Hair says a lot about you. It’s one of the first things that people notice about you, comes close 2nd after your face. A lot can be said about a person based on the condition of their hair and scalp. Your state of health, your lifestyle habits, your inner world – become more visible through the state of your hair. So, of course it’s normal to be obsessed about having healthy hair! Often enough however, you forget that it is your scalp that creates healthy hair growth, too much focusing on the hair that’s already grown. In this article we explain how to care for your scalp to grow healthy hair fast and overall improve your hair health.
Bad Hair Day is Not a Figment of Your Imagination
Studies and research of Yale University confirmed that a bad day negatively affects our cognitive function. People who perceive their hair as looking good on a given day, tend to perform better in tests, as compared to those who don’t, or those who considered themselves as having a “bad hair day”. And if you look back at the times, where you stepped out of the salon knowing your hair looks fantastic, precisely the way you have wanted it to be – noticing other people turning heads as you walk by – you really can feel that you can conquer more than a handful of horrible bosses and an entire army of annoying clients or customers that day.
Table of Contents
- Tips for best hair growth routine >>>
- Benefits of using a hair mask for hair growth >>>
- Do supplements work for hair growth? >>>
- What to eat to grow your hair nutrition for hair growth >>>
- Blood flow to scalp is the number one thing in health hair growth >>>
- Scalp care for hair growth >>>
- Hormones and hair loss >>>
- How do you take care of your hair? >>>
- Why you should change your hair routine according to seasons >>>
- Health issues that stops you from growing healthy hair >>>
Tips for Best Hair Growth Routine
The best hair care routine for hair growth is like a workout routine – the best one is the one you can stick to consistently. Keep it simple and build it up once you understand how hair growth works. One of the best ways to start this is to follow a hair growth calendar that guides and educates you throughout this initial process. The most important thing to focus on when developing the right hair growth routine – is focusing on scalp health (scalp massages, scalp masks, hair follicle treatments) and inner health (lifestyle, habits, nutrition).
How often should you wash your hair?
Even if you are a frequent gym-goer, washing your hair every day is a big, big no-no. Frequent wetting your hair even just with water – i.e. when you don’t use the shampoo or conditioner is also not recommended: hair is at its most fragile when it’s wet, so frequently placing it into this fragile state will lead to hair breakage and de-regulating of the scalp sebum production. When picking a shampoo, be sure to choose one without SLS or SLES – sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate – those are harsh detergents, which can cause itchy scalp, hair fall and scalp irritation.
Does using shampoo every day lead to hair loss?
Frequent shampooing strips your off its natural oils which leads to hair that is actually greasier should have been washing it 1-2 times a week. Shampoos often contain sulphates – detergents that deregulate the scalp which can lead to hair loss and hair thinning. If washing your hair 1-2 times feels like an impossible task right now, think about training your hair, a process which can take about 2-3 months. It involves slowly stretching the time between the washes allowing your scalp to self-regulate itself.
Choosing the right conditioner for your hair
The process of choosing the right hair care products take time. It usually can take up to 60 days or 2 months for your hair to adjust to natural, gentler products – especially if you have been using conditioner with heavy silicones and changing to products without them. It will take your hair a little bit of time to adjust. Always apply conditioner on your hair lengths and ends – avoiding the scalp as much as you can. Conditioners often contain mineral oils and other heavier ingredients that
Silicones in hair care
Not only conditioner contain silicones, but also your hair spray and mousse as well as other hair styling products. One of the most “popular” silicones in hair care products – is Dimethicone, and an easy rule of thumb is if an ingredient has a “-cone” ending to it, it is a silicone. Be sure to check that your hair products are either silicone-free or contain types of silicones that cause minimal build up in your hair strands and your scalp. These are known as water soluble silicones – those which can be easily washed off with a regular shampoo. Silicones with non-soluble silicones in them can clog the pores on your scalp that would lead to hair loss and thinning.
What can help your hair grow?
There are many, many things available to you to help your hair growth. Starting from derma roller / microneedling and scalp tension release to collagen supplements, right nutrition and right hair care products for your hair – not just one thing will help you grow healthy hair, but all of them combined in the right proportions and with the right mindset. While scalp health is the #1 thing in hair growth, because this is where your hair grows from – some styling techniques like not brushing your hair when it’s wet if your hair is straight, or only brushing it when it’s wet if your hair is curly will ensure that you don’t damage the hair that you grew. Healthy products for hair growth include primarily scalp treatments like these that focus on improving scalp blood flow and scalp clarification. Hair training for hair growth also include natural hair oiling, especially containing peppermint, rosemary as DHT blockers and castor oil as stimulant for scalp blood flow.
Common mistakes in your hair growth routine
One of the most common mistakes when trying to grow your hair fast – is focusing on one aspect of hair growth. This means that you only focus on scalp health, or only on supplements, or lifestyle. Hair health is your overall health so you need to be improving it across the range, inside out. It is important to have realistic (yet ambitious!) expectations on how long it will take you to grow healthy hair and how to stop existing hair loss. If you have been losing hair for more than 6 months, it will take you some time to understand what’s exactly going wrong in your body that causes it and – take time to rectify it. Often our hair health deteriorates at the first signs of internal health troubles, and yet it is the last one to come back.
How often should you oil your hair?
Oiling your hair is really good for it. One of the best things you can do is choosing the right hair oil for your hair texture, current seasons and your hair goals and incorporate it in your hair growth routine. You can take the hair quiz that helps you choose the right one. However, oiling your scalp and oiling your hair lengths have different objectives and techniques. The frequency with which you should apply oil on your hair will depend also on what type of hair oil you are using.
Hair dye & hair loss
Some of the common ingredients in hair dyes can lead to hair loss:
- Ammonia is meant to open up the cuticles of your hair strand to let the pigment in. However, after this process the cuticle remain open which leads to hair that is dry and brittle.
- Hydrogen peroxide affects the inner core of your hair – its cortex, permanently breaking down melanin – natural colour pigment in your hair. In some studies, hydrogen peroxide has shown to inhibit hair growth.
- Resorcinol is responsible for interfering with your thyroid function, which can directly lead to hair thinning since thyroid hormones are responsible for growing healthy hair.
Search & destroy method to care for your lengths
Scalp health is paramount for growing healthy hair, however taking care of your length becomes important because if your ends are split this can cause hair to tangle and break. It will also make your hair appear unhealthy and thinner than it actually is. While trimming your hair doesn’t directly help you grow it, caring for your lengths ensures that your hair doesn’t break prematurely thus making you lose the length you gained. One of the easy and affordable ways to care for your split ends is search & destroy technique that you can do every 2-4 months as necessary.
If you use high heat stylers, or have bleached or chemically treated hair it’s likely you will have more split ends and therefore may need to increase the frequency of searching & destroying your split ends. This procedure takes up 15-30 minutes depending on your length and hair density. For this you will only need a pair of sharp scissors.
