(NaturalNews) Americans are not known for their lush locks and it is no wonder -- their diet tends to be high in harmful fats, laden with sugar and heavy in animal protein along with dairy. All these foods contribute to hair loss and breakage according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Harsh shampoo as well as chemicals in the water aren't helping the matter either. But there's hope. By revamping the diet, adding a few supplements and introducing shampoo-free cleansing, a healthy head of hair is possible.
Want a lustrous mane? Look to the diet
Most don't make the connection between diet and hair loss, but the link is strong. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that immoderate consumption of sugar is the main culprit of shedding hair. This would explain why Americans suffer from the malady in greater numbers than most. Even excessive fruit consumption can lead to thinning hair. Many who embrace a raw food diet have experienced this phenomena. On the other end of the spectrum, overindulging in animal protein and dairy also contributes to balding and weak hair due to acidic blood. Yet another offender, unhealthy fats congest the hair follicles -- encouraging hair loss. Iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism along with dehydration are obstacles to healthy hair too. The best bet for glossy, thick locks is to adopt a whole food diet that is abundant in vegetables, healthy oils like coconut and olive, nuts, seeds, low sugar berries and seaweed. Flax and chia seeds are especially beneficial due to their high essential fatty acid content.
Focus on hair-enhancing supplements like B vitamins (especially biotin), zinc, iron and calcium. It is also important to inhibit hair thinning DHT which is derived from the hormone testosterone. Natural remedies that block DHT include saw palmetto, stinging nettle, green tea, pygeum extract and pumpkin seed oil.
Environmental enemies of healthy hair
Two chemical culprits found in city water, chlorine and fluoride, weaken hair -- leading to breakage, clogged follicles and shedding. Both irritate the cuticle on the hair shaft too, thereby creating dull, lifeless locks. A trusted shower filter is a must for healthy hair.
Shampoo is antagonistic as well. Filled with harsh cleansers and additives, hair doesn't stand a chance. Even when natural brands are used, hair is stripped of natural oils and subsequently revolts against the abuse. Conditioner is then required to tame the disorder. Follicles are subsequently clogged -- triggering fallout. To avoid this anarchy, a simple and cost effective remedy is available: baking soda and vinegar. Hair settles down, loss is minimized and luster restored. To cleanse the hair with baking soda, mix one tablespoon of powder to one cup of water in a squeeze bottle. Shake well and apply to the roots, massaging for a minute or two. Rinse well. Next comes the vinegar wash which conditions, calms and boosts shine. Mix a quarter cup white or apple cider vinegar with one cup water. Pour over hair, avoiding the face and eyes. Rinse thoroughly with water.
A full head of hair need not be a pipe dream. By choosing a nutrient rich diet, supplementation and shampoo-free cleansing, tiresome hair frustrations can be laid to rest.
Sources for this article include:
"How to delay or stop hair loss -- Naturally" Kevin Gianni, Renegade Health, April 27, 2012. Retrieved on November 15, 2012 from: http://renegadehealth.com
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.