There are so many suggestions as to what will help to bring about a good head of hair that one wonders why the advice is so divergent. Why can’t there be a simple eat this and do that!
Well, if you consider that one square inch of your scalp skin contains 65 hairs, 100 sebaceous glands, 650 sweat glands, 78 heat sensors, 13 cold sensors, 1300 nerve endings, 9500 cells, 19 yards of blood vessels and lymph capillaries and 78 yards of nerves, then it does make sense there is a multitude of possibilities for lack of hair and suggestions that flow from that.
And when there is an imbalance it can come from any of the above components and systems - hence the endless abundance of “all over-the-place” advice. Often more than one deficiency overlaps with another - so thoroughness is important.
So to keep it simple (and hair loss, healthy hair and keeping it simple should not be in the same sentence), I’m structuring my thoughts into these categories:
1. Nutritional lack
2. Unhappy thyroid
3. Unhappy adrenals - so many of us are running on fumes,
4. Dire need of detoxification - from some very heavy metals, etc - life’s accumulation!
5. Recouping from toxic meds and therapies - radiation, chemo and many others...
6. and a few more comments...
1. Nutritional lack - this is the biggest chunk of info and the most fun - we all have to eat - so you might as well eat with your “mane” in mind!
A) amino acids lacking in our diet - such as with some vegetarians who do not plan out and plot their meals - or can be as simple as a lack of glutathione production at the cellular level.
Food Sources that Boost Glutathione Naturally:
Glutathione, the body's master antioxidant and detoxifier, is not one of those beneficial substances that you just take a large oral dose and get it over with. Glutathione is manufactured inside each cell from its precursor amino acids of glycine, glutamate, cysteine and cystine.
So supplements that increase glutathione must provide these precursors and on a continuous basis. We’ll leave the suggestion of amino acid supplements with you as an option. But we'll deal with how to get the most Glutathione from your food sources below here.
So, you'll want to consume foods rich in amino acids and sulphur-containing amino acids in particular.
Start with these: sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, fish and fresh unprocessed meats. Then add some asparagus, a leading source of Glutathione. Foods like broccoli, avocado and spinach also boost glutathione levels.
If this leaves you in the cold due to a severe diet limitation, then you may want to consider quality whey protein, containing proteins like alpha-lactalbumin, rich in sulphur-containing amino acids. Heating or pasteurisation destroys the delicate disulphide bonds that give whey proteins their bioactivity. Un-denatured whey protein from raw milk is a non-heated product that preserves bioactive amino acids such as cystine.
B) anemia - which can have many reasons such as blood loss, unhappy bone marrow (many reasons), insufficient dietary iron due to, for example, an unplanned vegan lifestyle, or too many toxic heavy metals pushing out iron.
Our iron comes from: dried fruit, cherry juice, parsley, eggs, dates, raisins, dark leafy greens.
Iron deficinecy is not always the reason, or the sole reason, but if you follow these suggestions you will have an excellent diet as a happy extra benefit.
C) Alpha Lipoic Acid - well, not a food but a brilliant supplement to add to what we make naturally in our body’s cells as a by-product of energy release. ALA increases the levels of intra-cellular Glutathione, and is a natural antioxidant with free radical scavenging abilities like no other. It has the ability to regenerate oxidised antioxidants like Vitamin C and E and helps to make them more potent. It is an amazing anti-inflammatory and may help prevent the cellular damage accompanying the complications of many health challenges including unhappy hair follicles. ALA also has a protective effect in the brain. It has been known to save lives when given intravenously to those within an inch of loosing their lives due to toxification by poison psychedelic mushrooms.
D) Selenium (co-factor for making the enzyme Glutathione peroxidase). Brazil nuts, unlike any other nut, is just loaded with selenium. It takes a lot of selenium to reach a toxic level.
