also frequently used in anti-dandruff shampoos as it fights the flaky scalp imbalance by killing off fungus. Dandruff or fungus on the scalp can cause hair loss with itching, which makes us scratch the itch and pull the hair out of its follicles.

selenium foods
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium.

Why Selenium is so Beneficial for Our Overall Health

As stated above, selenium collaborates with vitamin E to prevent oxidative stress in the body. That means damage to the body’s cells caused by free radicals. Selenium can also help prevent heart disease.

Selenium also works synergistically with iodine to keep our thyroids healthy. It does this by producing a hormone called T3, which is critical to control our metabolism and maintain thyroid health.

Too Much Selenium Could be Toxic

Although selenium deficiency could lead to different types of diseases and pain, there have also been cases where selenium supplements have contained hundreds of times higher doses than what the labels state. This could therefore lead to selenium toxicity, which can cause hair loss, nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. Along with eating selenium rich foods, you can consider taking a supplement containing many different vitamins and minerals meant to work synergistically to aid your hair health.

How to Start Your Own Hair Health Program

Hair Regrowth

Often, we expect men to go bald or have thinning hair as they age, but women are often shocked and embarrassed to find the same happening to them. Because so much of a woman’s identity comes from her hair, women often look for what are often advertised as hair regrowth programs. You can find a lot of options and online advertising, but many of them have found to be ineffective or incredibly overpriced. Because of this, we recommend starting your own hair health program. Here’s how.

Multi-Targeting Hair Health Programs

For hair loss or thinning, there are often multiple causes and therefore multiple possible resolutions. Don’t attempt to just find one solution and throw everything you have into that; try putting your eggs in different baskets. Here are a few things you can try:

Minoxidil

Minoxidil: This is a product, most commonly referred to as Rogaine, which helps stimulate hair follicles to promote growth. You can pick up a 2% solution of the product and try it out for at least 4 to 6 months.

Laser Hair Therapy

You may have heard of laser hair removal. But did you know that there are low light lasers that can help stimulate hair growth? Look into this at local salons or even in handheld home versions that you can use daily.

The Right Shampoo

There are many, many reviews out there for recommended shampoo that can prevent and reverse hair loss. It’s recommended that you at least give up shampoo with high sulfates and parabens, as these can agitate your scalp and cause damage. Don’t be afraid to try a few hair growth shampoos out; you might have to try a few before you find your favorite.

Take Supplements

You know how prenatal vitamins help pregnant women’s hair and nails grow? There are plenty of supplements that combine some of the same vitamins and minerals that can help you support and maintain healthier hair. A supplement that has Niacin, Biotin, Zinc, vitamins A, B, and C, boosts collagen, and supports amino acid metabolism is a great option depending on your personal needs.

Eat Well

The real clincher for most women on a path to regenerate hair growth is eating a proper, balanced diet. We often underestimate the power that food has over our bodies. Simply introducing more fruits and veggies, less red meat (especially for women), as well as healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and fish can help hair grow faster and healthier than ever before. It’s also important to drink more water, as our bodies contain 80% of it, dehydration is shown in our hair. You can even use healthy foods directly on your hair as an additional way to reap the benefits of their vitamins and nutrients!

Hair Regrowth
Using the right shampoo, supplements and eating well are three things you can do when you start your own hair health program.

Visit a Hair Loss Specialist or Dermatologist

If you feel like you’ve tried everything in this do-it-yourself program and you’re still not seeing results, you should go see a specialist. If you see a hair loss specialist, they may recommend hair implants (or plugs), or may provide over-the-counter medicines to help balance out hormones, thyroid, etc. Knowing the state of your health and options that can be medically provided can often be the best hair health program out there.

 

 

Of Hats and Hair – Uncovering Hair Myths

Hair Myths

There are many hair myths circling around out there, and of all the accessories people wear, hats are probably the most misunderstood. Scarves, belts and ties are always looked upon as items that add style and class to the wearer. But hats seem to have lost their place among them. Simply because of a few preconceived ideas we need to closely look into.

Hair myth no. 1: Wearing a hat can cause thinning hair or baldness

Hair appears thinner in areas covered by a hat just because it is pressed down when you are wearing one. It does not necessarily mean that strands have shed off because of friction or pulling. Which is the case in traction alopecia – temporary baldness caused by constant, tight tugging as a result of certain hairstyles such as buns, braids, or ponytails.

