When we think about trees and plants, perhaps the last place we imagine these plants to be in is the sea. Yet, there is no lack of greenery (and other colors) inside the sea, ranging from small shrub-like plants to massive colonies of photosynthesizing algae and plants. One such alga is called the sea kelp and this article will look into the claim which has taken the hair industry by storm; Is sea kelp for hair beneficial, or just a corporate hoax (or old wives’ tale).
Before we see what it can do to your health, we need to know what sea kelp is, at least on the surface level (pun intended). Sea Kelp is an alga that grows in the coastal regions of oceans. They are also called seaweed and need nutrient-rich water to grow.
Since sea kelp doesn’t take nutrients from the ground, they absorb the nutrients from the surrounding water via osmosis. This makes them very rich in nutrients. This is also the reason why sea kelps are considered as the “Superfoods”. But how does it help in hair growth and boost their health?
How Sea Kelp is beneficial for hair
This is where we come to the tricky part. Cosmetic companies will milk any opportunity and create this false image of the “one revolutionary ingredient”. And in this case, sadly, it is sea kelp. Don’t get me wrong, sea kelp can be beneficial for your hair and your body, but there are some conditions you have to consider.
Sea kelp is full of nutrients, but for the subject of hair growth and health, two nutrients are of the most importance; iodine and iron. According to the National Institute of Health, sea kelp is one of the best natural sources of iodine. Here’s the source for it.
Sea kelp is also very rich in iron and a plethora of other vitamins and minerals. This is the reason why sea kelp for hair is beneficial for some and useless to others, even dangerous. The reason for your hair loss or hair diseases is important to consider.
People can suffer from hair loss and diseases due to a deficiency of iodine and iron. Iodine is required for healthy hair while the iron is a key nutrient in keeping your hair in its optimal state, both in strength and color. The deficiency of iron is one of the major reasons why women lose hair. Lack of iron is also the reason for premature graying of hair.
As you can see what I am implying, if your hair issues are due to these underlying deficiencies, then sea kelp will most definitely be beneficial for you. Not just that, but since sea kelp has Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, D, E, K1, zinc, copper, potassium, etc, it can help in a lot of deficiency diseases.
Side effects of Sea Kelp
If the hair issues you’re facing are not due to the deficiency of the mentioned nutrients, then the best sea kelp will do to you is nothing. The worst? A lot of damage. This is why it is important to get a doctor’s appointment and find the reason for the hair issue. Here are the side effects of sea kelp.
Excessive intake of iodine can result in thyroid inflammation and other issues related to it. The condition is called hyperthyroidism. It can cause nausea, diarrhea, weak pulse, fever, fatigue, etc. In simple words, you don’t want to take iodine more than you need. If you already have hyperthyroidism, then it is better to stay away from it.
Since sea kelp is also loaded with trace amounts of metals, eating too much of it results in the accumulation of these metals in your body. Even a small amount of these metals can become toxic. And as always, no article on the internet can replace a doctor. So before you start your sea diet, consult a doctor.
How to take sea kelp?
While we know how sea kelp can be beneficial for hair, what’s the best way of taking it in? Is it better to be applied on the hair or to eat it? Eating sea kelp is the best way to get the most out of it. But since you are taking all the nutrients in, it can also be damaging to people who already have normal levels of iodine or other vitamins.
Sea kelp can be eaten with or as salad, dry kelp is also available in the consumption market. You can also get sea kelp in powdered form. Or if you want to be on the side of convenience, just get the sea kelp pills. Just before you start taking sea kelp, make sure to ask your doctor about it. The powdered form of consumption can lead to excess intake of nutrients.
Sea kelp can be added to noodles, pasta, sushi, salad, etc. You can also sprinkle dried sea kelp as a seasoning. There are a lot of restaurants in the US that focus on sea kelp (or seaweed) dishes. But if you want kelp just for your hair, then shampoos and serums are your best options.
There are a lot of shampoos and serums and even hair masks that have sea kelp as their main ingredient. You can apply and test them if they are beneficial or not. And since you are targeting your hair, the risk of all the possible side effects also becomes minimal. From my testing, my hair felt a bit different but I did not notice any difference that would make me wanna recommend it to everyone.
In conclusion, sea kelp is beneficial but to only the ones who need its benefits. Since sea kelp is an excellent source of iodine, it will be helpful for anyone who suffers from the lack of it. And since iodine is responsible for hair loss, sea kelp will be beneficial for it.
But if the reason for the hair fall is not because of iodine deficiency, then consuming excess sea kelp might result in some side effects, mostly related to hyperthyroidism. So it is necessary to consult your doctor before you turn your house into Bikini Bottom. This concludes the article.
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