How to Stimulate Hair Growth in Children
A child’s hair will grow about one quarter inch each month. The hair will grow out of follicles for two to six years before entering a rest phase that lasts about three months. Following the rest phase the hair will fall out, with 50 to 100 strands a day being a normal rate of hair loss. Kids who have large follicles will have thick hair. Kids with narrow follicles will have fine hair. Many factors can affect hair growth, including nutrition and health conditions. Ensuring your child has a good diet and addressing any issues that stress his body will help stimulate hair growth.
Hair reflects a child’s overall health. Feeding her junk food in lieu of a healthy diet and choosing carbonated beverages over water will make her hair dry and brittle. Good nutrition is the key to healthy hair growth. Feed her nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, including orange and yellow vegetables for vitamin A to promote health of scalp glands. Have her eat strawberries, citrus fruits, dark green vegetables and tomatoes for vitamin C that protects hair from breaking. Ensure she gets vitamin E, which improves hair quality. It’s found in green leafy vegetables, as is silica which improves hair strength. Silica is in alfalfa and beets.
Cook him eggs for breakfast. Eggs and other proteins help to avoid putting his hair into a resting phase. Eggs are rich in L-cysteine, an amino acid that is important for hair health. Eggs also provide hair-growth minerals such as manganese and the B vitamin biotin. Both help prevent hair loss 2. Lean meats, poultry and fish are other good protein choices.
Switch from white and refined flours such as white bread, crackers and spaghetti noodles to whole grains. These provide her with B vitamins including biotin. Biotin is important for keratin production. Keratin is a protein that your hair is made of. Whole grains also contain inositol, which protects hair follicles, and B vitamins that regulate and interact with hormones related to hair growth.
Feed him fish for omega-3 fatty acids and replace saturated and trans fats with essential fatty acids, which are vital for hair health. Essential fatty acids often are added to hair care products. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in organic beef, and Omega-9 fatty acids are found in olive oils.
Ensure your child gets enough zinc and iron. Zinc or iron deficiency can lead to hair loss. Include beef, pork and chicken or add sunflower seeds, blackstrap molasses, bran, wheat germ and whole oatmeal to her diet for zinc. Feed her pumpkin, blackstrap molasses, enriched cereals, meat and leafy greens for iron.
Help your child use hair care techniques that don’t stress hair. Do not let him vigorously towel dry his hair. Buy your child a wide-tooth comb to use on wet hair. Ditch the hairdryer. Wash less often and condition more frequently. Choose hair bands that don’t have metal on them. Brush your child's hair with a boar bristle brush to distribute the hair’s natural oils. Deep condition his hair monthly or more.
Treat any scalp disorders. Common disorders among children include tinea capitis, a type of ringworm, and alopecia, areas of hair loss that can be caused by ringworm or tight braids that pull on hair. Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection. See your doctor for treatment.
- KidsHealth.org: Hair Basics
- KidsHealth.org: Hair Loss
- "Super Nutrition for Women," Ann Louise Gittleman; 2004
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