Hormonal issues, too many chemical processes, heat from styling products, emotional stress, physical stress, hair extensions, pre-menopause, post-menopause, vitamin deficiencies, poor gut integrity, poor diet, and type of shampoo/conditioner can contribute to thinning, damaged and weak hair. Or, it may be an underlying medical condition you may not be aware of.
At one time, I had a weak moment and fell into the hair extension trap! When I had them removed, the result was breakage, thinning and weak hair. The following is my personal hair protocol. It took approximately four months to really see great results; much thicker, shinier, no more breakage and grew about 3 inches(maybe more) during that period of time.
1) Whole food organic diet- avoiding processed foods and chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides. I’ve heard it costs more to eat organic. Quite honestly, I find it to be the other way around. Whenever, I go into a conventional grocery store I spend much more money.
2) Protein- Choose complete protein foods including fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, grass-fed red meat, protein powders.
How Much Protein to Consume
It’s best to go by your body weight. If you do not exercise 0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 120 lbs divide it in half, 60 grams of protein. This should be divided equally during the day.
If you exercise, bump that number up to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. 120 lbs=120 grams.
I don’t like to push too much protein because everyone is biologically unique. What works for some may not work for others. There is no such thing as a one size fits all especially if you are not sure why your hair is thinning and weak.
In any event, at that time I consumed approximately 1.2 grams for every pound of body weight. Here’s how it compares to food: three ounces of chicken yields approximately 20 grams of protein.
3) Circulation-This is incredibly important. Increase circulation by massaging your scalp, and getting exercise. You’ve got to move. Movement is life!
MSM 5000 mgs daily (preferably powder)
Vitamin B12- (especially if you’re over 40) I prefer injection. If that’s not doable, then I’d go with sublingual.
Stinging Nettle- 500 mgs 2 x daily
Vitamin C – 2500 mgs daily
Magnesium 400 mgs before bed
Zinc- 15-30 mgs 1 x daily
Vitamin D 5000 IU daily
Probiotic- Wild fermented veggies 3 TBSP daily
EFA- Essential Fatty Acids – Particularly, omega 3 (fish oil gel-cap) Your body needs a balance of all Omegas 3, 6 and 9. It’s much easier to get omega 6 and 9 as opposed to omega 3.
5) The following foods should be added to your diet for healthy hair: almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, avocado, salmon, oysters(often) eggs, yellow and red peppers, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, beef, lamb, sweet potatoes, coconut based yogurt, coconut oil, olive oil, spinach, cucumbers, beets, lentils, halibut, turkey, chicken, leafy greens, bananas and oranges.
6) Drink green tea in the AM, nettle tea in the afternoon and chamomile tea at night. Everyday!
7) Shampoo, Conditioner and Styling Products
There are chemicals in shampoos that will make your hair thin, break, brittle and dry as well as irritate your scalp. These chemicals are very sneaky and dangerous because on the outside your hair may look fabulous. Don’t let that fool you. Over time, strips your hair of moisture, breakdown hair proteins and leads to severe damage! And, you’re absorbing these chemicals so they affect your health as well.
Chemicals in hair products are also used in industrial detergents, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners, antifreeze and wood shellac.
You do not need to spend ridiculous amount of money on shampoo. I recommend going to whole foods or similar and read the labels. If you see any of these ingredients move on! Chemical ingredients found in shampoos, conditioners and styling products that make hair dry, dull, brittle and ultimately break off: sulfuric acid, sodium laurel / laureth sulfate (SLS), as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium laurel sulfate, A12-00356, sodium dodecylsulfate, sodium salt sulfuric acid, Akyposal SDS, Aquarex ME, and Aquarex methyl, Proplyene glycol (PG), PEG or Polyethylene, isopropyl alcohol.
For example, isopropyl alcohol is found in volumizers and styling products to give you that lift or staying power. It does it by drying out your hair removing the natural oils and moisture. Over time the hair will break off.
Look for Ingredients in shampoo and conditioner beneficial for your hair: Olive oil, coconut oil, Shea, avocado, aloe vera gel, ginger, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, grapeseed, citric acid, burdock root, vitamin E, MSM, Horsetail, Fennel, inositol, Vitamin A and C, Acai berry, blackberry, pomegranate, aloe, and lavender.
I usually give myself a coconut oil (virgin organic) treatment once a week and sleep with it overnight. I may add a few drops of an essential oil; sandalwood, tangerine, rosemary or lavender.
8) Cleanse- If you decide to do a cleanse, I would recommend the DNA Detox.
If you have poor gut integrity (bloating, gas, feeling full just after a small amount of food) you may have problems absorbing nutrients needed for healthy hair. If this is a concern, definitely start with the Corset Cleanse before beginning hair protocol.
9) Outer stress -over processing, heat, chemically laden styling products
This was a challenge- I did not use any heat or styling tools (blow dryer, curling iron, hot rollers etc.) during that time. I would let my hair dry naturally and get creative with the styling. At first, I didn't like it! nevertheless, if I wanted to see a change in a short amount of time it was necessary.
10) Inner stress - Too much emotional stress causes hormonal imbalance and hormonal imbalances causes deficiencies, hair will suffer. I recommend yoga and/or meditation. If you aren’t into meditation, try wide-eyed meditating; 3 x daily even if it’s for 30 seconds or one minute. You’re going to look at something you find beautiful in a room and focus on its colors breathing deeply five times, or do the same deep breathing while washing your hands and focus on the actual washing and how the soap and water feel against your skin, the smells etc. another option for this technique, pet an animal. This keeps you in the present as well. Or, if your outside you can just listen to the sounds of nature and admire the shapes of trees, flowers and plants, colors and so on. This is my go to whenever I'm feeling stress during my day.
OK so that's it! Again, this is my own protocol. Everyone has a different set of circumstances. Take from this post what resonates with you.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer as best as I can.