- 11th October, 2019
Ask The Pharmacy: Hair Loss (Part 1 of Hair Care & Hair Supplements Series)
Hair care is vitally important to many people. For those with a hair goal, be it minimising loss or promoting growth, seeking our supplements to support those goals is most likely to result in success if they understand what vitamins and minerals are needed.
In this video, we Ask The Pharmacy about hair care requirements for people with conditions and those without. We’ve also included a transcript below with links to all the products mentioned in this video.
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A common theme running through our pharmacy is people’s concerns to do with their hair, and that comes in a variety of forms. People are worried about hair loss, scalp issues, weaker hair, thicker hair, just healthier looking hair in general. And it all comes down to the same thing really, which is, when you hair looks great, you feel great and you’re more confident and happier.
So, just like our skin, there are a number of markers where we can look at that indicate how healthy we’re living and also whether our diet is contributing to good hair health. The most important thing to remember when it comes to hair health is actually your body is always assigning priority. So when your giving it, you know, good things like vitamin B and iron, your body is allocating that based on priority, and, as far as your body is concerned, your hair is always the bottom of the priority list. So if your diet is not really good quality, then your hair is really likely to suffer.
And that’s why so many people do decide to take supplements. In this video series, we’re going to talk about four common issues: preventing hair loss, promoting hair growth, because the two are obviously quite different, boosts for dry, weak or brittle hair and also solutions for dry and flaky scalps.
How Can Supplements Prevent Hair Loss? – 01:32
In this first video, we’re going to be talking about how supplements can help to prevent hair loss.
So, hair loss often takes place for a few different reasons. Sometimes it’s to do with a deficiency, sometimes it’s diet – so you are lacking in certain vitamins, minerals, or more likely proteins. It can also be affected by life events, lots of people obviously experience hair loss when they’re very stressed. But also a lot of new mothers who are breastfeeding find that they are losing hair. So, these are two very common ways that people start to experience hair loss.
So, actually, in both of these cases, giving your body the right ingredients and the right kind of diet will generally help, so one of the most common things that we always talk about and is useful for a variety of reasons is vitamin D.
Vitamin D – 02:30
Vitamin D obviously, traditionally, people absorb from the sun. But particularly in countries like the UK, you know, people tend to be lacking in it. And actually low levels of vitamin D are linked with the sort of common hair conditions like alopecia, where people are losing hair, and actually the truth is that regardless of whether you think your hair needs it or not, there are a huge variety of benefits to taking vitamin D. And we actually wrote a really good, long article all about vitamin D and the benefits associated with supplementing with vitamin D, which you can read about if you click on our link.
Iron – 03:12
Iron is another very common mineral that can result in hair loss if you are deficient in it. Iron, broadly, is very important in that it plays a role in helping red blood cells to get oxygen around the body. But actually, a lack of oxygen anywhere in your body causes some sort of deficiency, so if not enough oxygen is getting carried to your scalp area then that can also result in hair loss. And again, going back to what we mentioned about new mothers who are breastfeeding, you find that when you are breastfeeding, you are giving out a huge amount of the goodness in your body for your baby. And as a result, breastfeeding mothers often find that they are massively deficient in iron and also in omega, which I’m going to move onto shortly. So it is absolutely worth considering supplementing with iron and its actually very very important when picking an iron that you pick one that isn’t going to be constipating. So, for example, Viridian make an excellent liquid iron which is a really good source of it, but it is also really easy to absorb and most importantly it won’t constipate you, which will leave you feeling comfortable and confident.
Omega 3 – 04:32
And moving on now, I mentioned omega already, and fish oils are hugely important when it comes to hair loss and thinning. Omega plays a really strong or a really important role in the body in terms of strengthening the collagen in your system and as a result, poor quality collagen in your body can result in hair loss. People who don’t eat meat, so vegans and vegetarians, often are not getting enough fish oil in their diet, but there are actually really good vegan fish oil supplements on the market now. Mentioning Viridian again, they make a vegan EPA & DHA which is a great option, but if your not concerned about keeping vegan and you do want a good quality fish oil that doesn't have a fishy aftertaste, we also really like the brand Bare Biology who do a Lion Heart liquid, that they also do in a capsule form, and that’s an outstanding form of omega 3.
Proteins – 05:37
The next thing that we’re going to talk about is proteins. Hair is made of protein, as well as fat, water and carbohydrate. So, having more protein in your diet, naturally just gives your body more fuel to create hair and help hair growth.
So you can achieve that by taking more protein into your diet. Great sources of protein are things like meats and oil fishes, you know, but you can also consider supplementing. One of my favourite products in the entire market when it comes to hair in general is Solgar’s Skin, Nails and Hair. The reason I like it so much is because it contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. And your hair needs those in order to help its growth. But actually in addition to those proteins, it's also got things like vitamin C, which plays an important role in collagen formation, and also zinc, which we’re going to come onto shortly.
Vitamin C – 06:35
So I’ve mentioned vitamin C already, vitamin C is a real all rounder when it comes to hair loss, promoting hair growth and also nurturing the scalp. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so what that means is when negative things come into your body, either because of your diet, perhaps you’re eating McDonalds and other unhealthy food, but also things like pollution and other external aggressors. Vitamin C is an antioxidant so it is helping to neutralise some of the negative elements that your body encounters day to day, they are called free radicals.
Now, neutralising those free radicals, essentially, keeps your body healthier, and in the case of your hair, free radical damage is going to block hair growth and restrict hair growth and potentially cause hair loss. So that’s part of the reason that vitamin C is very very important, but the other part is also that vitamin C, like I mentioned, forms the building block for collagen, which is an important part of hair structure. Collagen, essentially, is holding your hair onto your head, so the better quality collagen in your system, the more likely your hair is to be strong, healthy and less likely to fall out.
If you were looking to supplement with a vitamin C exclusively, one that we really highly like at Landys Chemist is the Solgar Ester-C, it comes in a 500mg strength but also stronger if you wanted. And the reason that we like that so much and the reason why is has a strange name is because actually, Ester-C is a slightly engineered form of vitamin C and its engineered for two reasons. One, to be extremely absorbable, so your system takes it really really well. But also we find that it’s very very gentle on the stomach. Some vitamin Cs can be acidic, Ester-C is likely to be very very calm on the stomach, which is why we like it.
Next Time On… Ask The Pharmacy – 08:33
That was part one of our series on hair care and hair supplements. Coming up next, we’ll be discussing boosting hair growth. Check out our website or subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos soon.
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Mitesh works at Landys Chemist as a nutritionist. His focus is on ensuring people’s wellbeing and to offer solutions where people are finding an imbalance in their life.