Natural Care for Dry, Damaged and Falling Hair
Patients come to the clinic for reasons that are quite varied. Concerns are addressed during the first visit, and as treatment progresses, one of the questions I most commonly get asked is, “How do I keep my hair healthy.” And considering the dryness of the winter we have just had, this topic has come up many times over the past few weeks. I decided to write a blog post about this topic, because there are several tried and tested tips that work amazingly well, so I thought perhaps everyone could benefit.
Hair is a huge topic! There are many reasons for hair to feel unhealthy, to feel dry, to split, to break, to fall out from the roots. It may seem like hair repair is a quick fix, but it really is a very powerful diagnostic tool. We can see and feel when it is unhealthy or falls out in clumps, and generally hair is a good measure for a deeper issue in the body pointing us in the direction of healing and absorption at a deeper level. In short, to treat hair, it takes a good amount of time and hair status is a reflection of deeper organ systems.
Essence of the Blood:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the hair is thought to be the extension of blood health. If the essence of the blood is weak, so too will the hair be weak or fall out rapidly. This TCM diagnosis also mirrors Conventional Medicine, in that when the Iron and/or Ferritin levels are low or not optimal, it can be the reason for hair falling out. And what is Iron? Iron is found in blood. Again, pointing us to the health of the blood being key for healthy hair. Many times enhancing Iron levels will slow down the loss of hair.
Over the Counter Iron Supplement: In the case of extremely low iron levels, it may be necessary to take an over the counter iron supplement, to build up iron stores and decrease hair loss. Iron supplementation should be temporary while working with your Brio Team member to enhance digestion, absorption and diagnose possible hidden gluten sensitivities. Gluten sensitivity can be a major culprit for chronically low iron levels.
Tissue Salt: Ferrum Phos is a great remedy to reteach the body to learn how to absorb iron levels. Hair is a storage house for minerals, therefore, if the body is lacking minerals, it may start to take from the hair, resulting in dry and damaged hair. Tissue salts are a great source of minerals.
Florvit: This is another supplement we often have patients pick up from health food stores. It is a very effective formula for helping to build blood and replenish Ferritin levels.
Spiruina and Chlorella
In TCM, green foods build blood via chlorophyll. Under a microscope, chlorophyll has an almost identical molecular makeup to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the structure that carries iron in red blood cells. Spirulina and Chlorella are single cell algae. These sea algae are extremely bioavailable to the human body. Meaning, ingesting just a tiny amount, is very easily absorbed by the body. I will frequently prescribe Spirulina or Chlorella at 1 tsp per day to build iron/ferritin levels and prevent hair loss. It is quite remarkable how well it works; the results are so fantastic and so quick that we decided to carry Spirulina and Chlorella at the clinic. We found an amazing company, Giddy Yoyo, that is organic, non-gmo, and from fresh water sources. The source of Spirulina and Chlorella are very important, often times the lower price point brands are grown in tanks exposed to radiation and heavy metals. It is essential to have a high quality Spirulina or Chlorella from safe fresh water sources. Spirulina and Chlorella are also a powerhouse store of minerals essential to the body.
Spirulina and Chlorella are available at Brio – call or email the clinic, or stop by, to purchase. For the month of February, Spirulina is 10% off!
Cod Liver Oil:
Dry hair could mean internally dry. Cod Liver Oil is rich in Omega 3’s which are essential fatty acids (EFA’s). EFA’s are essential because the body can not make them, therefore we need to consume them from our diet. Cod Liver Oil helps the body with many functions, and shiny healthy hair is one amazing benefit.
This simple product has dozens of uses. It truly is a super food! Many times patients will have dry damaged hair which is falling out in clumps and their hair products can often be the culprit. This miracle solution saves tons of money on expensive toxic shampoo’s and conditioners and is highly effective. I have had several patients with phenomenal results and complete turn around of hair health with replacing commercial shampoo’s with ACV. ACV balances the pH of the hair, encourages hair growth and treats the scalp. How is it applied? Prep for taking a shower by mixing 2 tbsp of ACV and 1 cup of water in a mason jar. Take the jar into the shower, wet hair as normal, and step away from the water, taking the mason jar and pouring it onto your head, while massaging the ACV water into the scalp and throughout the hair. Leave for a few minutes, and then rinse out fully under the shower. No need to use conditioner.
(Picture found at www.braggs.com)
Another reason for dry brittle hair and copious hair loss is due to a dry flaky scalp. Think about the scalp health for a second. The scalp is exposed to toxic shampoo’s, hair products, styling tools and various styles tugging it into place. The scalp health is almost always neglected. An extremely simple traditional method for treating damaged hair or a treatment to prevent hair loss is warm oil scalp treatments. Very simple, and extremely effective. Using coconut oil, warm it slightly and dip your fingers into the warmed oil, and rub it into the scalp. I generally will part the hair, rub the oil into the scalp, part another area, rub oil into the next part, etc until the entire scalp has been massaged with oil. It is not necessary to put oil throughout the hair itself, but you can do so if you wish. There are a few options, you could tie the hair back and go about daily household chores for a few hours. Or you could do the oil treatment before bed and lay a towel over your pillow, tie your hair back and sleep with the oil in your hair over night. In the morning, or the same day after several hours, take a shower as you normally would, except it will take about 3-4 shampoo’s to fully get the oil out of your hair. When it feels clear of oil you are all set. Repeat this warm oil treatment once per week if needed, or once a month or once every several months. Determine for yourself what your scalp may require. I know this winter was particularly cold and harsh for my scalp, and I am over due for a warm oil scalp treatment.
These are the same few tips given repeatedly during treatments for the extremely common issue of hair health. As I mentioned, there is far more to hair than blood health. It is very often linked to adrenal health, if there are high levels of stress, it is a likely cause for hair to fall out. Also poor lung health can be the cause for dry hair and hair loss. Obviously poor nutritional status can be the cause for damage hair, so exploring nutritional status as well as digestive health. And lack of minerals is another big one for damaged, dry hair and hair loss.
Just a few tips to start the process of home hair care, and start the discussion. It has been a particularly rough winter resulting hair that needs a bit more TLC, however, it is important to bring up hair health to your Brio Health Care Practitioner, it could be the sign of a deeper issue. Or it could be resolved with a few simple above mentioned techniques.
Happy New Year, and Happy Hair Care everyone!
In health, Dr. Neetu Dhiman