However, there are a few lucky older women who somehow seem to defy age and retain thick,
beautiful hair. But for those of us who are not among those lucky few, there are four easy
steps we can take toward having beautiful hair again.
It is important to keep in mind that after these four steps have been faithfully followed,
it will be necessary for the old damaged, nutrition-starved hair to completely grow out
(and be trimmed off). Thus, the longer the hair length desired, the more time will be
required for the healthy, full hair to grow in and take over.
If hair becomes suddenly thin or bald, a physician should be consulted to ensure that
there is not a medical condition responsible for the sudden hair loss. This may include
an overdose of vitamin A, high fever, toxic drugs or medications, thyroid or pituitary
gland disorders, and pregnancy. Even after the medical condition has been remedied,
hair may continue to fall out for 3 or 4 months.
THE 4 STEPS TO GORGEOUS HAIR
Step 1 - Avoid harsh chemicals
Any harsh chemicals, such as perms or permanent coloring are guaranteed to damage hair to
some extent, regardless of the skill of the hairdresser and the quality of the chemicals
being applied. Fine, aging hair becomes dry and brittle from chemical damage or excessive
heat far easier than young, healthy hair. Thus, for styling, use soft sponge rollers.
For coloring, use a non-damaging semi-permanent hair color that lasts 2 to 3 months, such
as "Ion Brilliance" or other similar semi-permanent hair color.
To hide the gray in my hair, I use an after-shampoo, rub-in cocktail mix of Ion Brilliance,
instant coffee, and "Fanci-full" temporary hair color. The recipe can be found in the next
article regarding hair health.
Step 2 - Nutrition
Growing healthy hair.
A. The inexpensive "hair vitamin" called Maxi-hair by Country Life is
guaranteed to add fullness and strength to hair at any age. Skeptical at first, I tried
this myself, and it has worked wonders (see long-hair photo above). I bought mine from
SwansonVitamins.com for about $14 (90 tablets). The bottle lasts 45 days. Take one tablet
each morning and another each evening. Since hair typically grows about 1/2 inch per month,
allow a few months for results to be very visible.
B. Another "hair vitamin" I take is called "Hair Essentials" by
NaturalWellbeing.com and costs about $25 per 90-capsule-bottle if 6 bottles are ordered.
The instructions on each bottle recommends 3 per day, but I take 2, so a bottle lasts me
But because both of the above-described hair vitamins contain vitamin A, I do not take
any other multi-vitamin pills, because too much vitamin A is not good for anyone.
C. Eating nutritional yeast helps hair. The natural food product called
nutritional yeast is packed full of the B-group vitamins, which are absolutely essential
for hair growth. In her book, "Body Fuel," author Donna Shryer states that the
B-complex vitamins abundant in nutritional yeast make hair grow healthier, fuller, and
softer. Additionally, Shryer informs readers that vitamin B9 (also called folic acid or
folate) which is abundant in nutritional yeast, also nourishes the hair. Available in the
refrigerated food section of most health food stores, nutritional yeast is commonly sold
in flake or powder form. Take 1 to 2 tablespoons daily to promote healthy hair growth.
Buy in bulk and keep it frozen to retain potency. Nutritional yeast can be mixed with
salad dressings, dips, or stirred into a glass of cold water. Vegan (non-dairy, non meat)
"cheese" sauces are usually made with nutritional yeast, because of its
mild cheesy flavor.
D. Low (or no) consumption or absorption of L-Lysine, an amino acid, can contribute to
hair loss, but this can be averted by consuming adequate amounts of legumes (beans,
peas, and lentils). Healthy hair growth is further promoted by the consumption of leafy
green vegetables and yellow or orange fruits. Non-refined, non-processed carbohydrates
(whole foods) are essential for healthy, beautiful hair, such as vegetables, fruits, whole
grains, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. Yahoo Contributor, Linda McCloud, teaches that
spinach, fish, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts, and broccoli are foods that
promote healthy hair growth.
E. To maximize absorption of nutrients, take a probiotic capsule, available at most
health food stores. Additionally, papaya enzyme and bromelain further enhance the body's
absorption of nutrients.
