Bio-Hacking a happier life
Wondering what on Earth Biohacking is? We’re here to help. At CENTRED, we are all about helping you find ways to feel good and when it comes to feeling good, it turns out that biohacking is a proven method for doing just that.
So strap in, not too tight though it’s not good for the happiness chemicals! And don’t worry, although we’re dipping our toes into ‘sciency’ waters, we promise we will keep this as simple and easy-to-get as possible.
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking in simple terms is the practice of making deliberate changes to things like lifestyle, biology and environment in order to materialise the best version of yourself. It’s like being the mad-scientist of your own body! You are probably already doing it to some degree if you own any kind of wearable tech like a fit bit, Apple watch or other gadget that helps you to track and improve health and fitness metrics but in even simpler terms, it is just about taking an interest in yourself and being open to making little adjustments here and there and staying curious.
So when it comes to improving your overall well-being and in turn, enjoyment of life, Biohacking is where it's at. This article is all about using the power of science combined with personal investigation in order to live life to the fullest.
So let’s dive further in….
How to use biohacking to optimise:
In need of more energy? Looking to reduce inflammation or improve gut health? Nutritional biohacking involves manipulating diet, macronutrient ratios, fasting techniques and vitamin supplementation and can help dramatically improve a whole host of conditions as well as your overall enjoyment of life by feeling better. Having your nutrition on point is one of the best things your can do fro your hair, remember that hair grows from within so patchy nutrition can result in weaker hair and even hair loss. Conversely, having optimal nutritional will maximise your hair health potential and reduce the chance of nutrient deficiencies that lead to thinner hair and other health implications.
Here’s some examples of how you can unleash your inner nutritional biohacker:
- Supercharge with Superfoods: Incorporate nutrient-dense superfoods into your meals. Add a handful of spinach or kale to your morning smoothie for an instant boost of vitamins and minerals. Sprinkle chia seeds or flaxseeds on your salads or yoghurt for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. These small changes can have a big impact on your overall well-being.
- Embrace Intermittent Fasting: Try experimenting with intermittent fasting, where you restrict your eating window to a specific time period. This approach can help regulate blood sugar levels, enhance cellular repair, and boost your metabolism. Start with a 12-hour fast overnight and gradually increase the fasting duration if it feels comfortable for you.
- Customise Macros: Tailor your macronutrient ratios to your individual needs. If you're looking to enhance mental clarity and focus, consider a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. On the other hand, if you're engaging in intense physical activities, a higher carbohydrate intake may fuel your workouts and aid in recovery.
- Optimise Gut Health: Take care of your gut microbiome, as it plays a vital role in your overall well-being. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kefir into your diet to support a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Don't forget to include prebiotic foods like garlic, onions, and asparagus, which act as fuel for your friendly gut microbes. Improving gut health will increase your body’s ability to absorb nutrients which will increase the effectiveness of hair growth supplements like our Tender Love & Hair whilst reducing the chances of being nutrient deficient which can lead to thinning hair.
- Hydrate Like a Champ: Stay hydrated and quench your thirst with good old H2O. Add a slice of lemon, cucumber, or mint for a refreshing twist. If you want to take it a step further, experiment with infused waters by adding fruits like berries or citrus slices for a burst of flavour and extra antioxidants.
- Mindful Eating: Slow down and savour your meals. Practise mindful eating by paying attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of each bite. This can help you tune in to your body's hunger and fullness cues, preventing overeating and promoting a healthier relationship with food.
- Customise for Food Sensitivities: If you suspect you have food sensitivities, consider experimenting with an elimination diet. Remove common allergens such as gluten, dairy, or soy for a period of time, and then reintroduce them one at a time, noting any changes in your well-being. This can help you identify and customise your diet to suit your unique needs.
- Supplements: Supplements are a great way to ensure you are providing nutrients to your body alongside a healthy diet. They are particularly useful to support busy lifestyles when it's not always easy to prepare 3 meals a day. Our Tender Love & Hair Supplements contain a targeted blend of Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and Amino Acids to not only maximise hair health and strength but also to help regulate energy levels, enhance mood and support the immune system.
Arguably one of the most important activities humans can do (if you can call it that! More of a non-activity really). Sleep can become your secret weapon to a happier, healthier life. The human body is a truly remarkable thing, capable of self-healing, but often we need to get out of our own way in order to allow this to happen. This is where sleep is so important, a time for our bodies cells to rejuvenate and renew. Sleep optimisation involves utilising techniques and technologies to improve sleep quality and duration, such as sleep tracking devices, optimising sleep schedules, and creating optimal sleep environments. Get this right and watch what else improves in your life.
Here are some practical ways you can become a master of slumber to make waking-up feel incredible:
- Create a Sleep Sanctuary: Transform your bedroom into a peaceful haven for sleep. Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to block out external disturbances. Make sure your mattress and pillows provide proper support and comfort.
- Set a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Establish a regular sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.
- Unwind with a Bedtime Ritual: Develop a relaxing pre-sleep routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. This could include activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, practising gentle stretching or yoga, or listening to calming music. Avoid stimulating screens (e.g., smartphones, tablets, and TVs) at least an hour before bed. Our En-Root Scalp Oil ritual is a perfect relaxing self-care routine to get you in sleep mode, especially after a nice head massage.
- Limit Stimulants and Alcohol: Be mindful of your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening, as it can disrupt sleep. Similarly, while alcohol may initially make you feel drowsy, it can disrupt your sleep cycles and lead to poorer sleep quality.
- Embrace Darkness and Light: During the day, expose yourself to natural sunlight, especially in the morning. This helps regulate your circadian rhythm and promotes wakefulness. In the evening, limit exposure to bright lights, including electronic screens, as they can suppress melatonin production, the hormone that regulates sleep.
- Harness the Power of Technology: Use sleep-tracking devices or smartphone apps that monitor your sleep patterns and provide insights into your sleep quality. These tools can help you identify trends and make adjustments to optimise your sleep habits.
- Optimise Your Sleep Environment: Experiment with different sleep accessories and technologies to find what works best for you. Consider using a supportive pillow, a weighted blanket, or a comfortable sleep mask to enhance your sleep experience.
- Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practise relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, to calm your mind and prepare your body for restful sleep. Explore guided sleep meditation apps or podcasts that can gently guide you into a tranquil state.
- Evaluate Your Mattress and Sleep Position: Assess your mattress for comfort and support. Different sleep positions may require specific types of mattresses or pillows to optimise spinal alignment and reduce discomfort during sleep.
- Address Sleep Disorders: If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment options. Biohacking your sleep includes addressing any underlying issues that may be affecting your sleep quality.
Read more about sleep and hair growth in this article:
Unlocking the secrets of happiness chemicals and learning to hack them can be the key to a more joyful and fulfilling life. These amazing neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin, play significant roles in our well-being. By understanding their functions, we can take intentional steps to optimise their release and experience increased happiness. YES TO THIS!
Serotonin: The Confidence Booster
Serotonin, often called the "confidence molecule," plays a crucial role in mood regulation and overall well-being. Boosting serotonin levels can lead to increased feelings of happiness, self-esteem, and confidence. To hack your serotonin levels, try the following techniques:
- a) Engage in regular exercise: Physical activity triggers the release of serotonin, promoting a sense of well-being and reducing stress.
- b) Get sunlight exposure: Spending time in the sun helps the body produce more serotonin, so soak up some rays to lift your mood.
- c) Practice acts of kindness: Helping others and engaging in acts of altruism can boost serotonin levels, creating a positive feedback loop of happiness.
Dopamine: The Reward Sensation
Dopamine, often referred to as the "reward chemical," is associated with feelings of pleasure, motivation, and reward. Understanding how to harness dopamine can pave the way to a more fulfilled and motivated life. Here are some ways to hack your dopamine levels:
- a) Set achievable goals: Breaking down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks and celebrating your progress along the way releases dopamine, creating a sense of accomplishment.
- b) Cultivate novelty and curiosity: Engage in new experiences, learn a new skill, or explore uncharted territories to activate the dopamine reward system in your brain.
- c) Practice gratitude: Expressing gratitude for the little things in life stimulates the release of dopamine and enhances feelings of happiness.
Endorphins: The Natural Painkillers
Endorphins are nature's way of providing pain relief and promoting a sense of euphoria. Harnessing the power of endorphins can help you experience joy even in challenging times. Try these methods to boost your endorphin levels:
- a) Exercise regularly: Engaging in aerobic activities like running, swimming, or dancing triggers the release of endorphins, often referred to as the "runner's high."
- b) Laugh out loud: Laughter releases endorphins, so watch a funny movie, share a joke with friends, or engage in activities that make you genuinely laugh.
- c) Embrace the power of music: Listening to your favourite music or playing an instrument can stimulate the release of endorphins and uplift your mood.
Oxytocin: The Connection Hormone
Oxytocin, known as the "love hormone," is closely associated with feelings of trust, bonding, and connection. Cultivating oxytocin can deepen your relationships and enhance your overall well-being. Consider the following strategies to increase oxytocin levels:
- a) Practice acts of physical affection: Hugging, holding hands, or cuddling with loved ones releases oxytocin, strengthening emotional bonds.
- b) Engage in deep conversations: Meaningful, authentic conversations that foster emotional connection and trust can trigger the release of oxytocin.
- c) Get a furry friend: Interacting with pets has been shown to increase oxytocin levels and reduce stress.
Hormones play a role in the health and thickness of hair and having imbalances can even cause hair loss.
Hormone biohacking opens up a world of possibilities for optimising our physical and mental well-being. By understanding the intricate dance of hormones within our bodies, we can take deliberate steps to balance and optimise their functions. Whether it's regulating cortisol for stress management, optimising insulin for stable energy levels, or fine-tuning thyroid hormones for metabolism and vitality, hormone biohacking empowers us to harness the power of these chemical messengers and helps us to avoid dips that can ultimately lead to unwanted side effects.
