Taking care of your hair doesn’t just involve expensive products and regular trips to the hairdressers. Eating the right food is just as important for your hair as it is for your skin and wellbeing.
In many cases, a simple change in diet can be helpful in slowing hair loss, making hair thicker and healthier. Much like the skin, the condition of your hair can be an outward sign of inner health.
The Farjo Institute, a centre of excellence in the UK for hair transplant surgery, hair loss medicine, hair biology research and hair restoration education and has been for 25 years, have shared their top 5 foods for healthy, full, glossy, thick and hydrated hair.
Low levels of protein can result in dry, weak hair, with extremely low levels even stunting hair growth and leading to hair loss. After all, our hair is made up of keratin – a protein that makes up the majority of the scalp – so to stimulate hair growth, it’s important to keep the hair follicles strong, with a regular intake of lean meats. This includes red meat, chicken and turkey. For vegetarians, lentils and beans, including kidney beans, split peas and soybeans, are the best sources of protein.
As well as being another fantastic source of protein, oily fish like salmon, herring and mackerel are packed full of B vitamins, which help to promote hair growth. The omega 3 that can be found in oily fish is an important fat that our body can’t make itself, so must be obtained through our diet. Omega 3, which is also found in avocados, keeps our hair hydrated, and a lack of it can result in a dry and flaky scalp.
Green leafy vegetables
Green, leafy vegetables are full of beneficial nutrients for the hair. Vitamins A and C aid in the production of sebum, an oily substance created by hair follicles to keep the hair naturally conditioned, and iron assists in the production of red blood cells that transport oxygen to the scalp. Kale, broccoli, lettuce and spinach are best, but other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots and asparagus can all assist with hair growth.
Adding fresh fruits that are rich in vitamins A, C and E, to your diet is also another easy way to help keep your hair in great condition. For example, oranges, blueberries, limes and kiwis are a strong source of vitamin C – known for it’s antioxidant properties and assistance in producing collagen. This is an essential protein which strengthens the blood vessels that support hair shafts. A lack of these vitamins can result in hair being brittle and weak.
Nuts and seeds
Not only are nuts easy to snack on, they’re full of vital vitamins and minerals. Zinc, in particular, is a mineral that regulates the production of androgens and low levels of androgen have been associated with stunted hair growth and dandruff. Vitamin E, which is present in nuts and seeds, protects the hair from DNA damage and UV rays, keeping it as healthy as possible.