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.

Women and Propecia Side Effects – What the Research Says

A lot has been written about Propecia side effects when it comes to men. But what about women? We all know that women lose their hair as well, even though women typically experience it differently than men. Men tend to suffer from male pattern baldness at the upper temples and the crown of the head, while women tend to lose hair more uniformly across their entire scalp, in a gradual thinning. However it happens, hair loss is an issue for both males and females.

Originally created as a treatment for enlarged prostate and marketed as Proscar (generic name finasteride), Propecia is a hair-loss medication that many people turn to. And while the American Hair Loss Association lists this remedy as a medication that women can take, it should be noted that the FDA has yet to approve it for women because there’s not sufficient research. This means that the potential side effects for women are not sufficiently known either. Women are generally advised not to use the medication while pregnant or to get pregnant while using it, due to the risk posed to the developing fetus due to finasteride’s hormonal effects. But with so much unknown, how safe are women taking it?

Propecia for women
The role Propecia plays in female pattern hair loss is still controversial. The results are varying with some showing success and other failure.

Studies on Propecia Side Effects in Women

There have been a few studies focused on using Propecia for reversing hair loss in women, with different results. A yearlong study from 2000 did not find Propecia was effective for women, but did also not find any negative side effects. The study involved 137 postmenopausal women who received 1 mg Propecia daily.  More recent case studies have reached the conclusion that finasteride could be effective for female pattern hair loss if the dose was increased to between 2.5 mg and 5 mg daily.

A 2012 study designed to find the exact minimal effective dosage, used 1.25 mg daily for 28 weeks. This study concluded that while the treatment did show results, it was probably not the most efficient dosage. Patients showed increased hair density and hair loss stopped, but hair growth did not return. So while researchers have not found the optimal dosage, Propecia’s role in female pattern hair loss is still controversial.

While some women with female pattern hair loss might benefit from Propecia, a better understanding of the side-effects and ideal dosage are needed. Some of the known side effects for women that have been observed are heat flashes, increased body hair growth, and sweating—although the same effects were observed in women who received a placebo treatment, and could be related to menopause. The main concern is that Propecia can affect male fetuses, including signs of feminization and various birth defects. The drug is so potent that pregnant women are advised to not even touch crushed or broken tablets because Propecia can be absorbed through the skin.

How Does Propecia Work in Women?

Hair loss continues to be a common problem and is normally even more distressing and upsetting for women than for men. Our hair plays a huge part in our self-image and losing it prematurely and unwantedly is likely to affect our self-esteem. Women will twice as often as men become very-to-extremely upset when experiencing hair loss. This means there will always be a market for a hair loss treatment that works, and researchers are still hard at work trying to find it.

Different types of hair loss require different approaches. While male pattern baldness is primarily caused by sensitivity to testosterone, this is not the root cause of all female pattern hair loss. Women also produce a certain amount of testosterone, but only some women that suffer from hair loss display an elevated amount of the hormone.

Propecia, or finasteride, works by targeting the enzyme type II 5α-reductase. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in our bodies to the more potent male hormone dihydrotestosterone, DHT, which causes hair loss. It was initially believed that finasteride would be effective in treating hair loss in women who had an elevated amount of testosterone, so called hyperandrogenism. But results from studies were inconsistent, and as mentioned above, success was not universal.

Still a Few Question Marks

In conclusion, there is no clear evidence either one way or the other, and Propecia may or may not work for you. Further research into what kind of woman is a good candidate for this medication must be conducted. Researchers also have little information on what the optimal dosage for women is. Any noticeable results may take at least 6 months, and in some cases even longer. And much like when men are using Propecia, the effects are not sustained without continued treatment.

What You Can Do Instead

Take a look at your habits. If you do not feel like risking anything and want another solution to your hair loss, start by treating the underlying problem. If it is not genetic, your hair loss could be caused by factors like stress, lack of sleep, lack of certain nutrients or an unhealthy lifestyle. Make sure you eat enough protein, since protein is the main building block of hair. Drinking enough water and exercising regularly also helps.

Check with your doctor. It could also be a thyroid disorder, hormonal imbalance or skin infection like scalp fungus. Getting a proper diagnosis is key to solving your individual issue.

