Hair is such a big part of our lives and is undoubtedly one of the most vital physical attributes — vibrant, healthy hair complements beauty.
Hair is delicate and extremely sensitive to bodily changes. Moreover, it is usually the first thing to suffer from internal imbalances and the last to benefit from any improvement.
How healthy hair grows depends on age, genetics, and diet. While you have no control over aging and hereditary factors, taking a balanced diet is one thing that you can help your locks prevent losing and stay strong and shiny.
Many nutritional deficiencies may affect hair growth or cause hair loss. Fortunately, correcting a deficiency may help treat hair loss and promote the rate of hair growth.
Here are the best nutrients to promote hair growth.
Hair is made of a protein called keratin. So, taking the right balance of protein in your diet is important to remain hair shiny, lustrous, and strong. If you are not eating sufficient protein, your hair will likely become dry, brittle, and weak, resulting in troubled hair growth and even hair loss. Choose lean meats like fish and chicken, eggs, and vegetarian sources such as soy products, legumes, and nuts.
Vitamin A: The body needs vitamin A to produce sebum- the natural lubricant in the skin and scalp.
This oily substance created by sebaceous glands hydrates and softens the scalp. With less or no sebum, we may experience an itchy scalp and dry hair. Orange or yellow-colored vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes, high in beta-carotene, are excellent sources.
B Group Vitamin: Biotin (Vitamin B7) deficiency can cause hair breakage and may lead to hair loss.
Add biotin-rich foods like whole grains, liver, egg yolk, soy flour, and yeast.
Vitamin C: A potent antioxidant that fends free radicals, protects hair follicles, and soothes the scalp. It also helps collagen production, strengthening the capillaries that supply the hair shafts. Moreover, vitamin C helps the absorption of iron. Blackcurrants, berries, peppers, guavas, sweet potatoes, and citrus fruits are all good sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin D: Too little vitamin D is linked to hair loss. Try to include fatty fish, cod liver oil, fortified cereals, and mushrooms.
Vitamin E: Another powerful antioxidant that prevents oxidative stress and protects the hair from stressors. Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, and avocado are a powerhouse of vitamin E.
Iron: Low level of iron causes hair loss. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen. When iron levels- serum ferritin- reduce highly, you may experience anemia which disturbs oxygen and nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle. Oysters, eggs, red meat, and vegetable sources such as lentils, broccoli, and spinach provide iron with high bioavailability.
Zinc: Hair thinning is a common symptom of zinc deficiency. Zinc helps hair tissue growth, repair, and proper function of oil glands. Food high in zinc includes fortified cereals, whole grains, oysters, beef, and eggs.
4. Essential Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been linked to hair growth and hair thickness.
Essential fatty acids can be found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, chia seeds, soy products, and vegetables such as broccoli, and cauliflower.
*****If you think your diet lacks the nutrients, it’s good to take a daily multivitamin to fill in nutritional gaps as instructed by a health professional.
In addition to diet and supplements, hair care products can promote natural hair growth. These products contain biotin, antioxidants, essential fatty acids-rich plant oils, extracts, and vitamins.
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2. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use
3. Effects of different dietary protein levels and DL-methionine supplementation on hair growth
4. Endogenous retinoids in the hair follicle and sebaceous gland
5. Biotin and biotinidase deficiency
6. Successful Treatment of Alopecia Areata with Topical Calcipotriol
7. Effects of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in human volunteers
8. Oral zinc therapy for zinc deficiency-related telogen effluvium