Feed Your Hair

We all want healthy hair… who doesn’t?  However for many of us loving our perfect hair is simply a dream.

Your hair health is influenced by a variety of things such as genetics, hormones, general health and deficiencies.  Also, the environment and your lifestyle can have a huge impact on your hair which often you have little or no control over (i.e. air-conditioning in offices, commuting on the underground) which you can address to some extent by using hair protection products.  However, there is one thing that has a significant impact on your hair health, that you can control, and that’s what you eat.

We’ve all heard that old saying “You are what you eat” implying food dictates how you look and feel…  well that extends to your hair and skin too.  Thankfully more often than not they are the same foods that make you feel good and look good inside and out.

If you’re wanting to nourish your hair try to incorporate some, or all :-), of the below and see and feel the impact on your hair.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important fats our body can’t make themselves, so we need to eat them. They are found in the cells that line the scalp and also provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.  In addition, they are also anti-inflammatory so can combat against inflammation that might cause hair loss.   Foods to up your omega-3  intake are oily fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel and vegan options like avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

Protein is essential for strong healthy hair.  If you’re not getting enough your hair can become dry, brittle and weak and in extreme cases might result in hair loss.   Focus on your protein intake by eating fish, eggs and white meat.  For vegetarian or vegan options quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, almonds and chai and hemp seeds…  and don’t forget Greek yoghurt seems to be packed with protein as well and more yoghurt brands now joining the “high protein” game … there’s no excuse for not having enough protein in your diet!

Iron is an especially important mineral for hair and too little iron is a major cause of hair loss. The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient rich blood supply so when iron levels fall below a certain point this can disrupt the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in hair loss.   We all know that meat and fish are an excellent source of iron but you can also improve your iron intake with green veg such as broccoli, kale and spinach.

Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron so useful have iron rich foods at the same time as Vit C rich ones. The best sources of vit C are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C also helps in the production of collagen which strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shafts.

Vitamin A is needed by the body to make sebum. Sebum is an oily substance created by our hairs sebaceous glands and provides a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. Without sebum we may experience an itchy scalp and dry hair. You can increase your Vit A intake by eating dairy products, fish, and fortified cereals and orange/yellow coloured vegetables which are high in beta-carotene (which makes vitamin A) such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.

B Vitamins are responsible for strengthening hair follicles and increasing circulation to the skin.  The complex of B vitamins is important because all of these vitamins work together.  To get your Vit B try quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, chicken and salmon. They contain the B vitamins niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, B6 and B12.

Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin. Too little biotin can cause brittle hair and may lead to hair loss. Liver is widely known to provide high levels of biotin but you don’t have to eat liver to get your biotin fix (thankfully) you can try wholegrains, egg yolk, Swiss chard and halibut.

Other important nutrients to consider are zinc and selenium (found in cereals, beef and eggs) to help protect and nourish the scalp and Vitamin E (avocado, mango, kiwi) to help protect your hair from the sun.  Nuts are a fantastic source of zinc selenium and vitamin E..  just try to not eat too many of the salted variety!

Other important nutrients to consider are zinc and selenium (found in cereals, beef and eggs) to help protect and nourish the scalp and Vitamin E (avocado, mango, kiwi) to help protect your hair from the sun.  Nuts are a fantastic source of zinc selenium and vitamin E..  just try to not eat too many of the salted variety!

Whilst we have previously been quite sceptical about supplements – believing that you can get what you need from a good diet – we’re now a little more accepting of their use if required.   There are many supplements available today to support healthy skin and hair (collagen supplements seem to be the latest trend) and if your body needs a nutrient boost it could make a difference to how to feel and look.   Before considering taking supplements be sure to try to manage your needs through diet first.  If diet doesn’t give you what you need then make sure you do your research about what your body needs and the relevant supplements available. Supplements don’t replace but rather enhance a good diet.

As with eating healthily there is no golden diet that will suit everyone you have to find the right balance of nutrients for you and couple that with the right haircare routine targeted to your hair needs.  Also you have to remember your hair will change and the key is to know your hair and be aware of changes so you adapt your haircare routine and your diet accordingly.

Dolores and Rose offer some fabulous products to nourish and strengthen your locks from the outside but to maximise your hair potential don’t forget you also need to feed your hair from the inside too.  Happy Eating!

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