However, wearing an extremely tight hat may have the same result. Hair can be pulled by the hatband and break off from the follicle. Choosing the right hat size prevents this mistake and ensures that your head, and hair, will comfortably fit inside your chosen headgear without any stress. Once you take your hat off, there is nothing that a vigorous ruffle or shaking of the head will not do to bring back that volume into your hair. Cool hats and hair styles will not affect your hair growth.

Some hair myths are actually the opposite of the truth; hats can actually protect hair from baldness, by providing a shield against ultraviolet rays. UV rays damage keratin, a natural protein that makes up approximately 90% of the hair. Wearing a hat can prevent hair breakage by protecting keratin and keeping in moisture that would otherwise dry out from sun exposure.

Hair myth no. 2: Hats can make your hair grow white

This myth probably comes from the association between aging and wearing hats. As people often wear them to cover their already gray or white hair, or even bald spots. While hats can be a stylish way to cover up certain physical changes that come with aging. There is no scientific evidence that shows they have caused hair to lose its color.

On the contrary, hats can actually help retain hair color longer by providing shade and protection from the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun. UV rays, not hats, destroy melanin – the coloring pigment found in our hair – and cause it to lighten and have a bleached effect. Hats and hair should actually be a great combination.

Hair Myths
A common myth about hats is that they cause baldness, but as long as you don’t wear hats that are too small or tight, you shouldn’t need to worry.

Hair myth no. 3 (the worst of hair myths): Hats can make hair grow slower or faster

Hair growth is affected by a variety of factors such as genetics, nutrition, state of health, drugs, and hair care. While wearing hats can impede air circulation to the scalp, air does nothing to nourish hair and promote growth. Nourishment comes from a healthy blood supply deep in the follicles. Hats really do not have anything to do with how fast or how slow hair grows.

Your hair goes through three, up to four, phases in a natural growth cycle. Anagen is the first stage, when scalp hair starts growing slowly at around one centimeter every 28 days and this goes on anywhere from two up to ten years.

While some hairs continue to grow during this period, some may move on to the catagen phase for two to three weeks. Which is when cell division slows down and the hair breaks off from the root to move up to the surface of the skin to form keratin.

The telogen phase happens when the hair completely stops growing for three to nine months, with some strands shedding off in the exogen stage.

Whether you wear a hat or not, your hair will grow and shed at the rate your genetics dictate. While other factors such as nutrition and hair care affecting it.

So, the next time your inner fashionista eyes a dapper fedora, reaches for a chic beret, or simply feels sporty with a baseball cap, there should be no need to worry now that you know the facts behind these hair myths.

Text by Anne Sarte

The Hair Growth Cycle

Hair growth cycle

What are the stages of hair growth? There are four stages in the hair growth cycle, each resulting in growth, shedding or resting. Of course, you want to lengthen the growth phase and keep the resting phase as short as possible. To keep your hair full, thick and shiny, it’s important to gain a basic understanding of the hair cycle.

Anagen: Stage 1 in the Hair Growth Cycle

This is when your hair grows about 1/2 inch every 28 days, and cells are dividing. But how long does hair remain in this cycle? Everyone is different, but one thing’s for sure: you want to stay in this phase as long as possible — and stress, hormone imbalance, medications, poor diet, sudden weight loss, aging, and even over-styling can shorten it. It’s good to remember that the hair follicle is actually a mini-organ with its own biological clock. When it’s out of balance or attacked in any way, it can disrupt hair production. The follicle is nourished by the blood vessels and when they’re clogged or when circulation is compromised in any way, hair won’t be able to grow.

Catagen: Stage 2 in the Hair Growth Cycle

This is an approximately two week period at the end of the Anagen phase. During this period, follicles detach from the blood vessels and blood supply is cut off. Club hairs, which are often those little short, colorless ones, simply stop growing (some people refer to them as ‘dead hairs’).

Telogen: Stage 3 in the Hair Growth Cycle

This is typically a 3-month period in the hair cycle when the follicle “rests” before starting the Anagen phase again. Stay too long, or start too early, and you’ll see noticeable thinning. Unfortunately, sometimes the scalp will be unhealthy and hair will stay longer in the Telogen (resting) stage.

This is known as Telogen Effluvium and results in severe daily shedding for long periods. So make sure to nourish your scalp by eating a healthy diet, practicing stress management and getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and plant-based adaptogens.

