Q. Dear Terry, “My girlfriend started losing her hair last year and she’s really embarrassed about it. What can she try to increase hair growth?” – Robin M., Reston, VA
A. Dear Robin, To keep hair healthy we use shampoo, conditioner, and other external treatments, but to really address the issue we need to look inward to nourish and sustain healthy hair growth.
Biotin and B vitamins (especially riboflavin, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid) are must-haves for healthy hair and skin. They play an important role in the synthesis of amino acids – the building blocks of hair. The two most critical sulphurated (sulfur-containing) amino acids for new hair growth are L-methionine and L-cysteine. They are essential for the formation of keratin and help promote new hair growth.
Another ingredient she should consider is millet seed oil, which provides valuable natural compounds like miliacin. Miliacin has been found to increase cell metabolism, stimulate cell proliferation, and tissue regeneration – exactly what is needed for restoring healthy hair.
Other supportive ingredients include silica, vitamin A, vitamin E, and zinc.
I would take 1,200 mcg of vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate), 30 mg of vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols), 4 mg of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 20 mg of vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal-5-phosphate), 400 mcg of folic acid, 5,000 mcg of biotin, 20 mg of vitamin B5 (as calcium pantothenate), 10 mg of zing (as zinc gluconate), 400 mg of millet (Panicum miliaceum) seed oil standardized to 4 mg of miliacin, 100 mg of horsetail (Equisetum arvense) standardized to 7 mg of silica, 100 mg of L-cysteine, and 100 mg of L-methionine, twice per day. Please discuss with your girlfriend to be patient when it comes to new hair growth, as it takes time. Stick with these ingredients for a minimum of three months and I think she will be happy with the results.
She may want to consider additional support for the thyroid gland, as hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) can greatly affect hair quality and quantity. The nutrients the thyroid needs to function optimally include iodine, selenium, and L-tyrosine. I prefer a combination of potassium iodide, sodium iodide, and molecular iodine from kelp. She could try anywhere from 6.25 to 12.5 mg in the morning before breakfast.
Terry . . . Naturally
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