About Hair Follicles – What Makes Hair Grow?
Dr. André Nel is a leading hair restoration specialist practicing at Hair, Skin & Wellness Clinic based in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Nel has completed extensive research and qualifications in the field of hair restoration. With expertise garnered over several years of dedication, he is able to assist in determining the cause of your hair loss, or any other hair condition you might have.
About the secret life of hair follicles, hair growth, and more
Hair loss affects a large percentage of men across the world, and the amount of those affected in Ireland specifically, has led to much research being conducted in the field of hair loss. Aspects of the area of study that have received a lot of attention include the causes of hair loss, and possible solutions to the condition.
Cells surrounding the follicles play a significant role in growth, prompting focused inspection into what exactly a hair follicle is, and how it works. This understanding is what has built the science around many of the existing solutions to hair loss that we have today. One of the greatest discoveries in hair loss research confirmed that stem cells play a large role in hair growth and
Research associate, Yiqin Xiong, PhD, and associate professor of medicine, Ching-Pin Chang, MD, PhD, have identified a signaling circuit controlling the cells’ activity. The signaling circuit maintains a healthy pool of stem cells, or bulge cells, by promoting the self-renewal of the cells. This process facilitates repeated cycles of hair growth and regeneration. By activating the circuit in the stem cells, the growth cycle of hair regeneration is initiated, and growth will be maintained by the circuit in hair matrix cells.
The presence of stem cells and the signaling circuit can ultimately inhibit hair growth as well. For instance, as a way to reduce growth in individuals who experience excessive hair growth. It can also be used to promote hair growth through activation of the signal in the circuit. There is still much to learn regarding these findings, and research in the area of hair loss, hair growth, and related topics is ongoing.
Herbs and vitamins that help hair growth
A full head of healthy-looking hair with good growth needs the right nourishment. Your diet directly affects what your hair looks like, and how it behaves. In order for your hair to receive the nutrients it requires, it is essential for your diet to contain specific vitamins and minerals. It has been proven that a good diet can stimulate hair growth, and in some cases, even reduce the rate of hair loss in individuals. Vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition, and all-round poor diets play a huge role in hair loss. Adjusting your diet appropriately will tackle the problem at its root, so to speak, directly affecting the hair follicle and hair root, by providing it with the nutrients it requires for optimal growth and maintenance.
Rosemary: An essential oil applied to areas of thinning and balding helps to stimulate hair growth. It also slows the rate of graying, and nourishes follicles.
Peppermint: This herb stimulates the hair follicles and improves circulation of blood, binding the roots of the hair to the scalp. This greatly reduces hair loss. It can be applied as an essential
oil directly to the scalp.
Aloe: Aloe is an age-old remedy for promotion of hair growth. It improves circulation of blood along the scalp, which provides hair follicles with the rich nourishment they require. Applying Aloe Vera Gel to the scalp on a regular basis will stimulate hair growth.
Fish Oil: Foods rich in Omega-3 and 6 fats actively work to nourish hair. Fatty acids promote hair thickening, and reduces inflammation – known as a contributing factor to hair loss.
Zinc: Oral supplements directly benefit the health of the hair follicle. It slows down the regression of the follicle, and also works to speed up follicle recovery.
B-Complex Vitamin: Biotin and Vitamin B5 have long been used as treatments for hair loss. Biotin rebuilds damage to the hair shaft brought about by excessive shampooing, over-exposure to sun, ironing, and blow-drying. Vitamin B5 acts as support to the adrenal glands, stimulating hair growth. Foods rich in Biotin and Vitamin B5 include eggs, nuts, and potatoes.
Iron: An acute deficiency in iron has been linked to several types of hair loss. It is important to include iron-rich foods in your diet, like spinach, egg yolks, and black beans. This can also be supplemented by a daily multivitamin that provides the correct dietary allowance for iron.
Vitamin C and D: Vitamin C reduces the effects of oxidative stress on your hair, fighting graying and hair loss as well. Direct sunlight is one of the best ways to absorb Vitamin D, which plays a role in restoring hair cycle dysfunction. Foods rich in Vitamin D include swordfish, halibut, and portabella mushrooms.
Habits that help hair growth
Healthy hair is a way of life more than a quick fix brought on by a pill to swallow or cream to apply. Of course, these things do help, but essentially, it is how you live your life that will determine whether your healthy head of hair is maintained or not. Contrary to popular belief, it is not only genetics that play a role here. By incorporating habits into your lifestyle that are beneficial to hair growth, you will see results in several other areas of your physical health as well.
- A balanced diet high in nutrients that are specifically related to hair growth, like the ones listed above, will help to stimulate growth.
- Regular exercise will help to improve overall circulation of blood, including along the scalp. This ensures hair follicles will adequately nourished – a vital requirement for hair growth.
- The right amount of sleep every day will not only do wonders for your overall wellbeing, but it will also reduce general stress, which has been connected to stunted growth and even hair loss.
- Apply Aloe Vera or Rosemary essential oil to your hair at least 30 minutes before taking a shower. This method protects your hair from unnecessary damage, but also stimulates hair growth.