Apple cider vinegar rinse
You need to clarify your scalp to get rid of the build up, for this you can either use a clarifying shampoo – or apple cider vinegar rinse. Mildly acidic, ACV rinse balances out the alkalinity from harsh shampoos and hard water – making sure that the cuticles of your hair lie flat and retain moisture well. If you’re using products with heavy silicones you might need to use a heavier clarifying shampoo, but if you already use natural products – once a month apple cider vinegar rinse will help with the build up.
Silk pillowcase – does it work for hair growth?
The smooth surface of silk prevents your hair from tangle as you toss and turn in your sleep, it makes your hair glide across its surface instead. Silk also doesn’t wick away moisture from your hair – but actually helps to keep it in – as well as your skin (a bonus!). Sleeping on silk pillowcase will save your hair lengths from breakage and brittleness from loss of moisture and knots, and help you retain your hair’s natural shine and lustre. As a vegan alternative, you can get a weave called “satin”, that can be made from cotton or other types of fabric. This weave produces a smooth surface, close to the surface of the silk.
How to grow your hair fast: 7 basic steps
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the advice out there, here are some basics of growing your hair fast:
- Use natural oil for hair growth on scalp
- Perform regular scalp massages
- Consider trimming to prevent split ends
- Minimise bleaching and other chemical treatments
- Avoid harsh shampoos and soaps
- Eat the right food for your hair
- Avoid using heat styling tools
How to perform a hair porosity test
Before you embark on your hair growth journey or buy a hair growth shampoo, you need to understand your hair as best you can. One of the features of your hair quality – is not only its length or curl pattern, but its porosity. Whether you have high, medium or low porosity hair will dictate how you need to apply your hair oils and your conditioner. It can potentially save you from spending a lot of money on products that are not meant for you, or for wasting products used incorrectly because of your hair porosity type. For this test you will only need a bowl of lukewarm water and a strand of your clean, dry and non-styled hair. Read more >
Benefits of using hair mask for hair growth
Let us be clear that any mask for hair growth MUST be applied on your roots and scalp. Any mask that says “apply on hair lengths and ends only” – is NOT a hair growth mask. It may nourish your lengths and prevent breakage, and thus – losing you length to necessary trims, but such a mask won’t activate your hair follicles. Think about – where does your hair grow from? Follicles on your scalp. So, anything that stimulates hair growth also needs to apply on the same area. Think scalp treatments for hair growth that stimulate your hair follicles, often some DIY treatments beat most store bought versions of hair growth treatments, and this is where scalp massages become key to stimulate fast hair growth.
What is a hair mask?
Hair mask can be described as a solution that goes on to your hair. There is an important distinction that when masking your hair you need to bear specific goals in mind. If your goal is the texture of your hair, its manageability or immediate appearance – chances are you will be applying a hair mask onto your hair lengths and ends. In this case it is usually something containing oils and moisturising agents. Leaving such a hair mask on for longer than 1-2 minutes, with some heat applied will open up the hair cuticles and make them absorb moisture and bonding components from the mask. Mask for your hair lengths will require re-application on a weekly basis as the ingredients will be washed out by your shampoo. Scalp mask is a wholly different matter, it can address issues more deep rooted (pun intended!) issues like hair loss and hair thinning; or scalp issues, such as dry and flaky scalp, dandruff, psoriasis. Scalp masks would need to be kept for an extended amount of time and might requiring washing out after application, followed by a shampoo.
Why should I use a hair mask?
Nourishing your hair just with the shampoo and conditioner is not enough. Firstly, the role of the shampoo is to help wash out grease, dirt, dust, product and build up – and address issues like dandruff and some other skin conditions. The role of the conditioner is to – condition your hair, introduce the slip so that your hair doesn’t tangle when it’s dry. But the role of a hair mask is completely different. It is usually left on your hair for a longer period of time – 10 minutes or more, sometimes with application of heat to open up the hair cuticles and absorb nutrients from the mask better.
What are the benefits of hair masks?
A longer treatment allows for better absorption of the ingredients in the hair mask. You can also leave some hair masks overnight – those are usually natural oils, for example castor oil or mustard oil. You should be careful to leave hair masks not intended for overnight use – overnight. Prolonged exposure to some moisturising agents might actually cause long term damage, in the form of hygral fatigue – damage to your hair strands caused by repeated swelling and unswelling. It occurs when too much moisture penetrates the outer layer of your hair and reaches the inner cortex. Over time, repeated swelling from hygral fatigue can lead to symptoms such as frizziness, brittleness, and dullness, in a way it is breaking your hair strand from within. Natural hair oils don’t cause such problem and can be left overnight. Hair growth masks applied on scalp need longer time to penetrate epidermis (external layers of skin) to reach hair follicles. Benefits of such scalp treatments can be many and in addition as a hair growth treatments can also help against dry, itchy and irritated skin on your scalp.
How to mask your hair?
Depending on the goals behind masking your hair, you may want to apply a mask on your hair lengths and ends as instructed by the manufacturer and rinse it off with water afterwards. You should not leave the hair mask longer than instructed to prevent from hygral fatigue, or overmoisturisation. If your issue is slow hair growth, hair loss and thinning – such masks need to be applied on your scalp and hair roots – the exact area where your hair is growing from. You don’t always have to buy pre-packaged hair masks, there are a variety of DIY masks that you can do from your own pantry.
What ingredients should I look for in a hair mask?
It depends on your hair goals:
- If your goal is to tame frizzy and dry hair – look for smoothing agents, such as shea butter, macadamia oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil. Hair follicles naturally produce oil, called sebum – however the longer your hair gets, the farther sebum needs to travel to keep hair moisturised. That’s why applying masks with moisturising oils can help when dealing with dry hair.
- In hair masks that targets skin conditions, you should look for active medical ingredients, for example Ketoconazole that addresses dandruff originating from fungal infection on scalp.
- For hair growth masks, oils such as castor oil, peppermint oil, rosemary, caffeine can be present on the list of ingredients. Vitamins, especially magnesium that penetrate skin barrier easily can also be present in the list of ingredients of a hair growth mask.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the ingredient is on the list, the higher its concentration is in the mask formulation.
Do supplements work for hair growth?
Hair growth supplements took over the market, but how do you know which ones are actually going to help your hair growth and which ones are empty promises? Besides, just because one supplement has helped your friend to grow her hair, it doesn’t automatically mean it will help you. So the most important part in supplementation for hair growth, is understanding where do your personal shortages in micronutrients are. For example, if you suffer from underactive thyroid and result hair thinning your supplementation needs will be vastly different from someone who is recovering from stress-related hair loss.
