Hair supplements, what they are and when to take them

Curated by Paola Ferro, Naturopath

Natural supplements for hair, food or herbal, provide a supplement of vitamins and minerals and are useful to restore vigor to the hair or slow down the involution process. Let's find out better.



Greasy hair, dry hair and brittle hair

The hair is part of our integumentary system (skin) and is the mirror of a good physical condition . Any hormonal, psychic, or food dysfunction can have negative effects on the health of our hair.

Greasy hair: greasy hair can be accompanied not only by dandruff, but also by a sensation of itching caused by the quality or overabundance of sebum, which obstructs the follicles, hindering healthy hair growth. It is no coincidence that sebaceous hypersecretion is associated with hair loss. The cause that makes hair greasy and oily skin is the access of sebum, which is secreted by the follicles on the scalp, also covering the hair shaft. At the base of this overabundance of sebum there may be: f hormonal actors (excess testosterone), stress, pollution, overly aggressive shampoos, digestive disorders, overloaded liver, food intolerances, excess dairy products and fat in the diet.

Dry and brittle hair: the causes can be the daily use of incorrect cosmetic products, too aggressive like a shampoo with inadequate pH or hair dyes, or the sport in the pool : the chlorine used for disinfection leads to the loss of naturalness humidity inherent in the structure of the foliage.

Even the constant use of a hair straightener or hair dryer at too high temperatures can worsen the situation by drying up the hair and making it more fragile. In general we can say that a dry and brittle hair is a symptom of a lack of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins.

Food supplements for healthier hair

Nowadays, due to the stressful pace of work and unregulated diet, many people do not introduce adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, perhaps because they are forced to consume quick meals that are not entirely correct from the point of view nutrition; moreover, constipation, bad digestion, heavy liver I can only worsen the situation.

Other factors can affect hair health: smoking, coffee, alcohol and drugs hinder the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

A healthy diet and the possible use of dietary supplements can restore vigor to the hair or slow down, at least, the involution process.

  • Proteins and amino acids : the hair consists mainly of keratin, a protein particularly rich in sulfur amino acids contained in eggs, meat, fish (the molluscs also contain the indispensable zinc) which gives volume and shine. These food products contain amino acids such as cystine, biotin and lysine.
  • Minerals: among the most important minerals, contained in both plant and animal foods (hence the need for a varied diet), we recall iron, zinc, magnesium and copper .
  • Vitamins: they are particularly concentrated in citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, green tea, broccoli and in general in fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Wheat germ : its benefits derive the presence of valuable B vitamins (B1, B3, B5 and B6), lecithin, vitamin A, D, but what most characterizes it is the presence in high percentage of vitamin E, which plays a very important antioxidant action on tissue cells, able to counteract the level of free radicals. The wheat germ can be found as vegetable oil, in flakes and can be added raw, as a condiment in salads, sauces, etc.
  • Oilseeds: they are precious sources of essential fatty acids, which nourish the hair and help them regulate sebum production. These include almonds, sesame seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds.
  • Brewer's yeast: its consumption has beneficial effects on the intestinal bacterial flora, on the skin, on the nails and on the hair.
  • Goji berries: originating from the Himalayas, with the shape similar to a small cherry, they contain up to 500 times the vitamin C contained in an orange . Goji contains 6 vitamins, 21 minerals, 18 amino acids, 8 polysaccharides that play a key role in improving the immune system, contains increasing amounts of carotenoids, zinc, calcium, selenium, phosphorus and germanium. The Goji fruit is one of the most powerful antioxidants created by nature.
  • Algae: algae are vegetables that live in the waters of seas, lakes and rivers. It is a food substantially devoid of caloric intake, with a much higher quantity of mineral salts than the plants growing on the earth and a varied vitamin content (vit. A, B, C, D, E, K, B12). The nutritional composition varies according to the type of alga; those most commonly used for consumption are kelp, alaria, nori, dulse .

You can also explore homeopathic remedies for hair care

Natural herbal hair supplements

Among the most effective natural herbal remedies for treating oily hair are:

  • Tea tree oil. It is an essential oil extracted from melaleuca and boasts balancing, antibacterial and antifungal sebum properties. It is indicated, in fact, in case of itching, dandruff, dermatitis. You can make frictions or add 3 drops of essential oil for 1 dose of shampoo.
  • Nettle. Daily frictions can be made with the nettle decoction (also for internal use as an herbal tea). It is prepared by boiling 100 g of leaves for 30 minutes in 5 dl of water, filter and bottle. Rub the scalp before shampooing.
  • Juniper. It influences and modulates the sebaceous glands in the production of sebum and also has antiseptic properties (disinfectants.
  • Ivy . It has vasoconstrictor and astringent properties useful in alleviating fat seborrhea.
  • Peppermint. It is a plant widely used in cosmetics, because it regulates the production of sebum, thanks to its balsamic and disinfectant properties.

Among the most effective natural remedies to apply on dry and brittle hair we have:

  • linseed oil,
  • Argan oil,
  • Wheat germ oil,
  • essential oil of ylang-ylang.

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