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HAIR AND NAIL DISORDERS

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Although hair loss is a more prominent problem in men, women are nearly as likely to lose, or have thinning, hair. Most men and women notice it in their 50s or 60s, but it can happen at any age and for a variety of reasons. Hair that is dry, greasy or brittle and lank can be caused by nutrient deficiency or imbalance or an underlying ailment. Finding the cause is important.

HAIR GROWTH

Hair grows in three different cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. About 90% of the hair on the head is in the anagen, or growth phase, which lasts anywhere from 3-6 years. The catagen, or transition phase, typically lasts 1-2 weeks, during which the hair follicle shrinks. During the telogen cycle, which lasts around 5-6 weeks, the hair rests. Then the hair is lost and the new hair begins to form.

Human Hair Growth

A majority of the time the hair is on the scalp, it is growing. Only about 10% of the strands are in transition or resting at any one time. Hair grows about 6 inches a year for most people.


Most people lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair each day. On the days when hair is washed 250 strands can be lost but avoiding washing the hair will not avoid this as the hairs will fall out anyway,

Men’s hair tends to recede from the forehead or the crown of the head, women tend to notice thinning on the top third to one half of the scalp. Sometimes women’s frontal line stays intact.

If the hair loss is not due to the normal aging process it could be caused by a disorder of the thyroid gland or an autoimmune disease which should be tested for first.

Magnification of the scalp can show if hair follicles vary in size, with some thick and others thin. These are two signs of hereditary pattern hair loss called androgenetic alopecia. This hereditary happens to about 50% of men and women in their 50’s and 60’s but can happen at any age.

Each time a normal hair follicle is shed, it is replaced by hair that is equal in size. But in people with hereditary pattern hair loss, the new hair is finer and thinner. The hair follicles are shrinking and eventually they stop producing hair altogether.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT AFFECT THE HAIR

If hair follicles are uniform in size, or if the hair loss is sudden, it is likely to be caused by something other than heredity, like any of the following medical conditions:
 

Hair loss can occur within a couple of weeks to six months after any of these experiences.

Vitiligo is a condition which can also affect the hair and cause it to turn grey where normal pigmentation has been lost due to destruction of the pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin. See natural remedies for vitiligo.

HORMONES

A woman's hormones can begin to decline and lose balance as early as the 30's. One of the most upsetting examples of this imbalance is hair growth appearing on the upper lip or chin, or a coarsening of hair on the rest of the body while the hair on the head thins. This is most likely the result of excessive dihydrotestosterone (DHT) conversion. Although oestrogen is the primary hormone of women, they also produce testosterone and other androgens such as dihydrotestosterone which is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal cortex from cholesterol.

As the body ages, women may begin to convert these androgens to DHT just as men do. Women with a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome tend to have higher levels of testosterone and DHT than other women, and may be more susceptible to this excessive conversion. Saw Palmetto berry can prevent the over production of dihydrotestosterone.

Women can suffer from significant hair loss related to low thyroid hormones, with redheads particularly at risk. The hormones produced by the thyroid are responsible for metabolism. The thyroid hormones control the efficiency and speed at which cells work. Every cell in the body including the hair depends on proper thyroid function for development. If thyroid production is insufficient, hair growth will slow and hair will eventually thin.

CANCER TREATMENTS

A common result of radiation treatment for cancerous tumours is hair fall. In order to help rid the body of radiation there are some foods that can help. Please see Radiation and Chemotherapy on the Cancer page.

STRESS

Excessive physical or emotional stress associated with illness, injury and trauma may cause the hair to stop growing and enter a period of dormancy which is followed two or three months later by the hair falling out. When physical or emotional equilibrium is regained, hair will again begin to grow, usually about 6 to 9 months later.

SELF INFLICTED HAIR DAMAGE

Another way to thin hair is self-inflicted, towel drying aggressively when the hair is wet, brushing too much, tying back hair too tightly especially in plaits (known as traction alopecia), hair dyes, bleaching, chemical treatments, bad brushes, blow dryers, hot curling tongs, crimpers and hair straighteners can result in damage to scalp and hair follicles and breakage. Luckily, for most of these issues, the hair grows back or the loss can be reversed once the practise is stopped unless the damage has left scarring.

Many people wash their hair everyday which will cause drying and breakages because the natural protective oils produced by the body are removed. If long hair is desired then hair should only be washed every three to four days or less if very dry.

Allowing hair to dry naturally will promote healthy thick hair. Hair dryers seriously damage the condition of the hair.

The old wives' tale that hair should be brushed a100 times a day will do great damaged to hair and stimulate oil production making it necessary to wash hair too often.

Sodium lauryl sulphate is a chemical ingredient found in most hair shampoos. As well as having toxic effects on the immune system, it also corrodes hair follicles and impedes hair growth. After shampooing the hair this chemical stays in the body for up to five days and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, brain and lungs. A baby shampoo with no harsh chemicals or a natural home made shampoo will help keep hair in good condition and promote growth.

Certain medications such as steroids, chemotherapy and chemicals also have the potential to stop hair from being formed properly and over consumption of a vitamin A supplement can cause hair loss.

Hair dyes not only cause drying and weakening of hair, there are also cacogenic chemicals, in some popular brands, which can be absorbed by the skin and are particular harmful when they come into contact with cigarette smoke or pollution even weeks after application.

Natural henna is a good alternative to use to dye the hair darker and lightening hair should be done naturally without bleach. Sunlight, lemon, honey and coconut oil can lighten the hair over time but patience is required.

Mix a tablespoon of honey with a tablespoon of melted coconut oil and add half the juice of one lemon. Comb the mixture through the hair then sit in the sun for thirty minutes or until mixture has dried. Then wash with a natural gentle shampoo and conditioner and allow to dry naturally. After a few weeks the hir will have become a significantly lighter shade.

SPLIT ENDS

This condition is medically known as trichoptilosis and is caused by thermal, mechanical or chemical stress that wears away the protective outer layer of the hair cuticle. Lack of proper nourishment and moisture can make the problem worse, particularly for those with long hair. The most effective way to get rid of split ends is to cut them off. If left untrimmed, they tend to break off or continue splitting up the length of the hair. However, there are some natural remedies that can help to prevent split ends occurring and can also greatly improve the condition of the hair overall and prevent hair loss.

Avocado Mask

Avocado works as an excellent deep conditioner to create lustrous locks. It is rich in protein, essential fatty acids, folic acid, magnesium, vitamins A, D and E and other nutrients that nourish the hair and stimulate growth. Avocado also has hair-softening properties.

1. Mash one ripe avocado and mix in two tablespoons each of olive oil and coconut oil until it develops a creamy consistency.
2. Apply this hair mask liberally on the hair (avoid the roots).
3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
4. Rinse it off and then shampoo the hair.
5. Do this on a weekly basis or two to three times a month.

Banana Mask

Being rich in natural oils, potassium, zinc, iron, and vitamins A, C and E, bananas help restore the hair’s natural elasticity and minimises breakage. Plus, they soften and moisturise the hair, encourage hair repair and improve manageability.

1. Blend one ripe banana, two tablespoons of plain yogurt and a little rose water and lemon juice in a blender.
2. Apply this banana hair mask to the hair.
3. Leave it on for one hour and then wash it off.
4. Repeat once or twice a week.

Beer Mask

Beer helps control split ends by supplying protein and sugar to the damaged hair follicles. It also works as an excellent conditioner and adds shine and volume to hair.

1. Shampoo the hair.
2. Pour some flat beer in a small spray bottle.
3. Spray it over the mid- and end-sections of damp hair.
3. Let it sit for two to three minutes. There is no need to rinse it off but let the hair dry naturally.
4. Do this once a week.

NOTE: The beer smell usually goes away after a while, once the hair dries.

Egg Mask

Eggs are rich in protein and essential fatty acids that help treat split ends. Because hair is primarily made up of protein, eggs help strengthen the hair follicles. Plus, they will make  hair smooth, reduce tangles and enhance resistance to breakage.
Use an egg hair mask once a week on a regular basis. Brush out the hair first to prevent tangles.

Whisk an egg yolk and mix in two or three tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey. Work it into damp hair, leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse it off. Finally, shampoo hair. Alternatively, whisk an egg with one teaspoon of almond oil. Apply on damp hair. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it out and then shampoo hair.