Best approach is to do a blood panel from your GP, which includes any vitamin deficiencies as well hormonal deficiencies and start your hair growth supplementation address those shortages and the root cause.
Collagen supplements for hair growth
Your hair is made up of keratin, a type of protein – and each protein in your body is made up of amino acids, its building blocks. But collagen actually plays another important role in hair growth, since collagen fibres support hair follicle in the early growth (anagen) stage – preventing the follicle sack to collapse into itself. Ingesting collagen in the form of pills and powders will provide your body with protein it needs, however collagen is present in many other tissues of your body , not just your hair follicles – and therefore if there is a local deficiency, e.g. your tendons or muscles, your body will decide to divert it there rather than to your scalp. To counteract that, you need to stimulate production of collagen in scalp by using micro needling tool for hair growth. After you create tiny wounds on the surface of your scalp with the dermastamp or a dermaroller, your body will send extra collagen to repair those wounds – exactly where your hair follicles need it the most.
The hard truth about hair growth supplements
The issue with the over-the-counter hair growth supplements is that they are “one-size fits all” and not tailored to your individual needs. In addition, if you are suffering from stress or going through an extended stressful period in your life – your body will not be focusing on growing healthy hair. Therefore it is important to support your nervous system, first and foremost – which will help regulate your mental state and allow your body to focus on hair growth rather than dealing with fight or flight response – where in such an instance hair growth really comes last on the “to-do” list for your body. One of the key nutrients your body needs in periods of elevated stress – is Magnesium and Vitamin D. It is also important understand your own individual deficiencies, which can be done by doing a blood check up.
5 vitamins for hair growth
When thinking about hair growth it is important to focus on the “inside-out” approach which is where your diet and supplementation becomes key. The top 5 vitamins and nutrients for hair growth are:
- Vitamin C – as it plays a role in production of collagen
- Zinc – that helps fight inflammation in your body
- Vitamin D – supports hair & skin homeostasis
- Saw Palmetto extract – especially important for perimenopausal hair loss
- Magnesium – supports healthy nervous system
Supplementation with these vitamins alone is not enough for fast hair growth, you should also ensure sufficient intake of proteins, specifically, amino acids – building blocks of your hair strands.
Biotin for healthy hair growth
Can’t go very far into the hair growth supplements without stumbling upon biotin.
- The scalp requires biotin for healthy circulation and for the body to produce keratin, which helps support hair growth.
- Biotin improves the health of nails and preventing brittle hair associated with aging through a healthy metabolism of nutrients you consume.
- To keep your hair healthy, you need to take good care of it from the inside out, which includes balanced diet and supplementation based on your individual body needs
- One of the ways you can do this is by giving it not just a biotin supplement, but a holistic B-vitamin complex, making your hair grow faster and stronger.
What foods contain biotin?
- Eggs (3 eggs provide RDA of 30mcg)
- Tempeh (fermented soya beans: 100g provide RDA of 35mcg)
- Walnuts (40g provide RDA of 34mcg) – so about 6-7 walnuts per day for optimal hair growth
- Pecan nuts (50g provide RDA 32mcg)
Saw palmetto for hair loss
Androgens, male sex hormones, can cause hair thinning in women around perimenopause because the hormonal landscape is shifting, in women suffering from PCOS – polycystic ovarian syndrome and males suffering from male pattern balding. In a number of studies, saw palmetto has shown to inhibit the 5aR – 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme responsible for converting dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a by-product of testosterone which is responsible for androgen-related hair loss and hair thinning. Hair follicles contain receptors for DHT, which causes their minituarisation, saw palmetto can either be taken in the pill or tincture form, or applied directly on scalp.
What to eat to grow your hair: nutrition for hair growth
Hair growth and hair health starts from within. What you put in your body – is what your body will be giving you back. It’s similar to putting wrong fuel in a car – put a wrong one the car just wouldn’t start, or would not take you as far as you’d like it to. You are what you eat – so food plays one of the most important roles when it comes to hair growth. Specifically, for maximum hair growth you need to minimise inflammatory foods (sugar, baked goods, processed meats, alcohol, pop soda). These foods cause body and scalp inflammation and therefore can lead to hair follicle minituarisation and release of DHT to scalp that slows down hair growth.
Role of protein and amino acids in hair growth
Your hair consists of keratin, a type of protein. In order to make up the hair strands, your body needs to have building blocks for protein – known as amino acids. Keratin is high in sulphur and is made up from cysteine, which is replenished through a healthy diet rich in methionine to manufacture cysteine – and supplementation in some cases. Low amounts of methionine, and therefore lack of sulphur can lead to thinning hair and especially hair breakage, and – as a result of it – split ends. The major dietary sources of methionine for hair growth include eggs, beef liver, broccoli, wheat germ, Brussels sprouts, and some dairy products like milk and yogurt. An average daily recommended amount of protein is 0.8g per kilo of body weight and specifically methionine is 1.1.g for an adult of 68kg weight.
Gut health and hair loss
The food you consume is broken down in your gut, so your gut health plays a crucial role in your hair growth journey. The gut microbiome produces hormones and signals to the glands in your body to let them know how much of each hormone should be created and released. The gut microbiota regulate or impact nearly every hormone in the body, including oestrogen, thyroid hormones and melatonin. All three are involved in regulating the transition between the three phases of hair growth from anlagen through catagen and to telogen. When gut health is disturbed, the stages of hair growth can also get disturbed.
Most common factors that wreck your gut health are:
- Frequent antibiotic use
- Poor diet
To fine tune your gut health for hair growth, you need to consume fibre-rich diet, full of fresh cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, Swiss chard) and fruit. As well as enzyme-producing fermented foods and drink like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut or kombucha.
Anti-inflammatory diet for hair growth
Body inflammation is on the most popular reasons behind hair thinning and hair loss. The issue is that it can only be tackled internally – that is through your diet, rather than with products you apply on your hair or scalp. Inflammation in scalp leads to production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which can lead to hair follicle minituarisation (reduction in size) that results in visible hair thinning and hair loss. Anti-inflammatory foods and especially spices like turmeric, cloves, cinnamon should feature in your daily cooking. Foods that are high in sugar and are highly processed cause body and scalp inflammation – and therefore need to be avoided if you want to grow healthy hair. Hair growth diet is the same as the hair thickening diet – so if you’ve been experiencing hair thinning, you need to follow the same, anti-inflammatory diet guidelines to help thicken your hair at the root.
Hair growth diet
A diet for hair growth will always be based on your individual body needs that you can get from doing a blood check, your lifestyle and the current state of your hair. However there are basics that you can already introduce to your diet:
- green leafy vegetables
- eat seasonal and local whenever possible
- plenty of protein (0.8g per 1 kg of body weight)
- healthy, unsaturated fats (avocado, olive oil)
- sufficient carbohydrates
- probiotics (kefir, yoghurt, kombucha, sauerkraut)
- eliminate highly processed foods
Seasonal eating encourages a varied diet: branching out from your favourite kinds of fresh produce will give you vitamins and minerals that you might not usually get.
Additionally, the quality and freshness of in-season produce are better for your hair growth than out-of-season produce. Eating seasonal fresh produce ensures that your food didn’t have to ripen on the way from 5,000 miles away and didn’t have to have chemicals to be sprayed on them to protect against rotting or to make them groow in bulk and resist the crop disease. Instead, locally grown seasonal produce had time to absorb all the goodness from the soil and pass it onto your hair follicles.
Blood flow to scalp is the number one thing in healthy hair growth
An average person has about 100,000 hairs on their scalp – and each individual hair follicle has a tiny blood vessel attached to it. Through those blood vessels hair receives oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow and without them – hair will soon start thinning and eventually stop growing. This is why blood flow in scalp plays the number one role in your hair growth. In some studies a genetic factor responsible for blood vessel development, was artificially enhance in mice that led to a dramatic improvement in hair growth.
In addition, underneath the hair follicle there is a layer of subcutaneous fat – that provides cushioning for hair follicle to reach blood vessels easily. This layer of fat becomes important for people suffering from androgenic hair loss – linked to androgens – male sex homrones. This can occur in women, especially those suffering from perimenopausal hair loss and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). DHT destroys the layer of fat under the hair follicle making it hard to reach the blood vessels and therefore – nutrients needed to make you grow healthy hair. One of the best ways to stimulate blood flow in scalp is scalp massages, derma roller and scalp hair growth treatments.
Inversion method for hair growth
Blood flow to scalp plays a crucial role in hair growth, and one of the easiest ways to stimulate blood flow in your scalp – is inversion method. It involves hanging your head upside down after massaging it for 4 minutes with natural oil. You should do it over the course of 1 week every day to see the results. After doing it for 1 week, it’s advised to pause for 3 weeks and repeat it again. The reason for the pause is that your hair follicles can get used to it and benefits from it will be reduced.
Caffeine & hair growth
Caffeine often features in hair growth shampoos and treatments, but why? Short answer is that, caffeine stimulates blood flow to hair follicles. However the concentration of it in your hair growth products should be just right – low enough, so it doesn’t cause constriction of your scalp blood vessels which will lead to the opposite effect, but high enough to stimulate the blood flow, still. Caffeine blocks the signals from the enzyme phosphodiesterase that otherwise stops keratinocytes from proliferating and manufacturing hair. In other words, caffeine stops the molecule which would otherwise stop your hair growth. In addition, caffeine was found to be a DHT blocker, and as show in studies:
- Caffeine enhanced hair shaft elongation – making the hair root bigger.
- It prolonged duration of anagen – increasing the period of time during which a hair grows before it sheds.
- Caffeine stimulated hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation – which led to producing more keratin – key structural component of human hair.
Derma roller for hair growth
Derma roller or derma stamp are the types of micro needling tools that promote blood flow to scalp and hair follicles. However their biggest advantage is promoting local production of collagen around your hair root. By using this tool once a week on your scalp, you create tiny micro wounds. And, as your body realises there is a wound, it sends extra collagen to repair the skin in the affected area – i.e. around your hair follicles where your hair needs it most to grow. Collagen upholds the structure of the hair follicle during anagen, growth, stage. Using derma roller for hair growth is better than consuming collagen for hair growth because the effect is localised and targeted. The best dream roller for hair growth is 0.5-0.75mm stainless steel needle derma stamp. You need to make sure you regularly replace your derma stamping or dermaroller tool once the needless become blunt.
Scalp blood flow and hair growth
Answers to hair loss may lay in the anatomy of your scalp. Known as the galea aponeurotica is a muscle in your scalp – a sheet of connective tissue with muscular attachments on each side. Controlled by the opposing frontalis (front part) and occipitalis (back part), the galea aponeurotica allows for the transfer of force across the top of the head.
The galea aponeurotica and its surrounding muscles play a role in influencing the flow of blood to the scalp. Just as other skeletal muscles and blood vessels help transport bodily fluids, so do the muscles atop of your head. So when there is a tension in these muscles, hair loss can begin to manifest, as the pressure on the hair follicles increases and area can become inflamed. To tackle this scalp inflammation, your body sends DHT molecules that lead to hair follicle minituarisation.
For illustration, take a look at the image below. Blood supply to the top of the head originates from the branches off the internal carotid, and external carotid arteries which travel from the side to the front of the skull. Notice how the arteries become thinner and more dispersed towards the top of the head. Because of this structure, these arteries are more dependent on the muscle contraction (or relaxation) for blood flow – the latter bringing nutrients to the tissues.
If your scalp muscles have reduced or in any other way impaired, then the blood supply to the scalp will become impaired too, which can lead to hair loss and hair thinning – as the follicles become starved from oxygen and nutrients. So no wonder, that hair loss occurs in the crown area first in both, men and women. This is where the tension is at its highest and blood supply is less as compared to the sides of the head.
Scalp care for hair growth
Scalp is the area where your hair grows from. Therefore any products or remedies for hair growth that you use – needs to be either applied on that area, or hair growth needs to feed your body from within. When it comes to scalp health it’s important to remember that scalp is skin – so much of what you do for your skin care, applies to scalp, as well. This is why scalp massages are a great way to stimulate hair growth and releasing scalp tension. And, this is why scalp treatments are a great way to support hair growth. And much like the skin – if you don’t eat well and you have harmful lifestyle habits, your scalp and your hair will show that, too.
There are many hair growth receptors in your scalp – that react to products and chemicals that you apply differently. Some of the popular remedies for hair growth that you apply – is castor oil, peppermint oil and rosemary oil. Those are best applied in an overnight treatment.
Castor oil for hair growth
Castor oil works for hair growth because it contains ricinoleic acid, which activates an enzyme responsible for dilation of blood vessels. Better blood flow provides more oxygen and nutrients to your dermal papilla, or in other words, the root of your hair. In turn, this leads to healthier hair and faster hair growth. Castor oil is quite sticky and dense in nature and therefore to stimulate hair growth it is often advised to mix with a carrier oil, like almond oil or grapeseed. Best way to apply castor oil – is to apply it on your scalp and hair roots and leave it overnight underneath a shower cap and a beanie hat to ensure your scalp absorbs it well.
Jamaican Black castor oil vs. normal castor oil for hair
The main difference between normal castor oil and Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO) is that the beans of the Castor plant are roasted for the preparation of Jamaican black castor oil which increases its alkalinity. This extra alkalinity may cause the hair cuticles on your hair lengths to “stand up” leading to extra frizz. But on the other hand, alkalinity of JBCO is helpful if your scalp is too acidic. Common symptoms of scalp that is too acidic is redness, oiliness and appearance of pimples. Your scalp might often also appear greasy, feel irritated and react sensitively. In such a case applying JBCO can help with the symptoms as well as promote hair growth in the same way as castor oil does.
What scalp treatments help you grow your hair
Scalp treatments that focus on blood flow to scalp and your hair follicles are going to deliver the best results for your hair growth:
- Hyaluronic acid on scalp attracts moisture to the scalp – which may result (again, temporarily) in extra volume. It may also help with dilation of blood vessels thus prompting hair growth.
- Salicylic acid can serve as a scalp exfoliator: helping unblock hair follicles from dead skin and impurities around your hair follicles thus helping with hair growth.
- Caffeine-based treatments with the right consternation of caffeine in it to promote blood vessel dilation and block of the DHT
- Castor oil overnight soak to have ricinoleic acid to promote extra blood flow through making the blood vessels in scalp bigger
Rosemary oil and hair growth
One study examined the effects of rosemary oil as a hair loss treatment comparing it to minoxidil – a known FDA-approved drug against hair loss. By testing men and women, rosemary oil has shown to be equally effective in treating hair loss as minoxidil but without the side effects. As a results, rosemary oil often features in the hair growth products. It acts in three main ways:
- Promotes blood flow to hair follicles
- Heals damaged nerves in scalp
- Minimises the negative effect of testosterone on hair growth
Peppermint oil for hair growth
Peppermint oil is excellent in stimulating blood flow to scalp – it dilates blood vessels which improves the inflow of nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles. In some studies, peppermint oil has outperformed minoxidil when it comes to treating hair loss. However, never apply it directly on scalp in its pure form. Instead, mix a few drops of peppermint with a carrier oil – sweet almond or grapeseed – and apply on scalp. To improve its blood circulation improvement property, you can also add castor or mustard seed oil to this mix and leave the mixture on your scalp overnight under a shower cap and a beanie hat. Wash off the following morning with your usual shampoo and conditioner.
Two reasons why mustard can improve your hair growth
People used mustard in ancient Ayurvedic recipes as a moisturising, cleansing agent as well as a treatment for hair loss. In the modern times, mustard oil is still recommended and used as a treatment to use to accelerate your hair growth. Both, mustard seed and mustard oil work by stimulating blood flow to scalp as well as being a source of magnesium – a mineral which hair follicles need. An enzyme in mustard seed, myrosinase, also produces a chemical reaction when coming in contact with water, which further stimulates blood flow to your hair follicle. It also contains long chain fatty erucic acid (42% of mustard oil) which is a source of omega-9 fatty acid – which can help fight inflammation in scalp when applied topically. Inflammation of deep tissues in scalp is one of the common reasons for hair loss and thinning in both, men and women.
Hormones and Hair Loss
Hair loss occurs more frequently in men, known as male pattern baldness related to the effects and transmutation of androgens – male sex hormones. However women too can – and do – suffer from similar, androgenic hair loss, the latter can be a result of a condition (PCOS), menopause or stress-related hair loss, as triggered by the elevated cortisol levels that leads to increased androgen production in women. Hormones play a crucial role in hair growth as the diagram below illustrates:
Hormones that play a role in hair growth are:
- TSH produced by pituitary gland and stimulates production of T3 and T4 hormones that influence hair growth
- T3 and T4 produced by thyroid gland and participate in production of keratinocytes (hair follicle cells) and slowing down their apoptosis (cell death)
- Androgens and cortisol – produced by adrenal glands, in excess and in the inflammatory conditions both have negative effects on hair growth
- Oestrogens – produced by ovaries, helps keep hair in the anagen (growth) stage
- Androgens – produced by testes in males and partially in ovaries and adrenals in females – negatively impact hair growth by attaching to the receptors in hair follicles
Androgenic hair loss & thinning
Androgenic hair loss is linked to the by-product of androgen hormone, namely testosterone – Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is more dominant in men. DHT was believed to be the reason for hair loss as it was thought to miniaturize hair follicles leading to hair loss. But this was disproved upon the discovery that DHT actually causes thicker hair to some areas of the body during puberty. Recent studies suggest that DHT’s effect to hair loss is through gravity, subcutaneous fat loss in scalp, fibrosis and calcification of hair follicles. DHT, along with other androgens, support oxidation of fat cells: the very reason behind men naturally being leaner than females. But it also fights inflammation, so when scalp tissue becomes inflamed due to muscle tension, DHT is “sent” by your body to put out that inflammation.
Increased localised DHT in males and females with elevated androgens destroy subcutaneous fat in the scalp. This means that the blood vessels become more compressed by the skin from the force of gravity. This compression reduces blood flow and, as a result, DHT accumulates at the top of the head. This extra DHT then contributes to fibrosis and scalp calcification of soft tissue further restricting movement of the scalp leading to the formation of a bone-like texture around the hair follicle that ultimately leads to hair thinning and loss of hair completely.
PCOS and hair growth
Polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine (hormonal) condition affecting 1 in 10 women. Ovaries produce excess levels of androgens – male sex hormones that negatively affect hair growth. Excess androgens convert to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) molecules and attach to hair follicle. They cause scarring and thickening of the tissue around the follicle causing its minituarisation (reduction in size), and DHT also destroys the layer fat underneath the scalp tissue that’s necessary for hair follicle to access blood supply to grow healthy hair. Anti-inflammatory diet, scalp stimulation and lifestyle changes are recommended for people suffering from PCOS-related hair loss.
How do hair follicles die?
Hair follicles go through three different stages during their lifetime – multiple times. First is the anagen, growth stage that takes 2-7 years and where the hair is firmly attached to derma papilla and therefore blood supply. Anagen is followed by catagen – where the activity in the hair follicle stops and hair slowly detaches itself from the blood vessels. Then comes telogen, where the “dead” hair leaves the follicle and the follicle rests. This resting stage usually takes up 3 months. It can take longer in the instance of prolonged periods of stress. After this cycle, hair starts growing again by entering anagen.
At any given time, 85-90% of our hair follicles are in anagen stage – which takes about 2-7 years, about 3% in catagen º which takes 10-14 days as the hair detaches itself from the blood supply – and about 10-15% of hair follicles are resting in the telogen stage – that takes 3 months during which hair leaves the follicle entirely.
There is a larger cycle of hair follicle – where hair starts from lanugo hair – very thin hair that new borns have, it then transitions to terminal hair – thick and pigmented as we grow. It stays in this stage for decades, until it becomes vellus hair – where it thins, shortens as the growth stage also shortens, and more translucent. Vellus hair can often appear as bald, however when looked closely, vellus hair resembles peach fuzz. If the hair follicle grows vellus hair, it means that it can still reverse back to terminal hair with the right stimulation. Only certain auto-immune conditions like alopecia universalis, or scarring of the follicle (due to mechanical damage) can “kill off” the hair follicle. Otherwise, it takes many years for hair follicle to die even if the hair it grows is barely visible to the eye – if it grows even a tiny hair, it means the follicle is alive.
