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The secret ingredient to growing long, healthy hair
Whether you have upcoming nupitials, are growing out an unfortunate haircut or you just want some extra length, when we want long hair we want it now.
Hair supplement brands are popping up everywhere promising results that seem too good to be true - but can we really grow inches of healthy, shiny hair in a matter of weeks?
In order to have our laundry list of questions about how hair supplements work (and if they actually work) answered, we consulted Clinical nutritionist and Nautropath Trainer at Bioglan, Brooke Bensen Campbell.
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How do supplements help you grow your hair?
"Vitamins and supplements can provide hair follicles with the nutrients necessary for healthy activity. Hair contains some of the fastest-dividing cells in the body, but they are not essential for living, so often, they are the last to receive nutrients from food intake. A well-balanced hair supplement can support these cells and follicles to make hair healthier, stronger and shinier, so whether you are growing your bob to a lob, or moodboarding mermaid hair, a hair supplement is a great investment."
What kind of ingredients should you be looking for in your supplements?
"Antioxidants like vitamin C and E help fight free radicals that damage hair follicles, while selenium supports hair elasticity. If your worry is thinning hair, vitamin B5 is the answer, and if colour and shine are your concerns, look for a supplement with copper- this nutrient is responsible for producing colour pigment in hair.
I always advise people to look for a supplement containing a marine collagen too. Marine collagen is around 97 per cent protein, and as such it helps hair to grow and protects it from chemical and environmental damage. Collagen is the key to strong hair, skin and nails."
How long should it take for your hair supplement to start working? How often do you have to take hair supplements for them to work?
"You should start to see improvement in hair strength and shine within a month of use, however for best results, be consistent with your supplement and take it daily for at least six months, which is the time it takes hair to grow out."
How quickly can you expect your hair to grow with and without taking supplements?
"Hair grows at a rate of half an inch per month, or around six inches per year. However, it is important to remember that growth rates change with age, hair type and overall health. Stress also lowers growth rate, so maintaining a zen-like state is crucial for healthy locks. Missing out on specific nutrients and food groups can also slow hair growth – this is why a hair supplement that delivers these nutrients can pack a glossy punch."
What are some other benefits of taking hair supplements?
"The nutrients that support hair growth and strength, like biotin and zinc, are also used by the body to create strong nails and glowing skin, so you will see benefits in these areas too. A supplement containing collagen will impact every ounce of skin and tissue, helping with wound healing, skin strength, lines and wrinkles and ligaments and tendons."
Do hair supplements make your hair healthier?
"Hair supplements that contain a collagen protein will give your hair follicles the structural components they need to grow strong, healthy hair. Biotin is another essential nutrient to support hair growth."
Do hair supplements make your hair shinier?
"Copper and silica are the keys to shiny hair."
Do hair supplements help baldness?
"Baldness and thinning hair can often be attributed to nutrient deficiencies or other disease states. Primarily, a lack of vitamin B5 in the diet or a low zinc level can cause or contribute hair loss, while a thyroid problem can also impact hair growth. Nutrients can impact such disease states, even if they have a genetic basis."
Is there anyone who shouldn’t take hair supplements?
"If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before taking hair supplements, as some contain high levels of antioxidants that may be harmful to a growing baby."
What are some things you can do to help your hair supplements work better?
"Hair protein treatments and hydration masks will support the health of your hair to aid the supplemental effect and the golden rule is: The healthier your hair, the longer it will grow."
bh loves: De Lorenzo Protein Complex strengthening treatment spray, Aramis Protein Rich Thickening Shampoo, Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Protein Pack, John Frieda Luxurious Volume Core Restore Protein Infused Clear Conditioner
What are your top tips for growing longer, healthier hair?
"Avoid harsh chemicals and styling with extreme heat on a regular basis and look after your hair in the same way you would look after your skin. It too requires daily effort.
The big one here though: Don’t stress! Stress contributes to both hair loss and breakage, and undermines basic bodily functions (this includes hair growth). If your hair is suffering from chronic stress, try an Ashwagandha supplement to lower cortisol levels and promote healthy hormones."
Do you have a hair-growth hack?