We all have bad hair days, but when days become weeks it’s time to start worrying about the health of your hair and perhaps looking at what factors could be causing the issues.
To remain healthy, vibrant and even to prevent scalp conditions the hairs roots, which grow from follicles below the skins surface requires the right levels of nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Not only does this help them survive but it also helps the hair form new cells.
We are what we eat
Hair can be one of the first places we find signs that the body has underlying health issues. Many of these issues, although not all of them, can be caused by what we consume; dehydration can result in dry hair, poor nutritional consumption can lead to lifeless hair and hair loss is an indication of stress. It is important to give your body a healthy balanced diet that contains all the essential vitamins and minerals that is needs if you want to keep your hair and scalp, as well as the rest of you, healthy.
Biotin, a water-soluble vitamin B that is essential for hair growth and a healthy scalp, is found in many common foods as well as being produced by the body in the intestine. It is unusual therefore to be deficient in Biotin but if a person is ill then they can become deficient which in turn can lead to hair loss. Eating a balanced diet containing foods rich in Biotin; eggs, peanuts, salmon, avocados and even low fat cheese can help to avoid the problems
Zinc, is important for the growth and repair of tissue – including hair growth, and also helps the oil glands around the hair follicles to function properly. If the body has low levels of zinc this can lead to hair loss, slow hair growth and dandruff. There is no need to add a zinc supplement to your diet, however, as the amount obtained from foods rich in zinc; oysters, crab, lean beef, most nuts and seeds, cheese and fat-free yoghurt is sufficient to keep your hair healthy. Consuming too much zinc can inhibit the body’s natural ability to absorb copper, which is a minor but very necessary mineral.
Amino Acids play a very important role in hair health; there are 16 essential amino acids necessary to build your hair. Hair is primarily made of a protein called Keratin, which is formed from amino acids that form keratin in the scalp; it needs these acids to grow. Any diet that is lacking in protein can therefore cause hair growth issues so it is important to make sure that you include sources of good protein; chicken, fish, dairy, eggs and legumes and nuts in your daily diet to prevent hair becoming brittle and damaged
A healthy diet should contain the best vitamins that your body needs; Vitamin A, Vitamin B (folate B6 and B12), Vitamin C and Vitamin E. These are found in a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, pulses and legumes, fish and low-fat dairy produce. Iron and Omega-3 fatty acids, both found in a variety of healthy foods are also high up there on the list of essentials for healthy hair.
If you are planning to diet, it is important for the overall health of your hair that you consider a balanced diet reducing portion sizes of certain foods but not cutting them out of your diet completely.