Healthy hair -- a fun quiz and some information to review

By Caroltoo Latest Reply 2011-12-29 18:58:35 -0600
Started 2011-12-27 12:09:10 -0600

Most of us have issues with thining or less than healthy hair at some time during our experience with diabetes. Here is a fun, 5 question, basic quiz about hair health, followed by some other information and recipes you may want to look at.

All items can be reached by doing the quiz. The subsequent links are for those of you who want to skip the quiz and look at the information or recipes.

Quiz: how much do you know about healthy hair?

Information about your hair:

Best foods for healthy hair:

Recipes for healthier hair:

28 replies

dietcherry 2011-12-29 12:09:29 -0600 Report

Alright I have time to list all this now. There are a few supplements to start off with in achieving healthier hair. Everyone feel free to add to this list if you know of more.

Iron—very important to the health of our hair and even if your not anemic, low iron levels can cause hair loss and affect regrowth. Be careful taking iron supplements as you can potentially overload on it.

Lysine—this is the most difficult amino acid to get from our diet. 90% of women with thinning hair are deficient in iron and lysine. Lysine helps transport iron in the body so if you are taking an iron supplement be sure to take lysine also.

Biotin—a deficiency of this B vitamin can result in brittle hair and nails.

Zinc—contributes to stronger hair.

Calcium—an important mineral for hair growth.

Protein—without adequate protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak and brittle hair. A profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color.

Evening Primrose Oil—one of the most concentrated sources of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) an essential fatty acid thats aids in preventing further loss of hair and encourages regrowth. You can also use black currant oil.

Flaxseed Oil—is rich in ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) and makes hair shiny and your complexion healthy.

Coconut Oil—comprised of lauric, capric, and caprylic acids, coconut oil has a high affinity for hair proteins and because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate the hair shaft. It discourages loss of protein and moisture.

I discovered a wonderful product line that really works to regrow hair! It is called Doo Gro and you can find in the ethnic hair section of the shampoo aisle at Walmart or online at Amazon. I use the Mega Thick Growth Oil and saturate my scalp and hair with it. Now you obviously cant go out of the house looking like this so I use it before bedtime and wash it out in the morning.
Ladies it works! I experienced new growth within the first month and it also speeds up the growth of pre-existing hair. So if you color your hair like I do you will need to touch-up your color more often!

Young1s 2011-12-29 14:27:12 -0600 Report

Thanks Renee. This is some great info. The issue with my hair is overuse of the ponytail. I have been wearing some form of ponytail for at least five years now. As a result the middle portion of my hair, the part not seen through the ponytail, was breaking off really badly. I tried numerous haircare products but nothing helped the situation. It finally darned on me that the only time that section of hair got any real moisture, was when I washed/conditioned it. Otherwise, it was just getting brushed/covered over. Once I started addressing that, I noticed a change for the better. It has grown back somewhat and but I must admit to still wearing the ponytail, more often than not.

I never thought about looking into the various supplements that may affect hair growth. I just thought that I wasn't getting enough calcium in my diet. But the lack of proper vitamins/supplements in my system falls right in line with my past health issues. But it makes sense because, what's going on inside our bodies, is reflected through the outside. The whole looking as good as you feel scenario. While I am taking some vitamins daily, none of them are the ones you mentioned above. But I'll be looking into those real soon.

I just have two question. The first is about the three oils you mentioned. Are you referring to ingestible forms of the oils or strictly topical? And the second question/statement is about Vitamin E. I beleive I read something yearrs ago about it being good for your hair and nails. It slipped my mind completely until I read your post. Have you heard anything like that?

dietcherry 2011-12-29 14:59:46 -0600 Report

Hey doll!

The Evening primrose Oil and Flaxseed Oil are to be taken orally. Coconut oil can be used orally or topically; it is the only oil that can penetrate the hair shaft so will feed your hair from the outside and help in retaining protein and moisture, vital to the health of our hair.
The only thing I know about hair and Vitamin E is that it works from the inside to make your hair soft. Great for some people but makes my hair a bit hard to style.

Please get rid of the ponytail! It can widen your part and eventually the hair may not grow back! Look in to the Doo Gro line at Walmart; the stuff is fantastic!!

Young1s 2011-12-29 15:09:09 -0600 Report

I don't part it, I just brush it all back. But I know you're right, of course. It's wrecking havoc on my hairline as well, as far as thinning it out is concerned. I guess I can give the Doo Gro another try, if the product line has improved. I tried some years ago but couldn't stand the medicated scent.

dietcherry 2011-12-29 17:25:02 -0600 Report

I only use the Mega Thick Growth Oil and out of all the oils in it, the only one my nose detects is the sweet almond oil, which I love! I cant comment on the other products having a medicated smell as Ive yet to try any of them. Did the line help you grow hair?

