National Hair Loss Awareness Month is here – here are some ingredients you should know about

hair loss

As mentioned in one of our previous posts, August is the National Hair Loss Awareness Month. This month was created to help educate the world on the emotional and psychological impacts of hair loss in men and women. So there is no better time than now to talk about how beneficial Nutrafol’s supplement is for you in your search for healthy hair.

Ingredients important for healthy hair

All of Nutrafol’s clinically tested ingredients play an important role in supporting hair health but if we have to narrow it down, it comes down to these…

Black pepper fruit extract

The patented Bio-Perine® in Nutrafol plays an important role in the absorption of bioactive nutrients and supporting hair growth from within. Its active ingredient, piperine, enhances the body’s ability to produce heat and energy, which allows many of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids in Nutrafol to be absorbed and utilized more effectively. It is as the name implies, extracted from the black pepper fruit.

Biotin

Biotin is one of the building blocks of healthy hair growth and it is needed to metabolize fatty acids and amino acids. The rich levels of biotin in Nutrafol contribute to stronger hair, as well as combating dryness, and breakage. This vitamin is an essential water-soluble B-complex vitamin that your hair absolutely needs.

Cayenne red pepper fruit extract

The all-natural, hormone-balancing cayenne red pepper fruit extract in Nutrafol is a powerful agent that helps to combat the effects of stress on the hair, increase protein production and improve circulation in the scalp.

Horsetail herb extract

The herb horsetail (Equisetum arvense) contains high levels of silica, one of the planet’s most common and most important elements. Horsetail can increase the tensile strength and thickness of hair and reduces brittleness.

hair loss
National Hair Loss Awareness Month – have you taken your supplements to support healthy hair growth?

L-Lysine

The essential amino acid L-Lysine promotes hair health when combined with other amino acids. Lysine has also shown potential to work with methionine, a rich source of the mineral sulfur and the structural support of the follicle.

L-Methionine

L-Methionine is an essential amino acid necessary for hair growth, aiding the development of the hair shaft. It also helps promote overall scalp health and works against graying.

Resveratrol

The antioxidant properties of resveratrol work to defend the follicles and scalp against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Resveratrol also improves blood circulation, enhancing the development, growth and overall quality of hair follicles.

Selenium

Selenium produces antioxidant enzymes that can defend against damage to cells, including those in hair follicles. It also helps to maintain proper thyroid function, which benefits the immune system and fosters healthy hair growth.

Keratin

Keratin is a naturally occurring protein in the body and a key structural component of hair. It comprises Cynatine HNS Keratin, the patented form of the ingredient in Nutrafol. Highly bioavailable, with an ability to protect and repair damaged hair (as well as nails and skin).

Zinc

The mineral zinc is vital to the body, playing a key role in more than 300 metabolic functions, including cell reproduction, protein utilization and maintaining hormonal balance. It is essential for collagen production and it is also a powerful antioxidant. Zinc helps wounds to heal and to strengthen the glands attached to hair follicles.

The perks of using L-cysteine in your diet

L-cysteine

Earlier Nutrafol talked about what scientific research on L-cysteine says, and here is a recap of the study made:

A German research study from 2000 examined the role of this amino acid in hair loss and hair regrowth. Researchers divided people who were suffering from massive hair loss into two groups. One treated with a combination of L-cysteine, millet seed extract, and pantothenic acid, while the other group received a placebo.
After four weeks of continuous treatment, researchers observed the initial results with a microscope. Three months in it was observed that the group treated with L-cysteine combination therapy showed a decrease in hair loss and their natural hair growth was restored. Whereas there was no improvement in hair loss in the control group that received placebo.

But how does it work in terms of hair loss…?

L-cysteine is an amino acid which means that it is one of the building blocks of proteins in your body, which also plays a key role in the synthesis of new protein. This is why it is so important in terms of hair loss and hair treatment – protein is simply an essential component.

Food sources that contain a good amount of L-cysteine

Your body does manufacture L-cysteine on its own, beginning with another essential amino acid called methionine. But there are a number of food sources which contain cysteine, that are high in protein as you might have guessed. And those are:

  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Red peppers
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Oats
  • Granola
  • Wheat germ
L-cysteine
With the right amount L-cysteine, studies show that your hair will get thicker and have more volume.

