This may be your worst nightmare, losing your hair. Whether you are a man or woman, our hair represents more than just a chunk of insulation over the head, but also our personality, our style, sometimes even our identity.
There is an epidemic of people losing hair at a younger age nowadays, and even if not losing chunks per say, the notion of thinning is present.
But first, let's understand the mechanism of action on as to how hair grows.
So it all starts at the hair follicle. These hair follicles of ours require nutrients in order to grow. Think of them as little trees with roots ingrained into our skin. Just like nurturing a plant, the soil must be well maintained and fed, as would our bodies. The thing is though is that most people today are stressed and are not eating either enough or lacking nutrients in the food that they eat. Hence we have 3 issues to review:
- Chronic stress
- Not eating enough
- Not eating enough of certain nutrients/deficiencies
Stress in general sends a signal to the body that sometimes it needs to prioritize certain functions over another. Hair growth is one of them. Hair isn't necessarily a vital mechanism to survive, especially in today's modern age. Most people have the luxury of having clothes to keep them warm or living under a roof in colder months. Therefore, hair growth isn't e necessity to the body, whether e like it or not.
Hair growth requires 4 basic pillars:
- Proper nutrition
First off is energy. Energy comes in calories, but also minerals. Think of how electricity is conducted, our cells cannot actively do things unless they are told by enzymatic reactions, in which are sparked by minerals, how to function. Hence, eating sufficiently (yes ladies, let's stop the dieting! Eating less than 2000 calories is not cool anymore) and eating foods that offer that synergy to our cells is essential. Unfortunately, much of our food due to poor agriculture practices is devoid of nutrients, hence it's always recommended to supplement any missing pieces one would be lacking in their diet or opting for nutrient dense foods that are mineral rich like beef liver, oysters, eggs, fruit, or teas like nettle. Great supplements to consider are our Upgraded Trace Minerals, Upgraded Charge and Upgraded Metabolism.
Secondly, circulation. In order for us to grow hair, we need blood flow to expand from more than just where our heart and gut is, but also our extremities. Typically, a lack of blood flow is due to 2 things: lack of movement or poor thyroid function. This is when it would be wise to look into if we're moving enough during the day or if we might have potential thyroid issues. Mineral imbalances could also play a part in this, and some key nutrients for proper thyroid function are calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, selenium, manganese, copper and iron. We actually have our Upgraded Thyroid if this is something you feel like might help!
Third, proper nutrition. So when we say proper nutrition, this is more than just adequate nutrients and filling in the gaps of potential deficiencies, but also making sure one is getting sufficient macronutrients such as fat, carbohydrates and protein. In fact, our hair strands are made up of proteins, particularly keratin, which is produced through a series of amino acids, particularly glycine and proline (which is also found in collagen). Optimally speaking, the average person should be fitting in 100g of protein a day from animal sources, 120g of carbs from fruits, vegetables and roots, and the remaining fat from naturally occurring fat from meats, nuts, seeds, and dairy.
Lastly, the fourth point, light, and not just any type of light, but red light. Our hair follicles, just like any living organelle inside of us, is driven by mitochondria as an energy source. We are constantly bombarded by blue light from being on our phones, computers or sitting in front of our televisions all day long, but struggle to reap the benefits of sunrise and sunset. This type of light in particular helps stimulate growth and energize mitochondria which we need for hair growth.
So to conclude?
Hair growth is a lot more complicated than what it may seem. It's a lack of energy, and as stated, minerals are truly the hallmark of how we make energy in the first place.
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Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach