As with any health issues, diet and lifestyle go a long way in complementing treatment results – the same goes for hair-related treatments.
At Tricholab, we want our clients to feel good about themselves not just in our clinic but when they’re out and about, working and spending time with their loved ones. It can be hard to do so consistently in busy Singapore. That’s why we’re sharing hair care, diet and exercise tips to complement your hair loss, hair growth and scalp treatments.
We also want you to know that the relationship between hair health and general health is not one way. They influence each other, as you shall see below. Caring about your hair matters!
The Link Between Hair Health and General Health
If you look after your hair, you should know that having attractive, healthy-looking hair is not just about looking good but feeling good, too. Hair health can impact your mental well-being. Researchers have shown that hair loss or other hair-related issues can lead to negative emotions like anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
Our hair doesn’t only affect our psychological well-being, but also influences how others perceive us. A study from the New Zealand’s University of Otago found that men with full hair are preferred as leaders and perceived as more attractive, younger, intelligent, and healthier than their bald counterparts.
How to Implement Good Hair Care Habits
Your hair care routine should work in your favour and not against you. Here are some tips from out scalp specialists.
Do colour treatments in moderation
Have you ever bleached or dyed your hair? Good for you on being fashionable. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that such treatments should be done in moderation. We offer these treatments, too, and, as a general rule of thumb, recommend people to dye their hair with an interval of at least six to eight weeks. This allows your hair to recover and regain some of its natural strength and moisture before undergoing another treatment.
We offer organic colouring treatment, too, for people who’d like something less harsh on their hair. To enhance the effects of your treatment, you can opt to use hair masks, serums, and leave-in conditioners.
Avoid prolonged heat styling and sun exposure
Heat styling tools like hair straighteners and curling irons are beauty tools that millions of people use to make themselves presentable every day. However, repeated usage can cause heat damage to the hair, making it brittle and prone to breakage.
People who work outdoors must also contend with excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays, which may lead to dryness and hair loss.
So, it is advisable to use styling tools sparingly and apply a heat protectant spray before styling. It is also good to wear a hat or an umbrella outdoors to protect your hair from sun damage.
Moisturise and massage hair regularly to promote hair growth
Regularly moisturising your hair and scalp can help prevent dryness and promote hair growth. One option is to use natural oils like coconut oil and argan oil. Tip: Make sure your hair products have these ingredients too.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
A proper hair care routine should also go hand in hand with a balanced diet. Try incorporating the following vitamins into your diet to improve your hair health and prevent hair loss:
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for hair health, as it helps keep the scalp healthy and moisturised. This is important because a dry scalp can lead to dandruff, itching, and hair loss. Additionally, vitamin A is crucial in producing sebum, a natural oil the scalp produces that helps keep your hair follicles lubricated and healthy. Good sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach.
- B vitamins
B vitamins such as biotin, niacin, and folic acid are essential for healthy hair growth and preventing hair loss. Biotin, in particular, is often recommended for improving the strength and thickness of hair. Foods with B vitamins include whole grains, leafy greens, eggs, and nuts.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a crucial role in maintaining strong and healthy hair. This antioxidant, also known as ascorbic acid, not only neutralises free radicals in the body but also enhances iron absorption and protects hair from oxidative stress. Additionally, vitamin C is essential for collagen production, which regulates hair thickness, colour vibrancy, strength, and elasticity. You can find this nutrient in citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers, among other sources.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for overall health, and research has linked its deficiency to several health issues, including hair loss. The primary source of Vitamin D is sunlight exposure, but it’s not always doable, especially for desk-bound workers. Consuming fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel can help.
Iron is a crucial nutrient for hair health as it helps to carry oxygen to hair follicles. Without enough iron, the hair follicles can become starved of oxygen, leading to hair loss and slow hair growth. Consuming iron-rich foods such as spinach, lentils, and red meat can help promote healthy hair growth.
Hair is made up of protein, so getting enough of this nutrient in your diet is important. Your hair may become dry, brittle, and weak if you don’t get enough protein. Diets that are extremely low in protein may cause your hair to grow slowly or even cause hair loss. Good sources of protein include chicken, fish, and beans.
