Eat your way to better hair
In the bodyís pecking order, hair is a non-essential organ. If your
lacking, nutrients are diverted to higher-priority organs, and
hair misses out.
The result is hair thatís dry and slow to grow.
Beating this is simple Ė just make sure you eat a
well-balanced diet rich in
fruit and vegetables, with at least two servings of
protein a day and large
amounts of energy-giving wholegrain
carbohydrates. This will ensure optimum
nutrition for the entire body and your hair will get its fair share. Itíll then
grow at its maximum speed (normally around 14mm a month), strength and
As with skin, what you eat affects your hair.
Hair follicles rely on
nourishment from the bloodstream , but they compete with the rest of your body
You can also help prevent particular
hair problems with diet. This doesnít mean
that a good breakfast will beat a bad hair day - hair takes three months to
grow, so thatís how long it will take to see the results of any dietary changes.
Nor can you eat your way out of a bad hairdo. No amount of vitamins will repair
hair thatís chemically damaged or
split. But you can help some other things.
oily hair is genetically determined, if your hair has suddenly
turned oily, check your spice intake. Foods that cause the skin to sweat
like curries or chilli also cause the scalp to sweat and this increases oil
Lack of shine in your hair means that itís not reflecting the light properly.
Healthy hair is formed with a flat cuticle, and when light rays hit this they
bounce back. Thatís what creates the
shine. However, if the cuticle on the hair
lifts, that reflection wonít happen and hair will look dull. So why does the
cuticle lift? While chemical processes like
bleaching are the most common cause,
lack of protein also causes the hair to grow with a lifted cuticle. It is
recommended that you eat 0.75g of protein (like lean meat, poultry, fish
dairy products, nuts, seeds or pulses) per kilogram of
body weight a day.
This is one of the common symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency. This is
particularly true if your hair is flyaway and frizzy. Boost EFAs by
eating nuts, seeds and oily fish like mackerel. These foods also supply protein,
which is vital for glossy hair; without it, the hair forms with a lifted cuticle
which reduces the hairís natural protection, making it easier for, moisture to
evaporate and drying to occur.
Hair that wonít grow
The B vitamins, which provide the body with energy, are vital for hair
growth. If your energy levels are low, hair growth slows down. Eating little and
often will help to keep energy levels up. Biotin (sometimes called
vitamin H) also helps create thicker, faster-growing hair. Youíll find it in
eggs, fish, milk, nuts and pulses.
This tends to be linked to
iron deficiency. Ensure youíre reaching around
14.8mg of iron a day from a supplement or by filling your diet with lean red
meat or dark green vegetables. Also, too much vitamin A (over 10,000 units a
day) can lead to hair loss. This is only likely to happen if you are taking in
high levels of A-heavy foods or if youíre mixing supplements. If you are, stop.
Vitamin A is toxic to the body and
hair loss is the first sign of this. If you
want extra vitamin A for your skin, increase your intake of fruit and
Useful Tips for Better Hair Diet
Wholesome diet is better than harping on particular diets.
Green leafy vegetables and hair-friendly spices like cumin and
turmeric and cumin help you restore lustrous and healthy hair.
Take fruits as a variety to your diets.
Apply fresh coconut paste on the scalp to nourish the hair roots.
The bottom line is all the bodily activities get fuel from diet. Common
hormonal imbalances, nutrition deficiencies and less blood condition can be
addressed through proper diet.
Hence to maintain self-esteem and increase confidence on your hair, you should
first take care of balanced, wholesome and staple diets. External treatment for
hair growth is secondary.