Every supermarket aisle for shampoo or hair oil is stacked with products that boast of it’s magic to give you longer, thicker, stronger hair. Every brand tells you that it’s product is the best for you.
Is there any truth to it all?
Well yes, there is always a fair amount of research that goes into creating a product. For instance, if there a hair oil being sold for thicker, stronger hair – then it must have some key ingredients that help you in this department. What would really help is if you can decipher the literature printed on the packaging! (check with your trichologist!)
Now, there is more to growing your hair thick and strong, than just the product you use. It has to do with your diet, your lifestyle, your hair care routine etc. plus your hair products.
Many of our patients, friends and family members ask us about ways to boost hair’s health and quality. Given the present hectic lifestyles and stress levels, hair thinning is the biggest worry for most. And for those who do not have any evident hair thinning or hair fall issues, it is the quest to grow hair long, thick and strong.
In our ‘Ask the Hair Expert’ series today, we will give you some clarity on this very subject.
You asked: “How can I grow my hair thick and strong naturally? Can I get thick hair without using any product? What can I do differently on a regular basis that can help my hair quality get better?”
Here’s the answer from the Hair Experts.
A balanced diet, disciplined hair care routine, and balanced lifestyle – your key to thick and strong hair!
Understand what is best suited for you, to promote thick hair growth & maintain its health, with the help of a Trichologist!
Let’s first take a quick look at why your hair isn’t perhaps thick in the first place. You can always catch up on our multiple blogs on hair loss and thinning for more details!
The most common prevalent reasons for hair breakage, thinning and hair loss at large are:
- Genetic predisposition
- Nutritional deficiencies, poor diet
- Overuse of styling products
- Frequent chemical treatments
- Viral fevers and illnesses
- Hormonal imbalances
- Fungal infections
- Autoimmune problems
- Acute stress
- Misuse of oral contraceptives and medications
- Poor scalp hygiene
- Poor hair care
- Unhealthy lifestyle
While on the topic, it is also important to understand that there is a difference between hair thinning, hair breakage and hair loss! Each of it has its own causes, signs and symptoms. The common thread here is – you don’t want to experience any of it! And you wish to grow your hair strong and thick!
Here’s what you need to do to grow your hair thick and strong, naturally
- Regular Oil MassageOiling hydrates and nourishes your hair and scalp. A good oil massage boosts hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles and increasing blood circulation on the scalp. It also helps by increasing the tensile strength of the hair, reducing frizziness, breakage and hair fall. Essential oils like lavender, thyme, and rosemary can prevent hair thinning and balding. Warm the oil to match your body temperature and gently massage it on to your scalp in a circular motion using your fingertips. The process is also a great stress buster! Do read our blog on the importance of oiling for finer details!
- Wash and dry your hair the right wayWashing and drying your hair the wrong way can lead to hair damage and breakage. This seemingly simple routine activity can affect your hair without your realising the true cause. And this will basically go against your aim of having thick and strong hair!
You should first rinse your hair with lukewarm water and only then apply diluted shampoo. This helps it spread better. You can ask your trichologist for guidance on hair-thickening shampoos containing ingredients like biotin.
Massage the shampoo onto the scalp, scrubbing with the fingertips, and slowly work it through the length of the hair. Do not use rub your hair back and forth, or scrape the scalp with nails. And do not use hot water! In fact, you should finish your wash with a cold rinse ‘cos this helps close the opened cuticles.
Once you are done washing and rinsing, blotch out the water from your hair gently by pat drying with a towel. You can leave it towel-wrapped for a few minutes and then open it up. Towel-followed-by-air drying is perhaps the most natural way to dry your hair. Avoid rough back-and-forth motions. This damages the hair shaft and leads to hair breakage. Do not comb your hair when wet – one of the most common mistakes observed. Do read our blog on best practices to follow for washing and drying hair.
- Condition & deep conditionA step that is often skipped. Conditioning works on your hair’s outermost layer, the cuticle, closing it and smoothing it after the wash process (during which the cuticle is opened up). Your hair looks healthy, shiny and bouncy when your cuticle is smooth. This step helps preserve and lock up the much-needed moisture levels, nutrients in your hair.
While the conditioner does its job, you need an additional step to truly tackle all the external factors affecting your hair. And that step is deep conditioning. For hair that is much exposed to external factors and is damaged, deep conditioning periodically is a must. These come in the form of hair masks/ wraps and help in protecting + restoring your hair’s keratin. It strengthens the core of each hair shaft with a dose of protein (look for the ingredients on your pack) while adding gloss and vitality without weighing it down with its oil content. Hair masks play a vital role in repairing and strengthening your hair.
