The Best Kept Secret for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails

When you think of bamboo, an image of a panda in the forests of China may come to mind. But this plant offers far more than a hearty lunch for these eastern bears. In fact, bamboo extract is one of the best-kept beauty secrets out there.  

Supplements claiming to promote the health of your hair, skin, and nails are everywhere these days. Even shampoo and lotion brands add ingredients that aim to promote a youthful complexion or stronger, thicker hair. When in doubt, it’s always best to look to the research to determine which nutrients are worth your money and which are just pure hype. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What makes bamboo extract your must-have ingredient for beauty care
  • How low levels of silica are directly correlated with hair loss
  • Why collagen is practically useless without sufficient silica
  • Why you need to focus more on what you put IN your body as opposed to what you put on your skin (nourishing from the inside out)
  • Which vital nutrients you need to have lustrous hair, skin and nails

What Is Bamboo Extract?

Bamboo extract is made from the fresh leaves and small branches of the bamboo plant. It’s been said that bamboo has been used for thousands of years in China due to its healing properties, and some research even shows that it may decrease inflammation[1].

From a beauty perspective, bamboo is a popular ingredient in many supplements and shampoos due to its high silica content. Silica brings strength and resilience to your tissues, making it an ideal nutrient for anti-aging. 

Bamboo (And Silica) As Your Beauty Secret Weapon

Hair

Thick, luxurious hair is what every woman wants. However, all too often, we end up with thin, brittle hair that lacks the luster and shine that we see in commercials and magazines. 

While genetics certainly play a role in your hair’s health and quality, the nutrients that act as building blocks for hair also play a significant part. 

Silica is a mineral that plays a strengthening role in your hair. In fact, it’s suggested that the higher the silica content of hair fibers, the lower the rate of hair loss[2].

This is likely due to silica’s structural effect on your hair fibers. Research shows that taking a silica supplement can enhance your hair’s strength, thickness, and elasticity. By increasing the silica concentration in your hair shaft, you will also likely experience less brittleness and breakage[3].

Some research suggests that silica’s strengthening effect comes from its interaction with keratin, a protein that surrounds your hair shaft and protects it from breakage while enhancing its elasticity[4].

It’s also been postulated that silica helps to drive other nutrients to your hair shaft, as it has the same effect on your bones[5].   

Skin

As you get older, your skin ages for two primary reasons; intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging.

Intrinsic aging is a natural process that occurs simply due to the aging process. Extrinsic aging, on the other hand, is due to environmental and lifestyle factors like UV radiation from the sun, cigarette smoking, air pollution, and toxic compounds in your personal care products[6].

Although these two processes may look a bit different in terms of the “how” of aging, what both intrinsic and extrinsic aging have in common is their impact on collagen production. Collagen is the primary protein in your connective tissue, and plays a vital role in the structure and integrity of your extracellular matrix (ECM) layer in your skin.

Your ECM is what holds your skin together and allows it to have strength and elasticity. The breakdown of collagen that occurs during the aging process is one of the primary reasons your skin starts to sag, wrinkle, and lose its luster[2].

Aging tends to have an oxidative impact on your skin, and specifically collagen, which leads to a gradual breakdown of this crucial protein. Silica, however, is a vital nutrient for collagen synthesis. As such, when you add silica to your diet, it can help your body replenish its collagen stores.

Silica strengthens your skin by activating specific enzymes called hydroxylation enzymes.  Hydroxylation enzymes play a role in the cross-linking of collagen fibers that form a network in your ECM to provide strength and elasticity to your skin[2].

What’s more, research shows that when you supplement with silica, it can improve the texture on the surface of your skin, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles, decreasing roughness and increasing the smooth, supple quality that you see in youthful skin[7].  

Nails

Similar to your hair shaft, the primary structural proteins in your nails are keratin and collagen. To create strong and healthy nails, however, the delivery of vitamins and minerals is essential.

As previously mentioned, silica has a role in collagen synthesis and may support keratin as well. It should come as no surprise then that silica is one of the predominant minerals in the composition of your nails. In fact, when someone is deficient in silica, one of the hallmark signs is soft, brittle nails[2].

Anecdotally, many people will tell you that when they start taking a silica supplement, the first thing they notice is stronger nails that are able to grow out longer without breaking.

Research shows that silica helps with nail brittleness and has an impact on the overall strength of your nails[7].