Hot Oil Deep Conditioner

Deep conditioning with hot oils helps restore moisture, which in turn helps control split ends. For healthier hair, regularly deep condition it with moisturising oils and natural hair masks.

1. Gently heat some almond oil, castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil or rapeseed oil until it is warm but not too hot to touch.
2. Massage it into the hair and scalp.

3. Wrap hair in a warm towel.
4. Leave it on for at least 45 minutes and then shampoo hair.
5. Repeat at least once a week or more often.

A few drops of rosemary, sandalwood or any other essential oil can be added to the base oil after heating it.

Rosemary Mask

Rosemary is an excellent herb for the hair. It promotes growth of long hair, strengthens the roots, prevents split ends and eliminates dandruff. The herb has antioxidant properties that boost hair growth. In addition, the sulphur and silica content in rosemary helps reverse hair loss. It will also help increase circulation to the scalp and unclog blocked hair follicles. Furthermore, it can help darken the hair. Both these remedies can be used several times a week.

1. Mix two drops of rosemary essential oil in two tablespoons of a base oil such as olive, coconut, jojoba, almond or avocado oil.

2. Apply it on the hair and massage the scalp

3. Leave it on for at least half an hour and then shampoo hair as usual.

Use rosemary water as a final hair rinse.

1. To prepare it, steep two or three rosemary sprigs in two cups of hot water for about five minutes.

2. For dried rosemary, simmer in a cupful of it in water.

3. Allow it to cool and then strain the infusion.

4. Rinse the hair with it after shampooing.

 

See more Hair Conditioning Treatments below.


NAILS

Many of the same conditions that affect the hair will affect the quality of the nails. When nails peel or become flaky, brittle and easily break it is a sign that there are either nutrient, especially mineral, deficiencies or some other underlying condition. The same remedies for hair will work for nails too. White flecks on the nails is a sign that there is calcium deficiency and this also may mean there is a vitamin D deficiency. Consuming foods rich in these nutrients as well as balancing healthy fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6 can eliminate problems with the nails and allowing 15 minutes of midday sunlight on bare (sunscreen free) skin per day will make the body produce all the vitamin D it requires.

Hemp seeds and (animal or vegetable) gelatine are very good for repairing damaged nails. Consume 3 heaped tablespoons of hemp seeds daily and two level tablespoons of animal or vegetable gelatine daily for one month. See method for gelatine here.

Soaking the nails in warm water and olive, rapeseed or coconut oil for fine minutes every day can help to prevent dry cuticles and heal damaged nails. Coconut oil also eliminates fungal infections. These natural remedies also work for the hair as a conditioner. Comb through wet hair and wrap with a warm towel. Leave on as long as possible, even over night. Then wash hair as normal. It will reduce frizz and make hair shiny and manageable.

 

NATURAL FOODS TO CONDITION HAIR AND NAILS AND PREVENT EXCESS HAIR LOSS

The following foods should be consumed regularly to protect against and treat toxic build up in the body which can cause hair loss. Farmed fish, such as salmon, is usually less contaminated with mercury. Oily fish is nutritionally important in the diet and should not be avoided due to mercury contamination. Rather, add foods that can protect against this and detoxify the body. Chlorella, coriander leaves, dulse, Irish moss and spirulina and particularly affective at detoxifying the body of mercury and other contaminants.

Foods that have components that will protect and improve the condition of hair and nails

Alfalfa, almonds, aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar, asparagus, aubergine, avocado, balloon flower root, basil,  beetroot, berries, brewers yeast, brine pickles, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, chlorella, citrus fruits and peel, coconut (flesh and juice), collard greens, dried fruits, egg yolks, garlic, goat's milk, goji berries, grapes (black), green tea, hemp seeds, Himalayan pink salt crystals, honey, kale, kelp, kombu, legumes, lemon juice, milk thistle, mushrooms, oats, onions, organ meats, papaya, parsley, peas, peppercorns, pomegranate juice, poultry, pumpkin seeds, rabbit, radishes, rapeseed oil, red peppers, ricotta cheese, sea salt (pure unrefined), seaweed, sesame oil, shellfish, spinach, spirulina, squid, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, turmeric, venison, walnuts, watermelon, whey and colostrum and yogurt (plain with live cultures).

Fibre: Eat a diet rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre in the form of psyllium husks, amaranth, brown rice, oats, rye, citrus peel and coconut flesh.

Hemp seeds are a super food which has nigh nutritional content (rich in fatty acids, minerals and all essential amino acids) and has properties that can revitalise lank and poorly conditioned hair after regular consumption.

Krill oil: Consume 1000 mg of krill oil daily which will provide astaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, all of which help to strengthen nails and improves the condition of hair and nails.

Maqui berry is a 'super berry' from the Chile and Argentinean regions of South America which contains the highest amount of antioxidants and anti inflammatory compounds than any other known natural food. Regular consumption can also increase healthy hair growth.

Mineral water: Drink at least one litre of bottled mineral water daily top keep the body hydrated and to provide extra essential minerals in the diet.

Mulberries promote the melanin production in hair and help to maintain the natural colour. People with grey hair can benefit with regular intake of mulberry and it's juice applied directly on the hair can revive the hair roots and stimulate healthy hair growth again.

Prebiotic and probiotic rich foods help to restore beneficial intestinal flora which are important for producing some vitamins and keeping the digestive system working well.

Try Raw Juicing, Micro Diet Sprouting and Brine Pickling to add high concentrations of vital nutrients to the diet.

NOTE: Avoid alcohol, artificial sweeteners, drugs, chemical food additives, coffee, all refined and processed foods, sugar, white flour, white bread, white rice, margarine, table salt and any premade meals and snacks.

NUTRIENTS IMPORTANT FOR HEALTHY AND STRONG HAIR AND NAILS

The following nutrient deficiencies can cause hair loss, split ends, poor condition of the hair and poor brittle nails. It is important to find out the cause through having a full count blood test and start consuming foods rich in these nutrients as soon as possible to ensure healthy grow back although in some cases grow back is impossible if the hair follicles have been damaged beyond repair or serious scarring of the scalp has occurred.


Calcium is needed for healthy bones but is also responsible for making the nails strong.

Highest sources of calcium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Dried herbs such as basil, dill, marjoram, rosemary and thyme 2113 mg

  • Cheese such as goat’s, gruyere, parmesan, Romano and Swiss 1376 mg

  • Sesame seeds 975 mg

  • Mozzarella cheese 961 mg

  • Tinned fish with bones such as sardines, mackerel and pilchards 383 mg

  • Tofu 372 mg

  • Almonds 264 mg

  • Flaxseeds 255 mg

  • Chlorella 221mg

  • Mussels 180 mg

  • Oysters 170 mg

  • Brazil nuts 160 mg

  • Prawns 150 mg

  • Tripe 150 mg

  • Scallops, spirulina and watercress 120 mg

  • Whole milk and whole yoghurt 113 mg

  • Chinese cabbage 105 mg

  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as dandelion greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard and turnip greens  99 mg

  • Okra 77 mg

  • Soya beans 75 mg

  • Boneless fish such as bass, herring, pike, perch, pollock and rainbow trout 74 mg

  • Kidney beans 70 mg

  • Eggs 60 mg

  • Broccoli 47 mg


Copper together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D, the vitamin which aids in the absorption of calcium. Copper and zinc are antagonists, and the balance between them is an example of biological dualism which means they must be consumed in balanced measures as they have an effect on each other. An intake of too much zinc, which is a key ingredient in some over-the-counter cold remedies, can cause irreversible neurological ailments associated with copper deficiency. Likewise too much copper can displace zinc in the body and cause the zinc deficiency symptoms.

Highest sources of copper in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Clams 49 mg

  • Calf’s liver 17 mg

  • Beef 17 mg

  • Oysters (raw) 13 mg

  • Lamb 10 mg

  • Duck 9 mg

  • Himalayan salt crystals 6 mg

  • Sea salt (unrefined) 6 mg

  • Spirulina 5 mg

  • Chlorella 5 mg

  • Squid 4 mg

  • Lobster 4 mg

  • Mushrooms (Crimini) 4 mg

  • Mushrooms (Shiitake) 3 mg

  • Basil 3 mg

  • Cocoa (organic) 3 mg

  • Capers 3 mg

  • Mineral water 3 mg

  • Apple cider vinegar 3 mg

  • Chamomile tea 3 mg

  • Lemons 3 mg

  • Chicory greens 3 mg

  • Turnip greens 3 mg

  • Crab 2 mg

  • Squid 2 mg

  • Potatoes (with skins) 2 mg

  • Coriander 2 mg

  • Asparagus 2 mg

  • Swiss chard 2 mg

  • Winged beans 2 mg

  • Beetroot greens 2mg

NOTE: Copper is found in most foods containing iron.


