Hair and Beauty Tips to Enhance the Condition and Growth of Your Hair

Enhance the condition and growth of your hair with these hair and beauty tips.

Your hair grows at a rate of about just over a centimetre per month and typically spends between 2 to 7 years growing before it sheds.

As our bodies age, some of our biological processes start to slow down, including hair growth.  

Stimulating natural hair growth again can usually be accomplished by ensuring all the body’s nutritional needs are met. This can include diet changes, increased water consumption, vitamin supplements, herbs, as well as other lifestyle changes to significantly increase the health and vitality of your hair and the speed at which it grows.Vitamins for healthy hair can be found at local stores through fruits and veggies.

I did quite a lot of research on this subject for this article, and these were the top tips to maintain the health of your hair for optimum hair growth:

Healthy Diet
As the saying goes… You are what you eat…

•Your hair is mostly made up of protein and amino acids, so if you don’t get enough iron and protein in your diet, it will start showing in your hair, skin and nails.
•Fruits and vegetables contain most of the vitamins and minerals which we need to stimulate and maintain healthy hair growth.
•Drink enough water, to help our body absorb and carry the essential vitamins and minerals to your hair follicles, where they can be used to stimulate growth and keep your hair healthy.
• Green tea contains antioxidants that work to prevent testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a type of testosterone that leads to baldness.


Natural Supplements
If your body has to spend its entire vitamin reserve on keeping your body functioning, it may not be able to spare the nutrients for natural hair growth.

•Flaxseed or omega-3 supplement – About 3% of the hair shaft is made up of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are also found in the cell membranes in the skin of your scalp, and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.
•High quality vitamin B complex supplement – Vitamin B12 promotes healthy hair growth by helping in the formation of red blood cells. At the base of each hair follicle, tiny blood vessels connect to the root of each hair strand. Red blood cells serve the purpose of carrying oxygen to the living portion of the hair strands. Without adequate oxygen, your hair typically won’t be able to sustain healthy growth.
•Zinc helps the body regulate hormones, creates new cells and helps with the processing and absorption of vitamins. These are all crucial aspects of healthy hair growth. The healthier the hair-growing mechanisms of the body are, the faster the hair will grow. Zinc also helps to balance DHT. However, it is important to remember that zinc can also be harmful to hair growth if used beyond normal recommended doses.
•Biotin is often used in combination with vitamin B. This vitamin helps to prevent hair from becoming brittle and frail, so increasing your intake of this nutrient can help strengthen the hair and keep it healthy. Once again, healthy hair promotes faster hair growth.
•Beta-carotene is a nutrient that is used in the body to create vitamin A. Vitamin A helps increase the growth rate of nails, bone, skin and hair. It also helps fight free radicals, which cause the unwanted effects and damage associated with aging.
•Sulphur is another building block of the human body and as such, helps to strengthen all parts of your body, including your hair. Sulphur is believed to increase circulation, help increase the effectiveness of the immune system and help remove toxins from the hair. All of these functions help increase hair growth as well as promote healthy hair growth.
•Magnesium is a nutrient that helps regulate many biochemical functions within the body. One of these functions is hair growth. Having healthy levels of magnesium in the body is crucial to the hair growing process. However, too much magnesium can cause an overdose, with detrimental health consequences including death at high enough dosages.


Tips & Warnings:
Taking a prenatal vitamin may stimulate hair growth. Discuss this with your doctor first and do not take this vitamin if you are taking a multi-vitamin.

Herbs & Natural Oils that Promote Healthy Hair Growth
Not only is it important to watch what we put into our bodies, but what we put on it as well.
Essential oils are commonly used in skin and hair products these days. Some of them will not only make your hair look shiny and healthy, but will help it to grow too. Below are some all time tested oils & herbs known to stimulate natural hair growth:

