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August 27, 2012

Lovely Locks

As a stylist I am always asked, “How can I grow out my hair thicker or what products grow hair?”  To be honest, if I knew for SURE I would be rich and famous!  There are so many products that claim to grow and thicken hair.  This blog is to help the hair challenged or everyone that sees hair falling into the sink or filling the hair brush up at a rapid pace.  I am not a scientist or doctor, but here is my very first tip.  Call an endocrinologist.  He or she will be able to do a blood count on you.  The doctor will check hormone levels and iron levels.  I suggest an endocrinologist because this type of doctor studies hormones and knows iron levels needed for hair growth.  Depending on the results, hormone treatment or vitamins such as biotin, iron, zinc and possibly vitamin c may be prescribed.
Nutrition and stress stunt hair growth first. Stress can catch up with you 6 months after the stressful event.  Family history is also a factor.  Sometimes if testosterone levels are high, the natural occurring chemical can actually close off the follicle and prevent hair growth.  If you are on medication or drink excessive amounts of alcohol, these are excreted through your scalp and can close off the follicle and cause hair loss.  Any chemical services can cause the hair to be dry and brittle; this in turn will make the hair weak and break off.
Here are tips I have heard to help hair loss.  Start with a multivitamin; this can be done before your appointment with the endocrinologist.  Then, start drinking green tea.  It has polyphenols that have been linked to healthy hair growth.  Drinking at least 2 cups of green tea daily.  The tea should be regular opposed to decaf because some beneficial compounds may be stripped away. Start taking Biotin supplements (3 mg daily) and add to your diet egg yolks and more protein. Adding zinc, a mineral that lowers androgens hormones known to speed hair loss, will also help. A combo vitamin can be found online.
If your hair is dry from chemical services, try olive oil on your hair and scalp.  Apply on dry hair, let it sit a good 30 minutes, then wash, rinse, and condition.  Do this a few times during the week.  You may want to schedule your color or relaxer an extra week or two later to get your hair stronger.  If you are seeing hair loss, regardless if you are a man or woman, try a shampoo with hyaluronic acid.   One study showed that after 60 days on this type of shampoo it decreased the number of hairs lost by 56 percent.  They also contain mild detergents such as sorbitan laurate, rather than harsh ones like lauryl sulfate, which can speed up hair thinning. One brand is  Phytokeratine Reparative Shampoo by Phyto  sold online or at Ulta stores.
Eating better, less stress, and taking time to “baby” our hair may help the fight.  As we age hair loss seems normal, but then there are women and men in their 70’s and 80’s with large amounts of hair. Were they less stressed than others?  Did they eat more foods that helped their locks stay lovely?  Or was it the luck of the gene pool?  Hair helps identify us.  It also keeps us warm in the winter, which is important living here in Cleveland!  To hang on to it isn’t a bad thing.  Don’t keep worrying about it, just start today to keep what you have and possibly grow some hair back.

Green Tea

Lovely Locks stock photo
Phytokeratine sold online or at Ulta Stores

*Thanks to Janis Graham for her original research and writings to pass on some of this information.

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