5 Essential Oils You Can Use In Winters For Healthy Hair

The whipping cold dry winds in the winter season wreak plenty of havoc on our skin and hair as it depletes the natural moisture of the skin and the room heaters worsen the problem. Apart from the skin of our body, our scalp too turns inordinately dry and flaky in the winter months, thus dandruff is quite a common problem.

So, to avoid this, there is an endless list of nutrient rich, nourishing, essential oils that not only add an enormous amount of sheen, but also infuse health to our cherished tresses. Here is a list of the right oils for you depending upon your respective hair woes.

#1. Almond oil: solution for hair fall and breakage

Barely would you find a woman who has not experienced hair-fall or breakage at least once in her life. Almond oil can play a major role in your hair growth as it prevents hair fall and breakage. It contains all kind of healthy ingredients for hair such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, phospholipids and magnesium. You can add silkiness and shine to your hair & nourish the scalp with almond oil.

#2. Olive oil: solution for split ends and frizzy hair

Olive oil is truly a powerhouse when it comes to hair, skin and beauty applications. It has great moisturising properties and hence is considered great for taming frizz and split ends. Mix 4 tbsp olive oil with 1 beaten egg yolk and honey. Now apply it directly to entire scalp & hair; let it sit for 30 minutes and after that, do the normal shampooing and conditioning. Make sure to never heat olive oil as heating can make it lose its moisturising properties.

#3. Sesame oil: solution for premature greying

With highly nourishing, lubricating and a healing nature, sesame oil improves the colour of your hair and treats and prevents premature greying due to its darkening qualities. It has some essential fatty acids like omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 that nourish your hair and encourage thick and shiny hair growth. Sesame (also known as gingelly oil) is a multi-nutrient oil as it contains Vitamin E, B complex, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and protein, which is a privilege to strengthen the hair roots. It is antibacterial and applying it on the scalp helps keep both fungal and bacterial infections at bay.

#4. Lavender oil: solution for dry and flaky scalp

It is definitely one of the most popular essential oils that have antidepressant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. This oil can do wonders to the scalp that is dry and flaky as it has moisturising effects to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. One can also combine it with other oils such as jojoba oil, for an extra boost of hydration. It can also alleviate insomnia.

#5. Aromatic oils: for healthy and shiny hair

Aromatic oils are primarily a blend of oil with aromatic compounds, and have a pleasing aroma to soothe the senses. Many hair problems occur due to mental or physical stress and these aromatic oils with their mood-boosting aroma – leave a great impact on the mindset of a person and eventually keep all such problems at bay. Oils like rosemary, eucalyptus, mango-seed, are some of the best aromatic oils that can be used to treat different disorders.

Now that you know of all the best aromatic oils for your hair, make sure you make the best use of these and give your hair some pampering this season.

How To Prevent Dandruff In Winter?

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Winter is that time of the year, when the fall in the temperature takes a serious toll on your health. Your skin for one becomes dry and dead skin cells start surfacing. This drying is not limited to the skin, it is also a common problem with the scalp. The dead cells from the scalp start forming tiny flakes and start falling off. So the white flakes on your shoulder in winter may not necessarily be snowflakes, they could be dandruff too!!

The cold winter air that raids the skin and scalp of moisture is responsible for the dandruff you have been experiencing this season. It is not enough to stay in places that have efficient heaters to make it feel like a desert, the heat artificially produced by the heaters combined with the chilly winter air is extremely harsh on your scalp. Which is why dandruff in winter is a common issue.

How To Avoid Dandruff In Winter:

Here are some remedies for dandruff in winter:

1. For starters, you can use a gentle moisturizing conditioner. It is extremely essential that you maintain enough moisture on your scalp and not let it get dry and itchy. If you want to go herbal, make sure you test for allergies by using a very small quantity the first time. Some people are allergic to some herbs and can develop itching and redness of the scalp.