Look over your medications. In some cases, sensitivity to a certain medication can contribute to and worsen hair loss. This even goes for common medications like Aleve, Motrin or antidepressants.

Take care of your hair. Avoid hairstyles that pull or tug on your hair like tight braids, cornrows or hair extensions. Do not wash your hair too often, and use a natural shampoo and conditioner – or even homemade ones. Skip the hairspray and other products with chemicals for a while.

Choose a natural supplement. Taking a supporting supplement or vitamins that you suspect you are deficient in could go a long way.

Natural Remedies for Hair Regrowth – According to Science This is What Really Works

Male hair is fraught with mythology and misconception. So when it comes to hair regrowth, what is true and what is fiction? Nutrafol took a closer look at some natural remedies for your hair and would like to let you in on what really works, based on science.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

A study was conducted on the effect of pumpkin seed oil on hair loss in men. Patients received 400mg of pumpkin seed oil for 24 weeks. “Hair count increases of 40 percent were observed in treated men at 24 weeks, whereas increases of 10 percent were observed in placebo-treated men,” the study stated. The researcher came to the conclusion that pumpkin seed oil reduces levels of 5-alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the main cause of androgenetic alopecia.

Saw Palmetto

On the subject of DHT, herbal extract saw palmetto has been shown to reduce levels by around 38 percent. And a recent study published in 2017 compared the effects of saw palmetto and finasteride (more well known under the name of Propecia). It showed that saw palmetto had a positive impact on hair growth as it contains components that prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT. DHT is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that contributes to hair thinning by shrinking hair follicles.

A Diet Low in Fast Digesting Carbs and Low in Sugar

Fast digesting carbs lead to an increase in blood sugar. This causes your body to release insulin. If you have a high level of insulin, you would most likely have low levels of globulin. Globulin, or SHBG is what binds to DHT and renders it ineffective. So basically, sugar equals more insulin equals less SHBG equals more DHT equals more hair loss.

Biotin

Biotin is crucial for the formation of keratin which is the key component of hair and nails. Deficiency is rare but if you have a deficiency it is important to up your biotin intake. It has been shown to improve blood sugar regulation, which may have a positive effect on hair loss.

Scalp massage

In this small trial, standardized scalp massages were administered 4 minutes a day for 24 weeks. Researchers observed an increase in hair thickness as well as an increase in the expression of hair cycle related genes. They also saw a decrease in a gene associated with hair loss.

Scalp massage is great to prevent hair loss and increase hair thickness
Scalp massage is a natural remedy that increases hair thickness.

Derma Roller Microneedling

A derma roller may be one of the effective natural hair loss treatments – especially when it comes to hair regrowth. If you don’t know what it is, a derma roller basically looks like a small paint roller but with a surface full of little needles. You use it by rolling it over your skin, or areas of hair loss on your scalp.
This 2013 study demonstrated that derma roller microneedling is far more effective for hair regrowth than minoxidil alone. After 12 weeks, subjects treated with a derma roller saw dramatic regrowth. In addition, when you roll over the part where the skin is damaged, growth factors and stem cells rush to the site of the trauma. So this does not only repair the damage but can awaken dormant hair follicles.

A Plant Based Supplement Like Nutrafol

Nutrafol has identified plants with powerful therapeutic effects. It is known for using botanical ingredients that help address triggers like stress levels and free radicals that interrupt optimal hair growth. The supplement increases the production of signaling molecules thanks to the phytonutrients. In addition, these are the molecules that normally stimulate the follicles to enter into the growth phase of the hair cycle.

If you are curious about using natural remedies for hair loss then maybe this will help you understand more about their effectiveness based on science. The trick is finding the right one that works for you and your hair.

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.

Botox for Hair: Treatment, Safety and Effects

Botox for hair

Is your winter hair giving you a tough time? Does your hair feel dry, rough or extra frizzy lately? If you’re looking for smooth hair, you may want to consider one of the latest trends in the hair and beauty market: Botox for hair. Some people are finding a hair Botox treatment might just (as the name suggests) rejuvenate their strands.

If you’re curious about hair Botox and wondering whether hair Botox treatment could be right for you, as well as some alternatives to hair Botox, keep reading.

