Learning how to strengthen hair is not difficult as long as you know how to spot the signs of weak hair. So hair that droops, thinning, limp or falling out should be attended to right away. Other signs of weak hair may include extreme dryness, excessive oiliness and split ends. While it can often be genetic, it could also be the result of several factors such as:
- Excessive air conditioning
- Poor diet
- Extreme heat from hair styling tools
- Scalp infection caused by fungus
- Chlorine in the water
- Cancer treatments
- Other medications
- Salt water
- Prolonged sun exposure
While a person may lose between a hundred and 150 hair strands daily, this is considered normal since most people have 100,000 plus hair strands on their scalp. Besides, new hair strands grow back in the place of the one which was lost, an ongoing process until middle age when hair re-growth slows down.
Find out how to strengthen your hair by having stronger follicles.
Diet and Healthy Hair
Your oil glands release sebum, or oil, into your hair’s follicles which are tiny sacs lined with numerous skin cells. Sebum protects and lubricates your hair. When these cells enter the sacs and get “lumped” together, it results in hair. That part of your hair that you see is called the hair shaft which is made of keratin, a kind of “dead” protein.
To strengthen the follicles, you must have a healthy diet since hair is directly derived from cells. Simply put, the health of your hair depends on your overall health.
There are several ways to strengthen your follicles but the best way is to do it the natural way. Below are some tips on how to strengthen hair naturally through changes you can make in your diet.
Hair Strengthening Through Diet
A deficiency in oxygen supply weakens hair follicles. Increase this supply by eating foods that contain iron because this nutrient facilitates the transport of oxygen to your hair’s follicles.
Foods like dark green and leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and kale, lean meat, and beans, lentils, and legumes are all rich sources of iron. Or you can take an iron supplement to meet this requirement.
Your diet should include the mineral zinc which helps strengthen follicles by binding proteins to build strong hair strands. Seafood such as shrimp, fish, oysters, lobster, and clams are good sources of zinc. This mineral supports your oil glands so they can protect your hair better, albeit go for a daily 11mg dose since too much zinc will interfere with your body’s absorption of other nutrients.
Have a variety of vegetables, healthy fats, and fruits in your diet to get your supply of vitamins E, A, C, and the B-complex family. Pick several different colors of vegetables and fruits such as carrots and oranges (orange), tomatoes and cranberries (red), Brussels sprouts and avocados (green), and bell peppers and pears (yellow) to eat a variety of them.
Consume foods rich in protein including eggs, turkey, lean meat, chicken, and low-fat dairy. Hair is built with protein and one sure way to ensure that you have an adequate supply of it in your system is to know how to strengthen hair naturally by eating other foods that have essential vitamins and minerals.
Minerals and Vitamins to Strengthen Hair
Vitamin C is especially helpful because it aids in the absorption of iron from other sources. Black currants, guavas, blueberries, papaya, sweet potatoes, kiwi fruits, and strawberries are all rich in this vitamin that helps produce collagen which is essential for strengthening capillaries that carry blood and oxygen to the hair’s shafts.
Another vitamin needed to produce sebum isvitamin A. Sebum is your hair’s natural conditioner to maintain scalp health. Without it, dryness and itchiness can occur in the scalp, cause it to break, become infected, and weaken your hair. Orange, yellow, and yellow-orange vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, bell peppers, and oranges.
Yet another vitamin, vitamin E, can help protect your hair and your skin as well. Know how to strengthen hair roots by incorporating this powerhouse vitamin in your diet through almonds, silken tofu, salmon, sunflower seeds, shrimp, and squash, among others. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is 15mg a day for adults.
Aside from zinc, copper is one mineral that can help strengthen hair shafts and retain the pigmentation of your hair. Copper deficiency leads to hair breakage and premature graying of hair. Foods rich in copper include poultry, lean red meat, nuts, eggs, and dark green and leafy vegetables. Herbs and spices that have copper include cumin, cloves, marjoram, curry, dill, tarragon, and thyme.
Selenium is another important mineral that helps prevent hair breakage as well as split ends and dandruff. Brazil nuts, lamb, and seafood such as shrimp, cod, sardines, fish, and tuna are rich sources of selenium. Vegetarians can opt for cottage cheese, garlic, white button and Shiitake mushrooms, brown rice, lima and pinto beans, Chia seeds, and oats for their selenium supply.
Heat and Weak Hair: A No-No
The heat from hot curlers, flat irons, blow-dryers, and curling irons further weaken your hair. Using a blow-dryer on hair that is completely wet, for instance, heats water that has remained in your hair cuticle, causing this to expand inside your hair and leave blisters or spaces inside hair fibers which weaken them. Additionally, these parched hair strands soak up air moisture and cause frizz.
Keep your hairstyling tools on low temperaturesand increase their settings only when necessary. Apply heat protection conditioners before you style your hair so it can be protected from potential thermal damage. Always follow up with products infused with conditioners or protective oils to help seal in moisture for your hair follicles and hair roots.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do reduce your use of heated hairstyling tools and find other hairstyles to wear. Instead of blow-drying your hair and then using a curling iron to create waves every day, leave it as it is for one whole day, braid it loosely or have it in a ponytail. Remember to use some fortifying mousse or gel and bands without metal on them.
Don’t strain your hair strands with dreadlocks or if you absolutely must, ensure that you wear you hair this way only for a day or two. Switching hairstyles every other day can help avoid straining already weak hair. Another way you can strain your hair strands is by brushing them when they are wet. Use hair brushes with padded bristles or those made with animal hair like boar bristles.
Choose Products that Can Strengthen Your Hair
Alongside a healthy and hair-strengthening diet, there are hair-strengthening products that you can use. You just have to know how to choose them. Those labeled “anti-breakage,” “restorative,” “renewal” or “strengthening” are best because this means the product has ingredients which can help temporarily seal off existing split ends, moisturize, hydrate, repair, and thicken hair.
Shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products with ingredients that infuse proteins, amino acids, and other hair-strengthening substances are best to use. Avoid those which tend to dry out your hair. Use a conditioner that can penetrate deep into your scalp and moisturize it by hydrating your hair’s roots and follicles. Enhance conditioning by getting protein mask or hot oil treatments regularly.
Incidentally, overusing hair products to compensate for damaged hair should not be done because this can result in more damage to your hair. This means you should avoid any hair styling products that contain alcohol, for instance, as well as limiting the use of chemicals on your hair like hair dyes, bleach, and perm or straightening solutions.
These tend to dry out hair when used for a prolonged period of time, weaken hair fiber and may cause permanent damage to your hair. Counteract these chemicals by using products that contain stearyl alcohol that can strengthen weak hair and soften it at the same time. Use hair dye or coloring that is free from ammonia and has conditioning ingredients.