We all want a head of thick, shiny hair, don’t we? In fact, an entire industry is devoted to helping us get the hair we want. But maybe the solution isn’t found in a bottle.
Our culture associates beautiful hair with a lot of desirable qualities: youth, sexiness, and even health. But sometimes our hair doesn’t measure up to how want to present ourselves to the world. Let’s face it: thin, brittle hair just doesn’t look as good. As we age our hair starts to show signs of wear and tear. Poor nutrition, hormonal imbalances, and even stress can all contribute to hair problems.
Faced with too many “bad hair days,” many people turn to the drug store or salon in hopes of finding the perfect product. The truth is that beautiful hair starts from within. Our hair is composed of a protein called keratin. One of the main ways we produce more keratin (and hence more, stronger hair) is biotin, also called vitamin B7. We can find biotin in foods like eggs, almonds, and sweet potatoes.
But sometimes eating all the right things isn’t enough.
Researchers have found that the amount of bad bacteria in your gut influences biotin production. You can improve the balance of bacteria in your gut through good nutrition, stress reduction, and reducing your sugar intake. Your hormones can also influence your gut – and your hair.
So if you’re having problems with your hair, a good first step is to check your hormone levels. Your levels of cortisol, thyroid hormone, and estrogen can all impact your hair growth.
So, what can damage your hair, despite your best efforts?
Smoking and sun exposure can weaken your hair. Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t smoke. (And if you do and you want to quit, give our office a call and we can help!) Protecting your hair from the sun is a bit easier: When you are out in the sun, wear a hat.
Another thing that can damage your hair is exposure to free radicals. These are compounds that can damage your hair and make it grey and lifeless. The good news is that antioxidants can fight free radicals. And you can get lots of antioxidants by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
If you follow these tips, your hair should shine! I suggest protecting that beautiful head of hair with products that are as natural as possible. And avoiding products with parabens, sulphates, and silicones. Those products can be harmful to both you and the environment.