Before you rush off and spend significant amounts of money on hair revitalizing products, you may need to check out what is missing from your diet that could be causing your hair problem.
What we eat has a profound effect on our outward appearance as well as our overall well-being. Healthy, strong and shiny hair is a sign of a well-nourished body.
To achieve and maintain a healthy head of hair, a daily diet should include proteins, minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids and water.
Strengthens hair to protect it from becoming dry and brittle. Protein rich foods can be found in fish, lean meats, poultry, cereals, eggs and dairy foods.
Minerals play a major role in healthy hair production and growth, these include:
Iron carries oxygen to the hair. Insufficient iron will starve the hair follicles which in turn, can lead to hair loss. Include red meat, eggs, legumes and dark green, leafy vegetable in your diet.
Zinc prevents hair loss. Meat, fish, seafood, egg yolks and wheat germ have a high content of zinc.
Copper is needed for hair structure and is involved in the pigmentation of hair. Eat plenty of copper rich foods, fresh leafy vegetables, almonds, seeds, whole grain cereals, meat and liver. A copper deficiency can lead to dry brittle hair, premature greying hair and hair loss.
Calcium is essential for healthy hair growth. Found in foods such as dairy, fish, nuts, lentils and sesame seeds.
Make sure your diet contains all the necessary vitamins that help in the growth of healthy hair.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps to produce healthy sebum (oil) in the scalp. It is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe and apricots.
Vitamin B Complex: because these vitamins are water soluble and therefore not retained by the body, try to incorporate a daily intake of Vitamin B rich foods. For healthy, strong hair we should concentrate on pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), biotin (Vitamin B7) - also referred to as the "hair-growth vitamin", Vitamins B6 and B12. Sources are: green vegetables, cauliflower, carrots, peas, sunflower seeds, walnuts, bananas, mushrooms, salmon, sardines, brown rice and egg yolks and brewers yeast.
Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and assists in metabolizing B vitamins and amino acids into the body. Lack of vitamin C can cause dry hair. Rich sources of Vitamin C are found in citrus fruits, berries, green vegetables and tomatoes.
Vitamin E increases scalp circulation which is vital for hair growth, prevents dryness and adds natural shine to hair. Sources are avocado, nuts, dark green vegetables, whole grains and rice bran.
Essential Fatty Acids
Healthy hair also needs two essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, that are not produced naturally by the human body.
Omega-3 fats: promote healthy, shiny hair - found in flax oil, algae, cold-water fish, dark-green vegetables, hemp oil and pumpkin seed oil
Omega-6 fats: play a very important role in stimulating skin and strong hair growth - sources are borage, evening primrose oil, safflower oil, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, corn and pumpkin seeds.
One quarter the weight of a strand of hair is made up of water. When hair has adequate amounts of water, it will respond by being supple and shiny. Water is essential for healthy hair growth. Contrary to popular belief, drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day doesn't have to be in the form of glasses of water. All foods and non-alcoholic drinks count toward the goal.