My 5 recommendations for healthy hair growth:
- Use a shampoo and conditioner which contain no
petrochemicals such as lauryl sulfate.
- Use a shampoo that contains Chinese herbs such as he shou
wu, with a tradition of promoting hair growth.
- If your public water supply uses chlorine to kill
bacteria, use a shower filter to reduce chlorine
exposure on your scalp (and lungs).
- Take a robust multivitamin containing antioxidants and
ginkgo biloba to promote general health and micro-circulation.
- Take MSM to provide sulfur which promotes hair growth from
Two Major Hair Issues
For many men and women, the loss of their hair is a
devastating sign of encroaching old age. Male pattern baldness
affects 40 million adult males in the United States. But
approximately 20 million American women also suffer from some
type of hair loss. The causes vary widely - genetics, stress,
diet and environmental pollutants. And the solutions are just as
For some people, the goal of beautiful, lustrous hair is
elusive. The skin is known as the largest organ of the body, yet
the surface area of your hair far exceeds that of your skin. You
realize this when you return from a place where people are
smoking, from a BBQ, or some other event where there are smells
in the air. Your hair needs internal and external protection against everyday
assaults from contaminants and pollutants.
What you don't subject your hair and scalp to is potentially
more important than what you apply to your hair. Avoid
application of toxic petrochemicals and sterilizing agents to
your hair and scalp and you will be on the way to sustained
healthy hair growth.
Don't Be Deceived
One thing is clear. Mainstream shampoos and conditioners that
claim to be helpful to your hair and scalp are often more
marketing claims than scientific or even good sense. Many
even accelerate hair loss.
The skin and the scalp are body organs, actually the largest
organ in the body. They absorb the chemicals that are applied to
it, which can either have positive or negative effects.
The effects these hair chemicals can have on healthy hair
growth are profound. Peter Lamas, founder of Lamas Beauty
International and a hair care professional for more than 40
years says "Your skin is basically like a sponge - it absorbs
all kinds of things, both good and bad. If you look at the
ingredients of mainstream shampoos and the ingredients of your
dishwasher detergent, they're essentially the same."
Karen Ress, director of sales at Aubrey Organics concurs.
"Every manufacturer produces a product that helps to cleanse the
hair and the scalp. There are millions of them out there. On any
shelf in any store you can buy a shampoo that's any where from
$1.09 to 12 bucks. The main difference between a mainstream and
an all-natural product is that you're not using a harsh
detergent. Most mainstream products are based on sodium lauryl
sulfate or a petrochemical detergent that strips the hair of its
natural oils. These are the same things you would use to clean
What is Best?
But there are natural alternatives that can provide all of
the cleansing benefits mainstream products claim to have, as
well as encourage healthy hair growth - even slowing the process
of hair loss.
"As long as you have hair in the follicle and it hasn't
completely come out, you can use ingredients that will help to
stimulate hair growth," Ress says. However there is no miracle
cure for hair loss. There are no ingredients that can regrow
hair, however, natural ingredients will promote hair growth.
Many of the ingredients Ress speaks of come from China. "He
shou wu is a Chinese herb that emerging scalp benefits," she
says. "The Chinese have been using it for years." A study
published in the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional and
Western Medicine in 1986 showed that he shou wu could
slow several symptoms and signs associated with aging -
including hair loss.
There are not many clinical studies on he shou wu,
especially in English, however there is a history of clinical
experience naming the positive effects on people suffering from
hair loss in China for hundreds of years.
Lamas Beauty's Chinese Herb Hair and Scalp Stimulating
Shampoo contains he shou wu, as well as a host of other
Chinese herbs that have been used traditionally to encourage
healthy hair growth.
"The Chinese herbs can get rid of fungus and dandruff and can
help hair grow back, if there's a surviving hair follicle,"
Lamas says. "In order to have the healthiest hair, you need good
blood circulation in your scalp and oxygen available. When your
scalp is too dry or tight and starts to shed, that's because
you're not getting enough oxygen and blood circulation to the
roots. The herbs and certain amino acids we use stimulate the
circulation system and in turn strengthen the roots of your
hair. We've had a lot of testimonials from customers telling us
that their hair has become thicker and healthier after they
started using the product, which is great because that's exactly
what I wanted to do."
Stop daily exposure of your hair and
scalp to Chlorine
Chlorine is highly effective in killing bacteria, germs and
other microorganisms to sterilize public water supplies.
But you don't necessarily want chlorine to continue its attack
on living hair, skin and scalp tissue. Nor do you want
chlorine to kill organisms in your lungs and on your skin.
Not to mention your children's exposure to chlorine gas
generated by your showerhead. Thus a shower filter will
remove chlorine at the showerhead, before you fill the air in
your bathroom with hot chlorinated water mist.
Chlorine is used for water disinfection and for treatment of
sewage effluent. Chlorine is also used to disinfect equipment
and utensils in beverage and food processing plants, and
chlorine is used as an intermediate in the manufacture of a
number of organic products such as antifreeze, rubber, cleaning
agents, and pharmaceuticals.
Hair is a reflection of your overall
Hair and skin reflect your overall health. Take a
robust multivitamin containing antioxidants for general health
and ginkgo biloba to promote micro-circulation in the scalp and
Supplement with MSM
In human clinical trials, those subjects supplemented with
MSM showed significant improvement in hair health, while those
on placebo showed either no change, or only slight changes after
6 weeks. The most marked changes were measured in hair length
and hair brilliance. Women showed the better results in hair
growth, brilliance, and thickness of hair fibers.
Just as you have likely been rubbing petrochemicals on your
scalp and exposing it to chlorine gas for years, it takes a long
time to reverse hair loss. Expect to continue on this protocol
for 6 months before you see a noticeable difference. Then
continue to follow the protocol for increasing benefits.