Menopause and hair loss
Many women entering perimenopause experience hair thinning which happens due to a shift in their hormones. This is a result of levels of androgens increasing and some people having more androgen receptors in their hair follicles than others. Also your body produces less oestrogen and progesterone – both of which extend anagen (growth) stage of your hair. The way to address menopause-related hair thinning, is healthy, anti-inflammatory diet, lifestyle changes (no smoking, limited alcohol consumption) and scalp stimulation. An anti-inlammatory diet is ever more important in menopause-related hair loss, because scalp inflammation plays a role in menopause-related hair thinning. Body sends androgens (DHT) to fight local inflammation in scalp and this results in hair follicle thinning.
Thyroid health and hair growth
Your thyroid glad plays a key role in hair growth. Hormone T4 influence production of keratinocytes – the cells in your hair follicle that manufacture your hair. And together with T3 hormone, T4 slows down the death of the hair follicle cells. When your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of these hormones, it leads to hair thinning, dull and fragile hair. Thyroid-related hair thinning needs to be addressed at the root cause – with changes in diet and lifestyle, taking necessary medication as prescibed by your doctor – but also scalp stimulation for hair growth.
Why your hair doesn’t grow
There can be a variety of reasons why your hair stopped growing:
- medication that has hair loss as side effect
- extended periods of stress when your body prioritises keeping life-supporting functions afloat, and doesn’t focus on growing hair
- hormonal imbalance
- hair styling techniques and practices, like using harsh sulphates and hair dyes
- poor diet and lifestyle habits
Stress and hair loss
There are 3 phases of hair growth:
- Anagen or growth phase.
- Catagen or transitional phase.
- Telogen or resting phase.
Normally only 10% of the scalp hair is in the telogen phase, but in stress-related hair loss (telogen effluvium) this increases to 30% or more. This can happen suddenly approximately 3 months AFTER a trigger event where you start seeing your hair falling out all at once. In this instance your body was focused on supporting life-functions of your body instead of growing hair, diverting blood flow and nutrients away from the scalp. Hair after a stressful event can grow back, or not – depending on the hair growing practices you adopt. It can also change texture as it regrows.
Stress response suspends a number of our bodily functions: digestion and tissue construction being one of them. For example, one of the reasons why stressful life leads to more wrinkles, is because cortisol destroys collagen which impacts skin elasticity and youthful appearance. As cortisol affects digestion, it also negatively impacts our body’s ability to transform food and supplements we consume, to fuel our body and its processes – including hair growth.
This process wouldn’t affect our hair growth in such a profound way, if it wasn’t for prolonged periods of stress: hair is seen by our body as a “luxury” and therefore stands at the end of the priority line when nutrients are being distributed by our body processes. Living with too much psychological or physical stress will degrade your body’s ability to maintain healthy hair. Stress can manifest as a physical muscle tension, which will affect galea neurotica thus leading to scalp inflammation and hair loss.
Hair loss after pregnancy
During pregnancy many women enjoy more hair growth and lustrous appearance of their hair. This is due to elevated levels of oestrogens – that extend the period of anagen (growth stage) of hair follicle. This means that hair which is otherwise supposed to fall out during a normal hair growth cycle – stays attached to the blood supply. However, after childbirth when hormones return to normal levels, that hair will fall out – and since a lot of hair would have otherwise been lost over a period of 9 months, post pregnancy hair shed can be very extreme. Usually the recovery from post-natal hair loss takes 3-6 months, with full recovery around 12 months – as after falling out hair follicle enters a period of 3 months rest in telogen and then takes time to regrow. You can speed up this regrowth process by scalp stimulation.
How do you take care of your hair?
When it comes to “hair care” most people think about the keratinous fibres sticking out of our scalp. It is surprising that only few think about scalp health when it comes to growing healthy hair. Scalp health is paramount to hair health. Think of scalp as soil to your hair strands, if deprived of nutrients it simply cannot feed healthy hair.
The most common split of hair is medulla, cortex and cuticle. The innermost part, the core of your hair strand – is called medulla. Cortex which makes up the “meat” of the hair strand, consisting of keratin. A cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair strand which looks like roof shingles.
It’s also logical to divide hair in three other parts: hair root – hidden in the subcutaneous tissue in your scalp, hair length – hair that is on display with the exception of the third part, which is hair ends – about 1-2 “last” inches of your length. For people with very short hair, hair ends and hair lengths will comprise the same thing.
Three Parts of Hair Strand
These distinct three parts call for different care routes. The fundamental part of hair is known as “hair follicle” and located just beneath the surface of the scalp, in the epidermis. Hair follicle needs sufficient nutrients to grow hair. So, in order to make your hair grow fast and healthy, you need to focus on the hair follicle or hair root and what feeds it: blood flow.
Secondly, to make sure that you keep the length of the hair that you’ve grown and you don’t need to constantly trim it – thus losing all the hair gains – you need to take care of the hair lengths. This can be achieved by adopting a regular hair oiling routine, using protective hairstyles overnight or when exercising and sleeping on a silk pillowcase amongst others. Finally, your hair ends care should include regular trimming if split, oiling and nourishment. To prevent split ends from worsening or occurring altogether you can either visit a salon or engage search & destroy technique at home.
Silicones in hair care
You should always examine ingredients of your hair products – whether it being shampoo, a conditioner, a leave-in treatment or a hair spray. For example, non-soluble silicones cause product build up in hair lengths – effectively suffocating the hair strand. Although after one application, your hair might feel shiny and smooth – due to the layer of silicones enveloping it, over time, this leads to dull and brittle hair. In addition silicones in hair care products also cause product build up on the scalp, too, therefore clogging hair follicles and stunting healthy hair growth. To know more about it, read this.
Sulfates in shampoos
In shampoos you need to look out for harsh sulfates. Sulfates are added to destroy and penetrate the fatty cell membrane to remove the oil your scalp naturally produces as well as capturing the sweat, dirt and dust accumulating on your scalp. However harsh sulfates strip the scalp of too much natural oil – thus leaving you with dry and flaky scalp and disturbing natural oil balance – one of the biggest arguments against washing your hair every day. In addition to worsened scalp health, harsh sulfates also strip off the natural oil from the hair strands themselves – thus leading to hair breakage and split ends.