Cortisol (Stress Hormone):
Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness.
Get sufficient quality sleep to allow for cortisol regulation.
Engage in regular physical activity to help balance cortisol levels.
Incorporate adaptogenic herbs, such as ashwagandha or Rhodiola rosea, known for their stress-reducing properties.
Insulin (Blood Sugar Regulation):
Follow a balanced diet that includes whole foods, lean proteins, fibre-rich carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Avoid excessive consumption of sugary and highly processed foods.
Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine to enhance insulin sensitivity.
Consider intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating to optimise insulin levels.
Thyroid Hormones (Metabolism and Energy):
Ensure adequate intake of iodine, selenium, and zinc, which are essential for proper thyroid function.
Manage stress levels as chronic stress can negatively impact thyroid health.
Consider optimising gut health as it plays a role in thyroid hormone conversion.
Consult with a healthcare professional to evaluate thyroid hormone levels and discuss potential interventions if needed.
Engage in regular strength training exercises to stimulate testosterone production.
Get sufficient sleep as testosterone production is influenced by sleep quality and duration.
Maintain a healthy weight and manage stress levels to optimise testosterone levels.
Include foods rich in zinc, vitamin D, and healthy fats in your diet.
Incorporate phytoestrogen-rich foods like soy, flaxseeds, and legumes into your diet.
Engage in regular physical activity to support oestrogen balance.
Aim for a healthy body weight as excess body fat can disrupt oestrogen levels.
Limit exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in certain plastics, pesticides, and personal care products.
While it is not possible to completely "biohack" menopause to stop or reverse it, there are strategies that can help manage the symptoms and optimise overall well-being during this phase which will in turn help to reduce the impact on your hair.
Sleep, exercise and nutrition are really important during this time as well as making time for self care and mindful practices. Herbal supplements are a great way to help balance hormones during this time and ensure you are providing the key nutrients that are vital for protecting hair during this time. Learn more about our Tender Love & Hair menopause support hair supplements.
We hope you have found this article helpful but it is important to note that while biohacking can offer potential benefits, it should be approached with caution and respect for one's own health and safety. Consulting with healthcare professionals, conducting thorough research, and practising responsible experimentation are essential to minimise risks and maximise the potential benefits of biohacking.
Here is our ultimate guide to help you biohack your way to healthier hair:
Nourish from Within: Start with a balanced and nutritious diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to ensure you give your body a varied supply of essential nutrients. Protein in particular is important as hair is made of a protein called Keratin. Our Tender love supplements are formulated with Amino Acids (the building blacks of protein).These capsules help to provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support hair health.
Hydration Matters: Stay well-hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Hydration is crucial for maintaining scalp health and promoting hair growth.
Scalp Care: Keep your scalp clean and healthy by regularly washing your hair with a gentle, sulphate-free shampoo such as our Daily Calma. Exfoliate your scalp occasionally to remove dead skin cells and promote healthy hair follicles with our En-Root Scalp Oil and 'Squishy' Scalp Massager.
Optimise Nutrient Intake: Ensure you're getting essential nutrients for hair health, including biotin, vitamins A, C, D, and E, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. You can take a blood tests every 6 months to a year to check for any nutrient deficiencies.
Avoid Excessive Heat and Chemicals: Limit the use of heat styling tools like flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers, as excessive heat can damage the hair. Always prep hair with a heat shield like our 'Unwind' Detangling Hair Primer and where possible keep the heat appropriate for your hair type, ideally no hotter than 180 degrees C. Minimise the use of harsh chemical treatments like perming, relaxing, or colouring, as they can weaken and dry out the hair.
Gentle Hair Care Routine: Be gentle with your hair to prevent breakage. Use a wide-toothed comb or a brush with soft bristles to detangle, and avoid vigorous towel drying. Let your hair air-dry from time to time to give it a rest.
Protect from UV and Environmental Damage: Shield your hair from the sun's harmful UV rays by wearing hats or using hair products with UV protection. Additionally, protect your hair from environmental factors like pollution and chlorine by rinsing or wearing a swim cap before swimming. 'Unwind' Detangling Primer is a heat shield with Glycerine and Vitamin E that also protects hair from UV damage and pollution whilst adding hydration and natural shine.
Stress Management: Chronic stress can contribute to hair loss and damage. We know this all too well as our founder experienced severe hair loss from stress in 2017. Try to incorporate stress management techniques like exercise, meditation, deep breathing, or hobbies into your routine to promote overall well-being which is the ideal state for healthy hair to grow.
Regular Trims: Get regular trims to prevent split ends and maintain healthy hair. Trimming every 6-8 weeks helps remove damaged hair and keeps hair looking fuller.
Avoid Tight Hairstyles: Avoid hairstyles that pull tightly on the hair too often such as ponytails, braids, or buns, as they can cause tension and breakage. Opt for looser hairstyles that distribute tension more evenly and use softe hair ties such as our soft satin, vegan hair scrunchie or 'whip-it-up' claw clip
If you have any questions regarding this article or a hair or scalp concern then please don’t hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can.