One of the main causes of hair loss is an unhealthy diet. As soon as you stop eating fruits, vegetables and protein-rich foods, you start noticing how, in a short time period, your hair starts growing drier, rougher and thinner until, finally, it falls out.
Along with genetics, hormonal changes, stress and medication, the lack of certain nutrients in our diet is one of the biggest hair loss boosters. That’s why undernourished people and those with poor eating habits can quickly see how their hair health starts debilitating, which causes clearly visible consequences on their scalps.
Although many do not know this, hair follicles consist mainly of keratin and minerals like magnesium, silicon or copper. These elements help hair grow stronger. In a few words, it is only through a diet founded on nutrients that stimulate blood flow in our scalps and the growth of cellular tissues that we can have shiny, healthy hair.
Essential nutrients to have healthy, strong and shiny hair
Just as we pointed out in the previous paragraphs, in order to enjoy good hair health, it’s necessary to eat protein, amino acids, collagen, minerals and diverse vitamins, especially group B vitamins. Within this group, vitamin B8 or biotin has a particular importance, and along with vitamins A and C, they are the ones who influence hair follicle growth the most. Other significant nutrients that contribute to the health of our hair and that should be included in our diet are iron, copper, zinc and omega 3.
A question becomes obvious: what food should we be eating to have healthy hair? Well, let’s take a look.
First, let’s make a list of the foods with a high vitamin A percentage: eggs, dairy, vegetables, sunflower and olive oil. The function of Vitamin A is to produce sebum and lubricate each hair strand, an essential step for a proper follicle development.
Regarding foods with a high content of vitamin B, we have fish, red and white meat, eggs, legumes, cereals, dried fruit and nuts and also brewer’s yeast, a vast source of amino acids and minerals. Besides being a great source of folic acid, vitamin B is essential to control insulin.
Foods rich in vitamin C include green vegetables, citrus fruits and kiwi. Besides iron absorption, the function of vitamin C is contributing to the correct development of the hair follicle tissue.
Other than just eating foods rich in vitamins A, B and C, it’s really important to eat foods high in iron, including spinach, vegetables, shellfish, tomato and legumes, because it’s an indispensable element for hair oxygenation. It is also necessary to get enough iron, a nutrient present in almost every seafood, in nuts and in spinach, so our hair is able to synthesize melanin.
Ingesting zinc is equally important. We can find it in vegetables, tubers, figs and several types of meat. Just as sulfur- found in red meat, offal, almonds, several fruits and vegetables- it helps our hair grow stronger and repair hair damage.
Other essential nutrients that we should eat to have strong, healthy hair are folic acid, naturally present in cereals, dried fruit and nuts, omega 3, also found in dried fruit and nuts, olive oil and cocoa, and magnesium, especially present in almonds.
On the other hand, water is also indispensable to have a hydrated, strong hair. To this end, we have to drink a minimum of 1 and ½ liters of water a day, since the recommended amount to improve hair growth is 2 liters.
Finally, we need to remember that besides including all of these foods in our diet, we should stay away from those that are harmful for hair growth, like processed food, saturated fat and foods with a high glycemic index. Alcohol, tobacco, too much caffeine and sugary drinks won’t enhance our hair health either.
In conclusion, we should regularly eat a good number of food groups- but avoid others- if we really want to have healthy hair. It’s not worthy to eat better and, after seeing some progress, go back to our old habits. If besides following a healthy diet, we decide to start exercising moderately and adopting good life habits, including basic hair care, we’ll see in a short time how our hair begins to look thicker and shinier.
Last but not least, it’s important to point out that some of the basic hair care tips include not washing it more than 3 times a week, avoiding the use of shampoos not containing silicone or paraben, avoiding blow dryers, hair straighteners and extremely tight hairstyles.