Our lives have become busy and distracting. And it’s not getting any better, maybe worse. There’s work to be done, emails to be dealt with, home to be managed and then every so often a new gadget is launched in the market that appears very cool and you want to get it.
In the midst of the doings and wanting and all the chaos, it’s natural to crave calm and tranquillity. Some simple ways you can unwind are going for walks, spending time in nature, reading a book or watching a movie. But there’s also a mineral that you can use to calm down. And to speed up hair growth. Yes, there’s a strong connection between staying calm and strong hair, we will see in a bit.
First, about the mineral. So it’s a very ordinary mineral which is a great antidote to stress and helps you relax as well as reduce hair loss. And that mineral is…. Magnesium.
I call this mineral ordinary because it’s found abundantly on the earth. Unlike gold which is very scarce to find, magnesium is the eighth-most abundant element in the earth’s crust and the third most abundant in seawater (after sodium and chlorine).
Though, what is not ordinary is magnesium’s role in our body. Along with being calming, it’s a vital nutrient that we require to stay healthy. Magnesium is essential to all cells in our body (including hair cells) and some 300 enzyme functions depend on it. It’s needed for the growth of new cells, energy production and making protein, bone and DNA. Besides, magnesium is needed for proper muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation.
You see, magnesium is pretty essential for the functioning of our body. But what about hair growth? Well, magnesium has a few key roles when it comes to growing healthy hair.
How Does Magnesium Help Grow Thick Hair?
Even though our hair is dead outside, there’s a lot of work going on inside the hair follicles to build hair. Since magnesium takes part in making protein as well as the growth of cells, adequate supply of magnesium ensures that our hair is growing stronger and thicker and there’s no interruption in the hair cycle to cause premature hair fall.
Moreover, magnesium is beneficial for the health of the blood vessels. It helps to relax and dilate the arteries and also reduce its calcification (hardening). That’s good news for the entire circulatory system of our body. And for our scalp too. This means that the small, tiny blood vessels of our scalp work better. And bring essential nutrients to the hair follicles and remove harmful waste from them.
Besides, magnesium’s calming role is also very beneficial in reducing hair loss.
Stress can wreak havoc in our body. It brings about hormonal surge to make us ready to fight or flight. So if you get super stressed over an argument with a friend or a work deadline, your body reacts just as strongly as if you’re facing a real life-or-death situation – which is rarely the case. Frequent episodes of stress stimulate adrenal glands to produce more cortisol and androgens. And too high levels of androgens (such as DHT) are harmful to our hair. They can trigger inflammation of hair follicles, causing them to shrink over time. And shrunk follicles will produce thin, weak hair that will fall out easily.
So next time you are angry with someone and wish they migrate to Mars, munch on some magnesium-rich foods. And save your hair and health. You can still wish that person to migrate to Mars but with a calmer disposition. And that should be okay, I guess.
If you are wondering what foods are rich in magnesium, here’s a list.
What are the Top Magnesium-Rich Foods?
The good news is that magnesium is found in many everyday foods:
- Nuts like cashews, almonds and peanuts are one of the top foods sources.
- Also, all beans and lentils are high in magnesium. Some common ones are mung beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black gram (kala chana) and red lentils (masoor dal).
- Whole grains too are abundant in magnesium. So wheat, oats, quinoa, millet and buckwheat are good sources.
- Green leafy vegetables and sea vegetables are also rich in magnesium.
- You can get more info on magnesium-rich foods here.
If we look at the foods sources, our daily magnesium need should be met easily. But it may not be the case. Why is that…
Why Are We Low on Magnesium?
Sadly, our modern ways of farming tax the soil, depleting it of its valuable minerals like magnesium. Moreover conventional fertilizers do nothing to replenish magnesium levels. So the food that grows on it contains lesser magnesium.
But, we too may be draining magnesium. Taking excess alcohol, salt, coffee, soda and sugary drinks, can deplete the magnesium from our body. And so does prolonged or intense stress. And that causes more stress (as magnesium is the calming mineral). Oops.
How do you know you lack magnesium?
You may think of doing a blood test. But, it’s not an effective way of detecting magnesium levels. That’s because most of the magnesium is stored in our bones or inside the cells. And only 0.3% of magnesium is in the blood. So a blood test may or may not give a true status of magnesium.