E) Magnesium - go to #40 in my report 78 Foolproof Ways to Improve Your Health. Magnesium in any old supplement won't do - not for good hair or good general health. Magnesium needs a specific environment to be absorbed - and the way described is the only really efficient one as is the supplement. Most of us are magnesium deficient and that's a pity - it is a wonder mineral. The report can be downloaded from http://www.pacificholistic.com - FREE.
F) Silica - raw oats, potato skins, green and red peppers, cucumbers, bean sprouts and horsetail tea
G) sulphur - tricky this is! You probably get enough of this mineral in the average diet. Go to http://livingnetwork.co.za/chelationnetwork/food/high-sulfur-sulphur-food-list/ and avoid everything on this list if you still have a mouthful of mercury.
H) zinc - don’t exceed 25 mg per day - and I take mine as a zinc lozenge (NOT a “Tums”!) my lozenge doesn’t contain aluminum.
I) Vitamin A - as a supplement (under 100,000 IU per day)
J) B Vitamins - B1 thru 9 and B12, B15, and B17 as well as biotin, inositol and folic acid is quite the list! So here I’m narrowing it down to:
i) B3 - lamb, chicken, salmon, tuna, sea vegetables and a little in shiitake and crimini mushrooms
ii) B5 - sunflower seeds, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow corn, leafy greens such as collard, turnip, and Swiss chard, tomatoes, whole-grain cereals, legumes, eggs, meat, royal jelly, avocado and yogurt
iii) B6 - salmon, chicken, beef, tuna and some in banana (but as heat has some negative effect on B6, it is not destroyed unless you heat your banana)
iv) biotin - fruits, nuts, brown rice, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats,
v) inositol - wheat germ, liver, oatflakes, bananas, liver, brown rice, nuts, unrefined molasses, raisins and vegetables.
vi) folic acid is in foliage for starters. But if you truly eat well, have included many of the nutrients mentioned above, then you have an 80% chance of being fine. One in five of us is missing folase - a necessary enzyme that is integral to all health, growth and your hair. If still not so fine, get a GP’s diagnostic test for folic acid deficiency or come for live blood analysis.
vii) Vitamin C in divided doses helps with absorption - every nutrients’ workhorse type buddy.
viii) a very low fat diet with the following exceptions: lots of the healing oils of flaxseed, primrose oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and salmon - good sources.
2. Unhappy thyroid - please go to Thyroid: over & under - hyper and hypo? - tired and cold? - active and healing? - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/1892 for details as you are probably getting quite tired of my thyroid yaddy-yaddy by now.
3. Unhappy adrenals - so many of us are running on fumes. The activity of the sebaceous glands is controlled mainly by the Adrenal Glands.
How can you tell if these hard working little organs are tired (they sit atop the kidneys like little hats)? Live blood analysis certainly can tell you. If you have been sitting and stand up quickly and find yourself a bit dizzy or out of breath, then that’s a possible indicator. Or you can have your GP take your blood pressure in a normal sitting position. Then, lie down, totally relax and breathe in calmly and have the blood pressure cuff put on again and ready and pumped up and just a second before the release, jump off the exam table and see the difference in systolic numbers - that’s simple, inexpensive and telling! The systolic numbers - the higher one (not diastolic - the refilling number) should almost be similar - not 20 or 30 numbers apart. If not, then hair challenge, baldness or hair what-not, get an adrenal supplement!
I use the brilliant Thorne’s supplement called “Cortrex®”
(multi-faceted nutritional support for healthy adrenal function* $15.40 | SG801 - http://www.thorne.com/AST/Products/Endocrine-Support.jsp bottom right of page). I don’t have shares in the company... and respect them greatly.
If you don’t like online shopping, just give me a call and I may know of a store near you.
The pituitary gland governs a series of hormones with many different functions that are also important. The thyroid also plays a role in the general well-being of the skin and helps the hair, skin and nails to stay in good condition. But let’s not forget the adrenals!
4. detoxification from some toxic heavy metals, etc - life’s accumulation or just too many mercury fillings or too many mercury fillings not removed with a biologically correct and exacting protocol or mercury fillings that have sat in the owner's mouth too many times while the owner sat in an infrared sauna... and so on...
