Stranding Strong - How to Strengthen Hair
They say ‘invest in your hair, it is the crown you never take off’. Strong hair can be possible only if you take good care of your strands. The other important factor is your genes which decide your hair type and strength. This is not to say that you have no power to change the state of your tresses. A good hair regimen can produce the quality hair that all aspire to. How to strengthen hair and more importantly how to strengthen hair naturally remains the objective. Let’s find out how we can go about it.
Massage your hair: A good hair massage improves the blood circulation in your scalp and stimulates the hair follicles. This can also increase hair thickness as it stretches the cells of your hair follicles. You can use your fingertips to massage your scalp as you move them in a circular motion. This leads to an enhancement of hair strength.
Get the right ingredients into your diet: Hair follicles are made of protein and therefore an augmented diet can in fact lead to better hair growth and tenacity. Proteins and vitamins are a must. If you do not get vitamins from the food that you eat you can include multivitamins in your diet. A lack of protein in your diet can lead to hair loss. Hair follicles consist mainly of protein and therefore protein-rich foods like eggs, salmon, beans and spinach are important for hair health.
The inclusion of walnuts and almonds are very important as they contain fatty acids. The fatty acids protect your hair against harmful UV rays Tuna and mackerel are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and add shine and moisture to your hair.
Hair masks:It is recommended that you detoxify your hair with hair masks once a week. This also helps in replenishing your roots with the right nutrients as well as enhancing the blood circulation in the scalp. This has been endorsed by numerous hair experts as a great method on how to strengthen hair roots in females.
Eggs for hair strength: Eggs are rich in protein and this is extremely essential for healthy hair. The presence of vitamins A & E and biotin help eggs provide the best nourishment to the hair. An egg treatment is recommended for shiny and smooth hair. Beat 2 eggs together and apply the mix to your damp hair strands. Wash it off after half an hour with shampoo and warm water.
Aloe vera gel: A number of commercial products contain aloe vera as an ingredient as regular application is believed to contribute to robust hair. However, you can add the gel extracted from the aloe vera plant directly to your scalp as well. You can mix the aloe gel with coconut oil and wash it off after half an hour. There can’t be a more effective way of how to strengthen hair.
What Causes Weak Hair
Our regular habits which are apparently harmless can play havoc with the health of our hair. From a simple hair shampoo to the amount of heat that is applied to dry our strands every decision could impact hair quality. You will find that in most cases less is enough. Let’s find out more about the causes behind weak hair:
Your shampoo: Most shampoos contain sulphates that strip away the essential oils from your scalp and are the cause of hair weakness. The frequency of your wash is important too, 2 times a week is enough unless you have very oily hair. Use as less shampoo as possible, and apply it primarily to your scalp before you wash it off.
Regular use of heat products: Straightening irons, blowers and curlers if used regularly can make your hair dry and brittle. Use the blow dryer 2-3 times a week or even lesser if possible. Use a heat shielding serum, keep the heat low and at least 6 inches away from the hair. Try not to focus on one section for a long period of time, better still, use a diffuser to spread the heat. Also, when you are applying heat to your hair, make sure that the products that are already there on your hair are heat friendly.
Excessive styling: Different ways of styling such as braiding and hair extensions lead to frequent pull of the hair and subsequent weakening from the roots. If you wear those pony tails and knot your hair frequently you could be causing huge damage to your hairline and hair shaft.
Wrong methods of brushing and combing hair:If you brush your hair aggressively when it is wet you could end up causing hair breakage. You should ideally use a wide-toothed comb for clearing those tangles after applying a post-shower conditioner. Brush your hair when dry, do it before you go for your hair wash.
Improper diet:An imbalanced diet that does not contain the right nutritional ingredients could weaken your hair considerably. Lack of the essential vitamins, zinc, iron, proteins, fatty acids in your diet will impact the strength of your strands.
The wrong towel: Using a cotton towel to rub your hair dry after a shampoo could cause frizz and breakage due to friction. A cotton t-shirt or a microfibre towel could be used to blot the wet hair as they help soak water faster thus reducing the possibility of swelling.
Hormonal imbalances: Weak hair could be the result of hormonal imbalances too. Thyroid disorders and PCOs could also lead to hair loss.
Sign & Symptoms of Weak Hair
When your hair becomes weak the hair issues multiply and they become more frequent. To find out, all you need to do is take out a strand and pull it from both ends. If it snaps it is proof of weak hair. Another way is to wrap some hair around your finger and check for lifted ends. If more than a couple are seen to lift up, it means that your hair is weak. Some problems can be easily corrected with the proper diet and home remedies but others might demand the intervention of a specialist. They will be able to suggest techniques on how to strengthen hair to you. Let’s take a look at a few examples of weak hair:
Dryness: When your hair remains perpetually dry despite the regular use of conditioners, your hair has undeniably become weak and the problem demands a detailed inspection.