Silk pillowcase for hair growth
Protecting your hair lengths becomes just as important as growing new hair. There is a variety of ways you can protect you hair lenghts: from exercising and putting your hair up in a braid to sleeping on a silk pillowcase. Usual cotton pillowcases wick out moisture from your skin, scalp and your hair, thus leaving it dull and lacking lustre. Silk doesn’t absorb moisture and its smooth and gliding surface protects your hair from tangling in your sleep. A vegan alternative to silk, is satin – which is a type of fabric weave – and can be made from different, plant-based materials.
Why knowing your hair porosity is important
When applying conditioner, leave-in treatments or hair oils, it’s important to know your hair porosity. Hair porosity is the extent to which the cuticles on your hair strands are open. “Virgin” hair – that was untouched by bleach or hair dyes – tend to have low porosity – so it may take a little bit of extra time for water to penetrate the hair when you wash it, and any leave-in treatments will provide greater benefits if you warm up your hair first and open the cuticles. Otherwise the product or oil will stay on the surface of the hair.
On the other hand, hair that’s been bleached or otherwise chemically treated will have cuticles that are permanently open – which leaves to the loss of moisture from your hair leaving it dull and more fragile. To perform hair porosity test you need to have a bowl of water, 4 minutes and a strand of your washed hair (air-dried and untreated by hair products).
Alcohols in hair products – all you need to know
When choosing hair care products, look out for alcohols in the ingredients list. Some types of alcohol, short chain fatty acids will strip off the necessary acid mantle – a natural covering of your hair strands – and natural oil (sebum), too harshly thus leaving it too dry and brittle. However some types of alcohols can help keep your hair moisturised. The so-called “good alcohols” are:
- Cetyl alcohol
- Myrstyl alcohol
- Behenyl alcohol
- Stearyl alcohol
Why you should care for your hair according to seasons
Each season and each climate will affect your hair health differently. For example, in autumn you will need some extra scalp care for hair growth, because of the “autumn shed” – increased hair loss in September through November. In winter you will need extra moisture and protective hairstyles to prevent hair damage from mechanical irritations against your hat and your jumper. In spring your hair again might need an extra boost, as after hibernating in winter being hidden under hats and scarves – you hair will need some TLC. It is also not unusual to see some increased hair loss in April, but also an increased hair growth around the same time.
Why do you lose more hair in autumn?
Studies show that our hair follicles experience slightly higher rates of telogen (resting) during the summer months of July and early August. This means that you will see the affected hairs falling out leaving the follicles around 90-100 days later. This falls around mid October to November, also known as autumn hair shedding or “autumn shed”. To support this hair regrowth, focus on the scalp stimulation through the autumn.
Does Mercury in Retrograde affect hair growth?
If astrology really resonates with you, you might notice your technology and communication, as well as travel plans go awry 3-4 times a year – around the time when Mercury appears to be moving backwards around the Sun if watched from Earth. This visual phenomena is known as “Mercury in Retrograde”. When it comes to hair, you might find respite in taking a little extra time to care for your hair as way to recharge from the hectic-ness and things going wrong. Don’t be too hasty with your hair appointments and accidentally chop off or dye your hair in an obnoxious colour that you’ll later regret. And, since we’re on the note of hair appointments – during Mercury in Retrograde if you have an appointment, always good to double check the time before showing up!
Hair growth advice for spring
After winter hibernation, your hair might need some extra nourishment and attention after being troubled by the wooly hats, jumpers and scarves – your hair will need some restoration:
- Hair-proof your pantry choosing the products that are good for your hair growth
- Do a blood check to identify any deficiencies that might affect your hair health
- Change your pillow (case)
- Do a product audit – getting rid of the expired masks, leave-in treatments and maybe opting for more natural options without harsh sulphates or silicones
- Get a hat – to protect your hair against the UV rays, especially if that hat has silk lining!
- Get a trim at a salon – or get a pair of sharp scissors to trim the tired and split ends yourself
- Wash your hair brush – ideally you’d do it more than once a year, but spring is a good reminder to do so!
- Clean your hair dryer filter
- Organise your hair accessories
Tips for hair care in winter
In winter and colder weather your hair needs extra protection and ensuring your inner body gets enough nourishment to feed your hair follicles. From wearing hats with silk lining, to eating seasonal produce and using a humidifier, here are some of the 10 tips for the best hair care in winter.
What does the sun do to your hair?
Hair shaft is a nonliving cell so unlike skin cells, your hair can’t get cancer from too much exposure to the sun. However, UV radiation damages hair lipids, so photodamaged hair is dry and dull, as sunlight damages disulphide bonds – the protein links that creates elasticity and essentially holds your hair shaft together. Colour treated hair, already deprived of its natural moisture is more likely to dry and become brittle after exposure to the sun. Therefore using a sunhat and UV protection for your hair strands is a good idea to protect your hair from sun damage.
Is sea water good or bad for your hair?
- Salt in sea water causes dehydration of your hair
- Extreme dryness for chemically treated hair will lead to hair breakage
- Nutrients such as magnesium absorbed by your scalp
- Salt provides exfoliation and stimulates blood flow
- Sea water has anti-fungal properties
- Salt is a natural shampoo and grease remover
- Extra body and fullness due to coverage of salt on your hair strands
To prevent your hair from drying as a result of exposure to the sea and ocean water – consider using natural hair oil or biodegradable and ecologically-friendly leave-in conditioner prior to walking onto the beach.
Health conditions that stop hair growth
There is a number of health issues that can stop you from growing healthy hair. Some of them also lead you to lose the hair or experience hair thinning.
Chemotherapy and hair loss: how to regrow hair after chemo
Hair loss is one of the most feared aspects of cancer treatment. If you are about to undergo chemotherapy or another cancer treatment, the chance of hair loss is very real, as most cancer treatments, sadly, lead to hair loss or hair thinning. Men and women, report hair loss as one of the side effects they fear most after being diagnosed with cancer. Chemotherapy works by damaging the cells that divide rapidly: cancer cells multiply rapidly, but so do hair follicles. As a result, hair loss can occur during chemotherapy. Hair usually begins falling out 2-4 weeks after you start treatment. Your scalp may feel tender and more sensitive. Your hair loss will continue throughout your treatment and up to a few weeks afterwards. Whether your hair thins out or you become completely bald will depend on your treatment.
It may take several weeks after treatment for your hair follicles to recover and begin growing again. When your hair starts to grow back, it could look slightly differently from the hair you lost. Your new hair might have a different texture or color. It is advised to complete chemotherapy before moving to any routines that focus on regrowing your hair.
Does endometriosis cause hair loss?
Endometriosis is a painful condition in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. It often affects women between 25 to 35 years old. The stress caused by the physical pain brought on by the condition contributes to excess hair shedding, a condition known as telogen effluvium. Especially since the pain occurs regularly with each menstruation, your body starts anticipating and preparing for it. Therefore the nutrients and “resources” that your body needs to support, amongst other functions, hair growth – would be diverted to a response to elevated levels of cortisol and making sure that your body can handle that discomfort and pain of this condition.
