How to Correct Dry Hair Caused by High Porosity

If you suffer from dry hair, it’s because the hair system is not properly hydrated.  Healthy hair typically has 6% moisture.  When the hair system becomes dry, it’s typically found in hair that has high porosity.

 

What is High Porosity Hair?

High porosity hair has raised cuticles that will not hold moisture in the cortex or cellular membrane complex.  The twisted, elliptical, corkscrew hair shaft structure for type 4 hair makes it particularly susceptible to raised cuticles (i.e. high porosity) and ultimately breakage at those points where the hair makes a 180-degree bend. If your hair is damaged from excessive flat ironing, coloring or mechanical stress, the problem of dryness gets much worse.

 

Why is Highly Porose Hair Easily Damaged?

Porous hair systems tend to absorb (sorption) water very quickly in high humidity conditions.  It will also allow the water to evaporate (desorption) very quickly in dry conditions like when you are indoors during the winter months.   Since we tend to spend the bulk of our time inside during the dry climate conditions water from our hair and skin is constantly evaporating and eventually, they becomes dry.

 

Is High Porosity Hair Correctable?

High porosity hair does not mean you are confined to eternal hair dryness and breakage.  You just have to take extra care in styling your hair as well as know what types of products will work well with your particular hair type.   Below, I will discuss some of the solutions to correcting dry hair.  But before I do, I want to also mention the fact the low porosity hair can be a problem as well.

 

Low porosity hair is the reverse of high porosity hair. The cuticle is more tightly closed and although the hair will absorb less water, it will actually hold onto the water a lot longer than highly porose hair.  Unfortunately, when the moisture reserve begins to dwindle, it much more difficult to replace it because of the tightly closed cuticle and therein lies the problem. Luckily there is a quick fix to get low porosity hair back on track.

 

Tip: Low porosity hair dryness is not as prevalent as high porosity hair dryness but is an easy fix nonetheless.  Try using a castile soap periodically.  The problem is that your hair cuticles are too tightly attached to the hair shaft.  The high pH soap will gently raise and open the cuticle, to allow more water and oil into the cortex without doing too much damage.

 

Now I will discuss the following 4 methods you can use to treat dry hair due to high porosity: Oil/Butters, Humectants,  Emulsions, and Silicones

 

Myth or Truth:  Can Oil and Butters Correct Dry Hair?

 

All About Oils and Butters: 

If oil does not have any water in it, how in the world can it be moisturizing?

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the use of oils and butters to treat dry hair.  It’s even been suggested that oils and butters should be your first choice as a moisturizer. While this can be true to a certain degree, one huge point was missed.  Your hair has to be properly hydrated in order for an oil to “appear” to be moisturizing.

 

Why aren’t Oils and Butters Good Moisturizers When Used Alone?

Oils and butters do not contain one drop of water.  So why do we refer to them as moisturizing when they do not contain water?  Oils and Butters are really a collection of essential fatty acids (EFA).   Depending on the structure and molecular weight of the EFA, they will either coat the outside of the hair or penetrate the hair cuticle and cellular membrane complex.

 

Tip:  Oils and butters are nothing more than emollients, which are chemical agents that increase your skin and hair’s hydration (water content) by REDUCING evaporation-and NOT ADDING MOISTURE!

 

So I would have to say  inaurguably, that soley using oils and/or butters will moisturize your hair is in fact a myth.

Oils and Butters Dos and Don’ts

 

Do use Oils and Butter on Hydrated, Healthy, Normal Hair

When oils/butters coat the outside of the hair, they make your hair shiny, soft and to some degree detangled.   On the other hand, when they penetrate the hair cuticle they increase your hair’s elasticity and suppleness because they are able to trap in the hair’s natural moisture.  When moisture is trapped into the hair, it’s more difficult for your hair to lose moisture due to evaporation in dry climates.   The end result is that the hair will feel more moisturized when oil is used but it is not the result of oil bringing moisture to the hair, instead, it is the oil’s ability to aid our hair in using its natural hydration more efficiently.

