5 Natural Ways to Maintain Hair and Hair Color

5 Natural Ways to Maintain Hair and Hair Color

Seeing more of your hair end up on your brush or in your sink rather than on your head can be unsettling. As your luxurious mane seems to thin out, more often than not it is changing color as well.

Most hair eventually turns gray and then you have the annoying choice of dyeing it or letting it take ten years off your age. Either way it seems like a lose-lose, however, these 5 natural ways to maintain hair and hair color just may help. Simple remedies that over time have been known to reverse how your hair may be responding to your diet, lifestyle or the result of aging.

Indian Gooseberry

You may not have heard of Indian Gooseberry aka Amla derived from an edible fruit found growing in India and Myanmar. The oil from this fruit is extracted when it is soaked in a carrier oil, such as coconut, which absorbs the healing compounds. Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, alma oil has been shown to ward off microscopic parasites that may weaken hair.

An Indian study as reported by Healthline stated that,

“…researchers looked at the ability of amla and other herbal hair oils to improve hair health and boost growth in rabbits and rats. They placed patches containing amla oil in various concentrations on the animals’ fur and monitored fur growth for 15 days. They found amla oil to cause “significant” and rather rapid fur growth, and made fur healthier.”

Alma oil can be found in good health food stores as well as various beauty products. Apply to the scalp and massage in every day. Look for the most potent formula and if it is mixed with water make sure there is at least 7.5% alma oil in the ingredients. There are no reported side effects however the smell may be strong for some. If this is the case, use on your scalp at night with a shower cap on to protect linens, then rinse out in the morning. 

Bee Pollen

When bees return to the hive they are covered in pollen. As each one squeezes through honeycombs some of the pollen is scraped off falling to a collector tray. Beekeepers then gather this bee pollen and market it for all sorts of healing remedies including hair growth and color rejuvenation. The compound found in bee pollen that is believed to assist hair is propolis.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) reports on a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which stated,

“When the researchers tested propolis on mice that had been shaved or waxed, the mice that received the treatment regrew their fur faster than those that didn’t. The scientists also noticed that after the topical application, the number of special cells involved in the process of growing hair increased.”

Observational studies also suggest that when high potency bee pollen capsules are taken daily for upwards of six months to one year, hair color (and many other additional health benefits such as fatigue and prostate health) are significantly improved. Do not take bee pollen if you are allergic to bees or honey. Raw granules are good on cereal or alone however concentrated capsules may be more well absorbed.

Supplemental Trio

Sometimes all you need is a nutritional boost to enhance your hair growth and strength. Some suggest the supplement trio of:

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Biotin

This mineral/vitamin mix has been linked to various hair essentials that when systemically low could cause direct or peripheral hair loss side effects.

Low iron can result in the condition anemia which may make you fatigued as well as lose your hair. Zinc can also show low results through hair and nail weakening. A simple blood test can determine your zinc and iron levels and if you are diagnosed with anemia a supplement could be prescribed.

The study, ‘Iron Plays a Certain Role in Patterned Hair Loss’ published in The Journal of Korean Medical Science concluded that,

“This study owns its value because it demonstrates the first direct comparison between hair loss patients and same number of healthy controls matched by age and sex. It strongly supports the previous studies that ID [iron deficiency] can be a certain factor of developing or worsening FPHL [female pattern hair loss] especially in premenopausal female patients.”

Taking iron and zinc supplements on your own could cause gastrointestinal distress so follow medical advice if doing so. In the meantime, keep these minerals coming naturally by eating more dark leafy greens, legumes (beans, lentils), pistachios, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and tofu.

Biotin is a water soluble B vitamin that some call vitamin H. Aside from assisting with energy production biotin is also linked to healthy hair, skin and nails.

“One 2015 study, women with thinning hair were given an oral marine protein supplement (MPS) containing biotin or a placebo pill twice per day for 90 days. At the beginning and end of the study, digital images were taken of the affected areas on the scalp. Each participant’s hair was also washed and any shed hairs were counted. The researcher found that women who took an MPS experienced a significant amount of hair growth in the areas affected by hair loss. They also had less shedding.”

The same researchers of this study showed improved hair growth when biotin supplements were taken within 90-180 days.

Healthline recommends these biotin-rich foods,

  • bananas
  • egg yolk
  • cauliflower
  • mushrooms
  • whole grains
  • soybeans and other legumes
  • nuts, such as almonds, peanuts, and walnuts

Try some of these 5 natural ways to maintain hair and hair color. In addition, if you must dye, try some natural options first as the accumulation of synthetic hair dye has been linked to adverse health effects. Some of these may include henna, tea, and herbs like rosemary, sage, nettle, cloves, cinnamon, black walnut hulls, and comfrey root.