Hair Health – Maintaining a Full Head
As we cross the 50-year line, we all start gradually losing hair on our head. No big deal. What the heck! It may be the time to play Telly Savalas or, with the ladies perspective, Sinéad O’Connor – what ever fits the profile. But, premature hair loss at a younger age should be a cause of concern, unless, of course, you are counting on the ‘barber discount. Assuming you don’t care about enjoying the ‘reduced-work discount’ from your barber, it may be a good idea to look after your hair while you still have them.
Causes for Abnormal Hair Loss
On average, we have 100,000 – 140,000 hair on our head. We normally shed somewhere between 50 and 100 hairs every day, and gain the same by way of new hair growth. But, there are many factors; namely, severe dandruff, fungus and germs, toxic metal contamination, hormonal imbalance, iron deficiency, low protein intake, birth control pills, pregnancy and menopause, and rapid weight loss,etc., that can speed up the normal rate of hair loss and, at the same time, hinder the regrowth of hair at the rooting stage.
Nutritional deficiencies and hormonal problems are two main culprits to be blamed for the abnormal hair loss. If your thyroid gland is overactive or under-active, you may start losing hair at a faster rate. This hair loss usually can be reversed by normalizing levels of thyroid hormone. Hair loss may also occur if male or female hormones are out of balance. Male pattern baldness develops when hair follicles are destroyed as a result of being exposed to too much dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a metabolite of the male sex hormone, testosterone. This is especially true when it runs in families.
The condition of your skin and hair is the reflection of what is going on inside your body – With a healthy inside, you will have a blemish-free skin and a healthy and lustrous mane.
If you are experiencing premature or sever hair loss, have a hair analysis done to uncover any nutritional deficiencies or toxic metal contamination. As hair is formed, available minerals and amino acids circulating in the blood are laid down in the hair. A hair analysis can therefore provide a picture of your mineral status, and pick up any exposure to toxic metals. You should also consult your physician to check for an underlying health problem, such as hypothyroidism or infection.
Herbal & Natural Remedies for Healthy Hair
The following hair maintenance and hair loss prevention remedies will help you keep you mane longer and in good shape. Further, you will enjoy the fringe benefits of good health with no side effects.
Let your Hair Enjoy the Onion and Garlic juice:
Infection, germs, fungus, and parasites are some other common causes for hair loss. Onion juice helps treat hair loss due to its high sulfur content, which helps improve blood circulation to the hair follicles, regenerate hair follicles and reduce inflammation.
The antibacterial properties in onion and garlic also help kill germs and parasites, and treat scalp infections that can cause hair loss. The element sulfur also increases the production of collagen which in turn helps the hair to grow.
♦ Extract the juice of one medium onion by grating it and then strain it. Apply the juice directly onto the scalp. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, and then wash it off.
♦ Crush a few cloves of garlic, add in a little coconut oil and heat it up for a few minutes. When this mix cools down to feel warm to the touch, apply it on the scalp with a little massaging action.
♦ Repeat these two treatments alternately – two to three times a week for the best result.
♦ After applying it for a period of two months, when the symptoms (infection, germs, fungus) have disappeared, you need to repeat it only once a month.
Fenugreek (Indian: Methi seeds):
Fenugreek, also known as methi, is highly effective in treating hair loss. Fenugreek seeds contain hormone antecedents that enhances hair growth and helps rebuild hair follicles. The seeds also contain proteins and nicotinic acid that stimulate the hair growth.
♦ Grind 1/4 cup of fenugreek seeds and soak in water overnight.
♦ Apply the paste to your hair and cover with a shower cap. After about 1 hour, rinse your hair.
♦ Follow this remedy every day for a month.
Coconut oil and hibiscus are the secrets to a thick mane of hair. Hibiscus has rejuvenating properties – Regular use of the hibiscus flowers nourish hair, prevent hair loss and premature graying, and also helps cure dandruff.
♦ Crush a few flowers of hibiscus and mix with sesame oil or coconut oil to make a fine paste. Apply this to the scalp and hair, leave it on for a few hours, and then rinse it out – use a shampoo made with natural ingredients.
♦ You can buy organic hibiscus flowers at your local health store or online.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla):
High contents of vitamin C and antioxidants in Amla are good for hair growth. It can be found in the frozen section in Indian stores (named as Indian Gooseberry), or as a dry powder.
♦ Heat lightly one cup of coconut oil in a pan, add 5-6 Indian gooseberries, cut into small pieces. Heat until the gooseberries turn dark brown or black. Use the oil 2-3 times a week for the scalp massage
Aloe Vera contains enzymes that directly promote healthy hair growth. Also, its alkalizing properties can help bring the scalp and hair’s pH to a more desirable level, which, in turn, can greatly promote hair growth.
Regular use can also relieve scalp itching, reduce scalp redness and inflammation, add strength and luster to hair, and alleviate dandruff. Both the aloe vera gel and juice will work.
♦ Apply aloe vera gel or juice onto the scalp. Leave it on for a few hours, and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat the process three to four times a week.
Saw Palmetto Extract:
Saw Palmetto Extract is used primarily for Prostate health. But, the fringe benefit of it is the prevention of hair loss. Saw palmetto may indeed promote hair growth since it inhibits conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a known culprit in abnormal and premature hair loss.
♦ The recommended dose is 160 mg of an extract standardized to 85-95% total fatty acids twice daily.
♦ Use only the Saw Palmetto oil extracted by Supercritical CO2 Method – it ensure the highest level of potency.
When it comes to caring for your hair, coconut provides a host of ingredients that naturally condition and promote growth of hair. The milk of the coconut contains proteins, essential fats, and minerals such as potassium and iron. Using it regularly can reduce the breakage of hair. Coconut oil also carries the same rich ingredients, plus a lot more of the fatty acids. Regular massage with the coconut oil helps strengthen the hair shaft, from its root to the tip. Regular massage of the scalp with the coconut oil will keep your hair very happy.
♦ On caveat, though: Use only the Organic Virgin Cold-Pressed coconut oil – don’t waste money on chemically extracted oils, like the ‘copra oil’ – There are many online sellers of good quality coconut oil.
Eggs are another rich source of sulfur; they also contain a lot of protein and minerals, such as selenium, iodine, phosphorus, iron and zinc. This powerhouse of nutrients makes it an excellent promoter of hair regrowth, especially when combined with virgin olive oil.
♦ Take the white of one egg and mix in a teaspoon of olive oil. Beat to give a paste-like consistency, and apply to the entire scalp and hair. Keep it on for about 30 minutes, and then rinse it out with a mild shampoo.
♦ Make sure to use only the ‘Free Range’ Eggs – Try your local farmers or the Whole Foods stores.
Vitamin B Complex:
B-group of vitamins have a wide range of benefits in the body. In particular, Vitamin B-3 increases blood flow to the scalp. The best approach is to take the B-group of vitamins together – as B-Complex, it preserves the synergy of the group and provides the optimum benefit to the body.
GLA (gamma-linolenic acid):
Take the essential fatty acid called GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) in the form of ‘black currant oil or the evening primrose oil, available in capsules or as soft gels at health food stores.
♦ The recommended dose is 500 mg of either type taken twice a day.
Finally, Relax and Enjoy:
It will be months before you will notice the reversal in the trend, and an increase in the hair volume – Be patient. Relax and enjoy the life.
And, remember! Hot water showers are not good for the health of your hair, always use cold water – no more than at body temperature, to wash your hair.