The natural tendency is for your body to get rid of the heavy metals by storing them in tissue - in bones, muscles and fat cells - out of harms way. At the earliest opportunity, without overloading the lymphatic and circulatory system, your body tries to allow as much as is possible to exit.
These heavy metals actually tend to leave our bodies in sequences (as we know from chelation) and occasionally this can cause temporarily elevated levels in the blood (and hence in hair follicles). This is temporary and if the focus is hair health, then we don’t really care which heavy metals are leaving us, just that we know that they are exiting.
There is chelation - very drastic and helps speed up the process. There are oxygen/ozone saunas - gentle and effective. There is sweating and exercise - this takes time. ... so many options.
In all cases you don’t want to add even one more nasty heavy metal molecule, but only lighten the burden. The mega thousands of sebaceous glands are a place that toxins accumulate into and clog while this is the area for growth for the start of the new hair - and that needs to remain open and clean and “fertile”.
For example, a heavy smoker will have many years of heavy metals on board and this could be the reason for some hair challenges. With some proper detoxing, these can be eliminated and eventually the oversupply is minimalized and the blood supply to the scalp’s skin and hair follicles will be ever cleaner and re-life-giving.
Occasionally someone will have an actual skin disease which hampers hair growth. A dermatologist woul dbe in order.
Ver-rrrrry ocassionally someone has an allergic contact dermatitis - allergens such as nickel, gold, balsam of Peru, hair dye, etc from perfumes and skin lotions halt and alter hair growth. Or it can be a reaction to thimerosal, a mercury compound used in local antiseptics and vaccines or cobalt chloride. Neomycin sulfate or bacitracin - a topical antibiotic, common in first-aid creams and ointments, can debilitate the poor hair follicle, too.
5. recouping from toxic meds - radiation, chemo and many others...
If the required toxic medication is finished with, then detox is in order - hair challenges or not! That’s another topic and if you feel inclined, you can call me and I’ll have numerous suggestions depending on your personal situations.
If the required toxic chemicals/meds need to be continued, then sometimes less toxic equivalents can be suggested to your GP, specialist, etc. for example: cyclophosphamide (Endoxan, Cytoxan) used on MS patients with toxic dosages, can cause hair loss and damaged bone marrow. Instead trophosphamide (Ixoten), which is chemically closely related, has the same effectiveness and is more acceptable in the long run. It helps to do your homework and be determinded.
6) a few more suggestions...
A good shampoo that is detoxifying and anti-bacterial and yet gentle - for example - Dr. Bonner’s soap with a very few drops of melaleuca added.
Most people have never been introduced to Tissue salts also called Cell salts or Schleusser salts. They are wonderful.
There are 12 basic ones and are subtle and work like homeopathics.
They never damage and can only help to rebalance. They are found in every human cell. If one or more of the cell salts become deficient in our cells, biochemical imbalances occur within our cells and tissues. Try these two:
1. Kali sulph (potassium sulfate) - oxygenates the cells and tissues of the body.
Uses: skin, hair, scalp and nail problems, catarrh, sticky discharges, hot flushes, chills, wandering pain in the limbs and athlete's foot. Can be used with silica to treat brittle nails and thin hair.
2. Silicea (silica) - cleanser and detoxifier; present in blood, skin, nails, hair, bones, connective tissue and mucus membranes.
Uses: pimples, spots, boils, sties, abscesses and any other type of skin condition with pus suppuration; cracked, brittle or split nails, gland disorders, involuntary twitching of eyes or face muscles, stress; badly conditioned, dull looking hair; rheumatic pain.
Since one of its effects is to promote expulsion of foreign matter from the body, silica shouldn't be used for long periods by those with any type of implant.
Merrie Bakker - Live Blood Analysis, Nutrition, Ozone/Oxygen Therapies, Dowsing and Total Reiki Classes (http://www.reflexologyreiki.com)