Monday, November 28, 2011

Hair Experiment: An Update

In early August, I embarked on an effort to improve my hair. What prompted it was looking at my work badge image and noticing my hair hadn't grown in about three months. I can't speak for everyone, but I know stress affects the rate of my hair growth. Hair and nails are dead cells: This means when the body is in any sort of duress, less resources and nutrients go to these areas.

I decided to make a few common-sense changes:

1. I switched to a sulfate-free shampoo and washed my hair every third day, as opposed to daily.

2. I drank more water, between six and eight glasses per day. I added more protein to my diet and focused on making it more balanced. Since this is the building block of hair, adequate protein intake is crucial for growth.

3. I started using a heat protectant whenever I flat-ironed my hair.

4. This sounds crazy, but it's always worked for me: I began doing scalp massages every few days. My theory is it stimulates the hair follicles and increases blood flow along the scalp area.

Then, in typical ADD-fashion, I saw the Glamour cover featuring Rihanna's red velvet hair. I became obsessed with having red hair, although not nearly as dramatic as hers. Over three months, I dyed it twice with at-home hair color. The second time, I used a brand made for dark hair. Neither time it took. Instead, I got a brassy and slightly lighter version of my natural color.

That phase aside, I kept to most of my new hair routine. It's grown roughly two inches in the last three months. The first image was taken in early August; the second image was taken in mid-November. My opinion on what worked the most was improving my nutrition. Since hair is dead cells. once it's on our head, products we apply to it can only do so much. The most impact we can have on it is what we ingest. While people talk about biotin and hair, skin, and nail vitamins, these remain controversial: The FDA doesn't regulate vitamins or claims about them. Even doctors aren't firm on whether they have an impact on our overall health.

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