Young1s 2011-12-29 17:56:21 -0600 Report

It's possible but I can't say for sure. I stopped using it after a few weeks. Plus, this had to have been about 10-15 years ago. A lot of hairstyle, products and damage have happened to my hair since then. But I'm willing to give it another try. Thanks again for the info.

Caroltoo 2011-12-29 13:46:27 -0600 Report

Thank you, Renee. I shall definitely look for Doo Grow when in Wal-Mart this afternoon buying a bicycle. I decided I'm bored with walking my 3 mile path and need variety to keep moving—this way I can bike to the beach in Lanikai!

What I am looking for in hair care is conservation of the remaining active follicles and stimulation of those that can be "restarted". I'm actually thinking my existing hair is healthier than it has been for a number of years…probably because of the vitamins. I'm also am just starting to take a product designed to stimulate blood flow through peripheral circulation and, if that proves helpful, I will share that information here in the future.

I think, personally, I have the vitamin aspect covered with the possible exception of the Alpha Linoleic sources. I've read that it is not recommended for diabetics, so have not supplemented that particular items for several years now. Have you read anything on that? I'm certainly open to input.

Have you used the coconut oil as an external application? I have and liked the result (after washing it out, of course). It's on my list of no-no's for indigestibles because of tx for a cholesterol level of 200.

Young1s 2011-12-29 14:40:11 -0600 Report

Good luck with the new bike Carol. I will probably start doing the same, come this spring. But its about 30 degrees out today and soon to be getting colder. There's no way in heck I'm climbing on a bike any time soon.

I look forward to your findings, if you will, as to how the new product effects your hairgrowth. It stands to reason that because it's promoting better blood flow that it will stimulate or rejuvinate the follicles. It's an interesting notion. By the way, I clearly didn't read your post before I asked Renee my questions about the oils, huh?

dietcherry 2011-12-29 14:26:40 -0600 Report

Youre welcome Carol.

I do use coconut oil in my hair. In my post it states that it penetrates the hair shaft and aids in retaining protein (keratin) and moisture.

ALA is an antioxidant made by the body, found in every cell and helps turn glucose into energy. In turn it helps lower blood sugar levels and fights free radicals which can assist diabetics in combating peripheral neuropathy. Caution is recommended as blood sugar can drop to unsafe levels. I personally have not had this problem.

ALA can also interfere with thyroid-regulating medications so use under supervision of your Dr.

If there is more to the story, I would like to know. :)

Caroltoo 2011-12-29 15:10:36 -0600 Report

Re. ALA: about 6 years ago I was taking an ALA suppliment for weight loss, Several bottles later, and after having developed a real feeling of maliase, I found the most recent purchase from a different source, carried a warning not to use it if diabetic. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that applied to all ALA. Maybe it was the specific formulation and high dosage that was the issue. Gosh, I wish I could remember the name of the product so I could check more specifically. I'll bet it was too strong and caused a ripple effect via the thyroid. This is encouraging!!! ALA may be the missing vitamin for me. Thanks for the input!! Also, my doctor just recommended flax seed to me last night, so that's more input saying ALA is needed.

dietcherry 2011-12-29 17:36:46 -0600 Report

Im assuming it carried that warning because of its capacity to lower blood sugar, perhaps to an unsafe level in people using insulin or other glucose-lowering meds. I should have made that clearer in my first post that caution is advised if you are using insulin or meds. Otherwise it should be safe.
Since I think I remember you posting that you are controlled without meds now, I suspect you should be okay using ALA, and especially since your Dr recommended flaxseed to you.
Hope you find this to be the missing piece to your puzzle!

Caroltoo 2011-12-29 18:39:56 -0600 Report

Good thought! That makes sense and it could well be that! Never having had low blood glucose, that probably wouldn't have occurred to me in 2005. I am med. free now for about 2 years, but was taking Actos when this occurred.

I did recall the product name; it was Tonalin in the original formulation which used sunflower oil. Now most Tonalin is based in safflower oil and, the line I previously purchased, has done a name change to Tonalean and added Green Select Phytosomes and Chromium Polynicotinate to the Conjugated Linoleic Acid to stabilize BG and increase glucose sensitivity.

Thanks for helping me process through this. It has puzzled me since I know ALA is recommended and used by many.

Ref being medication free: my doctor told me my readings are no longer diabetic, that I'm down into the "at increased risk of diabetes" range. Hoping to make it to "diabetes free" this coming year, but happy where I am.

dietcherry 2011-12-29 18:54:56 -0600 Report

Ive never had to use a diet supplement so am not familiar with any of them. Great news on your readings! Wish it also meant we were no longer diabetic but alas thats just wishful thinking :(

pixsidust 2011-12-28 21:13:40 -0600 Report

My ex husband used to say to me "Why don't you dye your hair when I notice the gray"? I had to inform him that he did not notice because I did dye my hair.

