In our ongoing search for a miracle fast hair growing product we often reach for hair vitamins, but skimp on another very important ingredient.
Water is a natural miracle ingredient which supports hair vitamin consumption while assisting in healthy and efficient hair growth.
Did I say water? Yes indeed. If you're going to make the emotional, mental, financial and long term commitment to take hair growth vitamins, it's important you also be prepared to crank up your daily water consumption.
Water is essential for proper hair growth. Be sure to get plenty of that H2O for growing healthy hair that is soft, supple and lush.
Water makes up approximately one fourth of the weight of a strand of hair and when hair has the proper amount of water, it will respond by being supple, and shiny.
Drink a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses (8 ounce serving) of water a day to get gleaming healthy tresses.
Dehydration Directly Impacts Hair Growth
The human body is generally composed of approximately 60-80% water. When deprived of adequate water to sustain cell health and reproduction, the body becomes dehydrated, which directly impacts consistent and/or healthy hair growth.
You can be sucking down fistfuls of hair vitamins and related hair growth supplements, but if you're not downing enough H2O to meet your body's daily minimal needs, the cells which drive hair growth will not reproduce and your hair will become parched. It's natural growth cycle may slow down or even stop completely.
On a regular day, the average human body loses 2 to 3 quarts of water. While water is lost through sweat, urine and other waste removal processes, it's also lost in a number of other ways. Human skin has a high concentration of water which is constantly evaporating in tiny air-borne droplets.
Healthy Hair From The Inside Out
Like skin, hair needs lubrication from the inside out. If your hair roots are deficient in adequate water levels your tresses will eventually become dry, brittle and may stop growing at your maximum genetic rate.
Even worse, hair which is deprived of proper daily water supplies may stop growing completely.
The roots of the hair are the means by which water is transported from the body. Roots soak up what water they can and provide hydration to the rest of the hair.
Human hair is an appendage of the skin. The actual hair we can see flowing from the roots consists of keratin, which is a protein in the skin.
All hair grows directly from the roots, which is situated deep in a layer of skin known as the dermis. Hair roots may extend quite deeply into the skin.
Hair, which has its base inside the skin, contains cells which are nourished by water and blood from inside the body. As a result, these nurtured cells divide and grow hair.
Benefits Of Water For Your Hair
Water is life. It's the natural regulator of all physiological functions.
How does water regulate all physical functions? By controlling the following body functions:
Membranes Which Cover All Cells
Lack of proper daily water supplies creates another problem with the membranes which cover all cells including skin cells, which cover the scalp and impact hair roots.
There are two very distinct membrane layers. In a well-hydrated membrane, water serves both as adhesive material and as a type of passageway between the layers for enzyme activity.
In a dehydrated membrane, cholesterol takes over to prevent further loss of water and thus obstructs the waterways and its potential to deliver chemicals and nutrients.
Potentially, cholesterol takeover, can negatively impact hair health and growth.
Preventing Dehydration For Healthy Hair
The best way to avoid dehydration of your body, skin and hair is to drink lots of water, especially on hot, dry and windy days.
Water is always the very best option as compared to other liquids such as juice, tea, coffee or soft drinks.
Caffeine is a diuretic which makes you urinate more frequently and thus depletes your water sources even faster than normal. Experts believe for every 8 ounces of coffee you should drink two 8 ounces of water.
The amount of water which is required by every individual is dependent on a number of factors ranging from how much water is absorbed from food and how much sweat is produced from physical exertion.
Always plan to add more water when you are ill, exercising or spending time in a hot climate.
How Much Water Do You Need Every Day?
Determining how much water everyone needs on a daily basis is not a simple matter. Depending on the person and their level of activity, the amount of water needed varies.
The Institute of Medicine evaluated national food surveys which analyzed people's average fluid intake. Based on their findings they recommended that men consume an average of 3 liters or 13 cups of total beverages a day.
Women were advised to consume 2.2 liters or approximately 9 cups of total beverages a day.
It's generally believed if you drink between 8 and 9 cups of water per day, feel well, and produce a normal amount of colorless or slightly yellow urine, you're probably meeting your daily water needs.
When you meet your daily water needs you're successfully contributing to the development of healthy roots and tresses. You're also helping any hair vitamins you're taking achieve maximum success.
Remember, additional water should be consumed if you regularly drink coffee, tea, alcohol or other water draining liquids.
Exercise helps to redistribute water, but the more you exercise, the more water you should drink to compensate for water loss through sweat.
Dehydration & Hair Problems
It's currently believed as much as 60% of current diseases could be avoided by drinking enough water and balancing it with enough salt.
It's also believed drinking enough water can eliminate a lot of hair and scalp challenges including dandruff and hair thinning.
