If you’re looking for ways to combat thinning hair and excess shedding, learning how to promote hair growth is step number one. Bustle reached out to Dr. Sejal Shah, a board-certified dermatologist and RealSelf contributor, and Savannah Fincher, corporate educator and hairstylist for Blo Blow Dry Bar, to get the lowdown on hair growth and how to find solutions that actually work.
There are actually a range of different options, so keep reading to find the best one for you.
1. Examine Your Diet & Take A Dietary Supplement If Needed
One of the earliest steps in determining why your hair isn't as thick as it used to be is to take a look at your diet. Dietary deficiencies in nutrients like iron or zinc can weaken the strength of your hair and slow growth. And, while there are iron- and zinc-rich foods that you can add to your diet, you can also get those nutrients via supplements, if that's something your healthcare provider determines is appropriate.
Dr. Shah recommends Viviscal for her patients — a dietary supplement that contains hair-nourishing nutrients — but she says other supplements can be helpful as well. “[Viviscal] contains nutrients that nourishes the hair follicle and prolongs the growth phase of the hair. There are a number of other nutrients that are helpful if the individual is deficient, such as iron, vitamin D, and zinc. I find biotin is helpful for strengthening hair, [...] but doesn't necessarily promote new hair growth,” she says.
Fincher too stresses the importance of eating (or taking a supplement with) fatty acids. “Consumption of fatty acids are necessary to maintain a healthy scalp/head." Yet she stresses that topical products "that are oil, wax, or creme based can contain fatty acids that can clog pores, which can stunt hair growth."
Consuming omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, specifically, has been scientifically linked to improved hair density. Fincher recommends taking B. Well by Briogeo, a supplement which contains omega-3, -6, -9 and biotin. She also suggests eating a diet rich in certain nutrients. “Zinc, iron, and vitamin A should be incorporated into every ‘healthy hair’ diet [...]. Foods high in vitamin C will strengthen the capillaries that feed the hair shaft,” she says.
Editor's note: If you're experiencing chronic or persistent hair loss, consult with your doctor to get specific advice.
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