Hair growth cycle
Keeping a well-balanced diet is important to maintain a healthy hair

Exogen: Stage 4 in the Hair Growth Cycle

This hair growth cycle stage is just an extension of the “resting period.” Dead hair will shed, and new hair simultaneously starts to grow. You’ll probably shed 50-100 hairs per day during this time, and that’s normal, as long as you don’t stay in this phase too long. Make sure to keep your scalp healthy and nourished, as well as reduce negative internal and external triggers such as stress, smoking, and environmental toxins.

Have more questions about the hair growth phases?  At Nutrafol, we’re here for you and your hair—to help anybody and everybody committed to growing. Connect with our experts at hello@nutrafol.com, and learn more about what Nutrafol can do for your hair here.

 

The L-Lysine Benefits in Hair Growth

L-Lysine benefits

L-lysine is an essential amino acid. It plays a major role in the production of several hormones, enzymes, and antibodies in the body. It also helps in the support of hair growth for both men and women. Let’s take a look at the L-lysine benefits for your hair.

L-Lysine benefits to Stop Hair Loss and Promote Hair Growth

Collagen


Collagen
is a protein which forms the basic structure of hair follicle, along with keratinThe formation of collagen depends upon L-lysine. L-lysine is responsible for collagen formation since it helps absorb a vital mineral – calcium.

Calcium

This is the major ingredient required for the production of collagen in hair, nails and skin. If you have a lack of L-lysine it stops the production of collagen. This, in turns can lead to massive hair loss.

DHT

DHT is extremely harmful for hair growth because it stops it. L-lysine helps stop this process, with the result that DHT is not formed in the body. Therefore, L-lysine supplements are recommended to help with poor hair health by supporting a healthy environment for hair to thrive.

Dietary Sources of L-Lysine

Foods rich in L-lysine include fish sources such as cod, sardines, and salmon. Other sources are poultry, dairy products, legumes, red meat, pork, nuts, pulses and spirulina. Daily intake of protein from these sources can prevent the lack of L-lysine in the body. People at high risk of developing L-lysine deficiency include; vegetarians, and athletes who have high protein requirements.

L-Lysine benefits
Spirulina is a good supplement to help prevent hair loss.

L-Lysine Supplements

If lack of L-lysine can’t be fulfilled through dietary intake, then supplements are recommended. The usual recommended dose is 1-1.5 grams per day. It also depends on the level of deficiency and health conditions of each individual. But be careful not to consume too much of it. When L-Lysine is consumed in large amounts for a long time period, it can increase the cholesterol level and the L-Lysine benefits are lost. So make sure to only consume L-lysine supplements after proper consultation with a medical practitioner.

 

Foods for Hair Growth: How Your Diet and Hair Health are Connected

Foods for hair growth

Here we will explain how you can use different foods for healthier hair growth. There’s a saying that goes, “you are what you eat”. While it’s almost universally known that a healthy, well-balanced meal is good for our body, many do not realize that what we consume daily could have an effect on our hair. Just like how skin can reveal the inner health of your body, the condition of your hair is another potential outward sign of your inner health.

To make your hair as lustrous and strong as possible, you should maintain a diet with the correct balance of minerals and vitamins, as well as foods that promote hair growth. There’s no point in using the best hair care products on the market if you don’t feed your hair the right amount of nutrients. Some great foods for hair growth are salmon, eggs, oysters, spinach or Greek yogurt. After changing your diet you’ll likely notice your hair getting richer and thicker over time. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and similarly, your hair cannot immediately produce the results you might be looking for. Give the foods time to work and allow your body the time to absorb the nutrients.

Studies have revealed that factors like starvation, eating disorders and protein malnutrition are major factors in causing hair loss or poor hair conditions. Here are a few foods for hair growth you might consider including in your daily diet to ensure that your body and your hair get the nutrition they deserve.

The Foods for Hair Growth That Promote Hair Health

Eggs: Egg yolk contains biotin, an essential B vitamin for hair growth and the overall health of your hair. Normally our intestines produce biotin, so it’s quite rare to have a deficiency in this vitamin. However, for people that have gone through various illnesses, the intestines may not work properly. Deficiency can also occur in people that only eat egg whites for an extended period of time. Lack of biotin can lead to poor hair health or even hair loss, which is why many hair supplements contain biotin. Apart from eggs, high biotin foods include cheese, salmon, avocado, raspberries and raw cauliflower.