Iodine promotes healthy hair, nails, skin and teeth. Excessive consumption of sugar, refined carbohydrates or rancid vegetable oils prevents the absorption of iodine in the body. Fluoride excess can also cause iodine deficiency which has been shown in studies of populations where tap water has been fluoridated. One study showed an iodine deficiency in 25% of vegetarians and 80% of vegans, compared with only 9% of those consuming a mixed diet that contained dairy and meat.

Highest sources of iodine in micrograms per serving listed

  • Chlorella, dulse, spirulina algae and kelp (1 tablespoon or 5 g) 750 g

  • Himalayan crystal salt (half a gram) 450 g

  • Cranberries (4 oz or 114 g) 400 g

  • Lobster (3.53 oz or 100 g) 100 g

  • Cod (3 oz or 85 g) 99 g

  • Plain yoghurt (8 oz or 227 g) 75 g

  • Seafood, clams etc (3.53 oz or 100 g) 66 g

  • Potato (one medium size) 60 g

  • Milk (8oz or 227 g) 59 g

  • Shrimp (3 oz or 85 g) 35 g

  • Navy beans (4 oz or 114 g) 32 g

  • Turkey (3 oz or 85 g) 34 g

  • One medium sized egg 24 g

  • Cheddar cheese (1 oz or 28 g) 23 g

  • Tinned tuna (3 oz or 85 g) 17 g

  • Gouda cheese (1.42 oz or 40 g) 14 g

  • Prunes (five) 13 g

  • Strawberries (8 oz or 227 g) 13 g

  • Butter beans (4 oz or 114 g) 8 g

  • Lean beef (3 oz or 85 g) 8 g

  • Apple juice (8oz or 227 g) 7 g

  • Peas (4 oz or 114 g) 3 g

  • Green beans (4 oz or 114 g) 3 g

  • Banana (one medium) 3 g

NOTE:  ONE g is one microgram.
 


Iron is a fortifying trace element that enriches red blood cells and increases the oxygen level of tissue, especially in nails that break easily and are pale in colour. A lack of iron can cause nails to grow with ridges rather than a smooth surface. When consuming iron-rich foods, one should also consume foods rich in vitamin B9, vitamin B12 and vitamin C everyday. Vitamin A helps move iron from storage in the body and without adequate amounts of vitamin A the body cannot regulate iron properly leading to an iron deficiency.

Highest sources of iron in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Black pepper, marjoram, parsley, spinach, thyme 224 mg

  • Spirulina 29 mg

  • Clams 28 mg

  • Bran 19 mg

  • Liver 18 mg

  • Squash and pumpkin seeds 15 mg

  • Caviar 12 mg

  • Hemp seeds 9.6 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 9 mg

  • Dried apricot 6.3 mg

  • Wheat 6.3 mg

  • Black strap molasses 4.7 mg

  • Prunes 3.5 mg

  • Artichokes 3.4 mg

  • Prawns 3.1 mg

  • Lean beef 2.9 mg

  • Turkey 2.3mg

  • Raisins 1.9 mg

  • Chicken 1.3 mg

  • Tuna 1.3 mg


Lysine: Low levels of lysine can cause bone density loss, cold sores, hair loss, poor nails, shingles attacks and skin disorders.

Highest sources of lycine in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Spirulina (dried) 3025 mg

  • Chlorella (dried) 3000 mg

  • Whelks 2930 mg

  • Chicken 2635 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 2463 mg

  • Tuna (tinned ) 2343 mg

  • Pheasant 2230 mg

  • Beef (lean mince) 2211 mg

  • Calf’s liver 2141 mg

  • Mackerel  (tinned) 2130 mg

  • Cod 2108 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 2072 mg

  • Quail 1977 mg

  • Rabbit (wild) 1908 mg

  • Shrimp/prawns 1820 mg

  • Lobster 1784 mg

  • Venison 1756 mg

  • Caviar (fish roe) 1699 mg

  • Lamb’s liver 1653 mg

  • Turkey 1609 mg

  • Crab 1592 mg

  • Black beans 1483 mg

  • Crayfish (wild)1388 mg

  • Crayfish (farmed) 1253 mg

  • Mussels 1179 mg

  • Squid 1164 mg

  • Soya beans 1108 mg

  • Peanuts 945 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 937 mg

  • Eggs 914 mg

  • Flaxseeds 862 mg

  • Quinoa 766 mg

  • Rye 605

  • Almonds 580 mg

  • Pine nuts 540 mg

  • Brazil nuts 492 mg

  • Walnuts 424 mg

  • Wheat 378 mg

  • Brown rice 303 mg

 


Magnesium: Too much phosphorous can cause diarrhoea and calcification (hardening) of organs and soft tissue and can interfere with the body's ability to use iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. The body does not store magnesium like it does calcium. Magnesium is excreted as a result of drinking alcohol or high caffeine drinks such as coffee and fizzy drinks, high stress, diarrhoea, sugar intake or high levels of protein and fruit in the diet. Athletes and anyone that partakes in intense physical activities are often lacking in magnesium as they perspire profusely but do not replace lost minerals so they should consume plenty of these magnesium-rich foods.

Magnesium is widely distributed in foods and is a part of the chlorophyll in green vegetables but it does depend upon where and how the food is grown. Organically grown natural foods contain more magnesium especially if they come from volcanic regions or the sea.

Highest sources of magnesium in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Rice bran 781 mg

  • Basil, coriander, dill and sage 694 mg

  • Hemp seeds 640 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 535 mg

  • Raw cocoa 499 mg

  • Flaxseeds 392 mg

  • Brazil nuts 376 mg

  • Sesame seeds 353 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 346 mg

  • Chia seeds 335 mg

  • Chlorella 315 mg

  • Wheat germ 313 mg

  • Cashew nuts 292 mg

  • Almonds 268 mg

  • Caraway seeds 258 mg

  • Black strap molasses and dulse 242 mg

  • Buckwheat 231 mg

  • Spirulina 189 mg

  • Oats 177 mg

  • Durum wheat 144 mg

  • Macadamia nuts 130 mg

  • Adzuki beans 127 mg

  • Kelp 121 mg

  • Millet 114 mg

  • Kale 88 mg

  • Amaranth 65 mg

  • Globe artichoke 60 mg

  • Okra and nettles 57 mg

  • Chestnuts 54 mg

  • Rocket 47 mg

  • Dates 43 mg

  • Plantain 37 mg

  • Lentils 36 mg

  • Butternut squash 34 mg

  • Coconut 32 mg

  • Potatoes with skin 30 mg

  • Passion fruit 29 mg

  • Savoy cabbage, halibut 28 mg

  • Bananas, rabbit 27 mg

  • Green beans 25 mg

  • Peas 24 mg

  • Raspberries 22 mg

  • Guava 22 mg

  • Blackberries 20 mg

  • Courgettes 18 mg

  • Kiwi fruit, fennel, figs 17 mg

  • Endive 15 mg

  • Cucumber, lettuce 13 mg


Manganese deficiency can lead to poor condition of the hair and nails.

Highest sources of manganese in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Cloves 60.1 mg

  • Rice bran 14.2 mg

  • Pine nuts 8.8 mg

  • Mussels 6.8 mg

  • Hazelnuts 5.6 mg

  • Pumpkin seeds 4.5 mg

  • Whole wheat 2.1 mg

  • Cocoa beans 3.8 mg

  • Soya beans 2.2 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1.9 mg

  • Garlic 1.7 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast 0.08 mg (depending upon source)

  • Egg yolks 1.1 mg

  • Black beans 1.1 mg

  • Dried peas 0.39 mg

  • Kidney beans 0.2 mg

NOTE: Manganese is concentrated in the outer covering of nuts, in the green leaves of edible plants and green vegetables such as peas and runner beans.
 


Nitrogen: A deficiency of nitrogen can lead to slow growth of the hair and nails, brittle hair and hair loss. Foods rich in nitrogen are: Asparagus, beef, brewers yeast, broccoli, legumes, lentils, lettuce, kelp, nuts, mushrooms, oily fish, organ meats, rabbit, seaweed, shellfish, spinach, venison and whole grains.
 


Rubidium helps to regulate the flow of iron into the bloodstream, which in turn helps in better absorption of iron. Rubidium deficiency can lead to hemosiderosis which is a form of iron overload disorder resulting in the accumulation of hemosiderin and this can lead to hair fall.

Apricots (including the kernels), asparagus, beetroot, bilberries, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, chlorella, dandelion leaves, Himalayan salt crystals, kelp, mineral water, parsley, rhubarb, seaweed, spinach, spirulina, tea and unrefined sea salt.

NOTE: Plant foods must be grown in soils that are not depleted of rubidium therefore organically grown foods and those from the sea and volcanic areas are best sources.


Selenium: Sufficient levels of this mineral can help improve the condition of hair and nails.

Highest sources of selenium in micrograms per 100 grams

 
  • Brazil nuts 1917 g

  • Oysters 154 g

  • Lamb's liver 116 g

  • Tuna 108 g

  • Whelks and octopus 89.6 g

  • Wheat germ 79.2 g

  • Sunflower seeds 79 g

  • Amaranth 70.7 g

  • Caviar (fish roe) 65.5 g

  • Egg yolk 56 g

  • Chia seeds 55.2 g

  • Kippers 52.6 g

  • Pork 51.6 g

  • Halibut 46.8 g

  • Oat bran 45.2 g

  • Lean beef 44.8 g

  • Crab 44.4 g

  • Salmon 41.4 g

  • Rabbit (wild) 38.5 g

  • Chicken and turkey 37.8 g

  • Turbot 36.5 g

  • Sesame seeds 34.4 g

  • Kamut 30 g

  • Couscous 27.5 g

  • Mushrooms (Crimini) 26 g

  • Calf's liver 19.3 g

  • Rabbit 15.2 g

  • Rye (whole grain) 13.9 g

  • Venison 10.3 g

  • Spirulina 7.2 g

  • Asparagus 6.1 g

  • Spinach 5.5 g


Silica is known as the " beauty mineral " as it is essential for the growth of skin, hair shafts, nails and other outer coverings of the body. Silica has a powerful influence on the absorption of minerals required by the body for optimal health. It enhances the function of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and boron and is essential for normal bone development. Silica helps to maintain the correct calcium-magnesium balance which is essential for bone, hair and nail health. Low levels of silica can lead to ageing symptoms of skin such as wrinkles, soft brittle nails, thinning or loss of hair, poor bone development, insomnia osteoporosis and rosacea.

Natural sources of silica in alphabetical order

Almonds, apples, asparagus, bamboo, beetroot, cherries, cucumber, grapes, honey, mineral water, onions, peanuts, radishes,  yams and the juices and green leaves of most vegetables.
 


Sulphur helps to keep the skin clear of blemishes, helps the nails grow strong and makes hair glossy because its main purpose is to dissolve waste materials and eject waste and poisons like heavy metals from the system.

Highest sources of sulphur in milligrams per 100 grams

 
  • Scallops 520 mg

  • Lobster 510 mg

  • Crab 470 mg

  • Prawns 370 mg

  • Mussels 350 mg

  • Haddock 290 mg

  • Brazil nuts 290 mg

  • Peanuts 260 mg

  • Cod 250 mg

  • Oysters 250 mg

  • Chicken livers 250 mg

  • Cheese (parmesan) 250 mg

  • Caviar (fish roe) 240 mg

  • Peaches (dried) 240 mg

  • Cheese (cheddar or stilton) 230 mg

  • Salmon 220 mg

  • Beef 220 mg

  • Eggs 200 mg

  • Apricots (dried) 160 mg

  • Almonds 150 mg

  • Rabbit 130 mg

  • Walnuts 100 mg

  • Peppercorns 100 mg

  • Cabbage 90 mg

  • Spinach 90 mg

  • Brussel sprouts 80 mg

  • Chickpeas 80 mg

  • Figs (dried) 80 mg

  • Coconut 80 mg

  • Hazel nuts 80 mg

  • Mung beans 60 mg

  • Dates 50 mg

  • Split peas 50 mg

  • Onions 50 mg

  • Leeks 50 mg

  • Radishes 40 mg

NOTE: Those suffering with bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis should avoid sulphur-rich foods.
 


Vitamin A is involved in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes. It also helps move iron from storage in the body and, without adequate amounts of vitamin A, the body cannot regulate iron properly leading to an iron deficiency.

Vitamin A can be consumed as it is or made from beta-carotene. Eat foods rich in the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene with fatty foods like avocado, nuts, oily fish, seeds and virgin cold-pressed coconut, olive, rapeseed, rice bran and other plant oils to enable absorption because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body along with fats.

Highest sources of vitamin A in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Chilli powder, paprika 49254 g

  • Sweet potato 19218  g

  • Carrots 17033  g

  • Pumpkin 15563  g

  • Kale 14704  g

  • Dried apricots 12669  g

  • Butternut squash 11155  g

  • Dried mint 10579  g

  • Cos or romaine lettuce 8710  g

  • Parsley 8424  g

  • Cress 6917  g

  • Watercress 3191  g

  • Broccoli 2622  g

  • Butter 2499  g

  • Peas 2100  g

  • Apricots 1926  g

  • Tofu 1913  g

  • Carrot juice 1912  g

  • Passion fruit 1272  g

  • Courgettes 1117  g

  • Tomatoes 833  g

NOTE: One g is one microgram.

Highest sources of beta-carotene in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Cayenne chilli pepper and paprika 26162 g

  • Sun dried chilli peppers 14844 g

  • Sweet potatoes 11509 g

  • Kale 8823 g

  • Carrots 8332 g

  • Pumpkin 6940 g

  • Romaine lettuce 5226 g

  • Parsley 5054 g

  • Marjoram 4806 g

  • Sage 4806 g

  • Butternut squash 4570 g

  • Cress 4150 g

  • Coriander 3930 g

  • Basil 3142 g

  • Broccoli 2720 g

  • Chives 2612 g

  • Watercress 1914 g

  • Leeks 1000 g

  • Passion fruit 743 g

  • Courgettes 670 g

  • Mango 640 g

  • Asparagus 604 g

NOTE:  ONE g is one microgram.
 


Vitamin B6: Low levels of vitamin B6 can cause ridged nails and skin disorders. Alcohol promotes the loss and destruction of vitamin B6 from the body and the medicine theophylline, often prescribed to asthmatic children, decreases levels of vitamin B6 in the body.

Highest sources of vitamin B6 in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Rice bran 4.07 mg

  • Sage 2.69 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast 1.50 mg

  • Sunflower seeds 1.35 mg

  • Wheat germ 1.30 mg

  • Garlic 1.24mg

  • Pistachio nuts 1.12 mg

  • Tuna fish 1.04 mg

  • Beef or calf’s liver 1.03 mg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 0.97 mg

  • Salmon 0.94 mg

  • Turkey 0.81 mg

  • Venison 0.76 mg

NOTE: Wild salmon (0.94 mg) contains far more vitamin B6 than farmed salmon (0.56 mg) and fresh salmon and tuna are far richer in vitamin B6 than tinned.
 


Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is required for healthy hair, nails and skin and can help to keep cuticles smooth, thicken nails and prevent breakages. Deficiency can lead to brittle hair and nails and even hair loss.

Highest sources of vitamin B7 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Chicken livers 180 g

  • Egg yolk 60 g

  • Walnuts 39 g

  • Oatmeal 35 g

  • Peanuts 34 g

  • Fish 20 g

NOTE:  ONE g is one microgram.

Natural sources of vitamin B7 in alphabetical order

Ashitaba, almonds, avocado, brewer's yeast, cabbage, calf's liver, cashew nuts, cauliflower, coffee beans (raw), cranberries, cucumbers, egg yolk, hazelnuts, lamb, milk, mushrooms, onions, organ meats, peanuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, pork, poultry, raspberries, soybeans, strawberries, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, tea, tomatoes, whole grains, walnuts and yoghurt.


