Hair has two distinct structures the follicle and the hair shaft.
The hair follicle is a tunnel like segment of the epidermis that extends down into the dermis (skin). The structure contains several layers that all have separate functions. At the base of the follicle is the papilla which contains capillaries that nourish the cells. The living part of the hair is the bottom part surrounding the papilla, called the bulb. There are two sheaths that protect the growing hair shaft. The inner sheath follows the hair shaft and ends below the opening of a sebaceous gland (produces sebum).
Protecting the follicle from damage, chemicals and itch enables normal hair growth to occur.
It has been documented that hair growth can be stimulated through dietary supplementing and also external application of various substances. Of interest are Emu Oil, Lavender Oil and Coconut Oil for their therapeutic properties including being non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory and potential follicle stimulants.A.
Topical application of a blend of oils suited to intense hair conditioning and follicle protection can potentially improve hair growth and quality.
Experts already know that there is a strong link between hair loss/growth and nutrition.
Listed here are a few key nutrients ideally included in the equine diet in scientifically balanced proportions to ensure healthy hair growth.
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Nutrition for coat colour and hair growth
Mineral deficiencies are often linked to poor hair and coat condition. Under a microscope poor quality hair is visibly rough in texture, flattened or twisted in shape. The inside of the hair shafts will likely have visible structural defects. The exterior keratin cuticle cells are uneven and ruptured. To the naked eye we see and feel a rough, dry coat lacking lustre and softness.
It has been long assumed low zinc concentration could be responsible for structural hair cuticle and medulla defects. It is well known from the field of veterinary and human medicine that diet has a great impact on quality and morphology of the skin and its most apparent appendages – hair.
A Polish clinical trial of twelve thoroughbred yearlings was conducted to see if the above assumptions were correct. The 12 yearlings were divided into 2 groups of 6, one group fed a quality feed supplement of 44 nutritional ingredients, notably high in organic chelated copper(Cu) and zinc(Zn), plus hay ad libitum, the other group were fed only hay and oats, both for 110 days….
Read full article: Nutrition for coat colour and hair growth
Undertaking a comprehensive hair analysis will reveal if there are potential toxicities present in your horses system. It can not be over stated how important this window into your horses mineral status can mean. If your horse has a long standing toxicity, this substance may be the reason why things are not travelling well for your horses health. We can recommend the correct antagonist minerals to reduce these toxicities. A hair analysis can also reveal what specifically is lacking or not being absorbed from the diet, then you feed only what your horse is lacking. Find out more at https://thenudehorse.com.au/testing-options/hair-analysis/ from as little as $88 for the results and a comparative guide or $159 for the complete package, indepth explanations, a comprehensive guide to correcting imbalances, non biased recommendations. The Nude Horse is not affiliated with any animal feed company.
Hair analysis testing is offered as a voluntary service by The Nude Horse, the Laboratory charges the same price. We have dedicated our time and energy into helping horses, not lining our pockets. We are not affiliated with any feed supplement company. Although we are happy to recommend ones that meet specific needs.
EMS disorders include Insulin Resistance (IR) and Hyperinsulinemia commonly resulting in laminitis.
The latest research now explains how this process occurs: During the digestive process, both sugars and starches are turned into the sugars (often from a diet high in grains, pellets and high NSC grasses & hays) Horses have a limited capacity to digest substantial amounts of sugar and starch in the stomach and small intestine. The excess supply of sugar and starch travels through the small intestines and on into the hindgut where the trouble begins. An increase of sugar fermentation creates lactic acid. Lactic acid lowers the pH causing an acidic environment, this in turn kills off the good microbes. The dead microbes give off endotoxins that now enter the blood stream, this chain reaction often culminates in poor gut health, ill thrift (or obesity) and potentially laminitis.
Read full article: Laminitis indepth The Nude Horse
Hair Shedding – making the most of growth periods
What triggers the coat to shed? The controls of exogen may be understood to be triggered by the environmental factors of light and temperature. (http://www.keratin.com/aa/aa029.shtml)
The major player in the hair coat cycles appears to be the changing length of daylight or photoperiod. The daily photoperiod effect on hair growth cycles brings the brain into the act. Light signals are routed biochemically to the pineal gland, the hypothalamic part of the brain and the pituitary gland. From there the control is hormonal.
It has been shown that horses wearing rugs and/or stabled in heated barns fail to develop a complete winter coat. It has been hypothesized that domestication (heated barns, rugging, rapid changes in geographic location and mares standing under artificial light) might cause a change from a single yearly shed as observed in the undomesticated horse to continuously shedding throughout the year, maintaining a short coat year round.
Making the most of hair growth periods
Hair follicles are metabolically active tissues that require nutrients to support both structural and functional activities (Galbraith, 1998). As such nutrition has a profound effect on both its quality and quantity. Poor nutrition may produce and therefore be reflected by a dull, dry, brittle or thin hair coat. Colour disturbances may also occur. Nutritional factors that influence hair growth are very complex and can be interrelated.
Nutrients commonly associated with poor hair quality and hair loss have been summarized by Lewis (1995). They comprise dietary deficiencies of protein, phosphorus, iodine, zinc, and vitamins A and E, as well as dietary excesses of selenium, iodine and vitamin A. Other possible nutritional imbalances that can affect hair growth include B-vitamin and vitamin C deficiencies, copper and cobalt deficiencies and molybdenum toxicoses (Scott, 1988).
Read full article: Hair Shedding The Nude Horse