Supplements for Hair Growth - Useful Nutrients and Herbs
What are some useful and effective supplements for hair growth?
Most hair grows naturally up to six inches per year, with some exceptions, due mainly to genetics. Growth averages approximately one-half inch per month, so it takes approximately two years for the tips of the hair to reach shoulder length.
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A note about Supplements for Hair Growth - Useful Nutrients and Herbs
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
A number of factors influence whether hair grows optimally, including diet, hereditary factors, age, seasonal changes and climate. Certain supplements can be taken to ensure that a healthy, well nourished body leads to a shiny luxuriant head of hair.
Here is a breakdown of some useful supplements for hair growth.
Before we touch on the various supplements for hair growth, here are some general guidelines.
A weekly scalp massage will maintain consistent and rapid hair growth by increasing the blood supply to the scalp. Added essential oils can improve dry or sensitive skin. Brushing gently every morning and evening will also stimulate the scalp and keep hair naturally moisturized by scalp sebum and tangle free.
Be sure to wear a hat or otherwise protect your head from over-exposure to the sun. Avoid the overuse of chemical sprays, coloring agents and synthetically based shampoos and conditioners. Never wear tight clips, barrettes or other restraints to sleep. Maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible - an excellent diet, good hydration, adequate exercise and sufficient amounts of sleep (between 7 and 9 hours); these will all show in the vitality of your appearance, especially in your hair.
Protein is not supplements for hair growth per se, but rather should form an adequate part of any good diet. A protein-rich diet creates hair much improved in its appearance. Supplement your diet with calves liver, brewers yeast, wheat germ, and two tablespoons of granulated lecithin daily, which maximizes the hairs strength, beauty, and vitality. Other sources of protein include eggs, fish, beans and yogurt.
Complete protein, such as those available from animal sources - meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt - provide all nine indispensable amino acids in adequate amounts. Incomplete proteins including those found in plants, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, can be deficient in one or more of the indispensable amino acids.
Vegetarian and vegan diets may therefore contain enough protein, but individuals must pay special attention to the type of proteins they eat to ensure that all amino acid requirements can be met. Vegan diets adequate in total protein content can be made complete by combining sources of incomplete proteins which lack different indispensable amino acids together. Thus, a well planned and varied vegetarian diet means a mixture of proteins will be consumed, so that the amino acids in one protein compensate for the deficiencies of another.
Two vegetarian exceptions that constitute complete proteins on par with lean meat include soya products (suitable for vegans) and eggs (suitable for lacto-ovo vegetarians only). The average vegetarian who varies his or her intake and samples a wide variety of produce on a planned basis will have no problems with protein intake.
Amino acid supplement for hair growth s
In order to maintain hair growth, hair follicles require a constant supply of amino acids via the blood stream. Hair follicles have very high energy, vitamin, mineral, and amino acid consumption rates because they contain some of the fastest growing and dividing cells in the body.
If amino acid quantities become insufficient (particularly certain essential amino acids - 9 or 10 of the total 20 possible), the hair follicles may have difficulty producing hair fiber. The essential amino acids include Arginine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine.
A healthy, balanced diet generally ensures that one has all the amino acids required, so that supplements for hair growth should not be necessary. However, the most popular amino acid supplements for hair growth, cysteine, ensures that hair fiber production proceeds smoothly. Cysteine contains sulfur molecules, which cross link with one another in the keratin protein chain to produce disulfide bonds. These bonds give hair its strength.
Nutritional vitamin daily supplements for hair growth
Here are various useful supplements for hair growth:
Hair growth enzymes and hormones
While not supplements for hair growth, per se, in large part, hormones control hair growth. Hormones that bind to hair follicles can cause an imbalance in the growth process, and eventually excess hormonal action can interfere with the follicle to such an extent that hair ceases to grow and the follicle dies.
