If you find yourself on social and happen across an exotic looking woman in medical scrubs with impossibly perfect hair and skin, chances are you have stumbled across Nadia Musavvir ND.

Not your average doctor, Nadia looks at health in general and skin and hair in particular through her uniquely trained naturopathic lens where organs and their systems are not to be understood in isolation but are highly interconnected and interdependent.  In her view, under-performing hair or skin is just a symptom and to properly understand it one must look for the root cause which is only too often the result of various kinds of hormonal, thyroid, lymphatic or gut dysfunction or imbalances.  Self-healing is key and to effectively initiate it one must look to those all important epigenetics: diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress management and course toxin awareness and reduction in order to affect lasting change with visible results.  Oh and on the subject of hair care, don't even think about using products with sulfates or fake fragrances.


You are a naturopathic doctor.  When and why did you become primarily focused on hair and skin health?

I always had an interest in skin and hair; long before I started my journey in medicine I was actually a makeup artist (I loved hair but I was REALLY bad at doing it so ditched that quickly). I was freelance for a bit, I also worked with Lancome and in learning their different products for different skin types and concerns, it was very interesting to me that some people of the same age had very different skin despite using the same skincare products. This always stuck with me. In naturopathic medical school, we learn that everything is connected and I had the privilege of seeing how various skin and hair concerns could be addressed by taking a holistic approach. I started to dive further into this and made it my focus and eventually even consulted for a hair supplement company which further solidified my focus on the inside-out approach to skin and hair health.
Your hair and skin by the way are fabulously healthy looking.  What would you say are your most recommended hair and skin bio-hacks that you've discovered thus far?

Thank you! It’s interesting because the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve studied hair and skin, I use less products and I prioritize more lifestyle and targeted treatments. My favorite treatments for skin and hair are PRF injections of the skin to stimulate collagen, overall rejuvenation and PRF injections to the scalp for hair growth. They’re so effective! I also love microneedling, of both skin and scalp. Radiofrequency for tightening- another favorite! I usually do these 1-4 times per year. I maintain my skin and hair health on a daily basis by eating sufficient protein, antioxidants, keeping inflammation at bay, regulating my nervous system. And as cliche as it may sound keeping myself vibrating at a higher frequency by taking time to meditate, pray, breathe, speak positively to myself, spending time outside; it all makes the biggest difference.
You have a hair supplement with your name on it.  Can you tell us about it and would you say that supplements are equally as important as diet for hair health?

My hair supplement, Healthy Hair, is designed to support hair follicle health. There are various ingredients to combat chemicals and hormone imbalances that can damage the hair follicle or disrupt the hair growth cycle. In some cases, it can be equally important as diet but I would say diet is most important. I don’t always recommend supplementation and there are times when I have had to tell patients/clients that they would not get much benefit from supplementation. In the cases where it can be helpful, it usually is a way to shift the hair growth cycle back into a growth phase or quell the effects of inflammation which disrupt hair growth and lead to hair fall.
You often talk about androgens and estrogens on your social media.  How do these impact hair health?

Yes, hormones definitely impact hair health. Excess androgens can be problematic in those who are more sensitive to androgens. This is often due to genetic predisposition. However, there is an enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) more potent form of testosterone. Elevated DHT levels inhibit anagen (the growth phase) and promote telogen (the resting phase of the hair growth cycle where hair is separated from the follicle and gets ready to shed).
Excess estrogen tends to be more overlooked but when there is too much estrogen, there is less progesterone relative to estrogen and the progesterone is thought to be protective; lower levels of progesterone are associated with higher levels of systemic inflammation. Circulation of systemic inflammatory chemicals inhibit anagen (growth phase), promote telogen as well as catagen (the regression phase of the hair cycle that is driven by cell death).

For many women with chronic hair loss and thinning, low thyroid seems to be a recurring theme.  Would you agree and how best to address this?

Sub-optimal thyroid health certainly contributes to hair loss, thinning and also brittle hair. The best way to address this is by making sure you get adequate and thorough testing of your thyroid, treating it properly and taking thyroid hormone if necessary, supporting your adrenal health, taking minerals, eating enough, supplementing with co-factor nutrients if necessary and if there is an auto-immune component, make sure you are working with someone who knows how to address the immune component.

Collagen has been and continues to be all the rage as a hair growth supplement.  Do you concur and if so, how do you take it?

Not all collagen supplements are created equally. The right kind can be helpful for hair but it’s also only one factor of hair growth so if your issue is for example androgenetic alopecia or alopecia areata, hair growth from taking collagen alone might be limited.

What would you say are the top five vitamins/minerals for hair health and growth?

Vitamins and minerals specifically (if including other nutrients/ingredients then this list changes):
Vitamin D
Vitamin C

What is the lymph, what role does it play in the hair and skin and how can we best keep it healthy?

Lymph can be thought of as the body’s sewage system; the lymphatic vessels run alongside blood circulation filtering out waste from the blood. It does not have a central pump like blood circulation has (the heart) so in order for lymph to move, you need to move! If your lymphatic circulation is sluggish, that means there is more inflammation from toxins which can lead to congested skin contributed to acne, congested hair follicles slowing hair growth and potentially contributing to scalp conditions. Best to support lymph with gentle compression garments, moving, staying hydrated, avoiding heavy inflammatory foods.


When you are shopping for hair care, what do you look for exactly? What are the boxes that must be checked in order for you to consider purchasing?
The main things I check for are no synthetic fragrances, no SLS. Bonus if they have ingredients that support healthy hair follicles such as nettles, horsetail, proteins, rosemary, amla. Like skincare, I try not to overdo it because I dont want to disrupt the microbiome of the scalp or put excessive product in my hair BUT I  this is more difficult when trying to style hair.

We must ask- what are the hair care brands currently on your bathroom shelf that you love and use consistently?

For leave in: Ceremonia
For styling: Jones Road Beauty
Exfoliating shampoo: Shaz & Kiks
Regular Shampoo: Living Libations, Hair Therapie
Regular conditioner: Hair Therapie, Shaz & Kiks


You can find Nadia on social @_drnadia_ and her website



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