3 Ways to Improve Hair Health

Are you starting to see a few extra hairs on your comb? Although it is more pronounced in men, hair loss also affects women and can start as early as your teens. Losing 100 hairs daily is normal and these are usually replaced within days. As we age, however, hormone fluctuations can weaken follicle strength. Physical and emotional stress, medications, disease, and diet can all contribute to losing hair. Today, various treatments are available to combat hair loss but you may also try some natural options to help you stimulate growth.

1. Feed Your Follicles

Even if you don’t have Rapunzel’s locks, it doesn’t mean your hair can’t benefit from a well-balanced diet. Whether you have thick tresses or fine follicles, consuming nutritious foods can make a difference in your scalp and hair health.

• Chomping Champions for Hair: Our skin, nails, muscles, eyes, organs, and hair are all made of protein, which is essential for tissue repair and construction. For a healthy head of hair, make sure to include high-quality protein like eggs, low-fat dairy, poultry, fish, meat, whole grains, and beans.

• More Super Foods for Your Strands: Consuming organic fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains will provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals to strengthen your locks. Another important mineral to include is iron, which can be found in dried fruits, organic meats and beef, beans, seaweed, and legumes. Iron deficiency often contributes to limp strands and hair loss. Munch on these marvelous foods for fabulous follicles: walnuts, sesame, seeds, sunflower seeds, seaweed, pumpkin seeds, beets, beet greens, mushrooms, mulberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, apples, pears, peaches, black beans, mung beans, and organic lamb and chicken. Limit fried foods, artificial colors and additives, bleached flour, added sugars, and soft drinks.

2. Love your Locks: Vitality with Vitamins

In addition to eating a nutritionally balanced diet, certain vitamins are essential for maintaining a healthy scalp. You should speak with your healthcare professional to help you decide the appropriate dosage.

• Boost with B Vitamins: Hair loss may be due to a deficiency in B12, an essential nutrient found in meat, beef, poultry, and eggs. If you don’t regularly consume these foods you may try a daily supplement. Another vitamin associated with hair and nail strength is biotin, which is found in liver and egg yolks. To strengthen your locks, try supplementing with 3 mg daily. Raw eggs contain a glycoprotein called “avidin” that prevents biotin absorption, if not cooked thoroughly. For optimal absorption make sure to cook the eggs until they are firm.

• Outstanding Omegas: Essential fatty acids EPA and DHA are necessary for a healthy heart, brain, and scalp. A deficiency may leave you with lifeless, dull hair. If you don’t regularly consume oily fish, walnuts, or flaxseed, you may try taking a daily supplement of 1,000 mg for lustrous locks.

• Zing with Zinc! Are oysters not on the menu tonight? Another way to get your zinc intake is through a daily supplement of 80 mg daily. Some studies indicate that zinc may affect levels of androgens, which are hormones associated with genetic hair loss.

• Primp your Hair with Primrose: Evening primrose oil contains GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid found in plant-based oils. It works in synergy with omega-3 fatty acids for normal growth and reducing inflammation. Taking 300 mg daily may help prevent damage to the hair and follicles.

• Bonus Tip: To nourish hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth, try Hair Nurture Capsules and Hair Topical Tonic, a blend of traditional Chinese herbs that nourishes hair follicles and promotes healthy hair growth.

3. Treat your Tresses

Healthy hair requires a healthy scalp for maintaining proper circulation. It is best to avoid excessive and strenuous exercise that can deplete vital energy. Stress-reducing massages and meditation can all contribute to tranquility and promote blood circulation. Love your locks with the following tips.

• Soothe Your Scalp: A Dao In qi gong exercise known as “Gentle Rainfall Experience” can benefit you. Try this technique twice daily to promote scalp circulation.  Begin by sitting comfortably in a chair or cross-legged on a soft pillow. With the tips of every finger (including thumbs) gently tap your head all over, stimulating the scalp for about 1 minute. Start with a light force and gradually increase to moderate strength.  You may also try massaging the scalp with both hands for 2–3 minutes, moving the scalp gently and then vigorously.

• Go natural: Avoid synthetic shampoos, conditioners, masks, and sprays, which can strip your strands of shine and strength. Bleaching, coloring, and frequent blow-drying can also contribute to hair loss and dry hair.

• Caress your Tresses: After washing your hair, allow it to dry naturally before brushing it. Combing through wet hair can cause breakage.

• Follicle Faux Pas: Avoid tight hairstyles, such as braids, buns, or ponytails. Compulsive twisting, rubbing, and pulling on your hair can create more stress for your scalp. Choose a hairstyle that will minimize damage and possible balding.

I hope that these suggestions will nourish you and your lovely locks for years to come! You can discover more tips for holding onto your hair in The Natural Health Dictionary, a comprehensive guide that answers all your questions about natural remedies, healing herbs, healthy foods, vitamins, and supplements. You may also be interested in Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, which is now available on Kindle.

I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

—Dr. Mao

This blog is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented.

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