There is only so much love we can give our hair from the outside (and your hair artist can recommend some great treatments), sometimes we need to work on the inside to get great hair.
Hair growth and condition is affected by our whole environment. This includes were you live, your stress levels and emotions, medications, the kind of water in your pipes and our body's condition can contribute to your hair’s condition. Not all these things we can control, but we can change what we eat.
Since what we eat can help hair growth, it pays to be eating the right stuff to get the hair we love. Like a plant, your hair absorbs nutrients through its roots and relies on a healthy home base for strong, steady growth.
These eight nutrients are key to getting the best out of of your hair.
Your hair is made up of hardened protein called keratin. So if you want to help your hair grow and be stronger, lots of lean protein is really important.
If you don’t have enough biotin in your diet, researchers found it can lead to hair loss. Biotin interacts with cell enzymes and helps produce amino acids, which form part of PROTEIN! Good sources of biotin are lentils, carrots, almonds, walnuts and cauliflower.
Your hair also receives oxygen from iron in your red blood cells so it stands to reason having enough iron in your diet is very important for your hair. Low ferritin has been linked to slow hair growth as well as shedding. And sometimes, although the iron in your blood might be ok you can have depleted ‘iron stores’ so it pays to make sure you get enough in your diet by eating iron-rich foods, such as oysters, lean beef, eggs, tuna, soybeans, spinach and tofu.
And if you want to absorb Iron better, you need Vitamin C. - It’s also used to form collagen, a structural fiber that makes up the connective tissue in the body, which hair follicles require for optimal growth. Bell peppers, thyme, parsley, kale, Brussels sprouts, oranges and strawberries all pack a vitamin C punch.
Omega-3s are found in the cell membranes of your scalp’s skin, and in the natural oils your scalp and hair produce to stay hydrated. Getting enough of these essential fatty acids can help prevent dry scalp and help your hair grow and shine. Eating wild salmon and other fatty fish twice a week will ensure a healthy dose of omega-3s. Or, if you’re not a fan of fish, incorporate some plant-derived sources into your diet, like flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans and avocado.
Another main ingredient in your hair is water! Hair needs to maintain its moisture to avoid dryness and breakage. While having a hydrating conditioner is great, make sure you are drinking plenty H20 each day.
B6, B12 and folate help create red blood cells including the ones in the scalp and hair follicles. If you’re not getting enough B vitamins, the cells can starve, making your hair more prone to shedding, slower growth and breakage. Pork is packed with these vitamins, but if you don’t eat pork, load up on beans, chicken and low-fat dairy foods.
This mineral helps strengthen your hair follicles, and prevent hair loss, by binding its proteins. It also plays a role in your oil glands functioning properly, which protects your locks from dryness and dandruff. Shellfish, like oysters, crab, crayfish and mussels all have high zinc content. In fact, just 85 grams, 2 medium sized oysters, has a whopping 493 percent of the daily recommended value of zinc. Sunflower seeds, peanuts, pine nuts, beef, lamb, pork and cereals with whole grains and bran are some other zinc-rich foods to choose from.
Another choice is to take supplements - but check with your medical professional first, we’re not doctors!
Please note that while there is very little research into if adding any of these minerals and vitamins will help your hair grow or be shiner, there is plenty of evidence as to what the lack of them can do.
The question becomes what have you got to lose by giving it a try?