After a recent illness, my hair started falling out. Is there anything I can take to make my hair grow faster?

Q. Dear Terry, “After a recent illness, my hair started falling out. My doctor said this is normal and it could take three to six months for my hair to start growing back. Is there anything I can take to make my hair grow faster?” – Shania W., Eagan, MN

A. Dear Shania, There are many factors that can play a role in hair growth and loss. Certain infections, stress, and malnutrition are a few conditions that can contribute to hair loss. To keep hair healthy we use shampoo, conditioner, and other external treatments, but to really address the issue we need to look inward to nourish and sustain healthy hair growth. New hair growth does take time, but it is possible.

Biotin and B vitamins (especially riboflavin, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid) are must-haves for healthy hair and skin. They play an important role in the synthesis of amino acids – the building blocks of hair. The two most critical sulphurated (sulfur-containing) amino acids for new hair growth are L-methionine and L-cysteine. They are essential for the formation of keratin and help promote new hair growth.

Another nutrient that is very helpful for hair growth is millet seed oil, which provides valuable natural compounds like miliacin. Miliacin has been found to increase cell metabolism, stimulate cell proliferation, and tissue regeneration – exactly what is needed for restoring healthy hair.

Other supportive ingredients include silica, vitamin A, vitamin E, and zinc.

I would take 1,200 mcg of vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate), 30 mg of vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols), 4 mg of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 20 mg of vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal-5-phosphate), 400 mcg of folic acid, 5,000 mcg of biotin, 20 mg of vitamin B5 (as calcium pantothenate), 10 mg of zinc (as zinc gluconate), 400 mg of millet (Panicum miliaceum) seed oil standardized to 4 mg of miliacin, 100 mg of horsetail (Equisetum arvense) standardized to 7 mg of silica, 100 mg of L-cysteine, and 100 mg of L-methionine, twice per day. Please be patient when it comes to new hair growth, as it takes time. Stick with these ingredients for a minimum of three months and I think you will be happy with the results.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally