I cut off a chunk of my hair for the sake of science.
As someone with very fine hair (and not a lot of it), I've tried every extension variety to make it appear fuller throughout the years. Being on TV, it's important for me to be able to enhance what I have. From tape-in to clip-in and bonded extensions, I've tried them all, but while I love the way they look, they're really just temporary bandaids for a bigger problem. I've taken different types of skin, hair and nail supplements since I was young, but always remained skeptical of their efficacy until now thanks to science.
(Here's a post I wrote on Everything You Need to Know About Hair Extensions.)
Each strand of your hair represents soft body tissue containing a permanent record of your body’s nutritional deficiencies and/or excesses that makes up your metabolic profile. When I learned that Nutrafol came out with a hair mineral analysis that helps identify what could be inhibiting healthy hair growth, I jumped at the opportunity to test it out.
I get blood tests done yearly to make sure my vegan lifestyle allows for enough B12 and iron, but this is completely different. I learned that a blood test is a snapshot of your physiology at that given moment, whereas the hair mineral analysis shows a nutritional record over a period of time (throughout the life of the hair) so patterns can be identified.
During a visit to their NYC offices, I had a piece of hair cut to be sent off and tested. I have to admit, I kind of freaked out when I saw how much hair they needed to cut from the root. It was a lot more than I expected and for me, every strand counts! However, for the sake of better hair and this blog post, I sucked it up and off a chunk of my hair went to a testing lab. Mind you, my hair is glossed and this should be done on virgin hair, so my report is skewed a bit.
A few weeks later, after receiving my hair mineral analysis, Nutrafol's Naturopathic Doctor, Melissa Anzelone, called to talk through her findings and gave some very valuable nutrition recommendations. Overall, she noticed patterns of malabsorbtion and stress, both of which prohibit healthy hair growth. Here were her recommendations:
I am so careful with my food pairing and supplement intake, that it was disappointing to hear that my body wasn't absorbing nutrients properly. I look at food as medicine and have always thought I was giving it everything it needed, but if those ingredients aren't being fully absorbed, my body won't function at its optimal level. When it comes to my hair, it's super important that I'm absorbing the supplements (like Nutrafol) that I'm taking in order to achieve the results I desire.
Dr. Anzelone recommended I switch up my probiotic, because just like with shampoo and your hair, your body can get used to probiotics. She recommended Pure Formulas Probiotic Synergy and switching brands every six months.
Then, to aid further in the malabsorption, she also recommended taking a digestive enzyme, specifically Integrative Therapeutics Similase, with each meal for three months to help my body break down food.
While many of you might not suffer from malabsorbtion, I'm almost certain we all suffer from stress! I found it interesting to learn that stress greatly affects healthy hair growth. When a hair folicle is inflamed due to stress, it can disrupt its environment and make your growth cycle off balance.
Dr. Anzelone recommended the herb ashwagandha, which is a stress regulator found in Nutrafol. For me, she recommended I take an additional amount by adding a few drops of this into water each day.
After doing the hair mineral analysis, I found it intriguing to learn that Nutrafol was working, but it could work more optimally if I added a few supplements to my diet. I appreciate wellness from a holistic point of view and believe that adding these supplements will do more than just make my hair grow in healthier. It's recommended that I do another hair mineral analysis in three months to see the shifts from these changes and reevaluate.