But certain signs and symptoms can tell us if you are low in magnesium. And these include the following…
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
- Muscle cramps and twitches
- Difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety and Irritability
- Migraine headaches
- Hair loss
- Frequent teeth cavities
- High blood pressure
- you can see more here
With all the troubles lack of magnesium can cause, resolving the deficiency is relatively simple. Other than eating magnesium-rich foods, there are three ways you can up the magnesium levels, let’s have a look…
3 Ways to Get Enough Magnesium for Good Hair and Health
- Magnesium Oil for Hair Loss
- Epsom Salt Soak
- Magnesium Pill
1. Magnesium Oil For Hair Loss
As the name suggests magnesium oil is not a true oil. It’s a concentrated solution of magnesium crystals mixed with water. But when it goes on the scalp or skin it tends to feel somewhat like an oil. Hence, it’s called magnesium oil.
Magnesium oil is a great way to nourish scalp tissue and make hair thicker and stronger. Plus, it will also boost scalp circulation, bringing more nutrients for healthy hair growth.
You can make your own magnesium oil, it’s as simple as dissolving salt in water. But since we live in a busy world, you might want to buy a readymade magnesium oil. Your choice.
To make magnesium oil, you will need:
- ½ cup magnesium chloride crystals
- ½ cup distilled or filtered water
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (optional, soothes scalp and boosts shine)
- 5 drops cedarwood essential oil (optional, stimulates hair growth)
- A spray bottle
How to Make:
- Bring water to boil, then turn off the flame.
- Now add the magnesium chloride crystal to the hot water and stir until completely dissolved. It will take only a few seconds.
- Let it cool down and pour it in a spray bottle.
- You can store this at room temperature. It will keep for 2-3 months.
How to Apply:
Just spray magnesium oil (8 to 10 sprays) directly on your scalp and rub it in. Let it soak for 30 minutes before you wash your hair. Use twice a week. You might feel a warm, tingling sensation, but then it fades away.
There have been many positive reports of people applying magnesium oil to the head. It helps to reduce hair fall and promotes new hair growth that is stronger and healthier. Plus, it also makes hair shiny and bouncy.
However, magnesium oil can leave some people’s scalp dry and itchy. So what should you do it that case…You can spray magnesium oil on your arms and leg, massage lightly and leave it on. Or you can try Epsom salt soak.
2. Epsom Salt Soak To Up Your Magnesium levels
Epsom salt is another salt of magnesium and goes with chemical name magnesium sulphate. You don’t have to remember it. But you can remember that magnesium from Epsom will get absorbed through the skin and enter the blood circulation (also known as transdermal absorption). And then via blood, transported to all the necessary places, including your hair, bones, muscles, and other tissues.
How to do Epsom salt soak:
- Foot soak: Add ½ cup Epsom salt to the foot-bath. For relaxing scent, you can add 5 to 10 drops of essential oils like lavender or rosemary. You can use hot or warm water depending on how you like. And let your feet soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times a week.
- Relaxing Bath Soak: You can add a cup of Epsom salt to bath water and soak for 20 minutes. It also brings relief from body ache and sore muscles.
3. Magnesium Supplements
Lastly, you can take magnesium supplements to meet your magnesium requirement. They are available in a variety of forms: magnesium glycinate, citrate, oxide, aspartate, gluconate, malate and taurate. The upper limit is said to be 350mg.
The only concern of taking magnesium by mouth is that it can cause stomach upset in people with an already sensitive stomach. I have found that when I take magnesium together with calcium and zinc it doesn’t cause me any issues. So a complex of calcium, magnesium and zinc works for me. Also, if you are taking magnesium supplements, take it with food, and that helps to prevent stomach issues it may cause.
You see, there are multiple ways you can get magnesium. If taken rightly, magnesium may prove to be magic mineral for your hair and health. But it’s not for everyone.
Who Should Avoid Magnesium?
If you have a kidney disease, take magnesium only under doctor’s supervision. And if you are ill or on medication, always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements as it can interact with your medication.
That’s all about magnesium for now, before we end, let’s recap:
- Magnesium is an essential mineral for the growth of new cells (including hair cell) and making protein, bone and DNA.
- Magnesium improves blood flow by dilating the blood vessels. This means that the hair follicles receive more blood supply, so more essential nutrients – which support the growth of healthy, strong hair.
- And since magnesium has a relaxing and calming effect on our nervous system, it’s beneficial in reducing hair loss due to stress.
Now i would like to hear from you. Ever tried magnesium for hair loss, to help reduce stress or for another reason. Let me know below…