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13 expert-approved ways for boosting your hair health

May 27th 2015 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru / 1 comment

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Shampoo, rinse AND eat: we asked the experts for their go-to guide for achieving a better head of hair from the inside out

What are the secrets to having a good hair day, every day? From hair loss to hairdressing tips we asked the pros about the small yet effective tweaks we can make to our daily hair care regimes to bolster our overall hair health both in the short and long-term.

From how to eat our way to a stronger and healthier head of hair to the answers to our thinning hair dilemmas, here’s how to makeover your fridge and beauty routines to make hair care nightmares a thing of the past...

1. Regular dusting...

...and thankfully not the cleaning type. “Holding on to length is a dead end (literally),” says hair stylist and Get The Gloss Expert Errol Douglas. “Constantly dusting the ends (your stylist uses a technique to take the bare minimum) not only gives the visual experience of healthier, thicker hair, but it allows it to grow evenly and healthily. Hairdressers with years of experience really do see how constant policing of the ends with dusting helps hair condition.”

2. Eat more protein

“As hair is made of protein, ensuring you have enough protein in your diet is crucial for making hair strong and healthy,” says nutritionist and Get The Gloss Expert Gabriela Peacock. “If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle and weak. Extremely low protein diets may also result in hair loss.”

So where should we be getting our protein from? “Choose chicken, turkey, fish, dairy products and eggs as excellent sources of protein, along with vegetarian sources such as legumes and nuts,” recommends Gabriela.

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3. Consider a keratin treatment

Often only thought of as a smoothing and defrizzing treatment, this service can also work wonders in bolstering your hair’s health on a deeper level. “It can ease the styling burden AND contributes to the overall strength and condition of the hair,” says Errol Douglas. “If frizz control is in hand, you’re less likely to over use heated styling tools. The Nanokeratin Blow Dry, infusing the hair with the protein our hair naturally produces, is a great option.”

4. Channel your inner mixologist

Want to get the best out of your hair colour? Pick products that cater to its needs depending on the season, the weather and the time of year. “Hair colour needs to be looked after post-salon so invest in a good haircare system,” says hair colourist and Get The Gloss Expert Jack Howard. I find many ranges won’t let you ‘cocktail’ (mix and match) products as they’d rather you stay with one line; in fact the modern woman’s hair has many different needs – something for colour protection or fading, something for repair and something for volume and so on, so that’s why I recommend Shu Uemura hair products, which cocktail beautifully.”

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5. Pump some iron

Important to do both in and out of the gym, pumping enough iron could hold the key to better health from top to toe. “Iron is an especially important mineral for hair, and too little iron (anaemia) is a major cause of hair loss,” says Gabriela. “The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient rich blood supply. When iron levels (serum ferritin) fall below a certain point, you may experience anaemia. This disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding.

“Animal products such as red meat, chicken and fish provide iron with a high bioavailability, meaning the iron is readily available to the body. Vegetarians can raise their iron stores by including lentils, spinach and other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and salad greens.”

6. Hair loss prevention

When it comes to prevention, nailing the correct foundations is pivotal. “The best way to prevent hair loss is to take as much care as possible of your hair and scalp,” says Trichologist and Get The Gloss Expert Philip Kingsley. “Shampoo and condition on a daily basis, use an appropriate scalp mask occasionally (twice a month) and give your hair a moisturising boost with a pre-shampoo deep-moisturising treatment such as Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer, £29 about once a week.”

We particularly love the new Geranium & Neroli edition, £31.50 for combining added bounce and shine with a scent that’s simply blissful too.

7. Invest in hair supplements that deliver

“Investing in the overall condition and strength of your hair on a double level will show in the finish achievable from styling and the hair’s versatility too,” says Errol Douglas. “My clients love the results from Viviscal Professional hair growth supplements. They help nourish thinning hair and promote healthy hair growth from within.”

Jack Howard is also a fan of the brand, “Oily fish, leafy vegetables and berries are essentials, as well as two pills from Viviscal Professional. This can only be bought from salon professionals and is much more potent than the store-bought versions.”

8. Say no-no to yo-yo dieting

“Repeatedly losing and regaining weight can take its toll on your hair, causing it to become brittle and lacklustre,” says Gabriela Peacock. “Crash diets are often short in essential vitamins and minerals and over long periods of time, this type of dieting will reflect in your hair.”

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9. Receding hairline reversal

With receding hairlines and hair loss in women becoming an increasing problem, is it possible to reverse it? “In some cases, yes,” says Philip Kingsley, “But the reasons for a receding hairline must be determined first. For this, professional help may be required: nutritional advice, blood tests etc. to determine any metabolic reasons and a thorough understanding of how mechanical factors such as hard brushing, pulling, tight rollers or elastic bands etc. can affect the hair - particularly at the front.”

10. Smooth out your knots...

“Look after your scalp! It’s often overlooked, but something as simple as a head massage will stimulate the scalp (a tight scalp can cause hair loss, and this is where we tend to hold stress first), or using an exfoliant from Kérastase Chronologiste, £24.50 will also help,” recommends Jack Howard. If that wasn’t an excuse to take some time out for a quick 5 minute massage, then we don’t know what is...

11. Get your vitamin C fix

“Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron, so foods high in vitamin C are good to eat in conjunction with iron rich foods,” says Gabriela. “Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, so is used readily by the body. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shafts.”

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12. Eat foods rich in omega-3s

“Omega-3 fatty acids are the important fats our body cannot make and therefore must be obtained through our diet,” says Gabriela. “Omega-3s are found in the cells that line the scalp and also provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated and shiny.”

The best sources? “Look out for oily fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel and plant sources including avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts,” Gabriela recommends.

13. Daily washing

...and if we were to change one thing in our hair care routine today, what would it be and why? “Without a doubt – daily shampooing and conditioning,” says Philip Kingsley. “Clean hair is healthy hair; shampooing exercises the scalp and - always – freshly washed and conditioned hair looks best. If it doesn’t, the wrong products are being used, or they are being used incorrectly.”

Follow us @getthegloss, Ayesha @ayesha_muttu, Errol @ErrolDouglas1, Gabriela Peacock @GP_Nutrition, Jack Howard @JackHoward_SRH and Philip Kingsley @Philip_Kingsley.

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  • kizzy D
  • July 9th 2015

I can comment on the importance of serum ferritin in hair thinning & growth. I read that in order for hair to grow well levels of FS need to be above 40ng and for good hair growth and hair health, 70ng. I went to my doctor after years of experiencing hair thinning which caused me to lose confidence. My FS was 30ng. She prescribed iron and since taking it my FS level has risen to 41ng. I have experienced visible improvements and feel confident that it will continue to improve as my FS levels rise. I'm so glad I went to see my doctor.

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