Vitamin C:

Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg

  • Camu camu berries 532 mg

  • Rosehips 426 mg

  • Green chillies 242.5 mg

  • Guavas 228.3 mg

  • Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg

  • Black currants 181 mg

  • Thyme 160.01 mg

  • Red chillies 143.7 mg

  • Drumstick pods 141 mg

  • Kale 130 mg

  • Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg

  • Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg

  • Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg

  • Cloves, saffron 81 mg

  • Cayenne red pepper 76 mg

  • Mustard greens 70 mg

  • Cress 69 mg

  • Persimmons fruit 66 mg

  • Chilli powder 64 mg

  • Swede 62 mg

  • Basil 61 mg

  • Rosemary 61 mg

  • Chives 58 mg

  • Oranges 53.2 mg

  • Lemons 53 mg

  • Kumquats 43.9 mg

  • Watercress 43 mg

  • Wasabi root 41.9 mg

  • Kidney bean sprouts 38.7 mg

  • Elderberries 36 mg

  • Coriander 27 mg

Vitamin D is also essential therefore 20 minutes skin exposure to midday sunshine as often as possible is vital. Sunscreens and windows block the skins ability to utilise the suns rays to make vitamin D. The consumption of cod liver oil and oily fish can help provide the body with the required amount when sunlight is not available.

Zinc: A deficiency of zinc can lead to hair loss. Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D, the vitamin which aids in the absorption of calcium which, in turn, helps to strengthen nails. Zinc is lost by drinking alcohol and through many medications.

  • Oysters 78.6 mg

  • Chlorella 71 mg

  • Wheat germ 16.7 mg

  • Beef 12.3 mg

  • Calf's liver 11.9 mg

  • Hemp seeds 11.5 mg

  • Pumpkin and squash seeds 10.3 mg

  • Sesame and watermelon seeds 10.2 mg

  • Bamboo shoots, endives and gourds 9 mg

  • Chervil (herb) 8.8 mg

  • Lamb 8.7 mg

  • Venison 8.6 mg

  • Alfalfa seeds (sprouted), amaranth leaves, Crimini mushrooms, Irish moss and tea 8 mg

  • Crab 7.6 mg

  • Lobster 7.3 mg

  • Agave, basil, beefalo, broccoli, elk, emu, oats, ostrich, spinach and turkey 7 mg

  • Cocoa powder 6.8 mg

  • Asparagus, chicken livers, laver seaweed, mushrooms, parsley and rice bran 5.7 mg

  • Cashew nuts 5.6 mg

  • Pork 5.1 mg

  • Jute (herb), lemon grass, mung beans, Portobello mushrooms, radishes and shiitake mushrooms 5 mg

  • Agar seaweed, butterbur, cauliflower, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, coriander, green beans, lentils, lettuce, okra, rocket, spring onions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and wasabi (yellow) 3.4 mg

  • Peanuts 3.3 mg

  • Cheddar cheese 3.1 mg

  • Mozzarella cheese 2.9 mg

  • Anchovies and rabbit 2.4 mg

  • Cabbage, cucumber, jalapeno peppers, , kidney beans, navy beans, spirulina and turnip greens 2 mg

  • Mussels 1.6 mg

  • Arrowroot, artichokes (globe), beetroot, bell peppers, black eyed peas, borage, broad beans, Brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, chilli peppers, courgettes, dandelion greens, garlic, horseradish, kale, kelp, mustard greens, peas, pinto beans, potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, Swede, sweet potato, tomatoes (red),  wakame (seaweed), watercress and winged beans 1.2 mg

NOTE: The recommended dietary allowance of zinc is approximately 15 mg daily for an adult. Do not exceed 100 mg of zinc per day from all sources.
 


EXTERNAL TREATMENTS

People who suffer from an abnormally small amount of hair growth can try roasting the rind and seeds of the ash gourd and then mixing it with coconut oil. The mixture when applied to the scalp can also be used as a treatment for dandruff.

Apple cider vinegar: A solution of apple cider vinegar and water, mixed in equal proportions, makes a wonderful natural hair conditioner as it helps to nourish the hair, giving it a shine and soft texture. It is also effective as a home remedy for dandruff as it  destroys the fungus that causes dandruff and restores the pH balance of the scalp. To treat dandruff, apply a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to the scalp, leave it on for 15 minutes to an hour and then rinse it out. Follow this remedy once or twice in a week.

For good hair and beard growth massage 250g of black seed oil with 250g of honey or coconut oil well into the roots. This will also prevent greying of hair.

Fig leaves can be used in decoction form to condition hair and treat fungal infections of the scalp.

Hop extract when rubbed into the scalp helps to deal with dandruff and flaky skin on the scalp. Shampoo the hair then apply the hop extract and rub in all over the head. Then, rinse the hair as normal and apply usual conditioner.

Cold pressed oils such as coconut, olive and rapeseed can greatly improve the condition of hair. Comb the oil through the hair using a wide toothed comb then wrap the head in a warm towel for an hour or overnight.

Change to shampoos, shower gels, hair dyes, toothpastes and other cosmetics which are made from purely natural ingredients. You should never put anything on the skin or scalp that you cannot swallow because the skin absorbs chemicals just as the intestines do.
 


NATURAL HAIR STRAIGHTENERS AND CONDITIONERS

Constantly using electric heat rods to straighten the hair can seriously damage it and prevent it from growing any longer. They may work temporarily but, in the long run, they will make the hair become brittle, thin and break off easily especially if done in conjunction with hair dyes and hair dryers. It is always best to use a natural powerful moisturiser rather than dry heat as this can dry out the hair even further defeating the object of ever gaining long straight and shining healthy hair.

NOTE: Rinsing the hair with cold water after shampooing and conditioning helps to close the hair cuticles, which makes it less susceptible to frizz and adds shine. Use fresh rainwater to rinse the hair is a natural conditioner and will leave hair soft and in good condition.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera contains several enzymes that promote healthy hair growth and makes hair smooth and soft. Also, aloe vera gel easily penetrates into the hair strands and keeps them well moisturised.

  • Mix one-half cup each of aloe vera gel and warm olive oil.

  • Optionally, mix in six drops each of rosemary oil and sandalwood oil.

  • Massage the mixture into the hair and scalp.

  • Cover hair with a shower cap and leave it on for one to two hours.

  • Rinse it off and shampoo with a mild shampoo.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an effective conditioner for preventing frizzy hair and making it shine.

  • Shampoo the hair as normal.

  • Then mix equal amounts of water with apple cider vinegar and use it as a final rinse.

  • Alternatively, add the diluted apple cider to the hair and comb through. Then leave in for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing well.

  • Do this every two to four weeks.

Avocado

An avocado-based hair mask is a highly effective remedy to control frizzy hair. The high amount of vitamin E and fatty acids helps to condition and hydrate the hair.

  • Mash one ripe avocado with a little olive oil and mix it well.

  • Shampoo the hair and then apply the mixture.

  • Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, and then rinse it out with cold water.

  • Then use a conditioner to eliminate the avocado scent.

  • Do this once or twice a week.

Bananas

Bananas are an effective hair conditioner because they are rich in natural oils, potassium and vitamins which help to lock in moisture to soften and add shine to the hair and help prevent and repair split ends.

  • Mash one ripe banana with a fork until there are no lumps.

  • Mix in two tablespoons of yogurt.

  • Then add two tablespoons each of honey and olive oil.

  • Apply the mask to the hair and scalp. Cover with shower cap and a warm towel and leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour.

  • Rinse the hair and then shampoo and condition as usual.

  • Do this once a week.

Beer

Dark coloured beers have amino acids, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that can help to condition the hair.

  • Coat the hair with beer and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

  • Then rinse it out with cold water. Do this once every two weeks.

Coconut milk

Coconut has a moisturising ability and also gives hair a beautiful shine and lustre. In addition, it has all the benefits of being antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral to keep the scalp infection free.

  • In a glass jar, mix one cup of fresh coconut milk and the juice of one lemon.

  • Place the glass jar in the refrigerator for a few hours, until there is a creamy layer on the top.

  • Massage the hair and scalp with this cream and then leave it on for 20 minutes.

  • Cover the head with a shower cap and wrap a warm moist towel around the cap.

  • Leave it on for about 30 minutes, and then shampoo and condition as normal.

  • Comb the hair when it is still wet and allow it to air dry.

  • Alternatively, warm the coconut milk and apply as above and leave on overnight. Then wash and condition as usual.

  • Do this twice a week.