 

Don’t use Oils and Butters on Dry Hair

On the flip side, if your hair is dry adding oil will do nothing to moisturize your hair. In fact, it will take longer for dry hair to adsorb moisture if oil has been applied because the oil will act as a sealant and coat the hair.  Again, oils and butters only aid in moisture retention when your hair is already properly hydrated.

 

The Experiment: When your hands are extremely dry, apply your favorite oil or butter to them and see if they feel moisturized. My hypothesis is that they will feel even more dry, which is exactly what will happen when you apply oil to dry hair.

 

Tip:  If you are a “diehard” oil and butter user, make sure to apply them to damp hair. It is also great to apply a light dressing of oil to your ends after you shower.

 

Super Tip:  Use a steamer with a pre-poo to combat hair dryness. This combination will bring both water and oil to the hair system.

I’ve discussed oils and their ability to stop moisture from being absorbed or desorbed from the hair, which makes me think of a similarly acting ingredient regarding absorption and desorption-humectants.

 

Myth or Truth:  Can Humectants Reduce Dryness?

 

All About Humectants

What are Humectants?

Humectants also do not contain any water.  However, they have a huge affinity for water.  That means they will take moisture from the air, your hair products, or your hair to stay hydrated.  When used in hair care products, they will also slow down the evaporation of water from the hair.   Again, this is due to water’s affinity/attraction for the humectants as compared to the energy needed for evaporation in dry climate conditions.   Glycerin is a typical humectants used in hair products.  You have to be careful of using it in high and low humidity conditions.  There can be some drawbacks from using high glycerin formulas depending on the dew point.

Myth or Truth: Do Emulsions Reduce Dryness?

So I would have say that it is true that humectants can reduce dry hair-however, it depends on the dew point as stated above.

 

Let’s Talk Emulsions

What are Emulsions?

In my opinion, the best of both worlds are hair products that are cream or lotion conditioning moisturizers.  The technical term is oil in water emulsions. It is both water and oil (hybrid) combined with the help of a conditioning emulsifier.  Emulsions are suspended droplets of oil trapped in a water matrix.  The oil droplets are incased in an emulsifier and allow the oil/water mixture to not separate. Cream and lotion emulsions are considered moisturizers because they possess water while at the same time being oil.

 

Emulsion Mechanics and how it works on my hair

The water/oil emulsion can either penetrate the hair cuticle or coat the hair shaft.  The end result is that when oil and water penetrate the cuticle, the hair is moisturized because of two mechanisms:

 

  1. The formula water is hydrating the hair system.
  2. Oils that have penetrated the cuticle act to slow down the evaporation rate of water from the hair.

 

Tip: Humectants can also be added to the water matrix of the emulsion to improve the moisturizing properties of the product.   It stays suspended in the water matrix due to its affinity for water.  It also acts to farther slow down the evaporation rate of water from hair.

 

Truth or Myth: Emulsifier Aid in Reducing Dry Hair?

Yes, the conditioning emulsifier has another function.  Due to its positive charge, it will coat and smooth down the cuticle.  Thus, it will make it even more difficult for water to evaporate.   Remember, your hair negatively charged and is dry because the cuticle is raised.  Anything that will coat the hair and smooth the cuticle will translate into more moisture in the hair System.  BTMS is a typical fatty acid alcohol emulsifier.

 

So it’s True, Emulsions are Great at Reducing Hair Dryness.

Tip:  Cream and Lotion emulsion products can be added to damp or dry hair.  However, I would use caution when applying an emulsion to dripping wet hair.  Depending on the oil to emulsifier ratio (for you tech geeks the HLB), the extra water could “break the emulsion” and cause it to separate.  Not a big deal if it happens during the application but the product will lose some of its effectiveness.

