How to improve hair health
From stress, hormones, nutrient deficiencies and modern styling habits – there are many factors at play daily that can compromise our hair health.
And while weak, thinning and damaged hair can feel like an enduring struggle – lush, thriving strands aren’t elusive. If you want to know how to get thick healthy hair, here are few easy steps you can implement into your beauty regime.
What is hair health?
Healthy hair is typically perceived as smooth in texture, naturally thick and resilient to breakage. But the difficulty is, your strands are consistently exposed to damage – weakened by environmental stressors, heat styling, colour and harsh haircare products. Eventually this results in loss of lustre, frizz, widening parts, split ends and other issues related to intrinsically weak hair.
What health issues cause hair loss?
In healthy women, anywhere from 6% – 38% will experience some degree of hair loss in their lives . Telogen effluvium (TE) is a term that describes a form of temporary, reversible hair loss. TE is very common and can happen for a variety of reasons.
The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition that happens with ageing – which is known as androgenic alopecia or male and female pattern baldness. This tends to happen gradually, appearing as a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair along the centre of the scalp in women.
It’s extremely common for women to experience hair loss during periods of large hormonal fluctuations – including pregnancy, postpartum and menopause. Additionally, excess or deficiency in thyroid hormones can also prompt hair loss.
Post-partum hair loss is a prevalent concern amongst women. After childbirth an estimated average of 30% of hairs enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle – known as telogen – approximately nine weeks post-partum. And this is usually when new mothers begin to notice increased hair loss and thinning – which can last anywhere from 6-24 weeks.
In the lead up to menopause, women experience a dramatic decrease in oestrogen production along with other complex hormonal changes that create an imbalance in the ratio of androgens to oestrogen that is thought to cause alternations to the hair growth cycle (2).
Thyroid hormones are imperative for the development and maintenance of the hair follicle. Therefore, when the thyroid isn’t functioning properly – be it there is too much or too little thyroid hormones circulating – this can trigger hair loss (3).
There is a link between hair health and nutritional deficiencies. Extreme weight loss, severe reductions in carbohydrate intake, malnutrition or protein deficiency can trigger excessive shedding. Likewise, essential fatty acids, minerals and micronutrients are needed for normal cell growth and function and can contribute to hair loss when they are deficient. Nutrients that can impact hair growth, structure, and quality when deficient include zinc, B vitamins, iron, iodine, and selenium.
Stress And Medical Conditions
Acute or chronic stress can also lead to temporary hair loss. It may be an aggravating factor in a person who is already suffering from hair loss or stress may be secondary in response to an existing hair loss issue. With emotional stress, our bodies can prematurely push actively growing hairs from the anagen phase into telogen, the resting phase. When this heightened occurs, and hair stops growing and falls, you might experience thinning, sparse hair.
Hair loss can also be one of the symptoms of a medical illness or a side effect of certain medications.
How can I improve my hair health?
If you’re wondering how to get thick healthy hair, there are a few simple tips you can follow to revive your strands to their healthiest state.
Ease up on the heat
We know excess use of hot tools is an obvious culprit in creating dry, breaking hair. Yet another key mistake is setting the temperature too high when styling with heat. Sticking to a mid-range temperature will still get the job done without entirely singing your strands. And when you do hit the heat, always use a heat protection product to help shield your hair from thermal damage. Alternatively, when your hair is dried-out and breaking from heat damage, rethink your haircare routine and look for a healing and repairing shampoo, conditioner and mask.
Try to avoid too-frequent shampooing. Over-washing can strip the hair of its natural oils, which are vital in creating healthy, shiny hair. When washing, concentrate on the scalp, choose shampoos that suit your hair type and concerns, and avoid hot showers when possible as they can leave your scalp feeling it dry and flaky. Unless your hair is extremely oily, you can cut back to washing with shampoo two to three times a week instead of daily.
Up your nutrients
If you’re experiencing lacklustre thinning or damaged hair, take a healing approach that starts from the inside out. Vida Glow’s Hairology is an ingestible capsule that works to minimise hair loss and support healthy hair growth and thickness.
With clinically studied active AnaGain™ and a potent blend of hair-supportive micronutrients (including zinc, bladderwrack, selenium and biotin), Hairology promotes longer, stronger and thicker hair – with visible results in 28 days (4).
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- M. P. Birch and A. G. Messenger, “Hair density, hair diameter and the prevalence of female pattern hair loss,” British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 144, pp. 297–304, 2001
- M. Grymowicz et al., “Hormonal effects on hair follicles,” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 21, no. 15, pp. 1–13, Aug. 2020, doi: 10.3390/ijms21155342.
- M. Vincent and K. Yogiraj, “A descriptive study of alopecia patterns and their relation to thyroid dysfunction,” International Journal of Trichology, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 57–60, Jan. 2013, doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.114701.
- (1). Dumoulin M, Gaudout D, Lemaire B. Clinical effects of an oral supplement rich in antioxidants on skin radiance in women. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016;9:315-324. Published 2016 Oct 18. doi:10.2147/CCID.S118920