In addition, it's believed the list of potential diseases which are directly or indirectly related to lack of water in the body include (but are not limited to) the following:
Other Symptoms Of Dehydration
Edema or body puffiness may appear when mild to severe dehydration is present.
When water is not available to flow freely to the cells, it's filtered from the salty supply outside the cells. Then it's injected into overworked cells which can result in water retention.
Other water intake and distribution regulators such as prostaglandins, kinins and PAF (another histamin-assocate agent) may cause pain whey they come across pain-sensing nerves in the body.
Ironically pain - other than caused by injury - can also be a crisis signal of water shortage in the body.
How Body Determine Water Supply Priorities
How does the body determine priorities when its water supply is insufficient?
The body has a very sophisticated water distribution system. This system assures an adequate amount of water, along with the hormones, chemical messengers and nutrients water carries - is first provided to the most vital organs - such as the brain and heart.
The skin is one of the major organs of the body and water is essential to the workings of its cells. If the body's overall water supply falls short, the skin may have to wait until other organs receive their ration of water first.
The Brain Always Has Highest Priority
The same is true with the hair roots. As an example, the brain is 85% water. While constituting only 1/50th the weight of our body, the brain gets 20% of all the blood which is pumped by the heart.
In fact, the brain is the final governor of water rationing to every cell and organ of the human body. Each organ monitors its own water supply and release, but only according to constantly changing quotas which are set by the brain.
There are other factors in hair dehydration. The surface skin which composes the human scalp that houses hair roots is made up of a thicker tissue than the interior tissues of the body.
Circulation flows to the base of the skin which covers the scalp and the hair roots. Water has to seep upwards through all the layers of the skin to reach the outer layers.
Hair must receive adequate water through its roots or the supply will fall short of reaching budding layers.
The exposed surface of hair roots are constantly losing water due to environmental factors such as sun, wind, hard water, and chemicals. In essence this natural water loss creates a type of double jeopardy.
When the body is dehydrated, circulation to the base of the outer skin, the scalp and hair roots, may be shut down as an emergency measure by the body's drought management system.
The drought management system works to make sure water is not lost through evaporation from the skin's surface.
Gray Skin Coloring Plus Formation Of Wrinkles
If circulation to the base of the skin is shut down, one symptom may be the development of a gray coloring to the skin. Next the cells of the skin gradually lose structure. The skin cells may transition from rosy and plump to a pinched, prune-like state. Chronic dehydration also shows in the face with wrinkles, lines and furrows. Skin may also become very dry.
Proper water intake on a regular basis can prevent or reverse the process of dehydration. When the skin is fully hydrated the circulation to the skin also increases. The result is a rosy complexion.
Failure to recognize the body's many signals of dehydration may trick us into thinking there's no problem. Thirst or a dry mouth is not the only way to determine if we're hydrated.
Is Your Body Hydrated?
Failure to recognize the body's many signals of dehydration may trick us into thinking there's no problem.
Thirst or dry mouth is not the only way to determine if you are dehydrated.
In fact, saliva will flow even if the body is approaching a state of dehydration. Why? Because the system of rationing water is based on priorities, with certain areas shutting down and other areas allowed their rations. The body has no storage reservoir for water.
What you drink throughout the day is what you get. The body's emergency mechanisms simply shift the water from one place to another.
Coffee, Soft Drinks & Alcohol Does Not Quench Thirst
With stressful, fast-paced lifestyles, we may opt for beverages such as coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol instead of pure water. We may think we're quenching our body's thirst.
In reality caffeinated drinks make things worse by forcing water out of the body, creating an even greater need to compensate with more water.
Excess insulin which is released to respond to sugary drinks and snacks also dries out the body and robs it of much needed water. Certain medications, especially diuretics, contribute to the onset of dehydration.
The body adapts to this continual water shortage by rationing in survival mode. A little at a time, many of the body's organs and systems become used to being chronically dehydrated.
The brain may respond to the stress of dehydration by producing endorphins, the body's opiate-like substance, to make a person endure the hardships or thirst while the underlying problem goes unattended.
Symptoms Of Dehydration
Although a key symptom of dehydration is thirst, being thirsty is not always the first warning sign. By the time most people feel thirsty they may be already dehydrated.
Other symptoms of dehydration include the following:
As dehydration worsens, you may experience a worsening of the symptoms as the body's organs become more impacted.
Even mild dehydration, which is as little as one to two percent loss of your body weight, can sap energy, make you feel tired and cause skin, hair roots and strands to dry out.
Water is the key to healthy, happy hair growth and maintenance. It's also an important ingredient to help hair vitamins be as successful as possible. Build healthy hair from the inside out with water. Drink up.
Original Publication Date: 01/17/2006
- Revised Publication Date: 09/29/12
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