Most of us know that sugar is the number one complexion enemy, but have you considered the impact your diet and stress may be having on your hair? Naturopathic doctor and anti-ageing specialist Dr. Nigma Talib, author of Reverse the Signs of Ageing, thinks you should - she swears that food, drink and stress have a direct impact on the hair’s ageing process and contribute to hair loss, brittleness, split ends, unbalanced oil production and lacklustre colour. Here, she outlines the secrets to realising your hair’s potential…
Pop Your Pills.Start at the gut - you need a healthy gut to absorb nutrients effectively. Try taking Healthy Flora [at victoriahealth.com] for a powerful hit of anti-oxidants and gut-supporting probiotics. B vitamins will also have an impact on the hair, helping to keep blood cells healthy and easing the passage of nutrients into the body. Evening Primrose Oil is another good one to try as it helps to combat ‘inflammageing’, aka inflammation and premature ageing, while also balancing out hormones.
Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium are all powerful anti-oxidants and will therefore help to prevent free radical damage, with selenium also helping to balance the thyroid and therefore reduce the chances of losing hair through under-activity.
Switch to a Healthy Hair Diet.Having seen thousands of patients over the past 17 years has convinced me that what you eat and drink affects the health of your gut and, in turn, is fundamental to the way your hair ages. The scalp is the hair’s powerhouse and to positively affect it, avoiding wine, dairy, gluten and sugar is a good idea. Digestion must run smoothly to avoid the premature ageing of hair - bear in mind that an intolerance or eating more than you can comfortably digest will negatively impact your hair’s appearance. Up your intake of foods rich in antioxidants (such as vegetables) and foods high in vitamins A, E and C, and reduce your exposure to toxins, paying particular attention to hormone mimickers such as those that end up in water that’s been stored in plastic bottles.
Beat Stress.The first thing I see physically in stressed people is the thinning of hair. Unfortunately, switching off stress just isn’t an option for most of us - we get it from the news, our jobs, our lifestyles. While lots of different coping mechanisms seem to alleviate stress, I’m a proponent of meditation. You can now take a transcendental meditation course anywhere in the world and its marvellously effective. I, for example, practise Kirtan Kriya for 12-minutes daily. Doing so has been shown to increase telomerase, an enzyme that prevents cellular ageing.
Work It Out.Exercise won’t just make you look toned - it’ll also encourage lymphatic movements to help send hair-ageing toxins out the body more quickly. The increased production of feel good hormones and speedier circulation will also promote hair growth. Try pilates, yoga and (provided you’re not exhausted) HIIT (high intensity interval training) as a stress outlet to calm the adrenal glands.
Get Massaging.London-based Carole Caplin specialises in full-body lymphatic drainage, deep tissue and facial release massage. This sends blood to the scalp, which will, as Carole explains ‘carry oxygen and nutrients.’ Furthermore, the connective tissue running through the body is also targeted in massage: ‘Fascia is like a helix, wrapping around the scalp like cling film. Releasing it increases nutrient uptake in the scalp. Massage does this.’ Carole advises asking for scalp techniques such as gentle hair tugging or finger tapping to boost hair health whenever you go for a massage. At home, you can reduce tension in your muscles and fascia by using small trigger massage balls and foam/trigger rollers to increase blood flow and increase the nutrients being delivered to your tissues. Side benefit: it’s also very relaxing.
To book an appointment with Carole Caplin email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Nigma Talib, MD Naturopathic Doctor, Notting Hill London healthydoc.com
Reverse The Signs Of Ageing: The Revolutionary Inside-Out Plan To Glowing, Youthful Skin by Dr Nigma Talib published by Ebury, £12.99.
Dr Nigma No 1 Serum skincare and Dr Nigma Creme No 1 will be available from September from Net-a-porter
SHOW DRY OFFER
SHOW Dry package buyers* receive 50% off Dr. Nigma’s world-renowned Revolutionary Radio Frequency Facial Treatment by Medical Aesthetician Simona Rusinskaite.
*Package must be 12 or 20 Signature blow dries. For more information please contact the Notting Hill salon.
Trichologist – Dr Nigma Talib, MD Naturopathic Doctor and specialist