 

Tip:  Root to tip application of an emulsion-based product is a great way to mechanically smooth down the cuticle.   Remember, raised cuticles on the hair structure cause hair dryness.  Anything that will cause the cuticle to retract will mean more moisture in the hair system.

 Let’s Talk Silicones

Myth or Truth, Does Silicone Reduce Dryness?

 

Silicone coats the hair also.  Why is it considered bad for my hair?

Silicones (aka “Cones”) are some of the best coating compounds on the market. They give your hair incredible shine without weighting down the hair.   However, they are too good at coating the hair.  It all goes back to moisture in the hair and how to effect its evaporation.  What I did not elaborate on earlier in this article is that moisture in our hair actually is in equilibrium with the environment that we are living.  In dry conditions, our hair loses moisture via evaporation.   In humid conditions, our hair adsorbs moisture.  The problem with silicone is that while it will slow down (not completely stop) the evaporation of moisture from hair, it almost completely stops the adsorption of moisture back on to the hair shaft.   “Net – Net” your hair becomes drier over time as your hair evaporates moisture without being able to adsorb moisture back into the hair. Remember, hair dryness can lead to breakage.

 

“Tips for my Cone Junkies:”

1.    Make sure your hair is properly hydrated before you use Cones.  It is kind of like getting a cold drink of water before a long hot walk.  It’s going to be awhile before you get some more water so drink up.

 

2.     Use a SLS or harsh detergent type shampoo to strip the silicone from the hair on a more frequent basis.  Only use the SLS shampoo for stripping out the silicone.

3.    Follow up with deep condish and consider going without silicone for a while.  During this time, focus on hydrating/ moisturizing the hair.  You have to find your rhythm on how long to stay on and off silicone.  Let your hair guide you in finding the right frequency.  The goal is to have properly hydrated hair.

Lastly, Let’s Look at Proteins

 

Myth or Truth-Do Proteins Moisturize the Hair?

 

How in the world is protein moisturizing?

Typically, protein is not used in its natural state due to its size.  It’s too big to be effective in skin, hair and body products.    Most products use hydrolyzed protein, which is not meant to convey any moisturizing properties what so ever.

 

Just as oils are a collection of essential fatty acids, protein is similar in that it is a collection of amino acids.  These amino acids are linked together by peptide bonds to form long protein chains.    Hydrolyzation is the process of “cutting up” the protein chain into very specific molecular weight segments of amino acid.   All segmentation occurs at the peptide bond and a by-product of breaking a peptide bond is the formation of water.   The hydrolyzed protein segments are smaller and from a stereo chemical standpoint, can benefit the hair.

 

Hydrolyzed protein does two things:

  1. It will strengthen the hair structure
  2. It will repair/coat/patch areas on the hair system that have been damaged.  Damaged can be defined as split ends, missing and or RAISED cuticles.

 

So I would say that it’s a myth-protein does not moisturize the hair.

In closing, preventing hair dryness is all about 1st) properly hydrating the hair and 2nd) slowing down the evaporation (desorption) process.   So to summarize:

 

  1. If you are going to use an oil or butter.  Pre hydrate your hair before using the oil or butter.  Think of it as going to a BYOW affair.  You have to “bring your own water” to the party in order for an oil to be effective at moisturizing your hair.
  2. If you like to use humectants “spritz” products, then think of them as a “Water Kleptomaniacs” and your hair is benefitting from the stolen goods.  Humectants steal water from the air and your hair products to ensure that it stays hydrated.   Since humectants are also coating the hair shaft, the hair will also be hydrated.
  3. Emulsions that have humectants are the best of all worlds.  You get benefits of moisture and oil in one product.  They should be applied to dry or moist hair.
  4. Silicones are way too much of a good thing.  Your hair is not given the chance to adequately re-hydrate itself.  Over time, your hair becomes drier because moisture evaporates faster than it can adsorb water.
  5. Strip the silicone from your hair periodically and re hydrate/ deep condishing.Protein is the repairman. It coats, smoothes, and patches damaged areas of the hair.  If you can patch those areas where the cortex is exposed, your hair will stay hydrated longer.  You will also delay/lessen/prevent the possibility of hair breakage!
  6. Low porosity hair can use a higher pH shampoo.  I am not saying going back to SLS.  Castile soap is good middle ground for cleansing the hair.  Follow up with a deep condishing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mechanics of Henna Hair Colorant-Technically Speaking