What’s more, ancient cultures like Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have always looked to the health of your nails to determine the health of your skeletal system. The understanding is that the nutrients that promote healthy bones are directly related to nail health. From this perspective, it’s well understood that silica can play a role in bone mineral density, and therefore the activity of silica can be reflected in the health of your nails as well[8][9]. 

Other Crucial Nutrients for Hair, Skin, and Nails

Bamboo extract provides a rich source of silica to nourish your hair, skin, and nails, and can do wonders for your beauty routine.

However, the real trick is to combine the potency of bamboo extract with other strengthening and revitalizing nutrients so you can get after aging from all angles. While there are many supplements on the market that claim to be the ultimate anti-aging solution, there are truly only a handful of research-backed and time-tested nutrients.

If you want to get the most out of your bamboo extract supplement, use it in combination with biotin, hyaluronic acid, and selenium. These are all nutrients shown in the research to have anti-aging and beauty benefits.

Biotin is one of the most well-known nutrients for hair health. One of the hallmark symptoms of biotin deficiency is hair loss. [18]

  • Biotin is a crucial nutrient for the creation of important hair enzymes. 
  • It’s involved in making proteins for your hair and nails. When you have low levels of biotin, your nails break more easily, and your hair becomes brittle. [19, 20]
  • Biotin has a high sulfur content. Research shows that sulfur can stimulate hair growth and lower the amount of unhealthy oils that your scalp excretes. [21]
  • Biotin also helps discourage inflammation on your scalp, reducing your risk of dandruff and hair loss. 

Biotin plays a role as a cofactor for several enzymes, and its deficiency is associated with hair loss. It’s proposed that biotin may have a crucial impact on keratin synthesis, which would relate low levels of biotin to symptoms such as brittle hair and nails[10][11].

Although researchers haven’t nailed down a specific mechanism, it’s clear that biotin has a strengthening impact on your hair, skin, and nails, which is why this vitamin is often recommended by dermatologists[12].

Hyaluronic acid is the number one nutrient for skin moisture. It acts as a sponge in your extracellular matrix, binding water and allowing your skin to retain moisture.

Moist, hydrated skin has more shine, luster, and suppleness and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. As you age, the intrinsic and extrinsic factors in your life can rob your skin of moisture; hyaluronic acid is your fountain of youth nutrient that can replenish hydration and vitality to your skin[13][14].

Hyaluronic acid has also been proposed as a treatment to help patients with alopecia regrow hair. Although more research needs to be done, it appears that HA stimulates cell proliferation in the extracellular matrix and promotes the reconstruction of hair follicles[15].

Selenium is vital for the production of antioxidants and has been shown to protect skin cells from the oxidative damage caused by UV rays. UV rays from the sun are the most common concern for extrinsic aging, making selenium a crucial nutrient to combat aging caused by photodamage[16]. Selenium actually repairs DNA damage. You can’t get more anti-aging than that!

Research also shows the selenium supports the health of your hair and specifically plays a role in its pigmentation. Deficiency in selenium can result in premature graying[17].  

A Simple Solution For Hair, Skin, and Nails

Finding the right beauty products can be quite a chore. You may have an idea of what you’re looking for, but often supplement formulations include too many filler ingredients and not enough of the good stuff. 

And I think women focus too much on what they put ON their skin as opposed to what they put IN their bodies. It’s far more important to nourish your hair, skin and nails from the inside out than what you put on them. 

That’s why I took matters into my own hands and created Ageless AF. After reading the research on silica from bamboo, selenium, biotin, and hyaluronic acid, it was clear — these are the four superstars I want to take every day. 

Ageless AF is a combination of the highest quality nutrients I could find in meaningful doses so I could be sure that I would see the effects on my hair, skin, and nails. 

If you’re interested in anti-aging and nourishing your youth and beauty from the inside out, Ageless AF offers a comprehensive solution for your beauty routine.

Takeaway

The health of your hair, skin, and nails is a direct reflexion of what’s going on inside your body. Weak nails, brittle hair, and sagging skin are all signs of nutrient deficiencies and are often related to the aging process.

Fortunately, research has pinpointed a handful of nutrients that can help us combat these signs of aging and help replenish our cells and tissues.

While many companies will highlight one or two nutrients that are said to be the end-all-be-all of anti-aging, the truth is that we need to support our body on multiple levels to get at the primary reason our skin begins to lack suppleness, our hair loses its luster, and our nails become brittle.

Silica coming from bamboo is an excellent place to start, but if you really want to see profound results combine it with biotin, selenium, and hyaluronic acid.