What is Hair Botox?

You may have heard about Botox as a beauty treatment for your forehead or crow’s feet, but how about a Botox treatment for hair?

For starters, the very name “hair Botox” or “Botox for hair” is something of a misnomer, as a Botox hair treatment doesn’t involve actual Botox — botulinum toxin — at all. So just what is hair Botox?

Hair Botox is a treatment that claims to help eliminate frizz and “fill in” your hair where it has become damaged, essentially smoothing your hair and drastically improving its texture and appearance. Hair Botox could be considered an anti-aging treatment (hence the catchy name). But as noted, unlike the Botox that we may have injected into our faces to smooth out wrinkles, hair Botox does not contain any chemicals, let alone botulinum toxin.

Instead of thinking of Botox for hair as just another form of Botox applied elsewhere, it’s more accurate to view it as a deep conditioning treatment that helps restore and reconstruct your hair. But if Botox for hair doesn’t contain botulinum toxin, what does it contain that makes it so effective? A Botox hair treatment uses key ingredients such as proteins, amino acids, keratin, vitamins, and lipids to work its magic — without harsh chemicals.

So if your hair feels frizzy due to the harsh weather outside, hair Botox may be able to help rebuild it. A hair Botox treatment is designed to restore your hair fibers, sometimes using keratin, leaving your hair feeling silky, shiny and more youthful-looking, while avoiding the harmful effects that can come with other salon-performed smoothing treatments.

Hair Botox may sound too good to be true, and you may be wondering if there are any hair botox side effects. Find out and discover who could benefit from Botox for hair in the next section.

Are There Hair Botox Side Effects?

Part of what makes Botox for hair so appealing is the lack of harsh chemicals and potentially dangerous side effects. While other smoothing or straightening treatments, such as the Brazilian blowout, may deliver smoother hair that lasts for some time, their product ingredients go beyond just keratin, which is good for your hair. Instead, such treatments may use chemicals that turn into formaldehyde once heat is applied, and formaldehyde is known to cause cancer. If you go with a hair Botox treatment instead, you avoid the risks of chemical relaxing or straightening treatments.

Since hair Botox is free from harsh chemicals and considered to be a deep conditioning treatment, you avoid a lot of potential health risks and it is unlikely to experience undesirable side effects. Again, hair Botox is a treatment that helps to repair your damaged hair — but like everything else, moderation is key.

While Botox for hair is suitable for all hair types, you’ll see the greatest benefits from a Botox hair treatment if you have dry, frizzy or dull locks. Hair Botox is also recommended if you have over-processed or damaged hair and want to restore it, because just like the treatment for your face, Botox for the hair works to fill in unwanted gaps — without the trademark chemical.

Botox for hair
Hair Botox is a treatment that claims to help eliminate frizz as it smooths your hair and reverses time on your hair clock.

How Does Botox for Hair Work?

If you decide to get Botox for hair, you’re in for a much less complicated process than you might be used to if you’ve tried keratin treatments or Brazilian blowouts. A hair Botox treatment doesn’t require the same level of careful preparation or followup to maintain its results.

After you arrive at the salon for your Botox for hair treatment, your hair will be washed with a clarifying shampoo to remove any residue in your hair. The wash will also help open your hair cuticles, preparing them to better absorb the hair Botox. Next, the hair Botox treatment will be applied and left on your hair for about 45 minutes before being washed off. Once the Botox for hair gets washed out, the hair gets blow-dried and usually sealed with straighteners.

Botox for hair treatment results usually last between 2-4 months if you take care of your hair. Your hairstylist will give you more specific directions, but generally, you should at least use a sulphate-free shampoo to help maintain the benefits of the hair Botox.

Botox Hair Treatment Alternatives

If you don’t have a hair salon near you that offers Botox for hair, you can always try one of these winter hair remedies that you can make at home.

Whether you do a hair Botox treatment or some other conditioning treatment, we also recommend taking a natural supplement to make sure your body and hair are getting all the nutrition they need. Natural supplements are one of the fastest-growing industries and are taken by more and more people every day. As their name suggests, they are made of only natural ingredients. The best supplements contain plant-derived, natural ingredients that work synergistically to aid your hair growth without chemicals or dyes.

Brazilian Blowout: What You Need to Know

Nutrafol for healthy hair

If you are someone who keeps up with the newest in hair care, chances are you have heard about the Brazilian Blowout. A Brazilian Blowout treatment is a hair protectant that gives your hair a glossy, frizz-free, hydrated shine for up to three months. The ingredients used when doing a Brazilian Blowout are the Brazilian camu camu, annatto seed, and acai berries, which sound harmless enough. But studies show Brazilian Blowouts can actually pose a real health risk.

What is a Brazilian Blowout?

Just what is a Brazilian Blowout hair treatment? The treatment is generally recommended for people with damaged, frizzy, or very processed hair. A Brazilian Blowout treatment is meant to make your hair straighter, shinier and frizz-free, which can tempt many of us to try it. But then there’s the question of how long does a Brazilian Blowout last, and it turns out the results only last for about 10-12 weeks. And that is if you maintain it the way the stylists tell you to, which we all know is hard to keep up with.

When you go for your Brazilian Blowout treatment, the stylist will assess your hair and answer any questions you have, from what is a Brazilian Blowout to how to care for your hair following a Brazilian Blowout treatment. The first step of a Brazilian Blowout is to wash the hair and then towel dry it. Next, the smoothing product is applied in sections. After that, the stylist will blow dry your hair while making it as smooth as possible using a brush. After a round of flat ironing, the stylist will rinse the hair out using only water, and then apply a specific bonding spray that will seal the cuticles of the hair. After that, it is time for a smoothing serum before the final blow dry and styling.

Why is a Brazilian Blowout Dangerous?

If you’ve read many Brazilian Blowout reviews, you know a lot of customers are satisfied with the results the smoothing treatment has on their hair. What those Brazilian Blowout reviews usually don’t mention is that Brazilian Blowouts can be dangerous to your health — not because of the process itself, but rather because of some of the chemicals involved in it. While many people want to know “How long does a Brazilian Blowout last,” a better question might be “How long can the potentially harmful effects of a Brazilian Blowout last?”

Did Somebody Say Free From Formaldehyde?

Nutrafol for hair growth
Sulfates are ingredients well-known as a skin, eye, mouth, and even lung irritant

What is in a Brazilian Blowout hair treatment that could be considered harmful? Although the products used in the Brazilian Blowout, and the similar Keratin treatment, are reported as free from the carcinogenic chemical formaldehyde, the air in salons offering these treatments tested positive for formaldehyde. How is this possible?

Some manufacturers list “synonyms” for formaldehyde on their labels. This is because sometimes the formaldehyde has been dissolved in water or another substance, which changes its chemical composition slightly, giving it a new name. The problem is that all these substances can release formaldehyde when subjected to certain conditions, such as the heat involved in a hair smoothing treatment, or even when using heating tools later at home.

For this reason, The American Cancer Society wrote the following about keratin smoothing treatments: “Professional keratin hair-smoothing treatments can contain formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing chemicals. Using these can raise indoor air concentrations of formaldehyde to levels that could be a potential hazard.”

All of the chemicals listed below are names for formaldehyde under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s formaldehyde standard:

Methylene glycol
Formalin
Methylene oxide
Paraform
Formic aldehyde
Methanal
Oxomethane
Oxymethylene
Timonacic acid
Thiazolidinecarboxylic acid

Is Getting a Brazilian Blowout Worth the Risk?

Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer and tends to be the worst when it is in the gaseous heated stage. It is a “sensitizer,” which means that it can cause allergic reactions of the skin, eyes, and lungs such as asthma-like breathing, skin rashes, and itching. It can also be a health hazard, whether in a product or in the air.

Studies conducted by The American Cancer Society have shown that formaldehyde can increase the probability of nasopharynx cancer and leukemia. One study found that workers exposed to formaldehyde had higher than normal levels of chromosome changes in early white blood cells in their bone marrow. This finding supports the possible link between formaldehyde exposure and leukemia.