The Origins of Henna

Before I delve into mechanics of henna, I think it’s important to know a little bit about its rich history.  The henna bush is indigenous to North Africa, the Middle East, south Asia, and northern Australia.  As far back as the times of ancient Egypt, people have used henna to dye hair, skin and fingernails.  They would harvest the henna leaves at the end of the summer season just before the rainy season began because the leaves had the highest amount of dye content during that time period.  The leaves would be dried, milled, and sifted; and then later sold as a fine powder for dying.

 

What is Henna Exactly?

The active ingredient that enables henna to color hair is lawsone- which is also known as 2-Hydroxy-1,4 Napthaquinone (Figure 1).   Lawsone is a weak organic acid that has a typical concentration of 1.3-1.5% in henna leaves that are harvested at the height of the summer season, as mentioned above.  In order for lawsone to be effective, it must be preserved.

 

Figure 1.  Lawsone

 

 

 

 

 

 

How is Lawsone Preserved During the Manufacturing Process? 

Lawsone is unique because of its structure.  It’s an extremely unstable negatively charged structure due to the presence of 2 carboxyl groups (C=O) and one acid group (OH).   It will ionize and then react (decompose) quickly, which makes it ineffective for hair coloring; therefore it needs to be preserved.  In today’s manufacturing practices, lawsone is preserved with citric acid during the milling process. However, during ancient times, lemon juice or tea was added to the henna powder to create an acidic paste of permanent hair colorant.  The over abundance of protons from the citric acid make it less likely that the acid group or carboxyl groups on the lawsone molecule will ionize and decompose.  Remember, it’s the release of lawsone in the henna leaves that gives henna its pigment.

 

Tip:  Make sure the Henna product you purchase has citric acid on the INCI ingredients listing.  If the lawsone has decomposed, it will not color the hair.

 

The Color of Henna

Lawsone’s color is red to orange only.  So when you see henna in colors other than reddish orange, other pigments have been added.  The important question to ask is, “What are those pigments?”  Are they natural pigments such as indigo, turmeric, catechu, amal, vashma or black walnut shells?  If so, you should have a basically safe colorant for your hair.  However, if you see colors listed like the ones below, the odds are that the manufacturer has added a synthetic dye, which studies suggest are toxic.

 

Toxicity of Henna “Knock Offs”

In some cases hair colorant manufacturers will market their henna based products as all natural or organic but, in reality they are using metallic salts  (lead acetate/copper acetate/silver nitrate), paraphenylediaamine, or p-aminophenol with henna to achieve mahogany, golden brown and black hair colors.  There is scientific data, which links the use of metallic salts in hair dye to heavy metal poisoning.  It is equally important to note that studies have linked paraphenylediaamine and p-aminophenol (PPD) to severe dermatitis/allergic reactions as well as hair damage and/or hair loss.

If you currently have a henna colorant in your hair and are uncertain about the presence of metallic salts in your “natural” henna product, you can do this simple test.  Mix 30 grams or 1 oz of hydrogen peroxide (20%) with 1 cc or 20 drops of ammonia (28%).  Add a few strands of your henna treated hair to the mixture and look for the following results:

  1. If the hair color changes immediately, the henna colorant most likely contains lead acetate.
  2. If the hair boils and gives off a terrible smell, the henna colorant most likely contains copper acetate
  3. If you see a greenish precipitation and no change in the hair color, the henna colorant most likely contains silver nitrate.