2. Tea tree oil and shampoos, conditioners and other hair care products made out of tea tree oil work exceptionally well to restore the moisture of your scalp and prevent dandruff. You can also massage in some tea tree oil onto your scalp twice a week and see a remarkable improvement.

3. An adequate amount of vitamin B and Zinc in your diet is of great importance for maintaining good scalp health. So are omega 3 fatty acids! These are usually found in walnuts, eggs, leafy vegetables etc. If you are not too fond of greens, make a salad and top it with some mayonnaise, to make it more interesting and sumptuous.

4. A humidifier might come in handy as it controls the humidity in the air and your skin has enough moisture to live on. Make sure you clean the humidifier every 2-3 days. When left unattended, these units become a breeding ground for mildew and other bacteria, and can cause other allergies and infections!

5. Do not use too many hair styling products during winter since the skin and scalp are already dry and the hair is deprived of moisture, they can get easily affected by chemicals and this might result in itchy scalp which in turn gives rise to dandruff.
6. Avoid washing hair too many times, as this will dry your scalp and can lead to dandruff. Avoid using scalding hot water on your head; instead use lukewarm water or the coolest water you can stand to wash your hair, to keep dandruff at bay.

7. Gently massage the shampoo or conditioner you use onto your scalp. Do not be harsh, this can easily cause rashes and rip the moisture off the scalp. Hair colour can also affect the scalp and cause dandruff, avoid colouring hair in winter or make sure you pick a hair colour that ensures to maintain the moisture levels of your hair.

8. Warm olive oil or coconut oil and give yourself a gentle scalp massage with the warm oil and rinse it off after an hour or so. Use mild shampoos and conditioners. Add a few drops of aromatic oil such as lavender oil to boost the therapy. Not only will you be rid of dandruff in no time, you will also have strong luscious hair for which you will be complimented.

10. Dandruff can be caused by extreme stress as well as not properly washing off hair care products. In the former case, make sure you take enough rest and eat healthy. In the latter case, ensure you rinse your scalp thoroughly to ensure there are no mousse or hair styling products left behind. Rinse your hair with lemon water, as it helps in combating dandruff!

With the above tips, be prepared to combat dandruff this winter and also enjoy lush, gorgeous, strong hair and stand apart from the rest.

5 Things You Are Doing To Damage Your Hair

Frequent Washing

Yes, washing your hair is damaging. Even just getting hair wet can lead to more breakage! When hair becomes wet, the shaft swells, resulting in hair that is more elastic and easier to break. In addition, shampoos can sometimes work too well, removing the oils your hair naturally produces resulting in hair that looks dull and dry.

Solution: Wash you hair less. Dry shampoos are a good option for spot treating on those in-between days. If you must wash daily, use a mild shampoo (avoid products labeled as deep cleansing or clarifying) and focus on the roots where hair is more oily and generally has more product buildup.

Brushing Wet Hair

As previously mentioned, wet hair is more susceptible to damage than dry hair. Wet hair is more elastic and more likely to break. Even brushing dry hair excessively is damaging since brushes and combs can snap or break hair.

Solution: Be gentle with wet hair. Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles.

Towel Drying

Yep, towels can damage your hair. Have I mentioned that wet hair is more susceptible to damage? Even rubbing hair with a towel can rough up the cuticle (outer layer of the hair), causing it to look frizzy or fluffy and potentially lead to more breakage.

Solution: Blot your hair with a towel instead of rubbing it to remove moisture. Also, investing in a super-absorbent towel may be a good idea, especially if you have really thick hair.

Blow Drying

No surprise here, heat causes damage. Blow drying causes a “flash drying” effect that not only removes the surface moisture but also removes water that is bound to the hair, which is called water of hydration. The effect of this flash drying is that the cuticles become dry, rigid and brittle. When the hair flexes, the pressure causes the cuticles to crack. Combing hair with this degree of cuticle cracking causes significant breakage.

Solution: Ideally, don’t blow dry your hair. Of course, this isn’t a realistic option for many women (including me!). To help mitigate some of the damage try using a heat-protector spray or leave-in conditioner containing glycerin and propylene glycol because these ingredients reduce water evaporation. Additionally, use the low heat option on your dryer to further minimize damage.

Flat Irons/Curling Irons

These type of appliances can damage your hair in a different way than blow dryers. Ironing hair can cause two different types of damage, depending on whether the hair is ironed dry or wet. Ironing dry hair causes cracking along the edges of the cuticles, which can lead to chipping. Ironing wet hair causes the moisture to burst out in little steam explosions. This causes a bubbling and buckling of the cuticle that appear as tiny hair blisters under magnification. Both types of damage can lead to breakage and split ends.

Solution: Iron damage can be reduced by using conditioners formulated with ingredients like cetrimonium chloride. Exposing hair to heat in the presence of such a conditioning agent can increase the strength of the hair, making it harder to break. Products labeled specifically to protect against heat are a good option. Of course, not using an iron is the best solution.

Bottom Line

While it is nearly impossible to prevent all types of hair damage, there are a few simple solutions that can keep your hair looking and feeling healthier without sacrificing your beloved blow dryer!

Dandruff: What Your Itchy Scalp Is Trying to Tell You

When it comes to dandruff, most people focus on the flakes.
Itching, on the other hand, may be the most uncomfortable side effect. So what exactly is your scratchy scalp trying to tell you? Read up on the most common symptoms of dandruff and ways to get your scalp healthy again.

Symptoms and causes

Flakes and an itchy, scaly scalp are the main symptoms of dandruff. White, oily flakes typically accumulate in your hair and on your shoulders and often get worse during the fall and winter months, when the air is dry.

Pinpointing the exact cause of your itchy, flaky scalp can be difficult, but here are a few common culprits:

  • irritated and oily skin, a condition also known as seborrheic dermatitis (a more severe form of dandruff)
  • not shampooing enough, which causes skin cells to accumulate and create flakes and itching
  • yeast called malassezia, which aggravate your scalp and cause excess skin cell growth
  • different personal care products may cause contact dermatitis, which makes your scalp red and itchy

 

Men develop dandruff more frequently than women. People who tend to have oilier hair or live with certain illnesses (such as Parkinson’s disease or HIV) are also at higher risk. You may have started to notice symptoms around puberty, but dandruff can develop at any age.

What exactly is your itchy scalp trying to tell you?

1. Not all shampoos are the same

If your scalp is itchy, you may be able to get some relief by using over-the-counter (OTC) shampoos that are formulated to help with dandruff. Getting the right fit may take some trial and error, so if you haven’t had luck in the past, try again. Sometimes alternating two or more shampoo types can also help.

Some products you may see on the shelves include:

  • Head & Shoulders and Jason Dandruff Relief contain zinc pyrithione, which is antibacterial and antifungal. Dandruff is not caused by fungus, but it still helps by slowing the production of excess skin cells.
  • Neutrogena T/Gel is a tar-based shampoo. Coal can ease conditions from dandruff to psoriasis by slowing how quickly your scalp’s skin cells die and flake off. This type of shampoo can discolor hair, so be careful if you’re blonde or gray.
  • Neutrogena T/Sal has a dose of salicylic acid and may lessen the amount of scale you have. They can leave your scalp dry, however. If you find that your scalp is particularly dry, make sure you follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.
  • Selsun Blue has the power of selenium sulfide. It can slow your skin cells from dying and also reduce malassezia. This type of shampoo may also discolor lighter shades of hair.
  • Nizoral is a ketoconazole shampoo, meaning it contains a broad-spectrum antifungal. You can find this type of wash OTC or by prescription.

If you don’t know which to choose, ask your doctor for a suggestion. To get dandruff under control, you may need to use special shampoo when you do shampoo (optimal frequency varies based on hair type). Once things are under control, you may only need to use the shampoo occasionally to maintain good effect.

