How To: Stimulate Your Hair Follicles
Does you hair seem to be making no progress? Here are some easy tips to stimulate hair growth.
Like most of us on a Monday morning, sometimes hair follicles need a little help getting stimulated in order to energise our hair’s growth. But what are hair follicles and why do we need to stimulate them?
Hair follicles are tiny, pocket-like holes in our skin that host the root of each hair strand. On our scalp alone, humans can have up to 100,000 follicles! The actual follicle is shaped like a tunnel in the outer layer of the skin (often referred to as the epidermis). Our blood vessels nurture the hair follicle and our head’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) are responsible for nourishing the hair strands once grown.
The average person loses about 70 to 100 strands of hair every day, but this is usually not noticeable because it blends into the natural rhythm of the hair growth cycle. A typical growth cycle consists of three phases: Growing (Anagen), Transition (Catagen), Resting (Telogen).
The growing phase, which determines the length of our hair can last anything between two to seven years. The transitional phase lasts around two to four months, and this is when the hair follicle shrinks. The resting phase lasts between three to four months and that's when the old hair sheds and falls out. The same hair follicle then begins the process of growing a new strand of hair. Each follicle repeats this same cycle.
Even though the process of hair growth and loss is natural, it can feel discouraging to lose hair at a faster rate than seems typical or is noticeable to others.
So, what ways can we stimulate and encourage our hair follicles to remain active and stimulated?
Our blood carries nutrients around the body to fuel and feed areas such as hair follicles so they can function. Massaging the scalp is a great way of stimulating blood flow, so it’s time to start getting your hands moving!
If you’ve ever had your hair washed in a salon, you’ve probably experienced one before. You can also pay specifically for a scalp massage, but they’re fairly easy to replicate yourself.
You can do one whilst washing your hair and lathering your shampoo, or when you’ve got a hair mask or oil on. Although not essential when massaging, a little moisture from these lotions and liquids can help with sustaining the motion of the massage. If you suffer from a dry scalp, you develop a layer of dead skin cells that prevents the natural regrowth cycle of your hair too, so massaging using a hair mask/or shampoo can encourage the dead skin cells to shed.
Use your fingertips of both hands to apply a light to medium pressure to the scalp, moving in small circular motions. Work your way across the entire scalp, and for around 5-10 minutes every day.
Use specifically designed products
Alongside daily massages, you need to be using targeted products, specifically the right shampoo. Guided by regenerative medicine experts, Cel’s Microstem Shampoo is a scientifically formulated mix of ingredients that work to stimulate follicles, which promotes the growth of healthier, thicker-look hair. Loaded with biotin, which is critical to numerous functions within the body, this shampoo will support cell growth, metabolism and cell repair.
Up your protein
Protein is the basis of good hair, but surprisingly many of us don’t consume enough of it. However, it’s worth prioritising because it plays an incredibly important part of cell regeneration, as well as multiple other bodily functions. Because the body needs and uses protein so much, it sends all that we eat to the most important areas first (like our muscles), and little is left to nourish our hair as the body doesn’t deem it as essential.
You can find protein in eggs, almonds, fish, lean meat, cottage cheese, oats, greek yogurt, broccoli, quinoa, lentils, pumpkin seeds and peanuts so try to introduce more of these food items into your diet.
You can also supplement protein. Look for protein-specific supplements that contain amino acids (the smallest unit of protein) as these will be the easiest for your body to distribute.
Skin, Nail, and Hair Supplements
Biotin (otherwise known as Vitamin B7, or sometimes Vitamin H) is probably the most important supplement when it comes to fuelling our follicles. Taking daily hair growth supplements that contain biotin, and that is advertised for hair skin and nails, can really help to strengthen and improve the durability of growing hairs which helps prevent hair loss.
Consuming enough biotin helps your body utilise the proteins you ingest and directs them to all essential and non-essential tissue - your hair being the latter according to the body.
Check in with your hormones
Cortisol, oestrogen, and your thyroid’s activity can all play a role in hair loss and thinning if they’re out of sync in the body.
Cortisol is our stress hormone, so if we’re experiencing a prolonged period of stress or worry, this sustained spike of cortisol can cause our follicles to work slower or stop their growth cycle completely. An over or under-active thyroid can wreak havoc on the whole body, including the hair growth cycle too, as the body is experiencing high levels of oestrogen.
If you suspect you might have any of these issues, talk them through with your doctor.