Now that you fully understand henna in terms of its origin, what it is, how it’s manufactured and where it gets its pigment from, let’s take a look what you should do once you’ve purchased your henna product and are ready to use it.  Not to beat a dead horse, but I must state it again, you have to preserve your henna product before you can use it.

 

Acidic Hydrolysis during Paste Making

Once you are ready to use the henna, you will need to make a paste out of the powder.  Everyone talks about using lemon juice and black tea as a good medium for making a paste.  I recommend making your medium out of dried sour limes.  Dried sour limes have the highest amount of citric acid as compared to lemons, oranges or tea. Thus sour limes are more effective at preserving (also known as acidic hydrolysis) the lawsone.  Once you make the paste, make sure the pH is around 4.5 to 5.5.   Cover the paste with saran wrap and push out as much air as possible.  Remember the whole point of adding citric acid to the lawsone is to preserve it.   Also, you don’t want the lawsone to oxidize in the presence of air, so force out as much air as possible and wait 6-12 hrs.  The waiting period is important to allow the acid to hydrolyze with the lawsone.

 

Tip:  Use a vacuum storage pouch to store your henna paste.  It is more effective than saran wrap and ensures that all the air has been removed.  It will reduce the possibility of oxidation.

 

How Does Lawsone Color Hair?

The whole point of adding citric acid to the henna powder manufacturing process and to the henna paste making process is to preserve lawsone for one specific reaction.  You want to have as much lawsone available (1.5%) to react with the keratin protein in your hair (Figure 2).

 

Figure 2. Typical Keratin Structure

 

 

 

 

 

The actual reaction mechanism is as follows:

The carboxyl group from lawsone, which is negatively charged, reacts with the amide group from keratin’s peptide bond, which is positive.   This reaction attaches the lawsone molecule to the keratin protein in your hair, and thus, gives your hair a permanent color. See Figure 3 and Figure 4.

 

Figure 3.  Lawsone Keratin Protein Reaction

C9H502 – C =O     +   H2N – Keratin               C9H502′ – C = N – Keratin + H20

(Lawsone)            (Free NH2 in Keratin)                      (Schiff’s base)

 

Figure 4:  Typical Peptide Bond

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with every hair colorant, their are pros and cons to using henna, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives.

 

Pros and Cons of Using Henna (Lawsone)

Pros

  • Permanent color system due to the nature of lawsone’s ability to bond with keratin
  • Safe product for cancer survivors, pregnant women, and people allergic to synthetic dyes (PPD)
  • Natural product as long as it is NOT mixed with metallic salts
  •  Less damaging to hair because unlike synthetic dyes, you do not have to use ammonia (high pH) to open the cuticle.

Cons

  • Permanent color system as opposed to semi permanent
  •  Vegetable dyes in general have limited colors
  •  Extra effort in converting powder to paste
  • Poor solubility of lawsone as compared to synthetic dyes.  It will take longer due to the size of lawsone and other vegetable as compared to the synthetic dyes
  • Lawsone’s color is different on different hair colors
  • Hard to determine if products are truly natural (Use of metallic salts are not always documented in the INCI listing)

Henna Tutorial-The Henna Page

References:

(1) B. I.  H.  AMRO,*  K.  C. JAMES, and T.  D.  TURNER, A quantitative study of dyeing with lawsone, J.  Soc. Cosmet.  Chem., 45,  159-165 (May/June 1994)

(2) Clarence Robbins(Colgate Palmolive Technology Center Alumni), Chemical and Physical Behavior of Human Hair, 4th edition, Chap 6,  Dyeing Human Hair Colorant, Vegetable Dyes, pg 339 – 359.

 

 

Hair Vitamins: Truth or Myth-Scientifically Speaking

Lately, I have been hearing a lot of discussions about hair vitamins. Some women swear by them; while others say that they are just a complete hoax and waste of money.  So I decided to take a closer look to see what all the fuss was about. 

 

What Exactly is a Hair Vitamin?