2. Moisturize

A dry scalp tends to flake and itch, but usually the flakes you’ll experience with dry skin are smaller and less oily. Restoring moisture to the scalp can help with itchiness, and the best moisturizer might already be sitting on your kitchen shelf. Coconut oil has moisturizing and antibacterial properties, making it a great, natural choice for fighting dryness.

3. Practice good hygiene and stop scratching!

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Shampooing often enough can keep oils at bay, helping with dandruff symptoms. While you are at it, try to resist the urge to scratch your scalp. The itchiness is initially caused by irritation from dandruff, but scratching will increase irritation and lead to a vicious cycle.

Using too many products in your hair can irritate the scalp and lead to more itchiness. Try eliminating anything extra from your personal care routine and adding back in slowly to discover which gels, sprays, and other products don’t make your symptoms worse.

4. You need to relax

Stress can aggravate or even worsen dandruff for some individuals. While malassezia is not introduced to your scalp by stress, it can thrive if your immune system is compromised, which is exactly what stress does to your body.

Do your scalp a favor and relax. Try taking a restorative walk or practicing yoga. You may even find it helpful to keep a log of stressful events. Write down what they are and how they impact your dandruff. That way, you can do your best to avoid potential triggers in the future.

When to see your doctor

The good news is that many cases of dandruff can be treated effectively with over-the-counter shampoos and other lifestyle measures. That being said, dandruff isn’t the only reason you may have an itchy scalp. If your dandruff is particularly stubborn or itchy, you may have psoriasis, eczema, or a true fungal infection. Your doctor can help.

If your itch isn’t letting up or your scalp becomes red or swollen, make an appointment with your doctor. Check in as well if shampoos don’t help, redness and flaking spreads to your face or other areas on the body, you see lice or nits in your hair, or the itching starts to interfere with your everyday life.

Outlook

While dandruff can be annoying and embarrassing at times, it usually doesn’t indicate a more serious health issue. The itching and flaking often respond well to OTC shampoos and treatments. Keep trying different brands and types until you find something that works for you.

This is why your hair is falling out (AND how to stop it)

Rule No1, don’t freak out

Hair Loss Reasons

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Hair shedding is a part of every day life, yes it clogs up your shower drain, and yes, it means you have to vacuum every other day or your carpet turns into a hairy rug… But the fact is, hair loss is totally normal.

On average we lose around 80 strands a day, if you begin to shed significantly more than that or you notice they aren’t growing back, well, that’s when things start to get a bit hairy (soz, I couldn’t help it).

The thing is, when it comes to hair loss there are so many potential triggers, which means it can be tricky to pinpoint the exact reason why your strands are falling out, and henceforth, how to remedy the situation.

We spoke to Anabel Kingsley, a leading Trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic in London, to help break down the possible reasons why you’re losing hair.

First things first, Anabel explained that hair loss is a very common problem for women – much more so that people realise. “Research shows that at least 1 in 3 women will suffer from hair loss or reduced hair volume at some point in their lifetime”. So if you are losing strands, it’s important not to freak out, your mane will recover. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know…

Firstly, there are different types of hair loss, genetic and reactive…

Genetic:

There’s a chance you’re genetically predisposed to hair thinning, which means you may see a progressive, gradual reduction in hair volume. “In these instances, certain hair follicles are sensitive to male hormones – and this sensitivity causes follicles to gradually shrink and produce slightly finer and shorter hairs with each passing hair growth cycle.” Explains Anabel.

Reactive:

This means your hair loss is the result of a trigger. “Excessive daily hair shedding (which is know as telogen effluvium) is not reliant on having a genetic predisposition, it occurs as the result of an internal imbalance or upset, such as a nutritional deficiency, severe stress, crash dieting or an illness” says Anabel.

