Want longer, healthier hair? Look to science, not miracle pills.
When you’re longing to grow your best head of hair, it can be hard to pass up on the “miracle” products lining the store shelves promising you just that. Assuming you can even decide on one or two products in the dizzying array of hair treatments, supplements, and hair masques, would it really give you the luscious locks you’re striving for?
The FDA doesn’t exactly regulate cosmetics or dietary supplements, so a lot of products out there make promises without any burden of proof. What studies do exist show that, while those who use hair growth supplements may have less hair shedding and breakage, hair growth is mostly a process defined by genetics.
With that in mind, is there anything you can do besides patiently wait for your hair to grow? Like anything else where your body is concerned, a healthy lifestyle and proper care is the key.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Popular hair support supplements like vitamins A, E, and Biotin do not promote hair growth directly, but a deficiency in these and other minerals can lead to an unhealthy, dry or patchy scalp – which in turn can exacerbate hair loss and dampen new growth. Rather than paying upwards of $100 for some of these supplements, eating a well-rounded diet of fruits, veggies, and whole grains can provide all the nutrients you need to have nourished skin that encourages healthy hair growth.
Protect What’s There
Just as consuming healthy nutrients is important, it's equally helpful to nourish your hair externally. Using nutrient-rich oils on the ends of your hair can strengthen hair fibers and prevent breakage to reduce the amount of length that should be cut at your regular trims. While you should take care to keep your hair and scalp clean, shampooing too often can actually be detrimental to your hair growth, as it can wash away necessary oils along with the dirt and product buildup and dry up your scalp. Skipping conditioner can amplify those affects, so using a nourishing conditioner is a plus. Always rinse whatever product you put in your hair out completely!
The type of shampoo you buy makes a huge difference in your hair health as well. Most shampoos are made with Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), which gives shampoo those lovely bubbles. The down side is that SLS is a skin irritant, and can be harsh on the scalp and hair follicles. It can also make your hair frizzy and prone to breakage. If you color your hair, SLS will make the color fade faster – although if you are trying to help your hair grow long and strong, you may want to take a break from dyes and bleach anyway! The better the environment you can provide for your hair, the better it will grow, so using SLS-free shampoo is a smart move.
If you haven’t already, try Ja Nene’s SLS-Free Botanical Shampoo and Conditioners. If you document your hair transformation with before and after pictures, you could win a $100 Ja Nene shopping spree!