People are quick to associate a toned stomach and great skin with a healthy diet. The link between nutrition, being in great shape, and being slim has long since been established, but what about the connection between nutrition and healthy hair? Somewhere between the vegan diets and glowing skin secrets, hair has tumbled into the background with little to no revolutionizing advice on how to shine, strengthen, and sparkle luscious locks.
Savoir Flair has filled in the missing gaps on how nutrition and healthy eating can, in fact, hugely enhance hair health, leaving behind the days of “it’s just what my hair is like”. Hair is actually the fastest growing natural tissue in the human body, growing at an average of around 1 cm per month. The rate of growth depends on an array of things like age and gender, but ultimately each hair is grown from a root surrounded by blood vessels that provide it with everything it needs to flourish. Therefore, poor nourishment equals poor growth. Makes sense, right?
These are the foods you should be eating for gorgeous, healthy, happy hair.
As each strand of hair is made up of mostly protein (keratin), just like nails, it’s essential that the body is given enough protein to help hair continue to grow. Eating a good source of protein such as high-quality eggs, meat, and fish in every meal, will help strengthen your hair and make it grow much faster than a diet lacking in protein. There are plenty of vegetarian options to choose from if you don’t eat animal meat too, like tofu, beans, and tempeh.
Found in every cell of the body, iron is considered an essential mineral to have for strong, healthy hair. Clams, mussels, and oysters are just a few strong sources of iron that you can eat. Iron deficiency, or anaemia, has been proven to cause hair loss due to a reduced number of red blood cells and therefore reduced oxygen availability in the body. This means the roots and hair follicles aren’t being supplied with all the rich nutrients they need for hair to grow, which can lead to stunted hair growth and even hair loss.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
These are essential fats that our bodies can’t produce on their own, meaning they must be ingested. Great sources are rich, oily fish like tuna and salmon, plus nuts and seeds. They keep the scalp moisturized, nourish hair follicles, and help prevent breakage by improving elasticity. A win-win for luscious locks!
Vitamins A, B, and D
A healthy dose of vitamins goes a long way, especially when it comes to hair growth. Each have their own roles to play but they are needed together to enable the body to operate and produce new cells as efficiently as it can. Vitamin A, in particular, is required to create an oily substance called sebum that is used to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair.
Other Healthy Hair Tips
Nutrition is a major factor when it comes to having strong and healthy hair, but it isn’t food alone that affects how shiny and well-nourished hair looks and feels. These daily pampering tips — combined with diet — make for a winning hair solution.
- Massage deep when washing. Shampoo isn’t just there for the hair; it’s also used to moisturize the scalp. Massaging into the scalp increases blood circulation to the hair roots and follicles, which promotes growth and strength.
- Don’t shampoo every day. The hair creates its own natural, self-cleaning oils that add gloss and shine. When you shampoo every day, these natural oils get removed and the benefits of them disappear. So, only shampoo when necessary.
- Dry your hair naturally. Where possible, avoiding a hair dryer is a really good way to keep hair healthy and strong. The high heat from hair dryers causes breakage in the cuticles that cover each strand, making hair brittle and dull.
- Minimize coloring and styling. The ammonia in hair dye starts by ‘lifting up’ the protein cuticle surrounding hair strands in order for the peroxide to penetrate and change the color. This means that to start with, you already have a damaged hair cuticle, which is then made worse by the peroxide destroying the natural hair pigment. The sun is a natural lightener, so try a beach day instead of a day in the salon!
Click here for five simple DIY hair mask recipes you can make at home.