- Comb your hair rightAgain, a mundane task – but when done wrong leads to hair fall and breakage. We recommend using a wide-toothed wooden comb (preferably made of rosewood). These are anti-static (unlike plastic combs). This helps avoid why your hair gets frizzy, making it brittle and prone to breakage. They are gentle on your hair, do not scratch the scalp and help in preventing the tangling of hair to a great extent. Do read our blog on the importance of using the right comb, the right way. This can truly aid hair growth and help you retain its thickness.
- Use products that are chemical-freeFrequent use of hair products that are loaded with chemicals will go completely against your quest for thick, strong hair. And if you are someone who already has hair or scalp concerns, it will only aggravate the problem, leading to hair loss.
Chemicals used in products to dye, bleach, straighten or perm the hair tends to break the hair shaft. This can result in hair thinning and in very rare cases, permanent hair loss. Hair loss in such cases is typically reversible if dealt with in time. Hair trends are fine to follow, but do make sure you do not go overboard with it!
- Avoid chemical treatmentsStudies have further shown that chemical treatments, especially those with a high concentration of formaldehyde, trigger some side effects such as scalp irritation, discolouration of hair and scalp, dry and rough hair prone to breakage, split ends, loss of texture and excessive hair fall. Clearly this is no way to achieve thicker hair! Most of these products and treatments may claim to make your hair look better, but it’s not just about the looks! Your hair needs to be healthy from within for it to bounce with life.
Trichology offers treatments that are safer options, to help repair wear & tear, rejuvenate your hair and give it a bounce, without damaging it with harsh chemicals.
- Stay well hydratedIf you are aiming for hair that is thick, glossy, frizz-free and strong, then you should be getting in 10-12 glasses every day! ‘Cos water is the cheapest, most accessible, magical potion loaded with all those minerals your hair needs!
Water hydrates your hair cells, making them work the way they are supposed to and this helps your hair grow long and strong. And when you are well hydrated, you help keep away hair loss. Staying hydrated clearly has huge hair benefits!
Water can be consumed in different forms. Apart from drinking water, you could lock in fluids through various other sources like coconut water, yoghurt, cottage cheese/ paneer, fresh fruits and vegetables. These are water-rich items, packed with multiple vitamins and nutrients that can ensure your body stays well hydrated. Do read our blog to understand the significance of hydration for your hair.
- Eat rightYour hair is what you eat! Looking for thick and strong hair? Your answer is in your diet!
If you are someone who follows our pages you know the importance we give to a balanced diet, with all those magical hair foods! Proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and water, are six major classes of nutrients that are required by every human body. Healthy hair prevails in the body of the person who has all these six major classes of nutrients in the right proportion. There is a reason why people who have health problems like obesity or malnutrition are prone to hair related problems!
You may have read our blog on Hair structure and anatomy. Hair is basically made up of a structural protein called keratin. Hair foods, as we call them, are superfoods that ensure your hair is strong, healthy and full of life. For instance, copper helps to prevent hair loss and contributes to improving hair colour and thickness. Copper can be added to the diet through grains and beans.
Another example – Vitamin B complex which includes B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, biotin and folic acid are together important for the health and the growth of the hair. They are hence termed as hair growth vitamins. These hair growth vitamins also help in reducing hair loss problems and helps in improving the overall thickness of the hair.
If you ensure that your diet is abundantly packed with such essential hair nutrients, you will boost hair growth naturally, and get that thickness and strength you are looking for.
- Keep stress at bayEvery hair strand undergoes its own hair growth cycle. And chronic stress impacts this cycle adversely. In recent times there is a sharp increase in people suffering from diffuse hair loss caused by hectic stressful lifestyles.
Diffuse hair loss or diffuse alopecia is a condition in which the individual’s hair density decreases across the breadth of the scalp. Any disturbance to the hair growth cycle triggers this. And that is how stress sets it off – when it affects the hair cycle. Do read our blog on the topic to understand how stress can affect your hair.
If you are aiming at hair that is thicker and stronger, you definitely need to work on keeping your stress levels in check.
Half the battle is won if you consciously consume a well-balanced diet containing green leafy vegetables, milk products, nuts and grains. This is highly recommended, to give good nutrition to your hair. Further, drinking 2-3 litres of water a day will provide the most important minerals for hair strength. This apart, do give your hair the TLC it needs, and do keep the above-mentioned pointers in mind. A periodic visit to a Hair Clinic and consulting a trichologist can help ensure that your hair’s health is in order.
Now that you have a better understanding of what your hair needs, to make it thicker and stronger naturally, ask yourself – Am I eating right? Am I taking care of my hair right?
And do what is needed to correct the course, if you aren’t quite there yet!
And we are just a call away, for any questions!
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