Why Scalp Care is the Root of Luscious, Healthy Hair and the Nutrients You Need to Nourish It
Essences, moisturizers, and serums - we pile products our skin to get that dewy glow. But what about our scalp? While we spend our days focusing on the lather, rinsing, repeating of our hair strands, the scalp goes relatively unnoticed.
Remember, your scalp is an extension of our face, except it's more delicate. It contains a plethora of hair follicles that produces sebum to help keep the scalp moisturized. It has a lower skin barrier function than the rest of our body, making it vital to incorporate a scalp care regimen.
Why do I need to care for my scalp?
Urban lifestyle factors such as high levels of pollution, exposure to UV rays, heat exposure, and an unhealthy diet can lead to weightless, dry tresses that will have you running for the hills. If you want longer, glossier hair, it’s imperative to look at how well you are treating your scalp. Keeping your scalp clean and healthy is an important path to hair growth. Your scalp has its own microbe and when it's disrupted, scalp issues such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis can take effect.
How can I achieve a clean, healthy, and PH balanced scalp?
Just like skincare, scalp care starts at home. Simple changes to your hair regimen can make a difference to your scalp health. It's essential to have a regular hair care routine and good formulas to boost hair health and prevent early-stage damage. Adding supplements with the right balance of vitamins can help your hair grow. Exfoliating your scalp can help get rid of skin cells while using a scalp conditioner or tea rinse can help with adding moisture to your scalp.
What nutrients does your scalp need to thrive?
The way your hair looks and feels can significantly improve with the right combination of nutrients. Hair can be slow to respond to any stimulus. Healthy-looking hair is usually an automatic response to a healthy lifestyle. Having the right nutrients can help your locks flourish. You can get from whole foods in a well-balanced diet or by taking a vitamin or mineral supplement. Let's look at which nutrients encourage hair growth.
The name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids. You can find vitamin A compounds in animal products such as milk, eggs, and yogurt. Plant-based products such as sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, and kale also contain vitamin A. Vitamin A found in plant-based products is beta-carotene which turns into vitamin A when it’s absorbed in your body.
All cells need vitamin A for growth, including your scalp and hair. Vitamin A helps your skin glands make sebum, an oily substance produced by your body's sebaceous glands. Sebum coats, moisturizes, and protects the scalp. As you age, sebum begins to decline and can result in a dry, cracked scalp.
B Vitamins and Biotin:
There are eight B vitamins. The B vitamins generally function to help your body produce energy. They work together to support cell health, healthy brain function, a healthy appetite, and for ones and cholesterol production. Food such as salmon, leafy greens, leafy greens, eggs, and milk contains B vitamins.
Biotin (B7) is one of the best-known vitamins for hair growth. Most people can get biotin from eating a well-balanced diet. Taking biotin supplements has been linked to promoting healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Also known as L-ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid, or L-ascorbate vitamin C is a vital nutrient. Vitamin C plays a role in the health of your skin, bones, and, blood vessels. It's an antioxidant that can be found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production. Its antioxidant activity can reduce inflammation in the body.
Vitamin C stimulates collagen and reduces oxidative stress to your scalp, which leads to a healthier scalp by reducing inflammation and promoting cellular turnover.
A fat-soluble essential vitamin that our skin absorbs when it's exposed to the sun. It is one of the 24 nutrients critical for human survival. Vitamin D can also be found naturally in animal products such as fish and eggs. Vitamin D is associated with increased cognitive function, immune health, and well-being.
Vitamin D is metabolized in the skin by keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are the skin cells that process keratin. Keratin is a protein that supports your hair, skin, and nails. When your body is deficient in vitamin D, keratinocytes in your hair follicles have trouble regulating hair growth. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to alopecia, excessive shedding, and female pattern hair loss.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is a group of antioxidants that protect your cells from free radicals. You need adequate levels of vitamin E for your body to function normally. It's a common nutrient found in most foo including cooking oils, seeds, and nuts.
Vitamin E plays a role in reducing hair loss. Studies have shown that when supplementing with vitamin E, individuals experiencing hair loss saw a 34.5% increase in hair growth.
This mineral uses your red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. It’s an essential nutrient which you get from food. Iron deficiencies can happen if your iron intake is insufficient. When you are diffident in iron, your body is unable to produce hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is essential for the growth and repair of your cells, including the cells that stimulate hair growth.
Iron deficiency has been shown to cause hair loss and is associated with male and female pattern baldness. By supplementing your diet with iron, you can reverse hair loss associated with iron deficiencies.
Zinc and Selenium:
Your body doesn't naturally produce zinc, zinc comes from the food you need. It's an essential nutrient that plays vital roles in your body such as immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, and growth and development. Zinc is found naturally in a wide range of both plant and animal food. Zinc deficiency is sometimes associated with hair loss and can be reversed by consuming foods with zinc.
Omega-3, a fatty acid present in certain proteins is vital to the body and brain. Omega-3 has a range of benefits including fighting depression, improving eye health, promoting brain health in pregnancy and early life, help fight inflammation and autoimmune diseases, and is great for the skin. Omega-3 fatty acid intake has been shown to stimulate hair growth and reduce DHA, a compound that is linked to female and male pattern baldness. It has also been found to help with the thickness of hair.