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Tag Archives : hair health

Diet & Nutrition Tips for Healthy Hair

Spring has sprung; cosy coats and bulky boots are being tossed aside to make way for jackets and peep-toe shoes. The urge for a top-to-toe makeover is in full swing – and for many this involves embarking on a healthy new lifestyle, with improvements to diet and fitness. No look really feels complete if we don’t feel good about our hair, so it’s important to make sure your locks are benefiting from these changes, too. And most importantly, are not impacted adversely. Here are my favourite, and lesser-known ways, to give your hair a revitalising boost from within.

Mercury

I am not talking about the 1st planet from the sun, but the metal element found most abundantly in larger fish, like tuna, king mackerel and swordfish – which we tend to eat more as the weather gets warmer. Mercury is toxic and can build up in our systems causing various health problems if levels get too high – and one such problem is hair loss. To help avoid overexposure, try to limit your intake of these high mercury foods to once a week maximum. Fan of sushi? Swap out your tuna for salmon, shrimp, eel, crab or scallops.

Eggs

Hair is composed primarily of protein, so incorporating enough into your daily diet is essential to the growth of strands. Eggs are perhaps my favourite hair healthy protein as they contain all essential amino acids and are also absorbed easily by the body. While the bulk of an egg’s protein lies in its whites, the yolks are a great source of Vitamin B6 & B12 and Vitamin D – all of which are good hair boosters. As a general rule, we ask that people include at least a palm-sized portion (approx. 120g) of a ‘complete protein’ at breakfast and lunch to support optimal production of hair cells. Apart from eggs – fish, lean meats, low fat cottage cheese, poultry and quinoa are good examples of complete proteins. Nuts, pulses and tofu are also protein rich, but alone they do not contain all essential amino acids. It’s therefore important you mix and match them to get the full array that you need.

Breakfast

Energy to form hair cells is at an all-time low first-thing in the morning, making breakfast the most important meal of the day for your hair. Within 2 hours of waking, eat a nutrient dense meal that contains both protein and complex carbs. Think eggs on wholemeal toast, smoked salmon on an everything bagel or quinoa porridge with nuts and berries. As an added benefit, eating a hearty breakfast helps to amp up your metabolism for the rest of the day.

Two For Tea

If your new health regime involves upping your chai or matcha tea intake, remember to add a dash of milk. Tannins found in black tea can bind to iron in your blood, increasing the likelihood of anaemia. Anaemia and ferritin (stored iron) deficiency are common causes of hair loss in women.

Snack

Energy to form hair cells drops 4 hours after eating. If more than this time is left between meals, snack on a healthy carbohydrate, like fresh fruit, vegetables or no-added-sugar granola to energise your follicles. Do not eat full-fat dairy, such as cheese, as a snack – this takes over 4 hours to digest.

Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements can be great hair helpers – but you will only really see their full benefits if they are taken alongside a healthy diet. Hair is a non-essential tissue. This means that if your nutrient levels are lacking, any goodness contained within a supplement will first be sent to essential organs, with your hair receiving little, if any. The best hair supplements are those that contain nutrients at levels specifically geared towards your strand’s requirements. I take our Tricho Complex nutritional supplement every day with breakfast. It contains iron, Vitamin C, Biotin, Zinc, l-lysine and B12 to help support hair growth from within. It also contains Vitamin D3 as studies are increasingly showing a link between Vitamin D levels and hair health.

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Maintaining Healthy Hair This Winter

Last winter we begged Philip Kingsleymuch like the magazine editors he mentions, belowto advise us on how to best show our hair some TLC during this party/travel/cold weather-laden time of year. We’ve resurface Philip’s guidance as the holiday season jumps into full swing.

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During December, I am inundated with questions from magazines regarding maintaining hair health in the winter. This isn’t the case with my patients, mind you, who come en masse to my clinics during January with hair that has been subjected to various assaults over the holiday season. It seems that many (including my wife and 2 daughters!) throw caution to the wind during this time, choosing to suffer the consequences afterwards. I am hoping this article has caught your attention early enough so you can avoid the January hair blues this year. In this month’s article I am sharing my PRE New Years Resolutions so you can toast in 2015 with beautiful, healthy locks.

CONDITION. And Correctly!

Conditioner is a vital component of any hair care regime. It isn’t simply a devise to mask problems, but a well-formulated one will help restore health to your hair and treat brittleness and dryness. However, many people – especially those with fine hair – steer clear of using conditioner as they find it weighs their hair down. To avoid this, simply apply it to your mid-lengths and ends only. Contrary to the ‘all over’ application I frequently encounter at hair salons, conditioner is never meant to touch your roots. They don’t need it and it will indeed create limpness.

General Health

Hair is an excellent barometer of general health – with flus, high fevers and stomach bugs frequently affecting the hair growth cycle. This can result in mass hair shedding 6-8 weeks later and may last as long as 6 weeks depending on the severity and duration of the illness. While there is no foolproof way to avoid getting sick, I strongly suggest you ask your doctor about getting a flu shot. It takes a mere few seconds and may help you avoid a serious hair blip.

Bleaching

December is one of the busiest times for salons in terms of hair processing. Who doesn’t like to have a head of freshly done colour for Christmas and New Years!? While you may time this quite well after your last appointment, leaving at least 6 weeks in-between, this isn’t always possible. Quite commonly, it is much less and this can lead to overlapping of previously done colour, resulting in breakage near the root area. To strengthen your hair pre-colour, prep it a few days before a salon visit with my pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, Elasticizer, and then again a few days after. You can also discuss your concerns with your stylist so that they are even more cautious than usual.

Split Ends

It may well be the season to be jolly, but it is also the season of blow-dryer tomfoolery, sizzling styling tongues and haphazard de-tangling. The result? A frightful case of split ends. Firstly, take a look at your ends (yes, right now). If you see splits occurring, make an appointment to see your stylist ASAP. If you leave them, they can split all the way up the hair shaft and cause a great deal of damage. Contrary to popular belief, split ends cannot be mended – and the only cure is to snip them off. To avoid them in the first place, choose brushes with widely spaced and padded plastic prongs, always apply a detangling spray (Daily Damage Defence) before combing, and be sure to detangle starting at your ends – never your roots. Also, limit your use of hair straighteners to twice a week, and use a heat protective conditioning serum, like my Straight Hair, when doing so.

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7 Ways to Protect Your Hair During Workouts

While it’s well known that working out is beneficial to the body, it can actually be good for hair, too. Mild to moderate exercise helps to reduce stress levels, calm anxiety and ward off a whole host of health problems – all of which can affect hair growth. There are even things you can do to immediately improve the condition of your hair while exercising. However, there can also be drawbacks. Below I’ll explain how to keep your hair in tip-top condition during your weekly workouts.

Swimming

It’s a definite must to protect your hair when you swim. Like bleach, chlorinated water is an oxidizer and can seriously dry out your strands. It may also turn blonde hair green. A safe bet is to wear a silicone swim cap. And if you have hair below shoulder length, purchase one specifically for long hair (Speedo, amongst other brands sells them and in an array of fun colours). Personally, I like to apply our waterproof hydrating Philip Kingsley Swimcap Cream before doing my morning laps. It not only protects the hair, but also moisturizes it. Shampoo it out and condition as usual for shiny post-pool hair. You can even wear it under your regular swim cap if you don’t like getting your hair wet. The longer you leave it in, the more intensive the treatment will be – so as an added benefit it gives me extra incentive to crawl through those last laps (pun intended).

Hair-up

Take a look at how you tie your hair up. If it feels like your ponytail/bun is pulling, make it looser. Traction from tight styles can break hair around the hairline and temples, and over time pull it from the follicle resulting in hair loss. What you use to keep your hair in place is also important. Tight rubber/plastic bands can cut into the hair shaft and fracture it. I suggest purchasing some large scrunchies and/or fabric-covered bands. They are gentle on the hair shaft and less likely to pull.

Cardio

It may seem obvious, but you should wash your hair after you work up a sweat. Your scalp becomes just as sweaty as the rest of you. Forgoing shampoo is bad news for two reasons. Firstly, hair traps sweat, which creates the ideal environment for bacterial growth. As bacteria begin to break down the sweat, your hair can start to smell. Secondly, proliferation of bacteria can irritate your scalp. If you don’t have time to shampoo, make sure to use an anti-microbial dry shampoo and scalp toner. (PK One More Day Dry Shampoo and Scalp Toning Tonic).

Don’t Overdo It

High intensity work-outs can be fine, but overdoing it can send your androgen (male hormone) levels rocketing. And if you have a genetic pre-disposition to hair thinning, this could be a problem.

Re-fuel

Eat nutritious, energy dense foods post workout. Nuts, bananas and granola are good choices. If your body is left hungry and depleted, your hair cells are going to be feeling it even more. As hair is a non-essential tissue, it is usually the first part of you to take a hit from any form of dietary or energy deficiency.

Mat Work

Depending on the class you take, you may not work up a huge sweat during an hour of yoga, Pilates or meditation. You may also have washed your hair in the morning, or leave it until the next day. Do yourself (and your hair) a favor and wipe down the mat you use before lying on it. You are otherwise subjecting your hair and scalp to other people’s germs and sweat while your doing roll ups, hip lifts and mindful breathing.

Multi-task

Using a weekly deep conditioning hair mask can do wonders for the condition of the hair. But sometimes it’s hard to find the time. The solution? Work one into your locks before working out. I recommend our Philip Kingsley Elasticizer – a multi-award winning pre-shampoo conditioning treatment that was originally formulated for Audrey Hepburn.

Have questions for Anabel? Please comment on this blog and all will be answered.

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