In men, testosterone causes facial hair growth, as well as the appearance of body hair. In women, estrogen generally inhibits facial hair growth and encourages scalp growth. Women, especially during peri-menopause when hormone levels can fluctuate, experience a drop in estrogen that may cause hair thinning and hair loss.
A patterned form of hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia, results in part due to hereditary factors and in part as a result of hormone interaction, especially a sensitivity to the male hormones, which exists in both men and women, called DHT (Dihydrotestosterone).
In addition to affecting the follicles and causing them to shut down, DHT can also cause the follicles to over process sebum. Other than the oft prescribed hormone replacement therapy, which many health practitioners now express concerns with especially over the long-term, women can use a variety of herbal supplements to counteract the effects of DHT and of fluctuating hormones in general.
Herbal and other natural nutritional supplements for hair growth
Polyphenols, found in apples, have a surprising range of health effects, including being extremely good antioxidants. A recent trend that has emerged, called procyanidin therapy, also shows promise as a potential cure for male pattern baldness.
In tests on human hair cells, apple chemicals proved twice as effective as minoxidil in promoting hair growth. The apple extracts also appeared superior to both grape and grape seed extracts, which have been used in natural treatments for some time.
The richest known source of procyanidin B2 can be found in the skins of immature unripened green apples. Many people taking apple procyanidins in pill form have reported that they notice faster hair growth, stronger fingernails, and softer, smoother skin. The apple procyanidins have thus far been proven safe for humans and animals, and patients in the study showed no toxicity reaction, no irritation, and no side effects.
Borage (oil or seeds) contains gamma linoleic acid (GLA), an omega 6 fatty acid that converts to a hormone called prostaglandin. Prostaglandin has anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant properties, as well as excellent dilative qualities that allow blood vessels to optimally circulate blood.
Though evening primrose and black currants also possess GLA, studies seem to show borage to be the richest source of this fatty acid. On average, it contains more than twice that of the more popular evening primrose source.
Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) appears to stall the onset of male pattern balding. Regardless of the cause of hair loss, including borage oil in a diet as supplements for hair growth may prevent further hair loss and encourage strong growth. Take 100 to 500 mg daily, the suggested dosage of these supplements for hair growth prescribed by many herbal nutritionists.
Though all tea derives from the same plant species, types and varieties differ according to location, plant cultivation, harvesting and tea processing methods. The polyphenol catechins present in green tea leaves appear to block the action of a specific enzyme that sparks male hair loss, or alternate theories propose that the anti-inflammatory agents in the tea soothe the scalp and promote hair growth. Either way, green tea can be among the useful supplements for hair growth, and a rinse with green tea can be a good addition to a healthy hair regimen.
Jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinesis)
Available as unprocessed or hydronated wax, butter and wax beads, jojoba helps clear dandruff, dry scalp, and other skin conditions, leaving hair supple and moisturized. It can be used as an ingredient or base for essential oil hair and scalp massage treatments. Jojoba oil is among the most useful topical supplements for hair growth.
A palm-like plant native to North America, the saw palmettos berries contain fatty acids and sterols which have been used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, because the active ingredients inhibit testosterones action on the prostate. Saw palmetto extracts can reduce DHT uptake by follicles, and block binding of DHT to androgen receptors, thus reducing the effects of pattern balding. This herb is thus among the useful supplements for hair growth.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
Native to Europe, but now established in the U.S. and Canada, this herb has been used for centuries as a hair tonic to stimulate new hair growth. Many also use it to restore natural hair color and increase luster.
In European tradition, the tender shoots and leaves of young plants must be harvested, cooked slightly, and the resulting juice smeared on the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Currently, no specific clinical studies have been conducted on the ability of nettle to treat hair loss, though some research does indicate that nettle root extract can prevent testosterone from converting to DHT (the hormone responsible for Male-Pattern Balding).
Nettle should not be taken by pregnant women, as it can stimulate uterine contractions. Be aware that when harvesting the fresh herb, older plants cause a burning pain or rash that can last for up to 12 hours - so exercise due caution if using any form of this herb as supplements for hair growth.
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