Oysters: Also considered an aphrodisiac by ancient cultures.
Oysters contain high levels of zinc, which is a main mineral in the well-being of your hair. It helps in tissue growth and hair repair as well as improving hair growth. Oysters are also rich in iron, calcium, selenium, vitamin A and B12 and proteins. While also being a low calorie food, which is great news for many. Other popular zinc rich foods include crab, lean beef, various nuts, chickpeas and clams.

Foods for hair growth
Oysters contain a lot of zinc, iron and calcium that help maintain the well-being of your hair.

Bell Peppers: These bright colored peppers are great foods for hair growth and a rich source of Vitamin C, which helps in forming collagen, a fiber that helps holding our body together. A lack of Vitamin C leads to dry and brittle hair.

Spinach: There’s a reason why Pop-Eye seems to have muscles the size of hills after eating spinach.
This green leafy vegetable contains high levels of folate and iron.
Many studies show that having low reserves of iron makes you more likely to suffer from hair loss. Just be careful to not get an iron overload if you eat supplements.

Lentils: A good food for healthier hair growth, especially vegetarians, who might worry about not getting enough iron through their diet, is lentils. They provide a much-needed source for iron rich protein. The structure of the hair is formed by keratin, which is basically hardened proteins. If you do not have enough protein in your diet, keratin cannot be formed and your hair will be weaker as well as grow slower.

Pork Tenderloin: Notice that we didn’t say bacon! Pork tenderloin has high levels of B vitamins like B6, B12 and folate. These vitamins helps create red blood cells and transport oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body, including your scalp. If you don’t like pork, you can also get your dosage of B vitamins from wild salmon, beans, chicken or eggs.

Eating a balanced amount of these foods that promote hair growth, cooked in a healthy way, can make a big difference. If you eat well, your skin, body and hair will thank you for it.

Vitamin C For Hair Health – and For Avoiding Excess Hair Loss

Vitamin C for hair

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is only stored in the body for a short period of time and supports hair growth. It has immense benefits on your overall health, including helping in the collagen production that strengthens and maintains elasticity to our skin, bones, blood vessels, muscles and teeth, healing of wounds, and enhancing the growth of healthy hair. Let’s take a look at the different mechanisms through which Vitamin C helps in maintaining our hair overall.

This is How Vitamin C Promotes Hair Growth

Works as an Antioxidant

Our body actively produces free radicals while metabolizing food into energy. These free radicals are harmful and damage hair follicles – increasing hair loss. Vitamin C is provided with anti-oxidant properties so that it stops free radical formation in the body. Thereby, it reduces hair loss and improves our overall hair health. That’s why getting extra Vitamin C for your hair might be a good idea.

Effect on Androgens or Sex Hormones

Hair loss is directly affected by the circulating androgens – sex hormones – in the blood. Having high levels of the male hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) immensely increases hair loss. DHT binds to the papilla cells of the skin – cells that are responsible for the transportation of nutrients to the hair follicles. When bonded with DHT, the papilla cells can’t provide nutrition to the hair follicles, slowing down hair production and regrowth. Sufficient Vitamin C reduces the formation of DHT, which brings on great improvement in hair growth.

During a scientific study conducted at the Kyungpook National University in Korea, scientists wanted to find out why vitamin C is so important for hair growth.

They had found out that DHT activates the production of DKK-1 protein – commonly known as “the baldness protein” since it is present in huge quantities in the skin of balding people. The researchers observed a drop in the production of hair papilla cells with rising levels of DKK-1 protein. This deficiency of papilla cells in turn led to a weakening of the cells, synthesizing the outermost sheath of hair strands and eventually they stopped functioning all together. This brought on increased hair loss and no hair growth.

However, when the scientists treated the papilla cells of balding men with Vitamin C, the DKK-1 protein production completely stopped, reversing hair loss in the balding persons. Additionally, Vitamin C also increased the production of an important growth factor in the papilla cells, which further increased the hair growth and hair regeneration.

 

Helps in Creating Collagen

Vitamin C is actually essential for the production of collagen in the body. The amino acid responsible for skin rejuvenation, strengthening our bones, teeth and making our hair beautiful and strong.

