Thursday, November 3, 2011

What do you do to your hair? Part 1: My Vitamins



I'm sure that like myself, a lot of people get that question pretty often. Its only natural that when people notice a difference in your hair, whether its an increase in thickness or length, that they will want to know what you did to get those results.

I always reply with a general 'I try to take good care of my hair' and give further details if the individual asks. Its a common enough question that I decided to do a series of blogs on all the changes I have made since the start of my Hair Journey in June. Hopefully this will provide a little more in depth information for those who are just starting out or looking for ways to improve or add to their regimen. 

This post will explain my vitamin regimen. At least three times a week I take the following 7 vitamins.Why only 3x? I am quite forgetful and this results in skipped days, as well as I am wary of overdoing it on the biotin and msm and having breakouts.

1) Folic Acid (circulatory and health) - 400mcg
Folic acid, an essential B vitamin , is vital to the proper functioning of the human body. A deficiency in folic acid can cause a host of medical problems, including the stunting of hair growth.
Because folic acid promotes hair growth by renewing the cells that grow hair, a deficiency in folic acid can inhibit the health of your hair and lead to premature graying and hair loss.
 
 
2) Vitamin C - 500mg
I take Vitamin C because I have a poor immune system and get colds VERY easily. Actually, I have a cold right now :S. Vitamin C can also help with hormonal hair loss however so I included it on this list.

TIP:
According to the American Pregnancy Association, supplementing your diet with adequate amounts of vitamin C can help reduce hair loss after having a baby.

3) Vitamin E - 400 iu
Vitamin E has been shown to help with the growth of hair as well as preventing hair loss. The exact mechanism is not known but vitamin E may prevent hair loss by the same mechanism that it prevents heart problems. Vitamin E helps with the growth of capillaries. When there are more capillaries, the circulation improves and it is thought that the improved circulation to the scalp is the trigger for preventing hair loss.
NOTE:
Excessive vitamin E supplementation (for example, 600 IU per day for 1 month) can adversely affect hair growth.

 

4) Cod Liver Oil (Vitamins A & D) -
Of all the components in cod liver oil, omega-3 fatty acids are generally the main attraction for those who take the supplement. As well as promoting circulatory health, omega-3 fatty acids are known to boost the nutrition of hair from follicle to tip, resulting in shinier, smoother hair. Furthermore, those who consume high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to experience hair loss. This is because omega-3 acids are known to stimulate the hair follicles, resulting in both faster-growing hair and hair more resistant to loss.

5) Biotin - 1000mcg
Biotin is most often thought of as the “hair growth vitamin.” It is an essential water-soluble B vitamin. Biotin has come to be known for its role in the health and beauty of Hair, Skin and Nails. It promotes healthy hair growth and protects against dryness. It also increases the elasticity of the hair's cortex, thus preventing breakage. It should be noted that most hair websites claim that to see results one should take 5000 mcg of Biotin daily. I have decided to ease myself into taking this vitamin and will slowly increase my dosage over time.

6) MSM - 1000mcg
MSM is a naturally occurring form of sulfur found in many foods and it can naturally lengthen your hair’s growth phase.

Your hair grows in three cycles: Growing, Resting, and Shedding. Each and every hair on your head (even body) is in one of these phases at all times. If your “Growing” phase lasts two years, and your hair normally grows one half inch per month, your hair will only grow 12 inches before entering the resting and shedding phases. (24 months times ½ inch per month). On the other hand, if your “Growing” phase lasts 3 years, then it will grow 18 inches. (36 months times ½ inch per month). Since your growth phase is genetically determined, there is no way this will change unless you use a supplement containing MSM. MSM is known to naturally increase the length of your hair’s growing phase.

7) B-12
I take B-12 to ensure that I do not end up with a deficiency in this vitamin as B-12 deficiency can lead to hair loss among other symptoms. Also, I can get anemic at times..I'm sure ladies will understand what I mean and I began taking iron supplemts and B-12 to help with this.


That concludes the list of vitamins that I am currently taking. However I am considering adding Adrenal Supplements to the list. I am scheduled for surgery in January which wil lrequire me to go under general anesthesia. Being a hairlista I am of course concerned that this could have a negative impact on my hair.

I stumbled across a article written by someone who took adrenal supplements to combat hair loss post an accident and their subsequent surgery. These supplements are supposed to help with hair loss due to stress. The article linked stress caused hair loss to overtaxed adrenal glands, which kick in when we feel the "fight or flight" impulse.  I will definitely do some more research on this and hopefully it wil lease my paranois about post-surgery hair loss.
 
And of course, please consult your physician before taking any vitamins or supplements especially if you are pregnant or nursing!

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