In addition, if you are taking medication for endometriosis, some drugs promote reduction of oestrogen – and that negatively impacts hair growth cycle shortening hair growth stage of your hair follicle. You should never stop your medication without consulting a doctor, instead focusing on scalp stimulation to promote hair growth.
COVID and hair loss
Post-COVID hair loss occurs twice as fast than usual stress-related hair loss (known as telogen effluvium): an average of 56 days or 8 weeks after COVID vs 90 days or 3 months. The effect of such fast onset of hair loss is three fold:
- Stress induced, especially if you were hospitalised or had an extreme case of COVID. Previously known as telogen effluvium, in COVID this case becomes extreme due to other two factors.
- Immune response to the virus can cause a cytokine storm in your body, which means that your body suffers from inflammation as a result of it fighting the virus. This inflammation can trigger androgenic hair loss in people already prone to it: i.e. males, women in perimenopause and those suffering from PCOS.
- COVID binds to the ACE2 receptors which usually regulate blood pressure. As a result, there is an excess of angiotensin – a hormone that constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure that can no longer bind to the receptors. This causes constriction of blood vessels in the body, soft tissues and scalp. Poor scalp blood circulation further worsen hair loss.
There are ways to treat post COVID hair loss, which includes anti-inflammatory diet, strengthening of immune system and – scalp stimulation.
9 ways to stop hair thinning
Thinning hair doesn’t always mean hair loss, however if left untreated it can lead to hair follicle miniaturisation that can reduce blood supply to the hair follicle, curb its nourishment and worsen initial hair thinning and deterioration.
- Scalp massages too release tension in scalp tissues and stimulate blood flow to hair follicles
- Using dermaroller to produce local collage around hair roots
- Taking multivitamins to support a varied diet consisting of seasonal fresh fruit & vegetables
- Using essential oils for overnight and pre-poo scalp oiling treatments
- Folic acid supplements – or type B supplementation
- Omega 3 & 6 supplementation to fight inflammation and support nervous system
- Treatments that stimulate blood flow to scalp
- Spironolactone – it isn’t prescribed as medication for hair loss, but rather to treat conditions that have hair loss as a side effect. It can have potential negative side effects on your endocrine (hormone) function.
- Finasteride if you’re a male suffering from male pattern hair loss. Beware that finasteride impacts your hormones that come with unwanted side effects and can disrupt your endocrine (hormone) function.
Hair growth needs to be approach holistically. Ranging from using the right hair care products, eliminating non-water soluble silicones and sulfates, to introducing more seasonal produce into your diet and making lifestyle habits part of your every day. It involves scalp stimulation to ensure proper supply of blood to your hair follicles and scalp as well as caring for your hair according to change in seasons. It is important to understand your individual deficiencies by having a blood panel done regularly – so you are not wasting money on wrong or even harmful supplements. Hair growth takes time and requires patience, but in your journey of hair growth – you will discover a newer, better and healthier version of you.
Who we are:
The Hair Fuel is an all-natural hair growth mask created by Laura Sagen, who lost a third of her hair after a terrible visit to a hairdresser while suffering from a life-long condition of PCOS associated with androgenic hair thinning. She developed the formulation rooted in science of scalp blood flow, which has become The Hair Fuel growth mask. Since then, her company has helped thousands of people like you to start growing healthy hair.
We work closely with our lab and manufacturers to ensure the highest quality product. But a product alone is never enough – so we hold your hand throughout your own, unique hair growth journey. Our flagship product, The Hair Fuel mask coupled with tailored advice, digital tools and online support are there to help you grow the best hair you can. It’s a big claim – but we’re unafraid to make it. Check out our starter bundles >>
1. How can I increase blood flow to my head?
Our formula is all-natural, vegan and never tested on animals.
You can improve blood flow to the scalp for hair growth by directly massaging your scalp for 5-10 minutes multiple times a week (daily is recommended). Using a gentle but firm circular movements, start from teh back of your head, moving to the sides and temples and finishing at the crown. Repeat this multiple times per session. You can try an inversion method for one week a month. And you can also use The Hair Fuel scalp treatment to improve blood flow to your scalp.
2. What is the best way to clean your scalp?
It is important to wash your scalp thoroughly with a suitable shampoo for your hair and scalp type. Apply a small amount (dime-size) of shampoo on your palms and rub to generate the foam – then apply the foam onto your scalp. Then with gentle but firm circular movements move all around your scalp, starting from the back of your head, to the sides and finishing at the crown. Your hair is more susceptible to damage when wet, so it is important to perform this procedure carefully. Re-apply shampoo, only if necessary. You can use a scalp brush when washing your hair. If you are using your hands – make sure that your nails are not damaging the skin and use fingertips instead. Avoid shampoos with harsh sulfates, as those can be drying for your scalp and hair. You can read about harsh sulfates in this article here.
3. What promotes hair growth on the scalp?
Consumption of micronutrients and vitamins are essential for healthy hair growth – taking A-Z vitamins, omega-3 and more tailored nutrients that support your lifestyle (e.g. plant-based diet often requires additional B-vitamin and iron supplementation). Healthy diet full of wholefoods like vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, unsaturated fats and lean proteins promote hair growth. In addition, low stress levels, no tobacco smoking, sufficient amounts of sleep are foundational stones for hair growth. Once those are addressed, next is to promote suitable blood flow to scalp to deliver nutrients and oxygen to your roots which will help you grow healthy hair.
4. Is derma roller effective for hair growth?
In a number of independent studies, a form of microneedling tool (e.g. derma roller, derma stamp or derma pen) has shown positive results in improving hair growth density, reduction in hair loss as well as hair regrowth. Based on those studies, the answer is yes.
5. What makes a healthy scalp?
A healthy scalp is the one that doesn’t itch, doesn’t flake, doesn’t have unpleasant odour within 2-3 days of washing, it has the same colour as your skin (i.e. no reddening or irritation). The rate at which your scalp gets oily can also indicate its health (e.g. a hormonal disbalance), but it can also be a sign of washing your hair too frequently. Looking after your scalp the way you do after your skin – is important to keep it healthy. Using gentle shampoos, moisturising with natural oils or serums, as well as introducing a healthy lifestyle to support scalp health from within are key for a healthy scalp.
6. How can I prevent scalp damage?
To prevent scalp damage, ensure to not scratch your scalp when washing your hair. Avoid using your nails and instead either use your fingertips. You can also use a scalp brush. Scalp can also be damaged by UV rays, which leads to premature ageing – so during prolonged sun exposure, wear a sunhat or a baseball cap to protect it. Look out for things like headphones or hard hats – those can rub on your scalp and therefore, damage it – which may lead to hair thinning and hair loss on the affected areas.