If you feel like you’re shedding more hair lately, it’s not just you. Dry air and icy temperatures make winter prime time for hair loss. Luckily, restoring volume is easy and has bonus health benefits.
Add in sandalwood.
This oil is rich in a compound (santalol) that boosts the scalp’s production of growth hormones by 30 percent in six days, British research suggests. These hormones are key for hair health, says dermatologist Ralf Paus, MD, because they help follicles stay in their active growth phase longer. Just add 4 drops to your daily dollop of shampoo. Bonus: Breathing in the scent of sandalwood prompts the release of calming alpha brain waves, which Japanese scientists say soothes tension in 2 minutes.
They brim with copper and vitamin B-5, nutrients that energize follicles to increase hair thickness by up to 35 percent, University of Connecticut researchers say. Another plus: The fruit’s healthy plant fats prod the brain to release mood-boosting serotonin, cutting the risk of winter blues by up to 70 percent if you enjoy one daily, Chinese scientists say.
Sip bamboo leaf tea.
This mild, earthy-sweet brew has up to 10 times more of the hair-nourishing mineral silica than any other tea. No wonder Brazilian scientists say sipping a mug daily ups hair thickness by as much as 33 percent. Another benefit: Dermatologist Jean Ortonne, MD, says silica heals sensitive skin, preventing redness and itching.
Taking 2,000 mg. of fish oil daily can halt winter hair loss, plus encourage the growth of thicker hair for 86 percent of women studied, research in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found. Thanks goes to fish oil’s omega-3 fats, which boost nutrient rich blood flow to the scalp while soothing follicle damaging inflammation. More good news: Fish oil ups your focus and pep by 55 percent in eight weeks, say Norwegian researchers. Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.