Hair care has almost become a stressor: Hair is constantly oily or dry and brittle. You have to wash it almost every day, in addition to dandruff and grey hair from the age of 30. But why has proper hair care become so complicated? Shouldn't healthy, shiny hair be taken for granted? Many causes have to do with our environment: aggressive shampoos, an incorrect diet and a stressful lifestyle affect the health of the hair. Probiotics have the potential to counteract all these causes and strengthen our hair and scalp in the long term and maintain the natural colour of the hair.
Probiotics: Intestinal Bacteria Against Hair Loss
Probiotics consist of bacteria that are useful to humans, have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects, displace harmful bacteria, strengthen the immune system, and relieve stress reactions. Precisely these properties are necessary for hair loss:
- Reduce Inflammation
If the hair follicles are inflamed, hair growth is prevented and the hair may even fall out. Some probiotics can fight this inflammation by causing the immune system to produce cytokines and anti-inflammatory hormones. (1)
- Boost the Immune System
T cells help the immune system decide which bacteria, fungi, or viruses to fight to keep the body healthy. If T cells are missing or not working properly, there is an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases. This means that the body recognizes its own cells as enemies and attacks them. In the case of alopecia areata, for example, the immune system specifically attacks the hair follicles. Fortunately, the right probiotics strengthen our immune system and can help prevent hair loss. (2)
Some probiotic bacteria can lead to increased numbers of active hair follicles. This was confirmed by a study carried out by MIT in mice. In the animals that received probiotics, there was much more hair in the anagen phase of active growth than in the mice in the control group. In general, the animals in the test group were hairier and displayed typical characteristics of younger mice. (3)
- Probiotics Help Reduce Cortisol
Stress can shake up the hair cycle. Instead of a growth phase, there is a phase in which the hair falls out more quickly. This stress can be caused by illnesses, certain living conditions, the use of medications, but also traumatic experiences. Hair grows back when the body recovers, but this can take up to six months. Certain strains of probiotic bacteria can reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body.(4)
- Promote Better Nutrient Absorption
Probiotics help the body divide food in a more optimized way. Since most of our hair is made up of proteins, it is very important that these proteins can be properly digested in the intestine. If the breakdown of proteins into amino acids does not work properly, the absorption of vitamin B12, calcium, folate, and other important vitamins and minerals is also affected. This can become a problem because biotin and folic acid are essential for healthy hair.
Probiotics ensure that proteins are properly broken down and can also produce biotin and other B vitamins (which are also found in many dietary supplements for hair loss) directly in the gut. (5)
Probiotics for Healthy Hair
To keep your hair beautiful, you should definitely consider a good probiotic. Anyone may think, "Probiotics are not for me, I'll just take my hair vitamins" is wrong. YES! Vitamins help, but if the gut is not healthy, these vitamins cannot be used properly and are simply excreted again. Improving gut health is the best way to optimise nutrient absorption and stop or at least slow hair loss in the long run.
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