When I was in my late 30's, my sister went to beauty school to learn to cut hair. I went to her as a client in support of her school efforts. When she was washing my hair she said 'Wow I didn't know anyone in our family had gray hair"! Gee thanks, I said! I have a picture of my gram at age 66 holding my son with nary a gray hair to be seen. My son gave me every strand in his teen years!

As long as I can wash my own hair, I will dye it. Hair dyes are not as harsh as they were of yesteryear as long as you do not bleach it.

Perming causes the worst damage. I permed my hair in the 80's but left alone found I have naturally curly hair.

I use a good handmade shampoo from a seller on Ebay called Essential Oil Shampoo, Stimulates Scalp and Hair Growth. Its made with Clary Sage Oil, Lavender Oil,Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, & JoJoba Oils. I do not know about the growth but it helps my psoriasis of the scalp and leaves my hair so soft. Its not a cure but a delightful shampoo experience. The smell is great too.

Conditioning is daily and I used Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil tingling Conditioner. Then I run a comb through my wet 'dyed" locks, lightly towel dry and then air dry the rest of the way. Sometimes in the day I will mist my hair with curl reviver or instant shine.

I found hair care is an extension of skin care as my scalp is part of the process…and hopefully you will never notice the gray!

MrsCDogg 2011-12-28 04:59:14 -0600 Report

In my 50 years I have discovered somethng about my hair. The less I do to it the healthier it is. The only things I do to my hair is to wash it and let it air dry, and when I get ready to do something around the house I pull it back in a clip to get it out of the way. The infomercial I see about that so called cleansing conditioner is irritating to me. People who use a blow dryer, curling iron, hot rollers, color their hair or bleach it will have less healthy hair. The more stuff you do to your hair the more it will rebel! The only times I've had a problem with my hair is when I tried to make it be something it wasn't. It is long and straight very shiny and healthy. I no longer try to cover the gray but let it sparkle with the rest of my hair. In my opinon, clean helathy, shiny hair is a thing of beauty!

Caroltoo 2011-12-28 10:21:28 -0600 Report

Healthy, shiny hair is definitely a thing of beauty. Unfornately, some of us who take good care of our hair as you indicated, still have other issues which affect it. Glad to hear that has not yet been the case with you. Thanks for sharing your experinece.

dietcherry 2011-12-27 17:11:27 -0600 Report

Thanks for the links Carol! Ive been researching healthy hair for the better part of a year; my formerly shiny medium-thick hair had become dry, brittle, completely unmanageable, and had been shedding for 3-4 years and becoming alarmingly thin! You can see evidence of this in my profile pic.
I was eventually diagnosed with sub-clinical hypothyroidism but in the meantime I discovered some awesome hair products that really do feed your hair from the outside and/or speed growth!
My advice to anyone with hair loss is to have your thyroid level checked; even if your Dr says its low but within normal range, you may be suffering from sub-clinical hypo and having some or all of the symptoms of full-blown hypo.

Caroltoo 2011-12-27 18:57:57 -0600 Report

Mine too. It was very thick, luxurious, and down past my waist.

Actually, Renee, I think it's also linked to our gluten-intolerance because when the intestines' ability to absorb nutrients is compromised by damage to the villi, we don't get the full benefit of the nutritious food and supplements we consume.

So, would you be willing to share the name of those "awesome hair products" you found for the rest of us potential baldies?

I'm sure I've also been hypothyroid cause I would wake up with a temperature around 93 degrees for years. Recently, since getting my digestive system back on track with the g-f diet, it's been back up to 97 degrees upon awakening. I'm beginning to be cautiously optimistic.

dietcherry 2011-12-28 09:54:35 -0600 Report

carol I wanted to send you a private message and it appears we are no longer friends???

Caroltoo 2011-12-28 10:25:32 -0600 Report

It happened back on the second day I was online. I thought you had unfriended me. If not, it's easy to reconnect. I'll send you an invite.

Young1s 2011-12-27 16:11:25 -0600 Report

3/5 Not too bad. Don't tell me I'm gonna have to start drinking more coffee now though. I can't handle more that three or four cups a week. And for anyone who didn't believe the answer to the last quiz question, I'm living proof that it's 100% correct. I've worn my hair in some kind of ponytail for the better part of 5 years straight.

I couldn't open the Best Foods link from above. It kept going to an error page. But I was able to open it from the link at the end of the quiz.

Caroltoo 2011-12-27 19:00:55 -0600 Report

Sorry that one link doesn't work directly, but you are right that you can get to the foods and the recipes from the second link. It's a subscription (free) website, so perhaps it is partially blocked.

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