Hair vitamins are basically the same vitamins that are found in most of the regular daily multi-vitamins; however, they have been repackaged to contain only the adequate amount of vitamins that are essential for healthy hair.  Having said that, you can continue to take your multi-vitamin as long as it has the recommended daily allowance of the vitamins that affect the hair.  So what is the magical potion that leaves your tresses unrecognizably gorgeous? To answer this question, we must first define hair.

 

Hair-Is More Than What Meets the Eye

I find it interesting that the beautiful tresses found on your head, whether they are long, short, natural, straight, chemically treated, blond, brown, black, red, or grey, are nothing more than a mass of mostly keratin protein.  Keratin is the main structural component of not only hair; but, skin and nails as well. This is why hair vitamins are sometimes marketed as a hair, skin, and nails product.  The primary reason hair vitamins stimulate growth is because keratin protein is made up of amino acids, which are critical for all life forms. In fact, one of the most important functions of amino acids is to serve as the building blocks of protein. Therefore, anything that aids in the process of creating protein, i.e. certain vitamins and minerals, will ultimately have an impact on your hair depending on the amounts that are present.  But, before I talk about which vitamins are a must have for healthy hair and hair growth, I have to give you a little biochemistry lesson on cell biology.

 

Understanding how Cells Work in our Bodies

To keep this as basic as possible, I will define proteins as the start of all life (this includes hair too) within the body.  Each of our cells is made of proteins and each cell has many pathways (metabolic chemical reactions) that occur as they are being built.  Think Dallas, Texas highways, roads and streets for those of you who live in the DFW area.  Your cells have a maze of pathways that cross and overlap to create the right DNA for building that particular cell.  Therefore, you need the proper amount of vitamins and minerals when cells are dividing and multiplying so that they can be built and copied properly. One missing nutrient, can negatively impact the end result and can lead to birth defects (Sorry, I would be remiss if I did not show how serious this could be) and damaged hair, which is the purpose of this article (smile).  Now you can see why eating a healthy diet or supplementing with vitamins and mineral leads to overall better health and ultimately, better hair.

 

The MoJo of Hair Vitamins

The key ingredients contained in most hair vitamins are in the B Complex family along with a few others.  Here is what I think is a good list of key hair vitamins:

 

Vitamin A– Vitamin A is not only a critical vitamin for skin, it’s also a major player for hair growth.  The lowest skin layer, the hypodermis is where the hair follicle cells/roots are located.  Because vitamin A is responsible for generating growth and repair and making sure that cells (including follicle cells) are programmed properly, it’s a necessary vitamin for hair growth.

 

Biotinis known as the “beauty vitamin” because of its incredible effects on hair, skin and nails.  Biotin is a major player in making sure that proteins are  metabolized in your hair roots and fingernail cells, and since your hair is made up of mostly keratin protein, an abundant amount of protein is critical.  Therefore it’s wise to have an adequate amount of biotin because your body will allocate it to the most critical areas first, like your vital organs, and if there is any remaining, your hair just might be lucky to get a little. Side note, ideally your hair vitamin should contain the B-complex vitamin because this family of vitamin B work synergistically to ensure that each B vitamin is metabolized and functioning properly.

 

Vitamin C-Is an antioxidant that prevents free radical damage in your cells. Note, free radicals occur naturally within your cells during the metabolic process and it occurs when you have been exposed to environmental toxins. Vitamin C is also required for the synthesis of collagen.  Without vitamin C, you simply will not have any collagen and you need collagen because it supports and gives structure to everything in the body, including all of the skin layers, which is where hair follicles and your sebaceous glands are housed.  A deficiency in vitamin C will not only effect hair growth, but might also lead to dry brittle hair.

 

Vitamin E-Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that fights against free radical damage in your cells and reduces oxidative stress.  While we need to breath in oxygen to live, once it enters our bodies-it could cause severe cell damage. Think Fruits and veggies-it’s the exposure to oxygen that causes them to “go bad” quickly. The same reaction occurs within our bodies, and having vitamin E in your arsenal will stop oxidation in its tracks.