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7 most common triggers of hair loss…

1. HORMONAL IMBALANCE

A hormonal imbalance can lead to multitude of annoying AF health and beauty issues, from adult acne to weight gain. If your hormones are out of whack the effects will radiate throughout the whole body (and of course, that includes your hair).

“Hormones play a huge role in regulating the hair growth cycle” explains Anabel. “Oestrogens (female hormones) are ‘hair friendly’ and help to keep hairs in their growth phase for the optimal length of time. Androgens (male hormones) are not very hair friendly, and can shorten the hair growth cycle.”

“An excess of androgens (which could be caused by an endocrine disorder, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) can cause hair loss. The extent of this is often down to genes – If you have a genetic predisposition to follicle sensitivity, a hormonal imbalance can affect your hair more than it would someone who does not have a predisposition.”

2. STRESS

It’s no myth that excess stress can literally make your hair fall out. How does this happen? Well, it can raise androgen (male hormone) levels, which in turn can causes hair loss. “Stress may also trigger scalp problems, such as dandruff, disrupt eating habits and mess with the digestive system – all of which can have a negative impact on hair” says Anabel.

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3. IRON DEFICIENCY/ANEMIA

“One of the most common causes of hair loss in women is an iron deficiency. Iron is essential for producing hair cell protein“, without it, your strands will suffer.

4. HYPOTHYROIDISM AND HYPERTHYROIDISM

The thyroid gland helps to regulate the body’s metabolism by controlling the production of proteins and tissue use of oxygen. Any thyroid imbalance can therefore affect hair follicles”, Anabel explains. Also, if hypothyroidism is left untreated it may result in anaemia, which – as we’ve just discussed – is another condition that can impact the hair (or lack of it).

5. VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY

A lack of vitamin B12 can leave you feeling tired and low on energy, sound familiar? Well, the fun doesn’t stop there, it can also take it’s toll on your hair…

“Vitamin B12 deficiency often causes hair loss as it can affect the health of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your tissues” says Anabel. “It’s most common in vegans as you can only obtain B12 through animal proteins.”

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6. DRAMATIC WEIGHT LOSS

A steep drop on the scales can impact your tresses, “6-12 weeks after dramatic weight loss, whether it be intentional or unintentional, hair commonly comes out in excess” says Anabel.

While our hair is incredibly important to us psychologically, physiologically it is non-essential

“While our hair is incredibly important to us psychologically, physiologically it is non-essential; we could survive without it with no detriment to our physical health. This means that any nutritional deficiency often first shows up in our hair.” Yet another reason to avoid crash dieting and instead try to adopt a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

7. AGE

If you’re going through or about to enter the menopause, changes in your body may also have an effect on your hair. “Hair loss becomes more prevalent leading up to and after the menopause” reveals Anabel. That being said, “it’s important to realise that our hair ages, and as we get older, hair naturally gets finer. It’s a totally normal part of the ageing process.”

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And here’s what you can do to fix it:

Ok, so now you know what triggering the hair loss, here’s how to deal with it…

Recognise the problem

Hair loss doesn’t happen fast, our strands grow in cycles, which means it can take up to 3 months for hair to fall out after a trigger has caused it. “If you notice excessive daily hair shedding for longer than 3 months, see a trichologist or your GP, there could be an underlying factor that needs to be addressed”, Anabel advises. “Very importantly, try not to panic. Telogen effluvium (excessive shedding) is almost always self-eliminating and hair will start to grow back as usual once any internal imbalance is put right”.

Change up your diet

1) Get More Protein

“Hair is made of protein, making adequate daily intake of protein rich foods essential. Include at least a palm sized portion of protein at breakfast and lunch (approx. 120g in weight).” Anabel recommends.

2) Complex carbohydrates are essential

“They provide our hair with the energy it needs to grow. Snack on a healthy carbohydrates (i.e. fresh fruit, crudité or whole wheat crackers) if longer than four hours is left between meals; as energy available to hair cells drops after this amount of time.”

