Of all the issues that are presented to naturopathic doctors,
growing healthy hair is, by far, in the very top five.
Men and women both want thick & full hair and to get this achievement is a huge money-generator for tons of companies and products. Yet, achieving luxuriously full locks of hair (or any hair growth) can be challenging and sometimes seems impossible. The environment, genetics, poor food choices, hormones (the hair naturally slows in our 20’s for everyone), chronic stress, pharmaceuticals, all wreck havoc on our hair – a real uphill battle! Special shampoos that are prescribed or over the counter may work but stop working once discontinued and may have side effects. Hair plug surgery is painful and expensive, but yes it does work and is a permanent fix. None of this is natural. What can we try to accelerate healthy head hair growth and maintain it?
Sorry folks but the body does not care about hair. Evolutionarily speaking, we don’t need it to keep us warm or protect our bodies anymore. Thus, if an organ or system needs a nutrient, it’s going to take it. If any nutrients are left over, it may go to making healthy hair and nails.
A good multivitamin, maybe extra minerals, essential fatty acids and good fats are all vital to healthy hair.
No!, you are not going to get all your nutrients from food and still grow great hair, get over that notion now!
Eat real food, drink real water and take supplements of quality (not the buy one get one free stuff or most anything with an auto-ship program) regularly and consistently for at least six months before whining its not working!
Rule out anemia & environmental culprits.
Add herbs & oils to help growth.
You’ll need an inside to outside approach to help your hair & scalp grow thick, soft hair. But in the meantime, here are some great tips for improving scalp health & strengthening hair too.
Amla powder – or the Indian gooseberry, is a superfood for the scalp! An ancient Indian secret which can help the hair not fall out as fast, lessen scalp flakes and thicken hair too. It’s so safe you can eat it, in fact, it’s tasty in a smoothie and an awesome antioxidant. Make a paste with water and apply to clean towel dried hair for at least 15 mins, then rinse out. Or add a few tablespoons to your favorite rinse out conditioner and do let sit for 15 mins or longer before rinsing.
Speaking of hair packs. Mayonnaise is a nice one. When applied to wet hair, let sit for 20 mins or more and wash out, it can help with shine, softness and styling. Or change up the color (bold or barely) in addition to beautifying your scalp and hair. Check out this article at ecoparent.ca for an in-depth on how to and why guide to using henna on your hair – so pretty!
Add ten drops of the essential oils of bay, rosemary, carrot seed and geranium into one ounce of jojoba or castor oil. Lightly massage 10 drops of the blend (one drop on each fingertip) into the scalp several times a day. Or add essential oil of rosemary to shampoo at 5 – 7 drops per ounce and let sit for a few minutes. Or apply the oil at bedtime and cover with a cap for an extra boost.
Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar added to water and/or herbal tea after washing and before using a conditioner. Try putting it in a squeeze bottle with a narrow tip or spray bottle and store in your bathroom. Vinegar removes the buildup of leave-in products and hair spray. It also acidifies the scalp to reduce flakes and balances the pH too, we need the correct pH to grow hair! Vinegar’s antimicrobial properties can assist with any fungal beasties that may be the culprit to poor scalp health and itchy irritation. Lastly, vinegar can give your hair a boost of shiny softness. Ditch this treatment if your hair is really dry or damaged, the vinegar may be too astringent for you.
Easy things you can do now!
Don’t use a cotton pillowcase, it’s rough on those locks. Use silk pillowcase or other slippery fabric.
Give some extra love to your hair with an oil pack after any aggressive beauty regimes like dyes, ‘blow-out’s, curling or relaxing – none of iwis good for growing hair! Fried hair is not pretty and does not grow well.
Always use sulphate-free shampoo and an organic one may be better. Over washing your hair does not help it grow either. Do you really have to wash your hair every day? It’s stripping vital oil from your scalp making it even drier and it may be over compensating for this by secreting even more sebum and oil! Do use a shampoo for dry hair if you must wash it often and sometimes rinsing with conditioner is good enough to get grime out and retain moisture. Absolutely do not over comb or brush your hair and never brush wet hair – yikes!
Trimming your hair often does help with split ends which makes hair look thin and damaged. There are many reasons to get a chlorine filter, but most importantly is to remove this overly drying and toxic chemical from your hair & skin.