Click Here for References+

  1. Ho, Chen-Lung, et al. “Bamboo vinegar decreases inflammatory mediator expression and NLRP3 inflammasome activation by inhibiting reactive oxygen species generation and protein kinase C-α/δ activation.” PLoS One 8.10 (2013): e75738.
  2. Araújo, Lidiane Advincula de, Flavia Addor, and Patrícia Maria Berardo Gonçalves Maia Campos. “Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy.” Anais brasileiros de dermatologia 91.3 (2016): 331-335.
  3. Barel, A., et al. “Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on skin, nails and hair in women with photodamaged skin.” Archives of Dermatological Research 297.4 (2005): 147-153.
  4. Wickett, R. R., et al. “Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on hair tensile strength and morphology in women with fine hair.” Archives of dermatological research 299.10 (2007): 499-505.
  5. Price, Charles T., Kenneth J. Koval, and Joshua R. Langford. “Silicon: a review of its potential role in the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.” International journal of endocrinology 2013 (2013).
  6. Zhang, Shoubing, and Enkui Duan. “Fighting against skin aging: the way from bench to bedside.” Cell Transplantation 27.5 (2018): 729-738.
  7. Barel, A., et al. “Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on skin, nails and hair in women with photodamaged skin.” Archives of Dermatological Research 297.4 (2005): 147-153.
  8. Saeedi, Pouya, Amin Shavandi, and Kim Meredith-Jones. “Nail Properties and bone health: A review.” Journal of functional biomaterials 9.2 (2018): 31.
  9. Jugdaohsingh, Ravin, and Jonathan J. Powell. “Moderate Beer Consumption: Effects on Silicon Intake and Bone Health.” Beer in Health and Disease Prevention. Academic Press, 2009. 787-794.
  10. Ablon, Glynis. “A 3-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the ability of an extra-strength marine protein supplement to promote hair growth and decrease shedding in women with self-perceived thinning hair.” Dermatology Research and Practice 2015 (2015).
  11. Patel, Deepa P., Shane M. Swink, and Leslie Castelo-Soccio. “A review of the use of biotin for hair loss.” Skin appendage disorders 3.3 (2017): 166-169.
  12. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-biotin-as-good-as-advertised-for-your-hair-loss/
  13. Simpson, Russell ML, et al. “Age-related changes in pericellular hyaluronan organization leads to impaired dermal fibroblast to myofibroblast differentiation.” The American journal of pathology 175.5 (2009): 1915-1928.
  14. Papakonstantinou, Eleni, Michael Roth, and George Karakiulakis. “Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging.” Dermato-endocrinology 4.3 (2012): 253-258.
  15. Kalabusheva, Ekaterina, Vasily Terskikh, and Ekaterina Vorotelyak. “Hair germ model in vitro via human postnatal keratinocyte-dermal papilla interactions: impact of hyaluronic acid.” Stem Cells International 2017 (2017).
  16. Park, Kyungho. “Role of micronutrients in skin health and function.” Biomolecules & therapeutics 23.3 (2015): 207.
  17. Almohanna, Hind M., et al. “The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: a review.” Dermatology and therapy 9.1 (2019): 51-70.
  18. Team, Family Health. Is Biotin as Good as Advertised for Your Hair Loss? 12 Oct. 2020.
  19. Ablon, Glynis. “A 3-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the ability of an extra-strength marine protein supplement to promote hair growth and decrease shedding in women with self-perceived thinning hair.” Dermatology Research and Practice 2015 (2015).
  20. Patel, Deepa P., Shane M. Swink, and Leslie Castelo-Soccio. “A review of the use of biotin for hair loss.” Skin appendage disorders 3.3 (2017): 166-169.
  21. Goluch-Koniuszy, Zuzanna Sabina. “Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause.” Przeglad menopauzalny= Menopause review 15.1 (2016): 56.

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Wendy Myers, FDN-P, is a detox expert, functional diagnostic nutritionist, NES Bioenergetic Practitioner, and founder of Myersdetox.com. She is the #1 bestselling author of Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue . Additionally, Wendy is the host of The Heavy Metals Summit, the Myers Detox Podcast, and the Supercharged Podcast. Passionate about the importance of detox to live a long and healthy life, she created the revolutionary Myers Detox Protocol , and Mitochondria Detox kit after working with thousands of clients, as well as a range of supplements to help you detox from everyday living and maintain a healthy lifestyle!