Vitamin C for hair
Strawberries, blueberries and kiwi are rich in Vitamin C, which is an important factor for keeping your hair beautiful. Why not add them all to a refreshing desert or smoothie.

Daily Dietary Intake and Food Sources

You can find Vitamin C in many everyday food items such as spinach, cauliflower, turnip greens, tomatoes, citrus fruits, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, papaya, mangoes, and kiwi. It is confirmed by the US Dietary Guidelines that almost 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and fresh fruits on a daily basis ensure sufficient dietary intake of Vitamin C.

Supplements With Vitamin C That Support Healthy Hair Growth

If Vitamin C deficiency can’t be fulfilled via dietary intake, Vitamin C supplements are recommended. Depending on your purpose, there are specialized supplements that contain Vitamin C with other important nutrients. For example, Nutrafol contains Vitamin C as well as a range of ingredients that support healthy hair.
The National Institute of Health suggests that the daily dose of Vitamin C is 90mg for men and 75mg for women.

Vitamins For Hair Growth – The Role of Vitamin B6 in Promoting Healthy Hair

Did you know you can use vitamins for supporting hair growth, and that Vitamin B6 is one of those that plays a vital role in maintaining our physical and mental health as well as keeping our hair healthy and beautiful through different mechanisms?
Other natural remedies that may have a positive impact on hair loss are supplements that support healthy hair growth, and relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation.

Mechanisms of Vitamin B6 to Increase Hair Health

Effective Protein Metabolism

Vitamin B6 is an important member of the Vitamin B-complex family, and it is actively involved in the protein metabolism in the body, since it acts as a catalyst. It activates the enzymes and chemical reactions that start the metabolism of the hair proteins, keratin and melanin, in the hair follicles. This makes the hair follicles get enough keratin and melanin, which promotes hair growth and hair renewal.

How Vitamins that Regulates Sex Hormones become Vitamins for Hair Growth

Vitamin B6 also controls the hormonal release of different glands, such as the ovaries and testes. A component of vitamin B6, known as Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate (PLP), regulates the function of androgens – or sex hormones – i.e. testosterone and estrogen. These hormones have a direct effect on hair growth. Testosterone leads to the production of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which immensely affects the hair growth negatively, and leads to hair loss by decreasing the length of the hair growth phase (the anagen phase) and reducing the size of the hair follicles.

Eating certain vitamins or supplements can help to support healthy hair growth. According to a research study from Pauling Institute of Oregon State University Linus, Vitamin B6 binds to the testosterone receptors and stops the formation of DHT. Due to this, natural hair growth is restored.

 

Vitamins For Hair Growth Combined With Other Elements

Another study was conducted by the British Journal of Dermatology in 2007, in which they found that the combination of Vitamin B6 with Zinc and Azelaic Acid in low concentrations can inhibit 90% of harmful activity of testosterone, i.e. formation of DHT in the hair follicle. These results were backed by the Journal of Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, which stated that the use of Azelaic Acid and Vitamin B6 in combination greatly accelerates hair growth. This study also revealed that Vitamin B6 helps in natural hair color restoration by increasing the formation of melanin – a natural coloring pigment – in the body.

It was also concluded by the Polish journal Wiadomosci Lekarskie in 2001, that injections of Vitamin B6 prevented hair loss and hair thinning in women.

Click here to get a complete list of best hair loss vitamins that you can start taking as a precautionary measure today.

vitamins for hair loss, vitamin b-6
A varied diet that includes Vitamin B-6 gives you the important nutrients you need for a healthy hair.

Reduction in Mental Stressors

Vitamin B6 is vital for our brain development, and can also help prevent depression since it plays an important role in producing the hormones serotonin and dopamine, which affect our mood and nerve communication.

Vitamin B6 also increases the flow of oxygenated blood to the hair follicle and scalp. This blood, full of oxygen, greatly supports hair growth and hair revitalization.

Dietary Sources of Vitamin B6 and Recommended Daily Dose

Food sources that are rich with vitamins for hair growth are turkey, chicken, fish like tuna and salmon. Other sources are pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocado and bananas. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B6 is 1.3 milligrams to 1.7 milligrams per day. If your dietary intake of Vitamin B6 is not enough to fulfill the daily requirement, use Vitamin B6 oral supplements. However, it’s highly recommended not to consume more than the recommended dose of oral Vitamin B6 supplements, as higher amounts can have harmful side effects.