 

The Final Conclusion

After a close examination, I have concluded that hair vitamins really do promote long, healthy hair.  However, keep in mind that not all vitamins are created equally, and to maximize both the health and hair promoting benefits of vitamin supplementation, you should ensure that the vitamins are whole vitamins and not synthetic.  Synthetic vitamins are isolated vitamins; whereas in nature, food and vitamins derived from whole foods, contain a complex number of vitamins and minerals working synergistically. Therefore, if you isolate just one of those vitamins, you lose out on the synergistic affect that the isolated vitamin needed to perform its function properly.

 

Defining and Treating Alopecia Areata-Medically Speaking

Experiencing any type of hair loss (medically known as alopecia) can be a scary and stressful experience.  Alopecia can be caused by many medical conditions, including Alopecia areata.

What is Alopecia Areata?

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that affects 2% of the population and triggers the autoimmune system to attack the hair follicles, which results in hair loss.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Alopecia Areata?

Anyone who has Alopecia areata may experience the following syptoms:

  • Hair loss during a short period of time on a specific side of the head-either the left or the right side

  • Hair loss that leaves small, round, smooth patches in one or more areas of the scalp, which is referred to as diffuse alopecia areata

  • Hair loss covering the entire head, which is referred to as Alopecia totalis

  • Hair loss over the entire body, which is referred to as Alopecia universalis

  • Hair loss within the beard, which is referred to as Alopecia areata barbae

  • Grow Exclamation Point Hairs, which is when the area that has been affected grows hairs in the shape of an exclamation point.  These hairs get the name Exclamation point hairs because the hairs become more narrow along the length of the strand closer to the scalp and look like an “exclamation point.”

 What Causes Alopecia Areata?

The specific cause of alopecia areata is still unknown; however, most agree that it is probably caused by genetics.  The good news is that while, some might have a genetic pre-disposition to getting alopecia areata, there are things that they can do to possibly stop the onset or effectively treat the condition.

How Do You Treat Alopecia Areata?

As with most chronic conditions, diet plays a critical role in building the immune system, which ultimately leads to better health. The following changes to your diet just might be the solution:

  • Control Your Insulin Levels- A study conducted by The Lancet, which is a highly reputable medical journal, has shown a correlation between insulin levels and the onset of hair loss in men.  Below, I have listed four of the most important ways to control insulin levels:

  • Eliminate or reduce your consumption of whole grains and starchy foods-whole grains can increase insulin resistance in some people.

  • Eliminate or reduce your consumption of sugary desserts-they have a high glycemic index and can increase the risk of developing diabetes.

  • Eliminate or reduce your consumption of fructose found naturally in honey, fruits, and fruit juices-Studies have linked these sugary substances to insulin resistance.

  • Eliminate or reduce your consumption of simple carbohydrates like refined white flour products, which includes crackers, cookies, cakes, and bread, etc…These foods increase your risk for developing diabetes.

  • Increase Your Vegetable Intake:  Plant based diets are a must for optimal health because vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and other green leafy vegetables contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy immune system and hair growth.

  • Increase your Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin D Levels:  Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin d3 are excellent for regulating your hormonal levels, which is paramount to great health and hair.

  • Reduce Stress Levels:  Stress increases cortisol levels in the body. While low levels of cortisol can be beneficial in “fight or flight” situations, chronically high levels can wreak havoc on your overall health and ultimately, your hair. Stress negatively impacts your body in the  the following ways:

  1. Suppresses the thyroid function

  2. Create blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia

  3. Lowers immunity and inflammatory responses in the body

As noted above, insulin resistance, chronically high cortisol levels, and low vitamins and minerals in the blood are linked indirectly to hair loss.  Once they are managed, optimal health and hair growth can be achieved.