Monday, 17 December 2012

What Diet Is Optimal For Growing Longer Hair?

Chances are, you're doing all the right things already!

Fact: You cannot grow longer hair
by taking dietary supplements.
Last week you learned a bit about how important it is to protect the cuticle of your hair, as an intact cuticle makes your hair look better and easier to style on a day to day basis.

Have you had a chance to look at the hair accessories you use?

Could they use upgrading?

At Stone Bridge, we are a bit fanatical about the quality of clips we carry.

We do carry some less expensive clips because sometimes you don’t want to wear a nice clip to the gym or to muck out the horses.

But on the whole I do feel you should plump for the best clip you can afford.

They are often more gentle on your hair and they last longer.

Good For Pigs. Good For You?

Anyway, I wanted to talk to you today about diet and vitamins and how hair grows on us humans.

I mention I’m interested in how hair grows on humans because the most promising research demonstrating hair growth following a regime of increased niacin and biotin was conducted on commercially reared pigs fed a soy and corn diet.

The fact that pigfeed supplemented with vitamins resulted in longer and stronger hooves has not been shown to be of the slightest bit of use to humans (and not just because we don’t have hooves).

All clinical trials attempting to repeat this miracle for pigs on humans has shown no effect at all.

Deficiencies in iron and zinc, two other popularly cited cure-alls for hair loss, show most promise if you suffer from hair loss and happen in particular to be under the age of 8 months, more or less.

The hard facts are that unless you are clinically undernourished at the moment, you cannot grow longer, thicker, stronger or shinier hair by taking vitamins.

So put your money away.

The density or number of hairs on your head and the thickness of the individual hairs is genetically determined.

Aim For A Generally Balanced Diet

Where diet has shown a little effectiveness in clinical trials is in when the hair is thinning, with age or very poor health.

Ensuring you have a nutritionally adequate diet can help a little to preserve the number of active follicles on your head.

If you experience rapid weight loss, this can cause your hair to thin, but it may be tied again to your overall nutrition.

However, if you already have a reasonable diet, taking vitamins or herbal supplements is honestly not going to improve your hair.

Follicle Activity Is Hormonally Driven

Your follicles can begin to become inactive if you have a sudden change in hormones such as in pregnancy, the onset of menopause, during periods of extraordinary or prolonged stress, or by taking medication that effects hormone production.

While a number of different types of therapies are still being tested, there remains really only one treatment, Minoxidil marketed most commonly under the brand Regaine, that have been reliably clinically proven to show some ability to wake up otherwise inactive follicles.

Minoxidil works, in theory, by stimulating the growth of blood vessels which support individual follicles, allowing an increased flow of oxygen and nutrients to the follicle.

There is no form of diet or nutritional supplement which will encourage your body to grow these specific blood vessels in this particular way.

Ultimately, if you have a fundamentally good diet and are in average health, you will be taking in all the nutrients you need to grow healthy hair.

It really is as simple as that. There are a small number of health conditions that can cause your hair to thin, and if your hair loss is noticeable then you should consult your GP.

But vitamin supplements aimed at hair and nail growth are well and truly a waste of money.

This is the last of my Free Hair Styling Help articles and I hope you found this information helpful.

Remember, if you ever want to talk in detail about your hair, get in touch.

Drop us a line anytime. We love talking about hair, and we’d love to hear from you.


Enjoying yourself? Here are more posts you'll like reading:

A Rolled Under Half Back Style  Video Tutorial
How To Use Banana Clips  Video Tutorial
Herbal Treatments for Dandruff  More Natural Remedy Myth-Busting

All done reading? Visit Stone Bridge Hair Accessories for some good, honest hair clips that don't fool around.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/20/2012

    Another very interesting post! For the most part I completely agree with you and am very happy to hear somebody finally extolling the rubbish behind all the supplements and suchlike out there.

    I think that first of all, it's important to reiterate that if your diet is well balanced but your hair doesn't reflect that, then it's worth going to see the doctor because it can be a sign of an underlying problem, like an underactive thyroid gland.

    Secondly, there are a few supplements or dietary changes that may have an impact on hair growth. Even if you are not clinically undernourished, it is still possible to see effects from subclinical deficiency. Blood tests always give an ideal range, but we are all different and have varying values of "normal" physiology, so one person's low-but-feeling-fine value might be another person's low-and-feeling-quite-ill.

    Iron is one such example. The principle behind iron and hair grown is actually much the same as that of minoxidil, except that the opposite occurs in anaemia: the scalp is less perfused with oxygen, so the follicles' output is reduced. Given that some 40% of women are, at varying points in a given month, anaemic from iron deficiency, then it's not hard to see why iron supplements can help hair growth.

    Vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to poor hair growth and is hard to spot. It's common in vegetarians and vegans (especially those of us who don't like mushrooms!) - but then we return to your well-made point about a balanced diet.

    Lastly, I hope you don't mind if I make a really pedantic point ;-) Humans may not have hooves, as such, but we do have fingernails - which are exactly the same thing as hooves, but smaller! Hooves are simply very compact keratin and, if you go back through the evolutionary tree, you'll see that horses are actually walking on nothing but their middle fingernail!

    Apologies for the essay, but this is one of my pet topics and it really is wonderful to hear somebody talking sense at last!