Are probiotics good for your hair?
May, 27 2020 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)
Did you know that drinking a glass of traditional buttermilk could actually help you have healthy hair? Buttermilk is rich in probiotics or good bacteria, which are said to be great for your hair, skin, and your overall health in general.
There has been a lot of talk around probiotics in the last few years, especially when it comes to health. So, what are probiotics and why is everyone talking about it? These are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeasts) that live in our body and are good for digestion and have other health benefits. Probiotics are found in foods like yogurt, buttermilk, miso, kimchi, Kombucha, pickles, and sauerkraut, and can be consumed as supplements as well. These can also prevent and treat some diseases.
So how are probiotics good for the hair? Can they promote hair growth or even prevent hair loss? Experts say they do. Regularly having probiotics can help hair grow by keeping your body, especially your blood healthy as they kill pathogens or agents of disease. This can stimulate hair growth.
Probiotics are good for hair in many direct and indirect ways. Take your immune system for example. According to research, good bacteria can help increase the number of anti-inflammatory T-cells in the body. These help the immune system function by deciding what are the kinds of bacteria that the body should fight to stay healthy. People with a lower count of these cells are at a risk of developing autoimmune diseases, which can lead to hair fall, as the body starts to attack its own healthy cells. Probiotics can help by strengthening the immune system.
Research also says that probiotics help in relieving stress, which is a major cause of hair loss. In fact, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder say that probiotics can protect the brain from stress and could even be used for treatment of conditions like PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder. This means that it will not just be good for your mental well being but can also help in arresting stress-related hair loss.
The biggest benefit of probiotics is their role in digestion. Probiotics help the body break down excess protein which could become toxic if people are consuming too much. One reason that your hair could be looking dull might be because your body is unable to absorb all the nutrients from your food. That’s where probiotics help, by ensuring that what you eat is digested properly and your body is actually able to absorb all nutrients which are good for your skin, hair, as well as other parts of the body.
Some probiotics also help reduce inflammation in the skin and hair follicles. Studies say that probiotics stimulate the anti-inflammatory part of the immune system to release cytokines (group of proteins made by the immune system) and hormones which fight inflammation. By reducing the inflammation of the skin and hair follicles, probiotics can help promote healthy hair.
Probiotics also help your hair by maintaining the hormone level in the body, and stimulating the anagen or the growth phase of the hair in both men and women. Both of these are essential for healthy hair and in preventing hair loss. A disbalance of hormones is a major cause of hair loss. In men, a high number of androgens (like dihydrotestosterone or DHT) or the male sex hormone can lead to hair loss by leading to the miniaturisation of hair follicles.
Probiotics are also good for your skin and have anti ageing properties including fighting sun damage. With all of these benefits, if you still have included probiotics in your meal plan, it’s perhaps time you do.