Hair experts say that hair grows all the time, and at an average rate of half an inch a month, but you may not have noticed the growth due to shrinkage or breakage. This may be true, however, you may have noticed that your hair isn’t breaking off or shedding more than usual but it’s still the same length it was at 3 months ago. This can be frustrating. It is possible for hair not to grow at all during a long period of time, or to grow at snail speed. This may be due to any of the following reasons.
1. There is not enough protein in your diet
Your hair, nails and skin are made up of a protein called keratin. When your diet does not have enough of this protein in it, you may not experience much hair growth. Keratin isn’t found in food, but certain foods can increase the production of keratin. This will eventually result in longer, stronger hair and nails, and fresher skin. Foods that can increase keratin production include eggs, meat, fish, chicken, beans(I love beans), milk, yogurt, etc. Adults require at least two servings of protein a day. Some people also take vitamins containing biotin to boost hair growth, this would work as well.
A great way to monitor hair growth is by monitoring the growth of your nails. Hair an nails are made up of the same protein. So if you find out that your nails grow by about 2-3mm in a week or two, your hair is growing healthily. But if your nails grow by 1mm in a month, you really need to increase your protein intake.
Solution: Eat foods rich in protein at least two times a day. Monitor your nail growth to see if you are getting enough protein.
2. You are consuming too much artificial sugar
This was the major problem for me. At a time, my diet comprised of mostly food, snacks and drinks containing artificial sugar. Increased consumption of artificial sugar increases the production of a hormone called insulin. Studies have shown that high amounts of insulin in the body could cause hair loss.
Insulin resistance may also cause hair loss. This is the reason for hair loss in diabetic patients. Diabetics have higher blood sugar levels than most people, and because their bodies don’t produce insulin or use it, the excess sugar is stored up in the blood. This can damage the blood vessels making them unable to deliver sufficient oxygen to the hair follicles.
Solution: For non-diabetic patients, reduce or eliminate artificial sugar in your daily diet. For diabetic patients, take your required medication regularly and also try to reduce or eliminate artificial sugar from your diet.
3. Your hair is not moisturized enough.
Natural hair requires sufficient moisture to survive and thrive. While it is important to keep hair moisturized on the outside, it is even more important to moisturize from the inside as well by drinking sufficient water. An average adult would require 2 litres of water a day. However, some of us are not average(lol). It is important to keep your body well hydrated because the hair, nails and outer layer of skin are often the last part of the body to receive the moisture from within(after all other organs have had their fill).
There is a very simple test to determine if you’re drinking enough water. This test has only one step: Examine your urine! 🙂
Don’t worry, all you need to do is look in the toilet bowl whenever you take a pee. There are two things to examine:
Concentration can easily be determined by the colour of your urine. The brighter and clearer your urine is, the more hydrated your body is.
Dark yellow, yellowish-green, orange or brown urine is indicative of dehydration. It may even indicate the presence of a urinary tract infection.
However, you must be careful not to drink too much water, so that you do not dilute your blood. This can be fatal.
Volume is determined by quantity of urine. Now, you don’t have to get your measuring cylinder or anything. You should be able to determine whether you pass out a lot or little urine.
A healthy, hydrated person’s urine should be dilute(pale yellow to clear) and should contain a considerable amount of water.
Solution: Try to drink at least 2 litres of water a day, or 8 eight ounce glasses of water. Examine your urine also to determine if you are having enough water.
4. Your hormones are ‘raging’
If you’ve tried all else and nothing seems to work, you may need to see a doctor. Hormonal imbalance is a reason why your hair may not seem to be growing. An increase in the estrogen hormone is the cause of hair loss in women during and after pregnancy. We have previously discussed the effects of the hormone insulin. Imbalances of the thyroid hormone is another reason for hair loss and thinning.
Solution: You need to see a doctor to get tested.
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Till next time, much love XOXO.
NB: I’m sorry this post is late. It was supposed to be up yesterday, but life happened *shrug*