F. Reversing gray hair with nutrition. Two minerals that have the ability to reverse
gray hair are zinc and copper, but should be consumed from a natural source to avoid
overdose, according to the Hippocrates Health Institute. Copper is abundant in sesame seeds,
raw cashews, cooked soybeans, barley, sunflower seeds, tempeh, garbanzo beans, and navy
beans. Good sources of zinc are peanuts, legumes, whole grains, brown rice, and
potatoes. To absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from food, eat them raw (when
reasonable) . Raw foods are packed with enzymes, which are special types of proteins
that break down the foods we eat into molecules that our bodies are able to absorb, and
thus sustain life,. Some foods, such as sweet potatoes and legumes must be cooked
prior to consumption, but many fruits and vegetables can be consumed raw.
Step 3 - Hair care
Brushing hair. Taking care of one's hair, especially aging hair, is extremely
important in maintaining beautiful hair that has natural softness and silkiness. Always
use a soft-bristle brush to prevent breakage and tearing of the hair. Wet hair must be
brushed with great care, because it is especially vulnerable to damage and tearing. Always
brush hair gently, and have patience when brushing tangles out to not pull, stretch, or
Pulling or tightening hair. Never pull on hair or wear a hair style that causes
"tight" hair, such as tight curlers, braids, cornrows, and hair weaves,
according to Yahoo Contributor, D. Swain. Swain teaches us that tension (pulling) on
hair can lead to hair loss.
Excessive heat. Excessive heat from a hair blower or hot curling iron can damage
aging hair. Use medium to low heat when blow-drying aging hair. Use sponge rollers to curl
rather than a hot curling iron. In the above photo (top-right), the hair was blown dry on
medium heat, immediately followed by placing all the hair into a single sponge roller on
top of the head, overnight. The blow drying and sponge-curling took only 8 or 9 minutes.
Step 4 - Make hair healthier and thicker
Exercise and nutrition. Hair can actually grow healthier, thicker, and longer
with proper nutrition and exercise, according to Yahoo Contributor, Linda McCloud. McCloud
states that aerobic exercise increases circulation which improves the health of hair
follicles, thus promoting healthier, thicker hair.
Reverse thin hair and balding. To quickly remedy thinning hair and/or balding,
two products are available, which have been proven to reverse hair loss and to make
hair thicker: (1) minoxidil and (2) procyanidin, . Minoxidil (topically applied)
has been available for many years and can be purchased at most large discount stores
(i.e. Walmart) for about $6 or $7 for a one month's supply. Procyanidin is a fruit
extract, commonly from grape seeds, and even more abundant in the skins of apples,
and is available in the form of daily capsules from Apple Poly (www.ApplePoly.com), but
is more expensive than minoxidil. However, in studies, procyanidin actually produced hair
with a thicker hair shaft diameter (youthful hair), meaning that the hair was stronger,
less brittle, and more resistant to damage from chemicals and harsh handling.
In summary, good nutrition and proper hair care can make the difference between thin, brittle,
breakable hair and soft, full and beautiful hair, according to the "Encyclopedia of
Aging and Public Health." If hair remains excessively thin after implementing good
nutrition and hair care, adding either topical minoxidil or daily capsules of procyanidin
can help to return hair to a thickness and fullness perhaps not seen in years.
 "Geriatric Medicine" by Drs. Cassel, Leipzig, and Cohen
 "American Journal of Physical Anthropology", Wiley-Liss, Inc., Vol. 8 Iss.
3, 7 Jun 2005
 "Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy" by Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories
 The Hair Boutique: http://www.hairboutique.com/tips/tip8078.htm
 "Encyclopedia of Aging and Public Health"; "Hair Care"
chapter by Dr. Jannatfay Clark
 Univ. of Maryland Med. Ctr: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/lysine-000312.htm
 "Handbook of Nutrition and diet" by B. B. Desai
 Better Living: http://www.betterliving.co.nz
 "Body Fuel: A Guide to Good Nutrition" by Donna Shryer
 "Ask The Experts" June 28, 2007 issue by Hippocrates Health Institute
 World's Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=53
 Nutritional Supplement Health Guide:
 Hippocrates Health Institute: http://www.hippocratesinst.org
 Encyclopedia Brittanica: http://www.britannica.com
 Hair Loss Advisor: http://www.myhairlossadvisor.com/recommended-hair-loss-treatments.html
 "An Apple a Day: Health Benefits of Apples" by M.L. Devon, Associated Content
 "British Journal of Dermatology" 2002 Jan; 146(1):41-51, Kamimura and Takahashi
 Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 15 Iss. 4, 8 Jun 2001, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.