Proper care, quality products and good nutrition can help both you and your horse have great hair days every day.
By Delores Kuhlwein
Still trying to unravel the mystery of great hair for you and your Paint Horse? Join the club. We all want fabulous hair: gal or guy, human or equine. But navigating the sea of advertising from both the human and horse industries—which constantly push products and routines for stronger, longer, thicker hair—can be trickier than picking a six-strand wind knot out of your impatient mare’s mane. But there are ways to help you—and your horse—have good hair day hair a bit more often, and we’ve gathered tips from innovative product makers, a hip hair stylist and an equine nutritionist. The bonus (besides hair envy, of course)? Your nails and skin, as well as your horse’s hooves and coat, will love you for it.
The Body Is a Temple
You’ve heard it before, but Mariah Shields of Bob and Weave Salon stresses that what you eat really does matter. The chic cosmetologist from Glendale, Arizona, sports her own healthy head of hair, and she reminds clients that hair is nourished from the inside out.
“Eating nutritious foods can have a direct effect on the health and appearance of our hair and nails. Foods rich in B vitamins, Omegas and healthy fats, such as leafy greens, salmon and avocado, are all great ‘hair foods,’ ” Mariah explained. “I also recommend supplements to my clients, especially when it comes to hair loss or if a client is growing her hair out. Biotin, which is in the B vitamin family, is usually a main ingredient in most of these supplements and has been proven to promote healthy skin, hair and nails.”
It’s no fluke that biotin is also found in most hoof supplements for horses.
“Biotin is an important vitamin that supports the structure of keratin—the protein that provides healthy hair, skin and nails,” said longtime APHA member Briana Fields of Phoenix, Arizona; she learned the importance of health from within while earning her bachelor’s degree in animal science with a focus on equine nutrition and reproduction. “Providing your horse with supplemental biotin can help strengthen his hooves and improve his hair coat by ensuring adequate keratin production.”
And like horses, people need to give the supplements time in their systems to see results, Mariah says.
“It’s important to remember to take the supplements regularly and at least for a few months before you really start to notice the results,” she advised.
Don’t Judge by the Cover
If you’re a meticulous label reader, this advice is for you; if you’re not, it’s time to change your ways. Just like what we put inside our bodies, what we put on the outside counts, too. Humans might only have to worry about their head when it comes to hair health, but because topical products can affect your horse’s entire body, our experts advise using a critical eye when reading content labels.
Mariah advises clients to avoid products containing sulfates, for example.
“Sulfates are harsh detergents that can strip color and remove hair’s natural oils; using a sulfate-free shampoo like Redken Color Extend Magnetics can help preserve your hair’s color and prevent dryness,” she said.
Some ingredients are designed to tackle the issues you’re trying to resolve. For example, Mariah says argan oil’s high vitamin E and fatty-acid content is a proven agent to make dry hair softer, silkier and shinier.
Keratin, which is the same type of protein hair is composed of, and is helpful for battling over-processed or damaged hair.
“Products containing keratin can be used sparingly to strengthen weak strands,” Mariah said.
This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Spring 2018 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.