Eggs and Olive Oil

Eggs play an important role in making hair stronger and shiner. Olive oil helps keep hair well moisturised. These ingredients, when combined together, help straighten hair naturally.

  • Beat two eggs well and mix in four tablespoons of olive oil.

  • Apply this mixture to the hair and scalp, then comb through with a wide-toothed comb.

  • Wear a shower cap and wrap in a warm towel and leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Rinse it off and wash with a mild shampoo.

NOTE: Warm olive oil can also be used by itself as above for a deep moisturiser that will naturally remove curls and frizz and can be left on overnight then washed out in the morning. Almond oil, coconut oil or rosemary oil may also be used.

Honey and lemon

Lemon contains vital vitamins and minerals that promote healthy hair, while honey is a good moisturiser. This remedy can eliminate frizzy hair. 

  • Add two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and honey to a cup of water.

  • Mix well and apply it on freshly washed hair. Make sure to coat the ends well and avoid the scalp.

  • Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash with warm water and a mild shampoo.

  • Do this once or twice a week.

Fuller’s Earth

Fuller's earth, also known as multani mitti, can help straighten hair eliminate frizzy hair. Additionally, it is a mild cleansing agent that will not damage the hair.

  • Mix together one cup of fuller’s earth, one egg white and two tablespoons of rice flour.

  • Add enough water to the mixture to get a thin texture.

  • Apply this mixture to the hair and comb through with a wide-toothed comb.

  • Leave it in for one hour, and then wash it out with water.

  • Now generously spray milk onto the hair.

  • Leave it on for 15 minutes, and then shampoo and condition as normal.

Hot Oil Treatment

Hot oil is one the best and easiest ways to keep hair smooth and well hydrated. The best options are almond, coconut, olive, rapeseed or sesame oil.

  • Slightly heat the oil of choice, apply to the hair and massaging into the scalp for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Comb hair thoroughly to evenly distribute the oil.

  • Cover the hair with a hot wet towel for 30 to 40 minutes.

  • Wash the hair with a mild shampoo.

  • Gently comb the hair (use a wide-toothed comb not a brush) while it is still wet and allow it to air dry.

Milk

Milk is known to have moisturising properties that can help straighten hair. Also, the protein in milk fortifies the hair shafts, making them smooth and frizz free.

  • Mix together one-half cup each of milk and water. (Store the mixture in a spray bottle.)

  • Comb out any tangles, spray the mixture over the hair and comb it again. Leave it on for 30 minutes so that the milk is absorbed.

  • Then shampoo and condition as normal.

Milk, Honey and Strawberries

  • Mix one tablespoon of honey in one cup of milk.

  • Mash up three to four strawberries and add them to the mixture.

  • Apply this mixture to the hair and wrap in a towel for about two hours.

  • Wash hair with a mild shampoo, then comb using a wide-toothed comb and let it air dry.


HAIR REMOVAL

In medical terms, abnormal hair growth (on the face as well as the body) in women is called hirsutism. It has been observed that individuals with dark hair or pigmentation are likely to be hairier than those with a lighter pigmentation or blonde hair. People typically have hair almost everywhere on the body, except on the nails and eyeballs. Thus, women do have facial hair, but it is usually only very fine light coloured hair.

Unwanted facial hair can become an embarrassing beauty concern for women, especially when they age and their oestrogen levels change due to menopause. Issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, other hormonal conditions, use of certain medications such as steroids or adrenal gland disorders can also cause unwanted facial hair. In rare cases, the problem can be caused by a tumour or cancer of the adrenal gland or ovaries.

If there is unusual or excessive hair growth on the face or body (may be accompanied by masculine features such as increased muscle mass, deepening voice, decreased breast size, etc., consult a health care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of any underlying medical condition which may be a hormonal disorder.

While some of the following home remedies for unwanted facial hair can instantly remove hair from the face like those using peel off mask or exfoliating scrubs, other herbal remedies may take many months before they show any positive result. For results, be patient and use one or more of the following remedies daily or three to four times a week for at least one month. The key to select an effective remedy is to understand the underlying cause for the unusual growth of unwanted hair on the face and then use the appropriate remedy for it.

Apricot and Honey Facial Scrub

Apricot, apart from all its vitamins and minerals, contains a powerful antioxidant called lycopene also found in tomatoes. Whether lycopene or some other component of apricot helps remove hair is not known exactly but apricot does help remove unwanted facial hair. Honey also has properties to remove hair and soften the skin.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (227 g) dried apricots

  • 1 x teaspoon of honey

Method

  • Grind the dry apricots to a powder.

  • Mix with honey.

  • Apply this mixture on the face.

  • Leave for 5-10 minutes.

  • Then scrub gently with fingers in circular strokes.

  • Keep on scrubbing for at least 5 minutes.

  • Wash off with lukewarm water.

  • Repeat this 2-3 times a week.

Barley Scrub

Sometimes the natural but mild scrubbing agents can not remove the stubborn deep rooted facial hair. When taken internally, it helps in various skin and hair conditions but when used as a scrub, it will remove facial hair and leave the skin soft and glowing.

Ingredients

  • 1 x tablespoon of barley powder

  • 1 x tablespoon milk

  • 1 x tablespoon of fresh lime juice

Method

  • Mix barley powder, milk and lime juice to make a paste.

  • Apply this to the face.

  • Leave for 30 minutes.

  • Wash off with lukewarm water.

  • Repeat 3-4 times a week.

NOTE: Avoid sun on the skin after using this remedy as the acidic lime juice can make the skin more prone to burning. It is best done as a night time treatment. It can also dry out the skin so use a natural moisturiser such as coconut or olive oil afterwards.

Black Cohosh Herb and Honey Tea

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is a flowering plant native to eastern North America. This herb has phytoestrogens (plant based oestrogens) which can effectively inhibit the growth of unwanted hair. It also as anti-androgenic effects and thus can cure hirsutism as well. The modern use of black cohosh extract is mainly for gynaecological problems including premenstrual stress and menopause symptoms. While black cohosh extract is available as capsule and tincture, a tea can also be made with this herb.

Ingredients

  • 20 g (about 1 and a half tablespoons) of dried black cohosh root

  • 1 litre of water

  • 1 x teaspoon of honey

Method

  • Add the black cohosh to the water in a saucepan.

  • Bring it to boil and then allow it to simmer for about half an hour.

  • When it remains 1/3 of its original quantity, remove and strain.

  • Add the honey to the black cohosh tea and stir well.

  • Let it cool.

  • Drink one cup 3 times a day.

  • t can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days.

NOTE: Avoid black cohosh if suffering from cancer or liver disease. Do not take high doses of this herb which may lead to abdominal discomforts, headache, nausea, dizziness etc.

Chasteberry Herbal Extract

Chasteberry, sometimes also called Chaste tree (Vitex agnus castus), is a flowering plant and is popular as a women’s herb. One of the foremost causes of hirsutism is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Just like saw palmetto (see below), the standardised extract of Chaste tree also has anti-androgenic properties. Primarily used as a herbal remedy for PCOS, chasteberry extract can also cure hirsutism when the underlying cause is PCOS. It acts on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands and increases the production of luteinizing hormone (LH). This mildly inhibits the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). As a result progesterone hormone increases as compared to oestrogen hormone in the body. Thus, chaste tree extract balances the right hormones essential for women, treats their menstrual problems related to PCOS and in the process also removes unwanted facial and other body hair.

Chaste tree extract is available in tincture as well as capsule form. As far as daily dose of chasteberry extract is concerned, the general guideline states that you should take 175 mg of this extract which is standardised to contain 0.6% agusides. However, because this herb affects the female hormone levels, it is strictly advised that a naturopathic doctor is consulted to get the exact dosage for the specific problem.

This herb, like most of the other herbal remedies, takes time to show its effect. Before drawing any conclusion about its positive effect on unwanted body hair, take this extract for 2-6 months.

NOTE: Pregnant and nursing women should not take any herbal extract without consulting their doctor. Chaste tree herb can also interfere with certain antipsychotic drugs and Parkinson’s medications.

Chickpea Flour, Rose Water and Lemon Juice

Chickpea flour aids natural hair removal through exfoliation. In addition, the combination of this flour, lemon and rose water works as a natural cleanser for sensitive and acne-prone skin. Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or besan, can be purchased from an Indian market or health food store.