Incorporating these foods into your diet can help nourish your hair from the inside out and promote healthy growth. Additionally, it’s important to drink plenty of water—a minimum of eight glasses a day—and limit your intake of processed and sugary foods, which can have a negative impact on hair health.
The Role of Exercise
While a balanced diet and a good hair care routine are crucial, exercise is equally important in promoting healthy hair growth.
Reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing
When you’re under stress, your body releases cortisol, which can negatively impact hair growth. Exercise has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and increase endorphins in the body, which can lead to healthier hair.
Regulate body functions
Regular exercise can also help to regulate hormones, increase oxygen and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles, and reduce inflammation, all of which can contribute to healthier hair.
Increase blood flow
Exercise improves blood circulation throughout the body, including the scalp. Improved blood circulation delivers oxygen and vital nutrients to hair follicles, promoting healthy growth.
Where to Start with Exercise?
Cardiovascular exercises, such as running or cycling, are particularly beneficial for hair health as they increase blood flow. Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting or resistance band exercises, can also be beneficial as they help increase muscle mass and boost metabolism, leading to healthier hair.
Aim for 30–40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA), as it decreases the possibility of premature death and many diseases.
If this is not possible, you can cram all your exercise into long Saturday and Sunday workouts. In a 2017 study by Dr. Stamatakis and his colleagues, people who reported exercising almost exclusively on weekends were less likely to die prematurely than those who rarely exercised.
Alternatively, you can measure your exercise in the total number of steps you’ve taken each day instead of in minutes. The ideal step count for those below 60 stands in the 8,000–10,000 range, whereas for those above 60, the figure stands within the 6,000–8,000 range.
The Role of Adequate Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as maintaining a balanced diet and following a proper hair care routine. However, it’s often overlooked, especially in today’s fast-paced and stress-filled environment.
Promote growth hormones
Hair growth is a complex process that involves several stages, including the growth phase, the resting phase, and the shedding phase. During the growth phase, hair follicles produce new hair cells, which push old cells out of the follicle, resulting in hair growth. Adequate sleep promotes this growth phase as the body releases growth hormones, which are essential for hair growth.
Reduce cortisol levels
Lack of sleep not only prevents the growth phase phase from happening but can lead to hair loss and damage too. When we don’t get enough sleep, the body releases stress hormones like cortisol, leading to inflammation and hair follicle damage. This damage can weaken the hair, making it more prone to breakage and loss.
Regulate your body’s circadian rhythm
Sleep also helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock that regulates various physiological processes, including hair growth. When the circadian rhythm is disrupted, it can lead to hair loss and damage.
How to Start a Good Sleep Routine
So, how much sleep do you need to maintain healthy hair? While the exact amount of sleep required varies from person to person, most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Here are some tips on how you can ensure you get a good night’s sleep and promote healthy hair.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Engage in relaxing activities like taking a warm bath or reading a book before bed to help your body prepare for sleep.
Avoid stimulating activities before bed: Avoid watching TV or using electronic devices before bed, as the blue light can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
Create a comfortable sleep environment: Ensure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet to promote restful sleep.
Limit caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep quality, so it’s best to limit or avoid them altogether, especially before bedtime.
TrichoLab: A Scalp Specialist in Singapore who Can Help You
While adopting a healthy lifestyle can certainly help promote healthy hair growth and prevent hair loss, there may come a point where you need additional support to achieve the desired results. In some cases, home remedies and lifestyle changes might not be enough, and seeking professional help can come in handy.
Our specialists can give you advice on which treatments are ideal for your hair condition.
Here are the four general stages of hair growth treatment at our clinic.
Scalp analysis: A pre-treatment in-depth scan of your scalp to assess its condition and requirements.
Anti-hair loss mask & shampoo: Using our series of specialised hair care solutions designed for boosting scalp circulation.
Microneedling with hair growth formula: Our secret patented formula comprising of herbal and peptide complex plus growth factors is delivered into the hair follicles.
Add-ons: From a multivitamin serum to an LED light therapy, we will give your treatment a boost, where necessary for better results.