That being said, Anabel explained that if you are losing your hair because of something other than diet, like stress or an illness, changing what you eat will not remedy it.

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Take a supplement

“Being non-essential tissue, the hair’s nutritional requirements are unique – and supplementation can be very helpful in boosting levels of vitamins and minerals available to your follicles. But, they must be taken alongside a healthy diet for full benefit.”

Anabel recommends looking out for the following ingredients: Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Copper, Zinc, Selenium, and the essential amino acids, L-Lysine and L-Methionine.

Get smart about styling

Yes, that messy topknot may look cool, but it could being placing stress on your strands. “Avoid hairstyles that place traction on the hair and hair follicles” Anabel says. She also recommends avoiding heavy styling creams and serums, as they can add unnecessary weight to the hair.

DON’T freak out

Losing your hair can leave you feeling stressed, but Anabel explains that it’s incredibly important to realise how common female hair loss is – and that if you are experiencing it, you are not alone and it is nothing to be embarrassed about.

“One product alone will not remedy hair loss – you must also look at your general health, your diet, as well as optimise the health of your scalp and the condition of growing hairs. Above all, although it is very difficult, be patient and do not despair. Due to the nature of the hair growth cycle, it takes at least 6 weeks to see an improvement.”

5 Ways to Treat Split Ends

5 Ways to Treat Split Ends

Tired of damaged hair and split ends? Don’t go to the hairdressers just yet! There are things you can do to treat tired hair without cutting it off. Here are five tips!

 

1. BRUSH YOUR HAIR BEFORE SHOWERING
By brushing your hair properly before showering, you can avoid tangles and breakage associated with post-shower, towel-dried hair.

2. USE A LEAVE-IN PRODUCT
Normal conditioners are great to make hair smooth and prevent the worst towel damage. But, when it comes to split ends, you need something more nourishing. Try a leave-in serum or leave-in treatment for long-term restoration.

Use: HairX Restore Therapy Split Ends Serum or HairX Smooth Control Leave-In Treatment

3. LAY OFF THE HEAT TOOLS
Heat tools can be incredibly damaging for your hair, so try to use them as little as possible. But if you absolutely must curl those locks, shield your hair with a protection spray.

You need: HairX Heat Protect Styling Leave in Spray

4. TRY A HAIR OIL
Hair oils are great for very damaged hair – they penetrate the hair strands and nourishes them from the inside out. Our hair oils contain Argan and Rose Oils, Burdock and Vitamin F for a lightweight, non-greasy formula.

Try: Eleo Dry Oil or Eleo Smoothening Oil

5. MASK ONCE A WEEK
Just like your skin needs the occasional hydration boost, so does your hair. So, make a hair mask part of your weekly beauty regimen!

 

The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Growth (+3 Other Nutrients)

Many people view healthy-looking hair as a sign of health or beauty.

Like any other part of your body, hair needs a variety of nutrients to be healthy and grow (1).

In fact, many nutritional deficiencies are linked to hair loss.

While factors such as age, genetics and hormones also affect hair growth, optimal nutrient intake is key.

Below are 5 vitamins and 3 other nutrients that may be important for hair growth.

1. Vitamin A

All cells need vitamin A for growth. This includes hair, the fastest growing tissue in the human body.

Vitamin A also helps skin glands make an oily substance called sebum. Sebum moisturizes the scalp and helps keep hair healthy (2).

Diets deficient in vitamin A may lead to several problems, including hair loss (3).

While it’s important to get enough vitamin A, too much may be dangerous. Studies show that an overdose of vitamin A can also contribute to hair loss (4).

Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach and kale are all high in beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A.

Vitamin A can also be found in animal products such as milk, eggs and yogurt. Cod liver oil is a particularly good source.

BOTTOM LINE:Your hair needs vitamin A to stay moisturized and grow. Good sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale and some animal foods.

2. B-Vitamins

One of the best known vitamins for hair growth is a B-vitamin called biotin.

Studies link biotin deficiency with hair loss in humans (5).

Although biotin is used as an alternative hair-loss treatment, those who are deficient have the best results.

However, deficiency is very rare because it occurs naturally in a wide range of foods.

There’s also a lack of data about whether biotin is effective for hair growth in healthy individuals.

Other B-vitamins help create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. These processes are important for hair growth.

You can get B-vitamins from many foods, including whole grains, almonds, meat, fish, seafood and dark, leafy greens.

Additionally, animal foods are the only good sources of vitamin B12. So if you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet, consider taking a supplement.

BOTTOM LINE:B-vitamins help carry oxygen and nutrients to your scalp, which aids in hair growth. Whole grains, meat, seafood and dark, leafy greens are all good sources of B-vitamins.

3. Vitamin C

Free radical damage can block growth and cause your hair to age.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals (6).

In addition, your body needs vitamin C to create a protein known as collagen — an important part of hair structure.

Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, a mineral necessary for hair growth.

Strawberries, peppers, guavas and citrus fruits are all good sources of vitamin C.

BOTTOM LINE:Vitamin C is needed to make collagen and can help prevent hair from aging. Good sources include peppers, citrus fruits and strawberries.

4. Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D are linked to alopecia, a technical term for hair loss (7).

Research also shows that vitamin D may help create new follicles — the tiny pores in the scalp where new hair can grow (8).

Vitamin D is thought to play a role in hair production, but most research focuses on vitamin D receptors. The actual role of vitamin D in hair growth is unknown.

That said, most people don’t get enough vitamin D and it may still be a good idea to increase your intake.

Your body produces vitamin D through direct contact with the sun’s rays. Good dietary sourcesof vitamin D include fatty fish, cod liver oil, some mushrooms and fortified foods.

BOTTOM LINE:Vitamin D’s actual role in hair growth is not understood, but one form of hair loss is linked to deficiencies. You can increase vitamin D levels through sun exposure or by eating certain foods.

5. Vitamin E

Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that can prevent oxidative stress.

In one study, people with hair loss experienced a 34.5% increase in hair growth after supplementing with vitamin E for 8 months (9).

The placebo group had only a 0.1% increase (9).

Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocados are all good sources of vitamin E.

BOTTOM LINE:Vitamin E helps prevent oxidative stress and boost hair growth. Good dietary sources include sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocados.

6. Iron

Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your cells. This makes it an important mineral for many bodily functions, including hair growth.

Iron deficiency, which causes anemia, is a major cause of hair loss. It’s especially common in women (10111213).

Foods high in iron include clams, oysters, eggs, red meat, spinach and lentils.

BOTTOM LINE:Iron deficiency is a major cause of hair loss, especially in women. The best sources of iron include clams, oysters, eggs, red meat, spinach and lentils.

7. Zinc

Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly.

Hair loss is a common symptom of zinc deficiency (1415).

Studies show zinc supplements reduce hair loss caused by zinc deficiency (1617).

However, there are some anecdotal reports that supplementing with too high of a dose can also contribute to hair loss.

For this reason, it may be better to get your zinc from whole foods. Foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and lentils.

BOTTOM LINE:The mineral zinc can improve hair growth in people who are deficient in it. Good sources include oysters, beef and pumpkin seeds.

8. Protein

Hair is made almost entirely of protein. Consuming enough is important for hair growth.

Animal studies show that protein deficiency may decrease hair growth and even lead to hair loss (181920).

However, actual protein deficiency is extremely rare in Western countries.

BOTTOM LINE:Eating enough protein is important for hair growth, although a protein deficiency is rare in Western countries these days.

Should You Take a Hair Supplement?

Food is the best source of the vitamins you need for hair growth.

However, if you fail to get enough in your diet, supplements may be helpful.

According to research, supplements work best in individuals who are already deficient (22).

