Eating well benefits hair in general, but if you feel your hair could use an extra kick to help it grow faster or more thick, then building your diet around hair-friendly nutrients is the best way to achieve this. Strong hair begins with healthy skin of the scalp. Fish, seaweed, nuts, seeds, legumes, dairy products, and cheese; all non-sweet, non-starchy vegetables such as peppers, avocados, cucumbers, asparagus, egg plant, and lots of other brightly coloured vegetables and fruits are all helpful in increasing scalp and hair health.
Our hair is built of keratin, which is a protein, so eating lots of good-quality proteins is vital for healthy hair. Fresh, minimally processed and preferably organic proteins for your hair come from lean meats and dairy, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, pulses, and legumes.
Vitamins that are essential for hair health include:
Vitamin A: an essential antioxidant that helps restore healthy sebum flow in the scalp and helps to relieve hair dryness, flakiness, and itchy scalp. Food sources of vitamin A include meat, milk, cheese, eggs, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, apricots, and peaches. Or you can choose to take a high quality supplement. Do not take more than 25,000 IU a day, as it can be extremely toxic.
Vitamin E: Helps maintain the healthy glow of your hair. This multitasking antioxidant improves blood circulation in the scalp and prevents the scalp from dehydration. All cold-pressed vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts, beans, and leafy-green vegetables are good sources of vitamin E. Or you can choose to take a high quality supplement. If you are not able to take a supplement, you can also infuse your scalp with vitamin E by applying weekly warm oil treatments.
Biotin: Stimulates keratin production so that hair becomes stronger and maintains its natural colour. Biotin can be naturally found in brewer's yeast, whole grains, egg yolks, liver, and dairy products. Or you can choose to take a high quality supplement.
Niacin (Vitamin B3): Maintains good blood circulation in the scalp so your hair receives fresh oxygen and nutrients. Niacin can be found in wheat germ, fish, chicken, turkey, and meat. You can also choose to supplement with a high quality supplement. It's best to take B-Complex when taking B Vitamins as they are all good for skin and hair health.
Essential Fatty Acids: Help restore hair luster and manageability. By maintaining a steady flow of sebum, essential fatty acids relieve hair dryness and itchy, flaking scalp, which is often mistaken for dandruff. Take a good quality fish or borage oil capsule everyday or make a weekly warm oil treatment with hemp seed oil.
Zinc: Helps restore healthy hormonal levels. Sometimes the abundance in male hormone testosterone leads to hair loss and even pattern baldness in women. Zinc regulates testosterone levels and at the same time improves your immune response so that your scalp isn't easily disturbed by the elements or aggressive hair styling. Food rich in zinc include oysters, red meats, chicken, liver, brewer's yeast, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, mussels, shrimps, egg yolks, nuts, and various soy products.
It takes about a month for hair to absorb the vitamins that you are ingesting into your system.
Emotional stress can also play a toll on your hair health, as it can greatly reduce blood flow if your muscles are tight. Taking the time to go for regular massage, reflexology, or acupuncture appointments can greatly reduce muscle tension and improve blood circulation throughout the body.
DISCLAIMER:The information presented in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Check with your healthcare provider first if you have concerns about your health. In addition, you should speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before making adjustments to your diet or lifestyle and prior to introducing herbal and nutritional supplements as they may affect any treatment you may be receiving. You are advised to disclose any and all nutrient and herb supplements you are using to your healthcare team.