Increased breakage: When your hair breaks frequently it is a sign that all is not well with your hair.
Tangled hair: Knotted or tangled hair is the result of damaged hair intertwining with each other.
Frizzy hair: When your hair sticks out or curls itself into bunches that means you have frizzy hair. This condition worsens during hot and humid weather as the dry hair absorbs moisture from the air.
Split ends: When your hair becomes brittle and weak, they manifest as split ends. These travel up the hair shaft and break off. Blow drying, straightening and curling may cause split ends. Apart from that harsh environmental conditions and chemical treatment may also lead to split ends.
Dull and lacklustre hair: Dull hair which looks like it could do with some shine and vibrancy is the indication of weak hair. A healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids could be the solution.
How to Strengthen Your Weak Hair
They are a number of ways in which you can go about reviving and rejuvenating your weak hair. All it demands is a little care and discipline. The first thing that you need to do is turn your attention to your diet and bring in the right nutrients for your hair. With the right diet, you will have made a positive beginning towards a solution on how to strengthen hair.
Boost your vitamin intake
Vitamin A, found in eggs, milk and yogurt, is important for the production of sebum which helps moisturise the scalp and keeps hair healthy.
B-vitamins are found in a range of foods, including wholegrains, almonds, meat and fish. They are considered very important for the growth of hair and are a good option on how to strengthen hair.
Vitamin C produces antioxidants which can counter the negative effects of free radicals which are harmful for hair health. It also helps in the production of collagen, which is important for your hair structure. Apart from that it also helps the body absorb iron. Strawberries and citrus fruits are all rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common and leads to hair loss. It is also known to give rise to new follicles. Vitamin D can be obtained by direct exposure to the sun’s rays and by consumption of fatty fish and cod liver oil among other things.
Vitamin E if added as a supplement is very useful for hair growth. If one is experiencing hair loss the benefits are even more pronounced. This is an effective answer on how to strengthen weak hair roots.
Massage Your Scalp
Massaging your scalp has a lot of potential benefits like helping deal with stress and stimulating hair growth among other things. You need to put a little pressure as you massage your entire scalp with your fingertips in a circular motion. Doing this for 5 minutes twice a day is enough to propel hair growth. You can also give yourself a light massage even as you shampoo your hair. Be careful not to rub your hair hard as you might damage your hair follicles. You can learn how to strengthen hair roots by following the abovementioned methods.
You can also use essential oils to massage your scalp as apart from aiding hair growth, it also reduces dandruff. You need to know how to strengthen hair follicles through a hair massage as they will facilitate the process of getting healthy hair. There are 4 essential benefits of a hair massage:
- It has a relaxing effect which has the obvious psychological benefit of reducing stress.
- It is also believed to help in producing thick hair. A gentle massage on a regular basis can stimulate the follicles and enhance hair quality. They are your answer to your problem on how to strengthen hair.
- A daily massage can also arrest hair fall and rejuvenate the hair cells to produce new hair.
- The regular massage also facilitates hair regrowth by strengthening the follicles.
High Protein Foods
While proteins are a necessary part of your diet to develop healthy hair, a high-protein diet might also lead to hair loss. This is because an excess of proteins can cause an imbalance in the body as it deprives the body of other essential nutrients and that might also go on to affect hair health.
There are also a number of suggested home remedies that could be your go-to solutions as you look for different ways of strengthening hair. They can be excellent solutions on how to strengthen weak hair roots naturally. Let’s look at some ways on how to strengthen hair at home:
- A hot oil treatment: Before using the hot oil treatment you have to be certain if it is the right treatment for your hair type. Also, you have to make sure that the heat is of the correct intensity so that you do not end up burning your scalp.
Mix extra virgin olive oil with coconut oil in a bowl, heat it till it is warm. Use your fingers to comb it through your scalp and ends. You can even brush your hair lightly to spread it more evenly. Use a towel soaked in warm water to cover your hair. The hot towel will open up the cuticles allowing the nutrients to enter and nourish them. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner after 20 minutes. This method is also a great solution on how to strengthen hair roots in males too.
- Onion juice is a proven remedy for hair loss and is also known to facilitate hair regrowth. Grate an onion and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Apply the juice to your hair and scalp and wash it out with a shampoo after 30 minutes.
Strong hair is not too difficult to get but a well customised plan that takes care of all eventualities is necessary to ensure a convenient journey towards those healthy tresses. You can always take the help of our experts at Traya who will be able to suggest the right methods and more options on how to strengthen hair.
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Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.