When it comes to hair, men usually have three main concerns: how it looks, going grey and losing it. We can use haircare products to improve the appearance of our hair, but because the hair that we see above our scalp is basically dead material in order to really impact your hair’s health and continuing growth you need to impact the hair follicles in the scalp where the hair is formed. Here are some tips on how men can naturally care for their hair and help retain both its colour and abundance.
Guys with short hair don’t really need much in the way of haircare products. At most they can use a mild shampoo every second day or so, but many with very short hair may actually be able to get away with just massaging their scalp under the shower every day and not need shampoo at all. Men with longer hair will need to use a mild shampoo on a regular basis and if you use hair styling products you will need to wash them out with shampoo. The main aim of washing your hair is to make it look better but it also helps remove dirt and oil which may clog the pores in your scalp leading to poor hair condition and hair loss. The amount of washing needed depends on the amount of dirt and oil that is on your scalp. A man who works in a dusty factory will need to wash his hair hair products hong kong with shampoo regularly whereas a man who works in an office may not need to use shampoo at all or only every few days.
Most men have oilier hair than women and shouldn’t need to use a conditioner unless their hair is very long and needs detangling. If your hair has been colour treated, especially bleached, or if you spend a lot of time in the sun, surf or pool then you may also need to use a conditioner after washing your hair to smooth and protect it. An easy way to give your hair smoothness and shine is to rinse it with cold water at the end of your shower. This is also great for boosting the circulation in your body and hence blood and nutrient flow to your scalp.
The main thing to remember is that although your hair is dead you do need to treat it and your scalp gently. It is recommended that you use haircare products that are free from sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate (SLS). SLS dissolves the natural protective oils in your scalp and has been linked to skin dryness, skin irritation, eye irritation, hair damage and liver toxicity. Please note, a product does not need to foam to clean. Go for products containing natural gels and oils and naturally derived surfactants (cleaning agents).
Another group of ingredients to avoid in haircare is silicones such as dimethicone and cyclomethicone (any ingredient ending in ‘cone’). These can coat your hair and cause residue build-up. Silicones are non-biodegradable and are a toxin that can disrupt your immune system if they get inside your body.
Lastly, avoid products that contain alcohol (generally ingredients that end in ‘ol’). Ingredients such as ethanol, SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol denat, Propanol, Propyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol can dry out your hair, especially if you have curly hair. Propylene glycol is a humectant (attracts water to the hair), but it is petroleum derived and has been linked to dry skin, skin rashes and immune system and brain toxicity.
How to Grow Great Hair & Prevent Hair Loss
Keep your blood sugar levels constant
Eat smaller amounts more often. Eating 3 small to average sized meals a day with good sized snacks in between helps to keep your blood sugar levels constant. This gives your body the energy fuel it needs to function effectively and regenerate tissues and cells.
The core of your hair is made up of protein fibres so you need to give your body the building blocks to make these. Eat quality protein 2 or 3 times a day and remember that this is not just meat. While meat is a good protein source too much of it can begin to have a negative impact on your body. Eat the best quality, least processed meat you can (choose quality over quantity) and ideally eat red meat only 3 or 4 times a week. Sources of protein include nuts, eggs, beans, lentils, seeds, chicken, fish, seafood, turkey, spirulina, quinoa, venison and beef. Most protein sources also contain iron which boosts blood-flow to your scalp promoting hair growth.
Consume B Vitamins
A good intake of B vitamins is essential to healthy hair, hair retention (ie preventing hair loss) and good hair colour (ie preventing greying). There are certain things that deplete your body of B vitamins so these are best avoided or consumed in moderation including: nicotine, sugar, white flour products, alcohol and caffeine.
B vitamins are found in whole unprocessed foods such as meat, tuna, liver, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, beans, leafy green vegetables, brewer’s yeast and molasses.
Did you know: Beer contains B vitamins, but it is only beneficial in small amounts because alcohol depletes B vitamins. Instead of pouring leftover flat beer down the drain pour it through your hair as a final rinse after shampooing. There’s no guarantees that it will prevent you going grey or bald, but it will make whatever hair you have full and shiny.
A lack of zinc can cause your scalp to be dry and flaky. Lack of zinc also causes the hair follicles to become weak causing strands of hair to break or fall out. Sources of zinc include red meat, pumpkin seeds, oysters, egg yolks, wheatgerm, oats, sesame seeds, lentils, brown rice, figs, chickpeas, alfalfa sprouts, parsley, ginger and watercress. Foods from animal sources (red meat, oysters etc) contain by far the highest and most bioavailable sources of zinc.
Men who are sexually active need even greater amounts of zinc as a lot is lost through semen ejaculation.
Get Good Fats
Eating omega 3 essential fatty acids and healthy oils such as cold-pressed coconut, olive and sesame oil help to lubricate your hair leaving it soft and smooth. Omega 3 can be found in:
- oily fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna
- grass-fed, greens eating beef, game and chicken
- chia seeds, flaxseeds, hempseeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts
One of the biggest hair related concerns for men is the loss of it. Factors that contribute to hair loss include iron deficiency, B vitamin deficiency, stress, illness, family background and age. After the age of thirty the hair regrowth for both men and women starts to slow down. Hereditary baldness is more common in men than women because it is related to levels of testosterone. It is caused not by more hair falling out, but by less hair growing to replace it.
While you can’t change your genes, there are things that you can do to promote vitality in your body and slow your biological clock. Managing stress effectively is a learned skill and goes a long way to improving your general health as well as maintaining hair regrowth. Feeding your body a high nutrient diet helps to prevent illness and provide your body with the building blocks it needs to keep producing new healthy tissue and cells for hair.
In addition to this, one of the best and easiest things that you can do to help prevent hair loss is massage your scalp. This improves blood flow which brings the nutrients to your hair follicles and helps unclog the pores on your scalp. It is also great for relieving stress.
You can massage your head when you shampoo your hair, or apply a few drops of massage oil to your fingertips and massage your scalp before you go to bed. All you need to do is use the pads of your fingers to make small, firm circles all over the scalp from the forehead to the base of the skull. Be sure to move the scalp around as much as possible to help relax the underlying muscles. To make a massage oil blend 1-2 drops of essential oil with one teaspoon of either coconut, olive or jojoba oil. Good essential oils to use for scalp massage include: lavender oil, rosemary oil and patchouli.
You can also use a natural bristle hairbrush with rounded ball tips to gently tap all over your scalp.
Alternatively, treat yourself to a professional head massage every few weeks.
The basics for keeping your hair in good condition are the same as for keeping your skin and body in good condition: make time for relaxation, develop a positive mindset, eat nutritious natural food (including significant amounts of protein and unprocessed fats) and be active every day.