Other Everyday Chemicals You Should Get Rid Of

Considering this, maybe it is not worth risking your and your stylist’s health for the sake of beauty. There are other, safer methods of achieving great hair without turning to Brazilian Blowouts. Have you, for example, considered natural solutions and skipping the chemicals for a while? We are not only talking about choosing a supplement made from plants to increase your hair health, we are talking about changing your routines, even when it comes to how you wash your hair. Did you know sulfates, which can be found in many shampoos, are well-known irritants of the skin, eyes, mouth and even lungs? Maybe it is time to take a closer look at the ingredients of that bottle you use every other day.

The study “Exposure to Chemicals in Cosmetics” conducted by the Breast Cancer Foundation shed some new light on another shampoo ingredient — parabens — and what effect it has on the body. The study discovered that parabens can penetrate the skin and act as a very weak form of estrogen in the body potentially making hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow.

So how about getting rid of shampoos containing sulfates and parabens and switching to a sulfate-free shampoo? Sulfate-free shampoos preserve your hair’s natural oils and are also color-safe, which is good if you dye your hair a lot. Instead of buying hair masks, which also have chemicals in them, you can make your own. A hair mask made from avocado, for example, contains vitamin E and is easy to make. Vitamin E is good for hair growth because it is a great moisturizer and also boosts the immune system.

All you need to know about one of our ingredients: L-methionine

All you need to know about L-methionine

One of Nutrafols ingredients is L-Methionine and it is described like this:
“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.”
But what exactly is L-Methionine and what does it do for you?

L-Methionine 101:

L-Methionine or methionine provides an important role relating to the growth of new blood vessels. The body has the ability to produce methionine on its own but supplementing with L-Methionine has been shown to help with the overall health.

But how does it work?

Your body uses L-Methionine to make creatine, which is another type of amino acid. L-Methionine also contains sulfur, which is used by the body for healthy growth and metabolism, and it is responsible for a compound known as s-adenosylmethionine or SAMe. SAMe supports the proper function of the immune system, dopamine, serotonin and melatonin; and cell membranes.
So what does all this mean? It means that L-Methionine benefits your body in many ways but it also means that you should not overdo it since your body produces it on its own.

So let’s take a look at the benefits of L-Methionine

May help reduce risk of colorectal cancer

According to a study, conducted in Melbourne, Australia, methionine, along with B vitamins and other minerals, may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The study observed foods that were eaten as well as micronutrients, such as folate, methionine, and vitamins B6 and B12, and those with antioxidant properties like selenium, vitamins E and C, and lycopene. Though the tests studied many of these vitamins, minerals and amino acids individually, overall, the data supports the conclusion that a diet containing all of these micronutrients, including methionine, may help lower colorectal cancer risks.

L-Methionine is building bone strength

Researchers at the Institute of Physical Education, Health and Leisure Studies at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan came to the conclusion that methionine has a positive effect on bones. They gave rats different diets, some with L-Methionine foods, and others without. After eight weeks, the rats that exercised, had a 9.2 percent lower body weight. Which is no surprise considering that you lose weight when exercising.

However, the part that became evident was the part that had an effect on bone volume compared to those who were fed the diets without methionine supplements.
Results showed that methionine combined with exercise caused lower bone mass, size and strength, but improved natural bone strength overall.

Besides from that L-Methionine also…

  • Supports the liver.
    SAMe combined with vitamins B6 and B12 may help treat the effects of liver disease.
  • Helps you lose weight.
    Thanks to the creatine creation, methionine can help you lose weight.
  • Can help lower tremors in Parkinson’s patients.
    Methionine may be able to help bringing down the tremors that comes with Parkinson’s. It also prevents aging related to oxidative damage and loss of dopamine, helping treat Parkinson’s symptoms.
All you need to know about L-methionine
Oats are a great source of L-methionine so try to eat a bowl of oat meal every morning to make sure your methionine levels are in order.

With that being said, you should always be on the look out for…

L-Methionine foods. The list of food that contains methionine is long. Meat and fish contain the highest levels of L-Methionine. But there are some alternatives even for those that are not big meat fans, such as:

  • Egg whites
  • Seaweed and spirulina
  • Sesame seeds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Oats
  • Sunflower butter

You can purchase supplements too of course, but it is most likely that you are already getting all the methionine that you need through your food.


Photos: Marco Verch and Pedro Reyna via Flickr.

Castor Oil – 5 Incredible Benefits You Should Know About

Nutrafol | Castor oil

Castor oil is derived from the castor beans seed and is a colorless, odorless and tasteless vegetable oil. It grows naturally in Eastern Africa. Traditionally it has been used to treat constipation, but it also has a ton of beauty benefits. Do you prefer to use natural remedies to get beautiful hair and skin? – Then you should try castor oil!

How to Use Castor Oil

Castor Oil and Hair Growth

Thanks to its high concentration of vitamin E, Omega-6 fatty acids and protein, castor oil is great for aiding healthy hair growth. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that builds and repairs tissue in the body. The omega-6 fat acids are vital for our health and we need to get them from food. They support hair and skin growth, bone health, metabolism and our reproductive system. You will find them in most vegetable oils. Protein is also important for hair growth. As the hair is made up of the protein keratin, a protein rich diet will help our body produce it and thus strengthen our hair. To get the most out of your castor oil, massage it into your scalp. Also apply it on hair strands. You can also mix it with another oil, such as coconut oil. Leave it on over night and wash your hair the next morning.

castor oil
Castor oil makes our hair shiny, strong and promotes hair growth. It is also healthy for your skin.

It Also Fights Scalp Infection

Castor oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that can help your immune system fight scalp infections. Massaging it into your scalp and leaving it overnight will help treat conditions like dandruff. Thanks to this, it can also help with joint and muscle pain. Native Americans have traditionally consumed it to help relieve lower back pain.

A Great Oil to Fight Split Ends

There are many types of oils that you can use to help fight split ends, but as castor oil has so many other health benefits, why not use that? Apply it to the ends of your hair after showering or whenever you feel dried up. The oil will naturally moisturize your strands, help prevent breakage and make the hair soft and shiny.

General Moisturizer

As a natural and healthy oil derived, castor oil is a great moisturizer for both hair and skin. It is an oil that will easily penetrate your skin, thus providing your hair with moisture from the inside. Make a hair mask by massaging your whole head with castor oil, or adding some to your conditioner or leave-in conditioner. Some tips say to add it to lemon juice and honey, or coconut oil. You can either apply this mixture to your hair before washing it, or leave it overnight. The oil will have the same effect on your skin, so you can apply it to your whole body.

Get Thick Eyelashes and Eyebrows With Castor Oil

It is unclear whether there is any research on this one, but there are many testimonies out there that castor oil helps thicken eyebrows and eyelashes. As it contains ingredients that are beneficial for hair growth, therefore it is not that far fetched to believe it. Many beauty suppliers have castor oil specifically for applying on eyelashes and brows. It could be a cheaper and easier way of achieving longer lashes than having an extension. You can get a cheap bottle of organic castor oil and use an old mascara brush, after cleaning it. Then apply the oil to the base of the lashes and wear it overnight. For the brows, just massage it into them like you do with the scalp. Next morning, use a make up remover or water and wash it all off. Just be careful to not get any oil in your eyes, as some people can have allergic reactions to castor oil. Try a little bit on your arm before applying anywhere else.

The Importance Of a Healthy Overall Lifestyle

Even though there are many amazing oils, vitamins and remedies, the most important thing to achieve a healthy hair growth is to be healthy overall. Eating a lot of vegetables and healthy fats will give your skin glow and make your hair shine. Natural supplements can help fulfill your diet. Exercise is also important to get your heart rate up and your metabolism going. Drinking water will moisturize you from the inside out, and it will show in your hair and your skin. Once you manage keeping up a healthy lifestyle, the miracle oils and remedies will have much more effect.

Coconut Oil for Hair Growth – Does it Work?

Coconut oil for hair growth

Coconut oil is not only a great cooking oil and tasty ingredient for other dishes, it can also be used as a beauty product for both skin and hair. Are you thinking about using coconut oil for hair growth? Here’s how it helps!

We would all be hard-pressed to think of a food item that has undergone as rapid a change in reputation as coconut oil. Once villainized for its high-saturated fat content, researchers began to notice that because of the coconut’s molecular structure, it’s much harder for our bodies to store as fat.