•Saw Palmetto has been used for centuries as both a food staple and as a healing medicinal herb. The herb produces a dark red berry which is dried and then pulverized into a fine powder. Saw palmetto is available in several forms including ointments, capsules, tinctures and teas. Recent scientific studies have shown that Saw Palmetto may have beneficial effects for those suffering from male pattern baldness and other conditions associated with excess DHT production.
•Stinging Nettle can either be taken as a supplement (pill) or topically applied in the form of an extract/oil. It is rich in vitamins (including vitamins A and E) and minerals (including calcium) which leads not only to more healthy hair overall, but possibly to hair growth as well. It also blocks the conversion of testosterone into DHT. If using the extract, apply the oil in an invigorating scalp massage, or you will also find that the essential oil is frequently an ingredient in organic shampoos and conditioners. It is also said to be more effective when used in combination with saw palmetto.
•Aloe Vera contains an enzyme known for its hair-nourishing and stimulating abilities. Aloe Vera additionally helps create nitric oxide, which is also good for combating hair loss in women (the vasodilators that nitric oxide affects stimulate hair growth). Aloe Vera is also an excellent moisturiser for both your scalp and hair.
•Rosemary oil is an ingredient in many shampoos and conditioners today because of the herb’s ability to strengthen hair and stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicle. This essential oil mixed with other natural hair oils, such as basil and lavender, will slow down hair loss as we age, delay greying, make your hair shiny and stimulate growth, as well as giving your hair a very pleasant aroma.
• Jojoba oil is beneficial for hair that is dry or damaged, and is highly effective for hair damaged from breakage. The molecular make up of jojoba has similar characteristics to the natural oil the glands of the scalp produce. It is also hypoallergenic.
•Burdock oil is wonderful for the scalp. Burdock oil increases cell growth to the hair follicles by stimulating the circulation of blood to the hair follicles. Burdock root oil also supplies natural phytosterols and important essential fatty acids to hair roots, and is a key ingredient in many hair restoration treatments.
•Lavender oil contains potent anti-bacterial agents that soothe and heal scalp infections. It is also useful in treating dandruff and adds volume to the hair shaft.
•Peppermint oil stimulates the hair follicles and promotes hair growth. It is also a good scalp stimulator.
•Clary sages, used with rosemary oil, will double the hair-growth stimulation. Many oils are mixed together to increase the effectiveness of the essential oils. However, pregnant women should not use sage, but substitute lavender for sage. Lavender is a balancing oil and aids other essential oils in hair growth.
•Essential oils by themselves may cause itching or a rash for those with sensitive skin. So, all oils for the hair should include a carrier oil, such as Wheat Germ Oil. Wheat germ oil is an extremely rich, unrefined oil. It is packed with vitamins D, A and E and is rich in protein.


Balanced Lifestyle
Excessive stress levels can wreak havoc on your locks and even result in excessive hair loss.

•Deep breathing techniques are an excellent way to balance stress and can be done anywhere, anytime. The extra oxygen helps release endorphins and aids in circulation, promoting relaxation and helping the hair follicles receive vital nutrients through the blood supply.
•You can also try meditation and stress relieving exercises daily to stimulate natural hair growth. It’s important to take some time out for you!
•Sleep deprivation can also contribute to hair loss, as the daily stresses and strains that result from insufficient sleep affect your body’s systems, including the hair growth function. An average of 6-8 hours sleep is generally recommended for active adults. However, you may need more or be able to survive on a little less depending on your age, health conditions and other factors. Listen to your body and get enough rest so that it has the necessary energy for optimum performance.

Hair Care
Last but not least, prevention is better than cure. When you look after your hair and treat it with care, you will not only preserve and improve its condition, but also nurture it to grow faster and stronger.

•Constant ‘pulling’ on the hair shaft can damage the follicle to such an extent that it stops producing hair. Therefore, it is good to avoid hairstyles that put too much tension on the hair follicle, such as tight braids, ponytails secured by elastic bands, and extensions. Give your scalp and hair a break by wearing it loosely as much as possible.
•Every time you wash your hair, gently massage your scalp to promote a healthy blood circulation and to relieve scalp tightness. Then rinse your hair with warm water rather than hot water, and for your last rinse, use the coolest temperature that you can handle. This will seal your hair’s cuticle layer, protecting against moisture loss and giving your hair a beautiful natural shine.
•Avoid excessive heat, such as from a curling iron, straightening iron or blow dryer whenever possible. Rather air-dry your hair, and use a wide-toothed comb, especially on wet hair, instead of your hairbrush.
Get your hair trimmed every 7-9 weeks to keep your hair healthy and encourage more healthy hair to grow. Some people also believe that you should do this when the moon is in its ‘growing’ cycle, and then it will grow quicker. And I have to confess, old wives tale or not, I always keep to this rule myself.

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Keep an eye out for the hair treatment product reviews that myself and the other ladies will be doing on hair treatment products over the next couple of weeks. They’re not specifically for hair growth, but improving the overall health of your hair. And healthy, happy hair is bound to grow at a strong and steady pace. 🙂

Article by: Mariaan Enslin


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