How does L-cysteine work?

L-cysteine helps your body synthesize new protein tissues by serving as an ingredient in those tissues. When it is included in a supplement as N-acetyl L-cysteine, you body is able to convert it into cysteine and glutathione, an antioxidant with powerful benefits. When you feed your body with antioxidants, you help your body to fight free radicals, compounds which cause damage to cell membranes and DNA. Which mean that many of the effects we perceive of as aging are actually the result of this kind of damage. So by taking the right amount of cysteine, you are keeping your body looking and feeling young.

 

The effect of L-cysteine

  • L-cysteine is doing wonders to your skin, besides from eliminating those free radicals mentioned above. It helps your body to create new skin tissue called collagen. Collagen is what is keeping your skin young and as you get older, your body has a more difficult time replacing lost skin cells. And since collagen is a protein tissue, it is easier for your body to make more when you include L-cysteine in your diet.

 

  • L-cysteine is doing wonders for your hair as well. Healthy hair is made out of keratin, which is another type of protein. Cysteine helps your body to make many different types of protein, which is also helping your hair out. This does not only give your hair more volume, but also helps against hair thinning and hair loss.

Vitamins and minerals are good for our body, but they are not all we need. Many forget that amino acids, the building blocks for proteins, are also necessary. With cysteine in your everyday diet, your body can synthesize new collagen and keratin, giving you luxurious hair and radiant skin. Choose a supplement that contains L-cysteine and other protein building blocks to support good looking and luminous hair.


Photos by: Jake Turner and Dhara Shah via Flickr.

Are Keratin Treatments Dangerous? These Are the Facts

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. NICOLE KLUGHERS, ND

on June 23, 2017

A keratin treatment is an increasingly popular way of achieving smooth and shiny hair even when it is humid out. When summer comes, hair tends to frizz up and get out of hand. This treatment has gained wide popularity among women, but it turns out it might not be a great idea.

This treatment also goes by the name Brazilian blowout, Brazilian keratin treatment or a straightening treatment. But back in December of 2016, the Environmental Working Group together with Women’s Voices for the Earth filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration. It cited the agency’s “failure to protect the public from dangers associated with popular hair straightening treatment.”

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What is This About?

Keratin is the protein that the hair is made up of, consisting of eight amino acids. It plays an important role in our hair growth and hair regeneration. So adding more keratin to hair logically makes the hair stronger and improves the quality of damaged hair.

Traditional keratin treatments used to contain formaldehyde, the chemical that is commonly used in building materials and in the production of household products. The lawsuit alleges that the FDA has done too little to protect people from this chemical, as it has been aware for years that keratin treatments can cause severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, eye irritation and nosebleeds in the stylist that is frequently exposed to it.

So to try making keratin treatments popular again, stylists started promoting theirs as a “formaldehyde-free” treatment. Instead they used methylene glycol. However, that is not much better. It is simply diluted with water. “The use of methylene glycol is a ploy to avoid the use of formaldehyde,” said David Andrews, a senior scientist from EWG in a recent interview.

And as the formaldehyde gets released in the air with heat, using the methylene glycol has the exact same effect as the traditional one. Once the stylist blow-dries the hair or uses any other heat tool, the chemicals are out in the open. Even clients, who are not as frequently in contact with the mixture as the stylists, have reported symptoms.

How a Keratin Treatment Works

But to some people, the risks are worth it. Even though formaldehyde has been linked to cancer, the results of a keratin treatment are pretty spectacular. With age and the use of many products, hair can become very porous. This is what makes hair frizzy which can lead to tangles and breakage. “Your hair is made up of keratin, so the treatment is putting the protein back into the hair, which is often lost due to age and chemical services,” said stylist Abraham Sprinkle.

However, you have to be careful. If you have very fine and straight hair, it is not much help. Curly or frizzy hair will see the most results. And if you are blonde, certain mixtures can affect you hair color, as not all formulas are made the exact same way.

