Better Care for Your Hair
For many health-conscious women, hair care remains the final frontier. It’s the one area where many of us will try anything—whether it contains parabens or not—to tame frizz, banish dandruff, or plump up limp hair. Since we believe your hair deserves the same natural attention as the rest of your body, we asked three experts to create a holistic plan for common hair problems. Our plan includes everything from nutritional boosts and herbal supplements to better ways to shampoo and brush.
PROBLEM: thinning hair
1. EAT MORE PROTEIN. “Hair is made out of protein,” says Philip Kingsley, a trichologist in London. “So make sure you eat lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or cottage cheese at meals.”
2. BE GENTLE! Thinning hair is exacerbated by tight braids, hard brushing, or pulling too hard when blow-drying, explains Kingsley.
3. GET A CHECKUP. Too much free testosterone can lead to hair loss, says naturopathic physician Laurie Steelsmith, N.D., the Hawaii-based author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health (Three Rivers Press, 2005). Eating more soy can decrease levels of testosterone. Hair loss can be connected to a thyroid problem, too, so talk to your doctor if you’re also experiencing dry skin, weight gain, and fatigue.
1. STIMULATE THE SCALP. Hair loss is due to a lack of blood getting to hair follicles, says Steelsmith. Increasing circulation will get nutrients where they need to go, which will promote healthy growth. Scalp massage is an important part of this—try using ginger tea, which increases circulation.
2. USE HERBAL PRODUCTS. Ones that contain stimulating herbs like white needle, arnica, and thyme are especially helpful. Try PHILIP KINGSLEY SCALP TONER ($28; philipkingsley.com) or KIEHL’S SINCE 1851 RICE & WHEAT VOLUMIZING SHAMPOO ($18; kiehls.com).