Updated: Feb 23
Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more!
Just as water hydrates and replenishes the skin, it does the same for your scalp, and in turn, your lovely locks. Drinking plenty of water helps to energize and support hair growth from root to tip. Studies show that it will prevent split ends, brittle hair texture, and fosters a healthier scalp. This means that you will have fewer chances of developing problems like dryness, itchiness, or dandruff.
ICMR’s dietary guidelines for Indians recommend eight glasses or two liters of water a day, which should go up in hot, sweaty weather and during vigorous exercises. There are plenty of ways you can be mindful about adding this daily positive to your routine. You can use one giant bottle that you fill up and finish through the day or even track the number of times you have finished your water bottle. Another simple trick that works is adding alerts to your phone to remind you to get up and get a glass of water every couple of hours. Add in a slice of cucumber or lemon to make it a refreshing drink in the summers, a small trick that will leave you feeling oh-so-fancy.
While vitamin water and other sports drinks have been a fad, our nutritionist strongly recommends you check the label before buying it. Most of them are filled with lots of sugar and other synthetics that might lead to painful breakouts on your skin.
Further, you don't just need to rely only on the water to complete your fluid intake. Many fruits and vegetables like spinach and watermelon are also ~90% water by weight. Celery, zucchini, cabbage, and cantaloupe are other fruits and vegetables that are very high in water content that you can add to your meal plans.
Massage your scalp
A small study has shown that massaging your scalp regularly can lead to thicker hair. The benefits of a scalp massage for hair growth centers on the hair follicles. Each hair on your head starts its life within a follicle, located just beneath the skin on your scalp.
According to research, scalp massage increases hair thickness by stretching the cells of hair follicles. This, in turn, stimulates the follicles to produce thicker hair. It’s also thought that a scalp massage may help dilate blood vessels beneath the skin, thereby encouraging hair growth.
While there are plenty of scalp massager brushes available in the market, a simple massage using your fingertips should also do the trick. The recommended way to massage your scalp is to gently press your fingertips on your scalp and move in small circles through different areas on your scalp. You can try doing this for five minutes, about two to three times a day. Another trick many specialists are recommending is using a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil to a spoon of coconut oil on your scalp prior to the massage. However, before applying any essential oils to your scalp we recommend doing a patch test to ensure that you are not allergic to it.
Massaging your scalp gently with your fingertips right before you go to bed can also help you relax your mind and sleep better.
Eat healthy & increase protein intake
While you cannot control factors such as age and genetics that control hair growth, adding the right food to your diet can help you control your hair loss. Our bodies need the right amount of specific vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids for adequate hair growth. Protein - deficient in many vegetarians and vegans in India - plays a key role in providing your body with the energy needed for hair growth. In fact, our hair follicles are made of protein. A general rule of thumb is that you should consume 1g of protein for every 1kg that you weigh.
Eating eggs is great for your hair as it is rich in both protein and biotin. If you are vegan like our founder, eating oats is a great option. It provides healthy fibers, magnesium, manganese, thiamine (vitamin B1), and several other nutrients. This extra boost of energy that will keep you full for hours is a great way to start your day. Seeds are another great addition you can make to your diet. Flax seeds and chia seeds are a great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. This will help your hair look shiny!
While there is plenty of buzz in the market around the different protein supplementation options - we would like to provide a word of caution. A lot of doctors advise against using whey protein for women. In India, particularly for whey protein, there are plenty of fake products available that can negatively affect your health. So please make sure that you purchase your products from verified dealers. Additionally, there are a few plant-based options available in the market as well. Our founder Rahee prefers adding organic pea protein to her meal post a game of tennis.
Use a cool rinse (avoid hot water on your hair)
While it is relaxing to run a hot shower after a long day, running hot water through your hair can prove to be damaging over time. If you use very hot water during a shower, it can weaken the roots, and your hair will break off more easily when combed right after. It can also make your hair curlier and look more frizzy. Hot water baths take away essential oils and moisture from your hair. Meanwhile, cold water can help prevent the loss of natural oils from hair and may help conditioning agents and hair masks to work better. It also allows keratin treatments and hair dyes to last longer. Further, Coldwater helps to seal the elevated cuticle layers in your hair and keeps the protein bonds of your hair intact. This heals the frizziness of your hair shaft and gives it a well-defined, soft, and smooth texture. Also, the sealed cuticles add a glossy look to your hair by locking in the moisture.
That said, a major advantage of using hot water is that it is easier to clean your hair of any build-up, dirt or sweat. This is because hot water tends to open up the cuticles in your hair, making the shampoo and conditioner you apply a lot more effective.
Practically, it is advisable to use lukewarm water to wash your hair. you can use water at 100°F or 38°C (slightly above the normal body temperature) to wash your hair. During summer, you can use water at a lower temperature.
Take your vitamins!
Research shows that vitamin deficiencies - particularly in Biotin - can be a cause of hair loss in people across all age groups. In case of a deficiency, nutritionists recommend taking supplements to reduce hair fall. There are a range of vitamins and minerals that are essential to your hair health. In fact, low levels of vitamin D is linked to alopecia, a technical term for hair loss. Vitamin A is another essential that helps skin glands make an oily substance called sebum. Sebum moisturizes the scalp and helps keep your hair healthy.
At TERRAVITA, our Hair Vitamins are 100% plant-based. A carefully sourced blend of essential vitamins and plant extracts, we have ensured that every consumer gets the nutrition they require for long and strong hair. Our Biotin is sourced from the Sesbania plant, making it more bioavailable i.e. easily absorbed by your body as compared to synthetic biotin. Our Bamboo Shoot extract is rich in Silica, which strengthens your hair and reduces breakage. We have also included our plant-based, all-natural vitamins A, C, D, and E in our supplements to give your health and hair the push it requires for the thick, glowing locks you deserve!