Fusion Health Co-founder and Technical Director Paul Keogh was recently interviewed for the Healthy Living podcast series. The second podcast episode covers Healthy Hair, Skin and Nail Growth.
Listen to the interview now, or read the interview in full below
Full interview transcript
INTERVIEWER: In this podcast we’re talking hair loss, thinning hair, poor hair condition and the related topics of skin and nail health. Paul what are some of the reasons for changes in hair health?
Paul Keogh: Healthy hair starts beneath the skin where blood capillaries deliver nourishment to our hair follicles as well as to our skin and nails. Normally we have 85-90% of hair follicles in the active growth phase with 10-14% in the resting phase, and only 1-2% in the shedding phase. Since there are many thousands of hair follicles on the scalp, it’s normal to shed 50-100 hairs per day but any more suggests too many hair follicles are entering the resting phase.
During certain times of life and when under stress, changes to hormones and immune function can impact on the growth cycle of our hair follicles. For example, immune dysfunction is believed to cause patchy or spot baldness at any age, and in extreme cases an individual’s whole body may be hairless. Menopause is often associated with thinning hair when hormonal changes cause greater than normal numbers of dormant or resting hair follicles. Stress can also trigger changes in the hair growth cycle leading to excess numbers of resting hair follicles compared to active hair follicles in the growth phase. When there are 20% or more of hair follicles in the resting phase you’ll see signs of excess hair loss including thinning. For some people hair loss can be extreme and excessive with clumps of hair falling out when brushing, showering and during sleep.
IV: What can Chinese medicine teach us about the health of our hair, skin and nails?
PK: In Chinese medicine, the growth and development of the hair, skin and nails depends on the health of the Kidney and Liver organ-meridian systems – Kidney governing hair growth while Liver providing nourishment to the scalp, hair follicles, skin and nails.
Supporting these two organ systems with good nutrition and ample water intake together with Chinese herbs esp. Fallopia multiflora (Phytofol®), silica and essential nutrients is important for promoting healthy growth and condition of hair, skin and nails.
IV: What are Silica and Phytofol® and what do they do?
PK: The mineral silica is found in all tissues that require structure and strength including the hair but also collagen-containing connective tissues such as the skin and nails.
As an essential component of collagen, silica helps stabilise connective tissue and enhance elasticity and firmness of the scalp to support the hair follicles. It also supports hair condition and strength, and may be beneficial for brittle hair and split ends.
Phytofol® is a proprietary extract of the traditional Chinese herb Fallopia multiflora, which helps regenerate resting hair follicles to increase the percentage of follicles in the active growth phase. In turn, this promotes healthy hair growth and may assist in the management of alopecia, hair loss, and both male and female pattern baldness.
Are there benefits to taking silica and Phytofol® together? Yes, taking both silica and Phytofol® helps strengthen, nourish and activate hair follicles to support healthy hair growth and condition including strength, volume, colour and lustre. Together with essential vitamins and minerals such as biotin and zinc, they also help nourish the skin to encourage healthy skin texture, tone, firmness and elasticity, aid the management of skin conditions such as mild to moderate acne, dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as reduce nail breakage, splitting and flaking and help strengthen soft or brittle nails.
IV: What evidence is there that Phytofol® can activate resting hair follicles.
PK: Well, apart from the many positive testimonials from people taking Phytofol®, a recent scientific study conducted in Australia demonstrates that Phytofol® might promote hair growth by stimulating the growth of cells in human hair follicles.