Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Tips for Hair Growth

Secrets for Hair Growth
Drinking 1-2 bottles of Tiger Malt a day for 12 weeks will give you a good hefty dose of  Biotin and ‘cause’ your hair to grow longer and stronger. Try the Tiger Malt challenge today!

Almost two years ago I started creating my own hair, bath and body products (we’ll get to that later). The training I received was related to cottage industries, sole traders and small businesses but no matter which course I enrolled on – the importance of marketing and labelling was emphasised.

In addition to this we were warned over and over not to make ‘claims’ that cannot be substantiated e.g. it would be illegal for me to say “My handmade Hair Elixer will make your hair grow long and strong.”

Neither could I say “My whipped soufflé avocado cream is great for eczema and dermatitis”.

I could however say “My hair elixir can help stimulate hair growth and improve length retention (as part of a protective hair regime and when combined with a nutritionally balanced diet)” or “This whipped soufflé avocado cream might  be beneficial to people with skin complaints such as eczema or dermatitis”... subtle differences I know but unless I am going to pay a zillion dollars for medical testing to PROVE my claims - I cannot make them. Boots, Superdrug, Loreal, Johnson & Johnsons etc can.

This is why I am often amused when I see young entrepreneurs launching products and making claims: “miracle gro hair cream” for example. I am also amused at the misinformation we often find online – on blogs or forums where information is shared but not always moderated or verified. (Remember this while I move on).

Let me summarise general hair care science for you: 

If you look after your hair – treat it gently, protect the ends as much as possible etc – you will suffer from less breakage, and therefore retain more length. Overall result: Longer hair (your hair will appear to be growing longer).

If you look after your scalp – keep it free of dirt and debris (dead skin cells) through regular washing, and light oiling (if that floats your boat) – your hair follicles will remain healthy (i.e. uninfected by bacteria, unimpeded by surface debris etc) – healthy follicles support healthy hair. Overall result: More volume or thicker/fuller looking hair (More healthy strands of hair, less dandruff or gunky stuff on the scalp; fresh smelling hair.

If you apply essential oil blends or creams to the tips (ends) of your hair – they may penetrate the hair shaft (if they contain penetrative agents such as coconut oil or olive oil) or coat the hair shaft to provide a protective barrier against environmental debris. Overall result: hair is conditioned and may feel softer and look shinier.

If you apply certain essential oils blended in jojoba (one of the few carrier oils scientifically proven to penetrate the skin and potentially the hair follicles) the beneficial properties in the active ingredients  or essential oils can be delivered to the deeper layers of skin and in some cases to the follicle which may in turn stimulate growth. NB there is some debate as to whether or not the chemical compounds in these ingredients will be absorbed by the bloodstream when applied in this manner.

If you eat a balanced diet (very important to include something from all the essential food groups) and then supplement with hair loving vitamins such as Iron, Zinc, Vitamin Bs (including Biotin), Omega-3,   and Vitamin D you will be nourishing your hair from the inside out.  Your body will absorb the essential vitamins and the broken down compounds will be delivered to your follicles and the skin cells of your scalp etc via the circulatory system. Overall result: your hair will become stronger (from the root first and for any subsequent new growth)– having been fortified internally before it even appears above your scalp, and if your hair growth cycles were previously sluggish or retarded – growth can be stimulated, repairing your hair from the inside out (new growth only).

Applying creams and potions to your hair in order to enourage GROWTH will be ineffective if it is not combined with good nutrition and/or vitamin supplements.

So – back to what I told you to remember about claims and so on. Everyone loves Biotin right? Biotin is great for hair growth right? Everyone knows that, which is why some of our sisters are so concerned about taking Biotin supplements. However, you should bear in mind that the body will only absorb so much of something and eliminate the rest as waste.

Let’s pretend that the rda is equivalent to the amount out bodies can practically absorb within safe limits on any given day (plus/minus 10%). 

Now let’s say that the rda for Biotin is 100mg, and you take 200mg a day. Taking more will not improve your chances of improved hair growth, 200mg (double the rda) might actually be toxic to you as your liver struggles to cope with the excess amounts and this can have an adverse effect on other organs or systems within your body (kinda like when you’re poisoned). 150mg (slightly more than the RDA) might be ok  (notice i say MIGHT) particularly if you were deficient in this vitamin when you started taking it but just know that whatever you consume – your body will only take what it needs – and discard the rest, so you might take 100mg and your body only absorb 50mg... if you upped your intake to 200mg, your body would still only absorb 50mg because at that point 50mg was all you needed.

Bear in mind I made up all those figures above just to prove a concept ok? Don’t quote me on them – they were for illustration purposes only.

Balance is better. By all means you should increase your intake of a mineral or vitamin to redress an imbalance but you’re probably better off not creating imbalances (by disproportionately increasing intake of something at the expense of something else).

So, in case you haven’t guessed, the Tiger Malt challenge was my tongue in cheek response to some of the things I’ve read over the years. However, there is nothing to say that it won’t work – seeing as it does actually contain Biotin, and vitamins are more readily absorbed in liquid form that solid form. So it’s worth a shot – if you try it, lemme know how it goes!

If you’ve found any other ‘everyday’ drinks or foods you could ‘market for hair growth’ weigh in below! (And I don’t mean supplements or tonics that have been specifically designed for their pharmaceutical benefits) – let’s be creative here J  

These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.


KristinaHH said...

Your hair will grow and so will your guts if you drink that much malt. Gee. Also,all of that sugar. My word!

Bajan Lily said...

Lol Kris, now I have an image of a pot-bellied 'dread' stuck in my head :p
I'd probably try just 1 a day: after running :)


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