Ingredients

  • 2 x tablespoons of gram flour

  • 1 and a half tables spoons of rose water

  • 1 x tablespoon of lemon juice.

Method

  • Add one and one-half tablespoon of rose water to two tablespoons of green gram flour.

  • Spread the paste on the face and leave it on for 20 to 25 minutes before scrubbing it off.

  • Repeat 3 to 4 times a week.

NOTE: Avoid sun on the skin after using this remedy as the acidic lemon juice can make the skin more prone to burning. It is best done as a night time treatment. It can also dry out the skin so use a natural moisturiser such as coconut or olive oil afterwards.

Coconut Oil, Papaya and Oatmeal Facial Scrub

Papaya works as natural bleach which helps lighten unwanted facial hair, while coconut oil is a cleanser and softener and oatmeal exfoliates the skin and removes unwanted hair.

Ingredients

  • 1 x teaspoon of cold pressed coconut oil

  • 1 x tablespoon of oatmeal

  • Papaya pulp

Method

  • Mix all ingredients together.

  • Gently massage the face with it and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off.

  • Do this once a week.

Egg, Sugar and Corn Flour Peel Off Mask

This recipe works as a great natural peel-off mask to remove facial hair and impurities from the skin.

Ingredients

  • 1 x egg white

  • 1 x tablespoon of sugar

  • 1 and half tablespoons of corn flour

Method

  • Whisk the egg white.

  • Stir in the sugar and corn flour.

  • Apply the mixture to the face, let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes and then peel it off.

  • Repeat the process three or four times a week.

Fenugreek and Chickpea Flour Mask

Fenugreek is a very good medicinal herb for many women related health problems, one of which is hirsutism in which women body parts get hair just like men, for example beard and chest hair. To gain all the benefits of fenugreek, soak a teaspoon of these seeds in a glass of water overnight. Then drink this water along with seeds in the morning. Or use fenugreek only for facial hair removal in ascrub-mask form.

Ingredients

  • 1 x teaspoon of ground fenugreek seeds

  • 1 x teaspoons of chickpea flour

  • Water to make a paste

Method

  • Apply mask to the face and leave until it dries.

  • Wet fingers and gently rub the face in circular motions.

  • Rinse off.

  • Repeat 2 or 3 times a week.

Gelatine Peel-off Mask

This is one of the best remedies to remove facial hair instantly. The smell of gelatine can be suppressed with the use of any essential oil or lemon juice. Vegetarian gelatine can also be used.

Ingredients

  • 1 x tablespoon of unflavoured gelatine

  • 2 x tablespoons of milk

  • 2 x drops of lavender essential oil or or lime juice

Method

  • Mix gelatine with the  milk and essential oil or lime juice if using.

  • Microwave for 15 seconds. Do not overheat.

  • Apply  to the face. Gelatine sets very fast (2 minutes) so apply a coat quickly to the hair on face carefully as it will be hot.

  • It will take about 10-15 minutes for gelatine mask to dry off.

  • Once dried, peel it from the face. The hair and any blackheads will come off with the mask.

NOTE: Carefully avoid the eyes and eyebrows when applying this mask.  If this paste accidently gets applied to eyebrow hair, wet fingers and rub the eyebrows to remove the mask from them. If it has set hard, use a little warm water to remove it from the eyebrows.

NOTE: Avoid sun on the skin if using lime juice in this remedy as it can make the skin more prone to burning. It is best done as a night time treatment. It can also dry out the skin so use a natural moisturiser such as coconut or olive oil afterwards.

NOTE: Avoid essential oils if pregnant or breast feeding.

Lavender and Tea Tree Oil

Hirsutism is the presence of excessive hair on androgen-dependent areas of a woman’s body such as chin or breast. A study was conducted to find out the efficacy of lavender oil and tea tree oil for curing mild idiopathic hirsutism in women. This study suggested that lavender and tea tree oils may have anti-androgenic activities. It means that if these oils are locally applied on skin, it can reduce unwanted hair growth on face and other body parts of women.

Ingredients

  • 1 x teaspoon of essential lavender essential oil
    4 - 6 drops of tea tree oil

Method

  • Mix both the oils.

  • Apply this oil mix using cotton wall onto the  facial hair.

  • Repeat 2-3 times a day for at least 3 months to see a positive result.

NOTE: Avoid essential oils if pregnant or breast feeding.

Lemon Juice and Honey

Being sticky in nature, a lemon juice and honey mask can help remove fine hair from the face. The lemon juice works as a cleansing and exfoliating agent and the honey helps soften the hair due to its hydrating and moisturising properties. Also, being an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, it will help to prevent skin irritations and spots. Because of its bleaching quality, lemon juice will also help lighten facial skin and hair.

Ingredients

  • 1 x tablespoon of freshly squeezed  lemon juice

  • 4 x tablespoons of honey

Method

  • Mix the lemon juice with the honey.

  • Apply it to the face and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Gently remove the mask with a  face cloth soaked in lukewarm water.

  • Repeat at least twice a week for a few months.

NOTE: Avoid sun on the skin after using this remedy as the acidic lemon juice can make the skin more prone to burning. It is best done as a night time treatment. It can also dry out the skin so use a natural moisturiser such as coconut or olive oil afterwards.

Lentil, Honey and Milk Face Pack

A face pack prepared from powdered red lentils, or masoor dal, works as an excellent face scrub to get rid of unwanted facial hair.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz (114 g) red lentils

  • Milk or honey to make a paste

Sandalwood powder, dried orange peel powder, rose water and potato juice can be added to this face pack. These ingredients are very good for the skin. Potato juice, in particular, can help lighten facial hair and skin tone.

Method

  • Grind and sieve the red lentils a few times to get a fine powder.

  • Mix two tablespoons of the powder with sufficient milk or honey to make a paste.

  • Let it stand for 15 minutes. Store the rest of the powder in an airtight container.

  • Apply the mixture to the face. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then scrub it off.

  • Use it 2 to 3 times a week.

NOTE: If the skin is dry use only once a week.

Oatmeal, Honey and Lemon Scrub

The gentle grainy texture of oatmeal makes a good facial exfoliating agent. Scrubs have always been useful in removing hair. However, commercially available scrubs may sometimes leave sensitive skin dry, itchy and red. Oatmeal, on the other hand, due to its avenathramide class of antioxidants is able to reduce redness and protect the skin against UV sun damage. It will also provide soft, hydrated and smooth skin.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a teaspoon of coarsely ground oatmeal

  • 1 x tablespoon of honey

  • 6 to 8 drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method

  • Mix oatmeal, honey and lemon juice to get a paste.

  • Apply this to the face.

  • Leave for 15-20 minutes.

  • Then gently rub the face in a circular motion for about 2-5 minutes.

  • Where there is unwanted hair on the face, rub gently against the direction of the hair growth.

  • Then wash it off.

  • Repeat 2-3 times a week.

NOTE: Avoid sun on the skin after using this remedy as the acidic lemon juice can make the skin more prone to burning. It is best done as a night time treatment. It can also dry out the skin so use a natural moisturiser such as coconut or olive oil afterwards.

Oatmeal, Almond, Rosewater, Orange and Lemon Peel Mask

Orange peel has been one of the favourites for traditional Chinese medicine practitioners for various ailments. Orange oil extracted from orange peel is present in many cosmetic products that claim to cleanse the skin. It also has high reserves of vitamin C just like lemon juice and lemon peels. The properties of these citrus peels naturally bleach the hair and make them invisible. Mixing them with some natural exfoliating agents will help to remove unwanted facial hair effectively.

Ingredients

  • 1 x teaspoon of dried orange peel (ground to a powder)

  • 1 x teaspoon of dried lemon peel (ground to a powder)

  • 1 x teaspoon of oatmeal

  • 1 x teaspoon of ground almonds

  • 1 - 2 x teaspoons of olive oil

  • 1 x teaspoons of rose water

Method

  • Mix all the powdered ingredients.

  • Add rose water and required amount of olive oil to make a paste.

  • Apply to the face and leave for 5 minutes.

  • Then rub gently in circular strokes for about 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Wash off with water.

  • Repeat 2-3 times a week.

NOTE: Avoid sun on the skin after using this remedy as the acidic lemon and orange can make the skin more prone to burning. It is best done as a night time treatment. It can also dry out the skin so use a natural moisturiser such as coconut or olive oil afterwards.

