Healthy shiny hair

Healthy shiny hair is very appealing and is very much a reflection of inner health and adequate nutrient intake.

There are many problems which affect the hair and scalp, most commonly dry, brittle, or thinning hair and dry flaky scalp. It is quite normal to lose some hair daily, and the longer and darker the hair, the more noticeable this is. If hair loss is excessive it might be wise to have thyroid levels checked by a GP.

Irish people are the most prone in Europe to underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism ) because our water is fluoridated. In February 2015 British scientists reported that fluoridated water is associated with elevated levels of hypothyroidism. In the 1950s fluoride was prescribed in Europe and South America for ‘overactive’ thyroid. According to clinical research the dose of fluoride capable of reducing thyroid function was just 5mg per day, well within the range of what Irish people consume daily. Other symptoms of low thyroid activity include extreme tiredness and weight gain.

The nutrients involved in promoting healthy hair are very much the same as those that benefit the skin and nails. It is important to eat a varied diet which contains the B group of vitamins, biotin, zinc, silica, and vitamin C. B vitamins are destroyed by sprays like pesticides so buy organic vegetables where possible. During cooking B vitamins leach into the cooking water as they are water soluble so try to use the water for gravy or soup for most benefit.

Adequate protein intake is also essential for thick healthy hair. For dry skin or hair, supplementing with a good quality omega oil can make all the difference. Biotin is part of the B vitamin family. Also known as vitamin B7, it is contained in many hair supplements nowadays as a deficiency has been shown to cause seborrheic dermatitis.

Biotin and silica are the most common supplements taken to promote hair growth and thickness and both are fairly inexpensive. Shampoos without harsh chemicals are a must as they won’t strip the hair of natural oils. Earth Science have a range of shampoos and conditioners to suit all hair types. For psoriasis or itchy or irritated scalp, Neem Shampoo will help calm the scalp.

For anyone interested, nutritionist Sarah Fergus from Nature’s Plus will be in store at Au Naturel this Friday, November 25 from 11am-1pm so call in with any queries. There will be tastings of protein powders and also magnesium on the day.

For further information contact Susan in Au Naturel, Irishtown, Athlone on (090 ) 6487993.

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