While most saturated fats, such as those found in animal products, are long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil has a remarkably high amount of medium-chain fatty acids, writes Medical News Today, and THAT is what makes it difficult for the body to convert it to stored fat. The Coconut Oil medium-chain, called Lauric Acid, gives a boost to the “good” cholesterol, according to “Health at Harvard”, which probably accounts for the way it aids cardiovascular health. The coconut oil’s Lauric Acid also contain antioxidants, has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and boasts an impressive roster of vitamins and minerals.

The Best Coconut Oil for Hair Growth is the Natural Kind

Some of the best things come directly from the garden, pantry or earth, such as plants, herbs, flowers, and more –which is why natural hair remedies can be a great option.
Even with vitamins, there’s a big difference between the natural (derived from the plants that contain the vitamin) and the synthetic (those created in test tubes to mimic the vitamin).

When it comes to coconut oil for hair growth, choosing the natural way means going for the unrefined variety, which has undergone less chemical processing.

 

It Has a Lot of Health Benefits, but does Coconut Oil for Hair Growth work?

Coconut oil can…
• Protect protein. The fatty acids in coconut oil attach to your hair’s protein, minimizing breakage and aiding length.

• Provide moisture. Let’s face it – our hair is under attack every day, whether it’s from pollutants, chemicals, over-styling, less-than-healthy nutritional and lifestyle habits, aging and more. Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft, thus protecting it.

• Stimulate Scalp Circulation. Blood circulation affects every system in the body, including the brain, and promotes cell and organ growth. The healthy fats and medium-chain triglycerides of coconut oil relieve inflammation of the arteries which, in turn, improves blood flow. So massage your scalp with coconut oil to boost nutrient and oxygen delivery!

• Provide Nutrients Galore. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and antifungal properties, as well as Vitamins E and K, not only protect the hair, but they also fight dandruff and other scalp infections that could result in hair loss.

• Mimic scalp sebum. Sebum is a waxy oil produced by the sebaceous glands at the base of the follicle. It’s a mixture containing fatty acids glycerides and cholesterol. When there’s just the right amount, Sebum protects and moisturizes hair, keeping the hair cuticle smooth and protecting it.

• Prevents Damage: Buh-bye split ends, hello hair growth!

Coconut oil for hair growth
Coconut oil can work wonders for your hair and stays true to Nutrafol’s concept of healthy hair from the inside, out.

The Best Supplement for Healthy Hair Works from the Inside Out

To be healthy on the outside, you must be healthy from the inside. In fact, Dr. Mehmet Oz once told Diane Sawyer that it’s possible to see a person’s health from the condition of their hair. That’s why Nutrafol has put so much work into creating a hair supplement that works from the inside out.

10 Other Reasons Why Coconut Oil is Amazing

1. Skin
Use it as a massage oil to boost circulation. The antioxidant properties fight free radicals – rogue cells responsible for aging. Antibacterial properties aid skin problems such as dermatitis and eczema, and the moisture can help prevent flaking and dryness.

2. Immunity
Antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties all work together to boost the immune system.

3. Digestion
Antimicrobial properties destroy (bad) bacteria, fungi, and parasites that cause indigestion and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients and substances.

4. Diabetes
Coconut oil controls blood sugar and increases insulin production, pushing blood glucose into the cells where it belongs and not the bloodstream.

5. Stress

Soothing coconut oil can help manage stress and get rid of mental fatigue – but antioxidants also play a big part.

6. Healing
It speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues and protects infected body parts from dust, air, fungi, bacteria and viruses. In fact, Ayurvedic doctors often use it to treat respiratory and skin infections.

7. Orthopedic Problems
Ayurvedic doctors use coconut oil massages to relieve poor posture as well as back, neck and shoulder pain.

8. Weight Control
Since the saturated fat in coconut oil is a medium-chain, as opposed to the long-chain found in animal products, the body does not store it as fat in the same way.

9. Better Metabolism
Especially when combined with spices like turmeric, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and cumin, coconut oil helps metabolism.

10. Nutritional Cleanse
Coconut flushes toxins from the body.
By now, you probably know you can use coconut oil for just about anything. We would love to hear from you – do you use it and, if so, how?