Q. I have thin, dry hair and desperately want it to be thicker. What can I take or use on my hair to get it healthy? - Tracey
A. Thicker, stronger, shinier hair is often seen as the product of internal health. Certainly brittle, dry, thin hair can be a result of genetic factors, too. So too is stress, an imbalance of hormones and poor diet. There are a variety of ways to improve the condition of your hair and, truth be known, persistence is key. We enlisted the help of celebrity hair stylist Stephen Foyle and raw food enthusiast Ricardo Riskalla - practically magicians in the beauty and health industry. Everyday will be a good hair day once you put these tricks into play.
Before exhausting the vitamins, begin with your everyday diet. If you are focused on getting your locks thick and healthy, you may need to mix up the kinds of foods you eat. Stephen believes that the best diet for great hair is based on foods that are high in protein, iron, zinc and vitamin b complex. “Hair is built from protein,” he says. “The more quality proteins you eat, the more the body has a chance to metabolise extraneous proteins and convert them into keratin (hair).” Good sources of protein include lean chicken, lentils, quinoa, chia and salmon; along with eggs, walnuts and all natural Greek yoghurt for growth and shine.
“Iron is responsible for sending oxygen to the scalp, which feeds the hair bulb and promotes strong and healthy hair,” says Stephan. “Zinc is potent for hair growth, most people lose large amounts due to stressors like stress and physical exercise. Vitamin B complex is necessary to promote hair growth and thickness.” Foods high in iron include lentils, spinach, egg yolks and chicken. Dark chocolate in moderation is also known to improve hair quality because of its high properties of zinc (also found in lean beef, oysters, cashews and pumpkin seeds). Eating an abundance of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, avocados, whole grains and legumes will boost your intake of vitamin B complex, getting you well on your way to luscious locks.
Once you’ve got the diet under control, aim to incorporate minimal supplements that are only going to improve your vitamin absorption. Don’t make the mistake of using vitamins as an alternative to eating quality foods. Ricardo suggests adding spirulina to your diet. Derived from seaweed, spirulina is an unsurpassed iron-rich vitamin that aids hair growth and prevents hair loss (particularly good for those with thin hair). “Just add it to a glass of water in the morning and you are good to go,” says Ricardo - simple as that.
Original Body Essential Silicea is another great vitamin on offer for hair vitality. Silica is the most recognised beauty mineral that assists in collagen elasticity. Fun fact: babies born with excess amounts of silica have such smoother, silkier hair than those who don't. As we get older our body naturally reduces the amount of silica and increases that of calcium, thus leading to calcification (aka, not-so-silky hair). As for collagen supplements, Ricardo believes you are better off getting collagen from your food rather than in tablet form. “I wouldn’t recommend direct collagen vitamins," he says. “I tell my clients they should be drinking a lot of water and vegetable juices, especially cucumber juice for its rich silica content.”
Good quality hair products are also crucial for obtaining that enviable mane, and lay off the heat styling throughout the week – try a messy top bun or enhance your natural curls. Stephen recommends opting for ultra nourishing hair products, but nothing too thick that it will weigh your hair down and cause your strands to snap. We personally love the Sachajuan Overnight Hair Repair. Use it once a week as a hair treatment to encourage cell regeneration and hair growth. “Even a gentle five minute scalp massage is great for working your hair follicles and stimulates hair growth,” says Ricardo. With all that, you’ll be on your way to thicker, stronger, longer hair in no time.
Shop the look…
Answered by Claudia De Berardinis.