Healthy, Thicker Hair Naturally
I don’t know about you, but — when it comes to my hair — I’m a little bit obsessive. Hair care might seem simple (rinse, wash, repeat?) but when it comes to having healthier, thicker hair naturally, it actually takes a little more effort. But if you weren’t blessed with super thick hair from birth, or if you’re just looking to give your hair a little TLC, here are some of my favorite ways to boost your hair health naturally.
1. What to Eat
We already know that good nutrition plays a major role in keeping your body healthy, but choosing the right foods can also help keep your hair healthy, too. Not sure what to add to your diet?
“I would start to incorporate foods that are high in essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids (fish and seafood — especially fish high in fat like salmon, mackerel, tuna) nuts and seeds (everything from almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds), and plant-based oils,” explains Holly Darnell, RD, LDN at Golden Roots Nashville. “Vitamin B6, B12 and Folate are also important with hair health. Vitamin B6 can be found in foods like bananas, spinach and potatoes, while main sources of vitamin B12 can be found in your meat, fish and dairy sources. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables will fulfill your folate needs. Foods high in Vitamin C will also help with hair health (citrus, peppers, cherries, kale, tomatoes, leeks, just to name a few).”
Trace minerals like zinc and magnesium can also improve your hair’s health, and they can be found in protein sources like meat, shellfish, legumes, nuts, and dairy.
2. Natural Supplements
Not all supplements are created equal when it comes to promoting healthy, thicker hair. In fact, research suggests that biotin supplements don’t actually do much for hair growth unless you specifically have a biotin deficiency. Not deficient? Then those vitamins aren’t actually doing much for you.
Instead, try an all-natural supplement like Elanveda’s Healthy Hair capsules instead. Not only are they 100% natural, cruelty free, and vegan, Elanveda’s supplements use ayurvedic principles to help boost your hair health.
3. Shampoo Tips
“For someone with a finer hair texture that’s a little more oily, [shampooing] every other day would be great,” Heidi says. “Someone with medium to coarse, you could probably go a little bit longer like every 3 (or more) days. But definitely not everyday — that’s just stripping your hair of the natural oil and moisture that it needs.”
If you’re not sure what kind of shampoo you should be using, my current obsession is Prose, a sulfate-free and sustainably sourced hair-care line that sends you a custom kit designed specifically for your hair. Heidi recommends sticking with high quality, professional brands that are sulfate and paraben-free, and she loves brands like evo and Kevin Murphy. Her philosophy? Make sure you’re treating your hair like you’re treating your skin.
Pro tip? Go easy on the dry shampoo, and make sure you’re using a high quality product. Heidi explains that all that dry shampoo cakes up, absorbing into your hair follicle, and can actually cause more damage than what you’re trying to prevent by using dry shampoo in the first place.
4. Your scalp needs love, too
Our hair goes through a lot, just like our skin, which is why it’s important to give it a little extra love. Don’t be afraid to try a DIY mask using coconut oil, argan oil, or jojoba oil to keep your hair and scalp hydrated.
Studies suggest that a regular scalp massage may help increase hair thickness too, and adding a drop or two of peppermint essential oil to your hair mask before massaging might actually promote hair growth.
5. Go easy on the heat
“With heat styling, our flat irons and curling irons go up to 400 and something degrees,” explains Heidi, but those extreme temperatures are actually damaging our hair.”
If you’re going to use styling tools, make sure you’re not cranking the heat and always use products with built-in heat protection. Overdoing it on the heat means you’re just stripping out your hair’s natural oils, any hair color, and risking breakage.
Don’t be afraid to take a break from heat-styling to opt for some cute braids, especially as the temperatures start to rise, or switch out your regular blow-dry for some sea salt spray to rock some beachy waves.
6. Collagen + Vitamin C
Both collagen and vitamin C are essential for our overall health and the health of our hair, skin, and nails, which is why I love making sure to add a little extra collagen to my diet. I recommend Natural Force grass-fed collagen powder, which is organic, non-GMO, and sustainably sourced. Why Vitamin C?
“Vitamin C helps build collagen, which is important for hair growth, while also maintaining the strength of hair,” Holly says. “Vitamin C plays a vital role in absorbing iron, which keeps our hair strong and healthy.”
7. Avoid overly restrictive diets
I spend a lot of time focusing on what I’m putting into my body. However, when it comes to keeping my hair healthy, I recognize that what I’m not putting into my body matters, too.
“If your body isn't getting the nutrients you need, then neither is your hair,” Holly explains. “The stress can push your hair follicles into a resting phase rather than a growth phase of the hair growth cycle. Changing your diet can also be stressful on your body, and can cause your hair follicles to go into shock, which could lead to hair loss.”
Yep. Science shows that nutrient deficiencies and caloric restriction are two common causes of poor hair health. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet and fueling your body properly. The result? Not only will you feel amazing, but your hair (and the rest of your body) will thank you.
Proudly sponsored by my hair supplement of choice, Elanveda.
As always, please drop me a comment below if you learned something new that you’ll incorporate into your daily life or if you have any questions regarding ways to enhance and nourish your hair from the inside out!