The growing popularity of natural hairstyles for people with 4C hair doesn’t just reflect a changing aesthetic — it has promising implications for women’s health.
1. Use hair-growth, like collagen and biotin.
These two ingredients help promote hair health and growth by providing the body with all the right nutrients. Hair is made of the protein keratin, which has an amino acid profile including cysteine, serine, glutamic acid, glycine, and proline.
Both collagen and biotin supplements have high amounts of many of these amino acids, meaning the supplements provide the body with the building blocks of hair.* Research backs this up, too, as studies show taking these supplements supported hair growth.
Biotin is perhaps most famous for its healthy-hair benefits, as it’s one of the main actives in a lot of hair-growth supplements, “Thinning hair and hair loss are very common symptoms and can be supported with the addition of biotin.* This is especially true if you have low levels of biotin—which has been shown to lead to hair loss, functional medicine practitioner and Collective member William Cole, D.C., tells mbg. You can get tested for biotin deficiencies by your doctor. “Additionally, biotin is believed to naturally promote healthy hair growth because it is involved in the production of keratin, the main component of hair.
As for collagen, it can further help hair growth by supporting the scalp in the same way that collagen can help manage skin health overall. (The scalp is skin, after all.) Hydrolyzed collagen peptides encourage the body’s natural production of collagen, which is then delivered to the rest of the body—including the scalp.
2. Clean the scalp properly.
If you’re looking for hair growth, start at the source: the scalp. First off, a chronically inflamed scalp—caused by scalp tension, buildup, oxidative stress, and scalp conditions like dermatitis—can lead to hair loss or thinning. In fact, one study showed that inflammation caused by pollution and oxidative stress is one of the main causes of hair loss in adults.
This happens because the inflammation starts to close off the hair follicle, limiting growth and eventually leading to shedding. “This inflammation will affect the quality of your hair growth. It happens when you have product, dirt, and oil building up around your follicle opening—which is where your hair grows out of—and that buildup starts to slowly suffocate your hair root,” says trained trichology’s and hairstylist.
First up, make sure you are regularly washing your scalp with gentle washes. “While shampooing, massage the scalp to increase the flow of blood, relieve stress, and stimulate hair follicles. It’s a win-win!” says hairstylist Miko Branch. Additionally, regular massages have been shown to promote hair growth. Scalp massages encourage blood circulation to the area, which helps deliver vital nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicle. (Learn how to give yourself a tension-relieving scalp massage here.)
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