Noticing more hair in the shower drain? Nearly 80 percent of us do, too. The good news: These multitasking fixes thicken limp locks and erase health bothers at the same time.
1. Thickens strands + heals skin: Natural vitamin E
Taking 400 IU of natural vitamin E daily could increase your hair thickness by 34 percent, recent research suggests. That’s because natural (not synthetic) E strengthens and energizes aging hair follicles. (Solgar and Vitacost are reputable brands.) Bonus: Italian researchers say natural vitamin E nourishes skin tissues, speeding healing of rashes by as much as 62 percent. Note: Check with your doctor before taking any supplement.
2. Boosts fullness + fights fatigue: This nutrient combo
Together, zinc, copper, and biotin kick-start the growth of healthier, thicker hair strands for 78 percent of people studied, Japanese researchers report, by fortifying roots and prodding individual hair strands to grow more quickly. Try: New Nordic Hair Volume ($19.99, Walgreens). Bonus: This powerful trio energizes sluggish brain and muscle cells, revving energy for up to 70 percent of women.
3. Adds shine + strengthens nails: Horsetail tea
This herb is packed with an easy-to-absorb form of silica — a mineral that hair follicles use to produce healthy new strands. No wonder Brazilian researchers say taking 400 mg. to 500 mg. of horsetail or sipping two mugs of horsetail tea daily increases hair thickness, luster, and shine by 33 percent. Bonus: Silica-rich horsetail strengthens nails, too, cutting splitting and brittleness by as much as 85 percent.
4. Stops breakage + banishes blues: Vitamin C
A 1,000-mg. daily dose of vitamin C could make your hair noticeably thicker and healthier in eight weeks, suggests research in the Journal of Dermatological Science. Says study co-author Jung Kim, PhD, vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen — one of the strengthening proteins that stops hair from breaking. Bonus: C could give you a 45 percent happiness boost by revving the production of the antidepressant hormone serotonin.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine.