What Does Your Hair Say About Your Health?

Author: Dr. Laura Brass |

Naturopathic Medicine Toronto ON

Changes in your hair health can be distressing. Whether it's increased or premature hair-loss; difference in texture, colour, or even scalp health, these shifts can be alarming and often motivate people to seek my expertise.

From a naturopathic perspective, a decline in hair health can indicate an underlying health imbalance, often due to one or more of the following:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Increased stress
  • Autoimmunity
  • Medication side-effects

As with most health conditions, looking for the root cause and the main driving force of your hair problem is the key to success.

MY FAVOURITE HAIR HEALTH SUPPLEMENT

In addition to addressing the root cause of your poor hair quality, I also often prescribe this nutritional formula to my patients with great success.

It contains vitamins, minerals, herbs, and antioxidants that promote the formation of keratin and collagen. It also has the added benefit of improving skin and nail health - isn't naturopathic medicine the best?

Caution: I strongly advise consulting with myself or another naturopathic physician before taking this supplement or any other natural medication.

Note: I have no affiliation with Pure Encapsulations or any company.

ESSENTIAL OIL SCALP MASSAGE IMPROVES HAIR GROWTH

A great study was done to show the benefit of a daily aromatherapy scalp massage on promoting hair growth. Several essential oils were used in a carrier oil and massaged into the scalp daily. The trial showed a 44% improvement in users vs placebo.

Here's the winning recipe:

  • 3-6 drops each of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood essential oils
  • 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil: jojoba or grapeseed

Mix together and massage into the scalp daily

WHAT TO EAT FOR HEALTHY HAIR

Certain nutrients are essential for good hair health, these include:

Iron

  • iron is an important mineral for hair health and low levels/anemia are a major cause of hair loss
  • Animal sources of iron are best absorbed by the body and include: red meat, poultry, fish, eggs
  • Veggie sources include: dark green leafy veggies, pumpkin seeds, blackstrap molasses

Protein

  • Protein is the main building block of hair and inadequate intake can result in weak and dry hair
  • Include protein with each meal and all snacks
    • meal time: meat, poultry, eggs or tofu
    • snacks: nuts and seeds, plain greek yogurt, hummus
  • Ensure a balance of animal and vegetarian protein for a balanced diet

Zinc and selenium

  • Minerals that many people are deficient in due to poor soil quality from modern farming practices
  • Also essential for proper thyroid function and good immunity
  • Food sources include:
    • Zinc: oysters (yummm), pumpkin seeds
    • Selenium: brazil nuts

Omega-3 fats

  • Important for many elements of our health, including the shine and texture of our hair
  • Prioritize these foods in your diet or talk to me about supplementing with a good quality fish oil:
    • small oily fish: wild salmon, trout, herring, sardines
    • avocado, walnuts, flax seeds
    • omega-3 eggs

Biotin

  • A B vitamin that when deficient can lead to brittle hair and hair loss
  • Found in egg yolks, liver and whole grains

TAKE PROPER ACTION FOR YOUR HAIR

  • Remember, the change in your hair health is a symptom of an underlying health imbalance that needs to be addressed
  • For a complete nutritional assessment to ensure all of your dietary requirements are being met, book an appointment
  • Blood work may be necessary to ensure hormone and immune levels are in an optimal range, and no nutritional deficiencies exist
  • Always eat a whole foods diet high in healthy fats, fruits and vegetables


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