Eat your way to healthier hair
Eat your way to healthier hair
Have you ever stuck vigorously to a hair regimen and found that despite your best efforts, your hair still remains lacklustre? If this is the case, you may need to take a closer look at what you are putting into your body. Simply put, your hair products won’t work to their optimum best if you’re not paying close attention to your diet and nutrition. It’s the gateway to healthy, hydrated and nourished locks and should be your prime concern when embarking on a healthy hair journey. But the good news is, eating your way to healthier hair doesn’t mean restricting your plate to particular food groups and omitting others. On the contrary, it means enjoying an enriched, balanced diet which will not only benefit your external (hair, nails, skin), but your mind, body and soul, too.
Feast on Biotin-rich foods
It may be no surprise to learn that eating biotin rich foods is one of the most effective ways in stimulating hair growth. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex, and is made of fatty acids and glucose that helps convert the food we consume into energy. Due to the superior nutrients it provides, biotin is often found in concentrated amounts in hair and nail supplements, but it occurs naturally in foods such as meat, oily fish and eggs, and regularly consuming biotin will make your hair and nails stronger. Experts suggest that we take 30 micrograms of biotin a day, but there’s no danger in taking extra doses, your body simply takes what it needs and passes out the rest.
Essential fats is where it’s at
When we tend to hear the word ‘fat’ with regards to health and nutrition, we automatically recoil from it, but essential fatty acids AKA omega 3 is one fat we urge you to embrace wholeheartedly. Fatty acids are essential for our bodies to function, and can found in oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, as well as nuts, avocado and olive oil. Essential fats not only provides many health benefits, but also has the ability to really transform and enhance your crowning glory, and that’s due to the fact that it nourishes the hair follicles, encouraging growth and general hair health. It’s also an effective nutrient in the fight against hair loss, and contributes to the hair’s natural shine and elasticity. Simply put – essential fats is like the name suggests - essential.
Top up on vitamin C
We are all aware of how lack of vitamin C makes our nails dry and brittle, and this deficiency is literally mimicked in our hair, making our strands weak, brittle and thin. To counteract this, ensure you top up on your vitamin C for healthier, stronger and lustrous hair. Additionally, vitamin C contains antioxidant properties and helps to combat bacteria, dandruff and dry and itchy scalps. The great news is Vitamin C can be found in abundance, and is contained in most vegetables, and some of our favourite fruits including strawberries, cherries and oranges.
Pile on the protein
Although our hair is made up of the protein keratin found in our follicles, it’s still crucial to get surplus protein from food or supplements. That’s because our follicles produce new cells, and push out the old, hence the need for us to replenish. If you are suffering from thinning, damaged and straggly hair in particular, increasing your protein intake will prove hugely beneficial. Protein will help to make your hair cortex stronger, making your strands less vulnerable to snags and split ends. It also helps to smooth the cuticle, making hair appear silkier with shine. Meat such as beef and chicken are very rich in protein. So is fish like tuna steak as well as whole eggs. If you are vegan you can still obtain protein from food sources, such as dark leafy green vegetables (broccoli, spinach) and soy based foods such as tofu and soy milk, and pulses like lentils and beans.
Check your iron levels
Iron is a mineral that is essential to the body, assisting in the production of red blood cells that helps to circulate oxygen around the body. It’s also pretty great at promoting healthy hair growth, nourishing your skin and crucial to our all-round well-being. If you suffer from iron deficiency, you become anaemic, and this usually occurs due to lack of iron in the diet, loss of blood, illness or pregnancy. Anaemia can also lead to hair loss, so it’s important to check with your doctor if you experience any unexplained hair loss. And while it may be tempting to increase your iron during bouts of anaemia, it’s worth noting that doing so may lead to extra health problems, so we suggest obtaining it naturally from diet and nutrition opposed to taking concentrated iron supplements without consulting your doctor first. Iron rich foods include red meat, liver, kidneys, broccoli, peaches and apricots.