Furthermore, large doses of vitamins and minerals can be harmful if you aren’t deficient. So work with a doctor to determine if you have a deficiency or not.

At the end of the day, the best way to get these nutrients is by eating a balanced, real food-based diet that includes plenty of nutrient-dense foods.

8 Effective Home Remedies For Dry And Damaged Hair

Does your hair feel dry, brittle, and dull? Do you suffer from frizzy hair and split ends? Frequent use of hairdryers or hair treatments, like bleaching, coloring, or straightening, can dry out and damage your hair. Dry hair is more prone to breakage and split ends.

To end the damage, the first step is to change some of your daily hair habits. Practice healthy hair habits and treat your hair with deep conditioning and moisturizing remedies to promote the growth of new, healthier hair.

Give your wrecked tresses a new life by following these 10 effective home remedies for dry and damaged hair. You can use any of these conditioning hair masks once or twice a week to help repair and reverse your damaged hair.

1. A Shiny Tea Rinse

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Tea is great for more than just a pick-me-up or a sore throat remedy. It’s a great hair color enhancer and a hair rinse that leaves a natural shine to your hair. Just use unsweetened freshly-brewed tea as a final rinse after you are done with your regular shampoo routine. Because it enhances your hair color, brunettes can use black tea, while blondes are advised to use chamomile tea. You can use this trick as frequently as you like.

2. Deep Conditioning with Hot Oil

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Warm up half a cup of olive oil, being careful not to boil it. Massage this oil into your hair and cover it with a shower cap. Wrap up with a towel to keep in the heat. Allow the oil to sit for at least 45 minutes so the moisture can build up. Afterwards, shampoo and rinse.

3. Protein-Enhanced Shampoo

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To strengthen your strands and repair dry, brittle ends, you need to infuse a little protein into your hair. This can be done by applying a hair treatment consisting of an egg mixed with a small amount of shampoo. Keep it in for five minutes and then rinse well. If homemade isn’t the way you’d like to go, there are a plethora of protein treatments available at your local beauty supply stores. Follow the directions as specified and your strands will be healthy and strong in no time at all.

4. Homemade Hair Rinse

If you’re a swimmer, the chemicals in the swimming pool and the harsh elements in seawater can make your hair brittle. So before a swim, protect your hair with this quick and easy to make homemade hair rinse. Simply mix 1/4 cup of apple cider diluted with 3/4 cup water and cleanse your hair with it. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner of your choice.

5. Mash Up an Avocado

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Avocados have plenty of minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. Try this avocado hair treatment to restore luster to your hair. Combine a ripe, mashed avocado with an egg to make a smooth paste. Apply this on wet hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse well. If your hair is quite brittle, then you need to do this at least once a week. Even if your hair is healthy, using this once a month ensures that your hair remains gorgeous, lustrous, and strong.

6. A Coconut Oil Treatment

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Coconut oil is a wonderful elixir for damaged hair and works great on thick and heavy hair. Thoroughly coat your hair with the oil after dampening it with some water. If coconut oil is not your preference, botanical oils like sweet almond, olive, or jojoba oil are all great alternatives. Put on a shower cap and wrap your hair up in a thick warm towel for effective deep conditioning. Rinse out the oil by following up with shampoo.

7. Bounce and Volume for Limp Hair

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For bringing life back into your damaged and limp hair, combine 3 egg whites, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Rub this mixture into your hair and put on a shower cap. Shampoo your hair and rinse out the treatment and cleanser after half an hour.

8. The Internal Moisturizer

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A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like gamma-linolenic acid, is great for keeping your hair moisturized. An easy way to add omega-3 to your diet is to take capsules of flaxseed oil, borage oil, or evening primrose oil on a daily basis. You can consume 250mg capsules of any of these oils one to three times a day, as specified. If you want omega 3s straight from the source, add foods like salmon, fresh tuna, oysters, halibut, yogurt, eggs, and omega-3-enriched breads and pastas.

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