Saw Palmetto Extract

This is a very useful internal herbal remedy for those women who suffer from hirsutism. Saw palmetto is a palm like plant which has anti-androgenic properties. Women suffering from hirsutism have high levels of androgen, the male sex hormone. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have high levels of androgen which results into growth of hair at unwanted places like chin, upper lips, breast and even abdomen. Saw palmetto reduces this high level of male hormones through its anti-androgenic effects.

While saw palmetto can be brewed as tea, its not that effective in this form. This is because the fatty acids of this herb are not water-soluble. The extract of saw palmetto is available in capsule form. Saw palmetto extract is derived from its berries. This extract is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols. Before buying any such extract, make sure that it contains water-soluble saw palmetto extract. The dosage recommended for saw palmetto is 160 mg two times a day. This will be enough for removing unwanted hair from the face though kit may take a long period of time.

NOTE: Pregnant and nursing women should not take saw palmetto extract due to its effects on hormones. Those who take blood thinning drugs should consult their doctor before taking this herbal extract.

Spearmint Tea

Spearmint tea can help regulate hormone levels. A study conducted by Turkish researchers indicates that spearmint tea can help women with hirsutism. The study subjects were given herbal spearmint tea twice a day for five days in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycles. The follicular phase begins on the first day of the cycle and lasts about 14 days.

Method

  • Boil a small saucepan of water then turn off the heat.

  • Add one teaspoon of dried spearmint or 4 to 5 fresh spearmint leaves.

  • Cover the container and let it steep for about five to 10 minutes.

  • Strain and drink the tea twice a day.

Sugaring

Sugaring works as a natural treatment for removing facial as well as body hair. Unlike waxing, it requires pulling the hair in the direction of the hair growth, which causes less pain and skin irritation. This technique was established centuries ago in Egypt.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (455 g) granulated sugar

  • 2 oz (57ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 oz (57 ml) water

  • Corn flour to dust face

Method

  • Heat one-quarter cup of water in a pan.

  • Add two cups of granulated sugar and one-quarter cup of lemon juice to it.

  • Continue heating the paste until bubbles appear.

  • Turn down the heat to low-medium and let it simmer for about 25 minutes until it turns dark amber in colour.

  • Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.

  • Dust a little cornstarch on the skin skin and then spread the lukewarm mixture on the face in the opposite direction of the hair growth.

  • Put a clean rag or cotton strip over the layer of sugar paste and let it sit for a few minutes.

  • Finally, pull it off quickly in the direction of the hair growth.

NOTE: Avoid sun on the skin after using this remedy as the acidic lemon and orange can make the skin more prone to burning. It is best done as a night time treatment. It can also dry out the skin so use a natural moisturiser such as coconut or olive oil afterwards.

Sugar Waxing

This is a very easy and effective home remedy to remove unwanted facial hair.

Ingredients

  • 2 x teaspoons of granulated sugar (brown or white)

  • 1 x teaspoon of honey

  • 1 x teaspoon of water

Method

  • Mix granulated sugar the honey and water.

  • Heat the mixture in a microwave or on the hob for about half a minute until it bubbles and turns brown.

  • Allow it to cool.

  • Using a small spatula, apply it onto the unwanted hair.

  • Place a cloth strip over the sugar wax and smooth it out with the fingers in the direction of the hair growth.

  • Then quickly strip it off in the opposite direction of hair growth.

  • Repeat as needed.

Turmeric, Chickpea Flour, Coconut Oil and Milk Face Pack

A chickpea flour face pack will help exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin and unwanted hair. Plus, it can lighten the colour of the skin and facial hair. Turmeric can be combined with a number of ingredients to get remove unwanted facial hair naturally.

Ingredients

  • 2 x tablespoons of chickpea flour

  • 1 x tablespoon of cold pressed coconut oil

  • 1 and a half teaspoons of milk

  • 3/4 of a teaspoon of turmeric powder

Method

  • Mix together the chickpea flour, coconut oil, milk and turmeric.

  • Apply this thick paste to the face.

  • Leave it on for 20 minutes or until it dries.

  • Scrub it off using a facial loofah pad or a face cloth dipped in lukewarm water.

  • Repeat least 3 or4 times a week for about a month.

NOTE: To remove the yellow coloration on the skin left behind after the application of turmeric, dip a cotton ball in milk and rub it on the skin.

Turmeric, Chickpea Flour, Yoghurt or Rose Water Face Pack

Ingredients

  • 1 x tablespoon of chickpea flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon of plain yoghurt or rose water

  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

  • Spread it on the face and leave it on for 20 minutes before scrubbing it off.

Turmeric, Rose Water or Milk Facial Scrub

Ingredients

  • 2 x teaspoons of turmeric powder

  • Milk or rose water to make a paste

Method

  • Combine turmeric with enough rose water or milk to make a paste.

  • Smear it onto the face and let it dry for about half an hour before scrubbing it off.

  • Repeat the process once a week.

Turmeric and Indian Nettle Face Mask

Acalphya Indica, commonly known as Indian nettle, is native to India as its name indicates. The juice of Indian nettle herb is mixed with oil or lime to treat various skin diseases. Indian nettle is also a very good remedy for unwanted hair, especially facial hair, as it gently permeates the skin gradually thinning hair on face. With time, facial hair falls off and then stop growing altogether. Turmeric, with its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties is one of the skin friendly herbs that works excellently with Indian nettle to remove unwanted facial hair.

Ingredients

  • A handful of Indian nettle leaves

  • 1/2 an inch of fresh turmeric root or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

Method

  • Wash the leaves of Indian nettle properly and crush or grind them to a paste.

  • Grind the fresh turmeric to a paste and mix with the nettle leaves paste or mix the powder turmeric with it.

  • Apply the mixture to the face where there is unwanted hair.

  • Leave it for two hours then wash it off.

  • Alternatively, apply the paste before going to bed and then wash it off in the morning.

  • Repeat everyday for 4-6 weeks.

Turmeric and Papaya Face Pack

Papaya works as natural bleach which helps lighten unwanted facial hair.

Ingredients

  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • Papaya pulp

Method

  • Mix one-half teaspoon of turmeric powder in raw papaya pulp.

  • Gently massage the face with it and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off.

  • Do this once a week.

Turmeric, Wheat bran, Chickpea Flour and Milk Cream Facial Scrub

This scrub will get rid of dead skin and remove unwanted facial hair over time. It will also make the skin soft, smooth and glowing. It can also be used for removing unwanted body hair and is one of the best body scrubs.

Method

  • 1 x tablespoon of wheat bran.

  • 1 x tablespoon of chickpea flour.

  • 1 x tablespoon of fresh milk cream or curd- 1 tbsp (use curd if the skin is oily)

  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of turmeric

    Method

  • Mix wheat bran, flour, turmeric and milk cream or curd to a paste-like consistency.

  • Apply to the face.

  • Leave for 20-25 minutes.

  • Then wet fingers and gently rub the face with wet fingers in circular strokes for 3 or 4 minutes.

  • Then wash off.

  • Repeat 2-3 times a week.

Turmeric, Wheat Flour and Sesame Oil Facial Scrub

Ingredients

  • 1 x tablespoon of whole wheat flour

  • 1 x tablespoon of turmeric

  • Sesame oil to make a paste

Method

  • Mix equal amounts of turmeric and whole wheat flour.

  • Add sufficient sesame oil to make a thick paste.

  • Smear it onto the face and let it sit for about half an hour before scrubbing it off.

  • Repeat the process once a week.

Wheat Bran, Milk and Rosewater Facial Scrub

Wheat bran is what remains after refining the wheat grain. While this nutrient rich outer layers of wheat grains are usually used as fodder for animals, it is very healthy for human beings too. The coarse wheat bran makes an excellent scrub which not only removes unwanted facial hair but also helps to reduce  wrinkles.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 x tablespoons of wheat bran

  • 1 x tablespoon of milk- 1 tbsp (make it more or less to adjust the consistency of the paste)

  • 1 x tablespoon of rosewater

Method

  • Mix wheat bran, milk and rosewater to make a paste..

  • Apply to the face and rub gently in circular strokes.

  • Keep on scrubbing till the wheat bran scrub dries up.

  • Wash off with water.

  • Repeat daily initially and then do it 2-3 times a week.

See also Nature Cures Remedies for Skin Disorders.

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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