  • You will have to go through a pre-treatment that removes buildup and prepares the hair cuticle. This involves a clarifying shampoo.
  • Keratin is applied to the hair with a brush and penetrates the cuticle. It will strengthen the keratin bonds in the hair and make it smooth. To avoid oversaturation, a fine-toothed comb can be used to distribute the mixture. This normally takes between 10 and 15 minutes.
  • After that, the hair is styled to turn it into the requested shape, usually with a blow-dryer and hair straightener. Just think about not using too high heat.
  • Afterwards, use a special type of shampoo to maintain the smooth silkiness for as long as possible. Also wait with washing it for at least 48 hours, and do not put it up in a ponytail for the same period of time.

The Healthy Options

If you do opt for a keratin treatment, pick one that is definitely free from formaldehyde. Some go the old-fashioned way and use silk from silkworms, and some you can even do yourself at home. You will not only spare your own health and the environment, but also the health of your stylist.

The Essential Protein – The Link Between Keratin And Hair Growth

Keratin and Hair Growth

Some may not know that keratin and hair growth are closely linked, but keratin happens to be one of the most essential components in having strong and healthy hair. For people that have problems with brittle hair or hair loss, taking supplements or eating protein-rich food may help ensure your hair is sufficiently supported, helping your body produce more Keratin and healthier hair growth.

What Is Keratin?

Keratin is a protein that is formed by the combination of eighteen different amino acids. It plays an important role in hair growth, hair regeneration, and overall hair health. Keratin is produced through the multiplication and differentiation of cells, which are present beneath the scalp skin layer.

Some of these keratinocytes move out to the edge of the hair follicles in order to make up the outer and inner root sheaths of the hair, which are the protective layers around the hair follicle. The remaining  become elongated in shape to give rise to the hair shaft. During this process, the keratinocytes will be filled with a lot of keratin fibers. When they have produced enough keratin fibers they die and leave the system.

Why Keratin And Hair Growth Are Connected

Every hair on your head consists of 90% keratin. It gives your hair strength and elasticity and because it is made up of long chains, it allows the hairs to turn, bend and fold without breaking. Keratin is not just elastic in nature but also insoluble in water. This increases its strength even more and is why the hair can withstand both extremely high and low temperatures. If you have enough keratin in your hair, the hot summer rays and striking cold winds of the winter are less harmful to your hair.

This is why hair products meant to protect your strands from the heat of styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers or coloring tools contain keratin. Applying keratin externally acts as a protective barrier for the hair and protects it from the harmful effects of these radiations.

Keratin and Hair Growth
Keratin is a protein that makes up 90% of every hair. It helps in keeping the hair strong and shiny.

Be Careful In Hot Sun or Cold Weather

Although hair can tolerate environmental stressors if it is supplied with sufficient keratin, consistent exposure to them at extreme levels can damage the bonding between the keratin strings, which are majorly responsible for maintaining the shape of every hair. Once the long strings of keratin get damaged and broken, keratin loses its non water-soluble property and it’s washed away. Because of this reason, many hair care products contain keratin as a potent ingredient to prevent keratin deficiency within the hair follicles.

Keratin also plays its role in making the hair shinier, suppler, and thicker in volume. In case of dry hair, keratin-containing hair oils and shampoos are recommended since external keratin therapy provides maximum protection against loss of moisture from the hair. If you want some extra keratin from the inside, some natural hair health supplements contain a bioactive type of keratin.

What Can You Eat To Get More Keratin?

Keratin is not found in any food, but if you eat food that is rich in protein and specific vitamins, it can help your body produce more of the hair-important protein. It’s not only great for your hair, but also for your skin and nails. Here are some examples of food that can help your body produce more keratin and healthier hair growth.

Sulfurous Foods
Sulfur-rich amino acids make up proteins like keratin. You find them in foods with a lot of protein, meaning meat, beans and eggs, and also some vegetables like onions, kale and asparagus.

Protein-rich foods
Even more protein – so red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, yogurt and dairy products. Vegetarian options for high protein foods are beans, nuts, quinoa and nut butters such as peanut or almond butter.

Biotin-rich foods
Biotin helps metabolize the amino acids that produce keratin. You can find it in foods like nuts, beans, whole grains, mushrooms and cauliflower. Also, many hair supplements have biotin high up on their list of ingredients. Just remember that biotin is water-soluble, so it can be lost when cooking food in water.