Can your diet affect your hair?
Have you ever wondered if you could improve the texture and look of your hair? And if so, how? We see a lot of “hair, skin and nails” supplements but what are some of the everyday diet tricks to improve the quality of your hair, naturally?
Made from a protein called Keratin, your hair cells are the second fastest-growing cells in your body, replacing themselves every 28 days. But, as your body doesn’t consider hair a “vital organ”, your body tends to prioritise nutrition elsewhere, meaning, without proper diet, your hair may be susceptible to negative effects, such as
Negative effects on hair due to poor diet
A healthy, well-balanced diet can help your hair stay strong and shiny, and of course, avoid hair thinning, hair loss and what-not! So, what nutritional factors should you be looking to include in your diet?
Foods & habits to include
• Protein Your hair is made from protein, so it makes sense to make sure you’re getting an adequate amount in your diet. Consider incorporating into your diet high-protein foods such as red lean meat, beans, eggs, soy, quinoa. This will help to improve the hair structure.
• Iron For healthy hair growth, your iron storage needs to be at a certain level, low levels can affect the hairs ability to grow. Eating lean, red meat at least twice a week can help maintain and top up those levels and ensure your hair is receiving the iron it needs. Fun fact – iron can only be effectively absorbed alongside sufficient vitamin C, which can be easy-peesy OJ squeezy added to your morning breakfast.
• Vitamin D Like your skin (and soul), your hair loves some vitamin D! Kickstart the growth cycle and regeneration by getting out into the sunshine!
• Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid Vitamin B and folic acid play an integral role in the production of new hair cells and growth. Without a sufficient amount, your metabolism and red blood cell production can be affected and impact your hair quality. Foods like fish (salmon, trout, tuna), spinach, bananas, milk and cheese are rich in Vitamin B, while folic acid can be found in fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly tomatoes and in breakfast cereals.
• H2O Water is life. Your body is made of up to 60% water. If you’re not consuming enough water, your body begins to dehydrate. This means, it starts to ration water to vital organs – where your body needs it most. I’m sure you’ve heard it before – drink 1.5L to 2L of water a day to make sure every part of your body is hydrated (even your hair follicles!)
• Silica One of the tell-tale signs of a silica deficiency is hair loss, poor hair growth and breakage. Silica is super important as it provides strength and flexibility to the connective tissues of the body. It’s essential in the formation of collagen, which we all know keeps our skin, bones, blood… actually, pretty much everything in your body healthy, and minimising the effects of aging. Be sure to consume lots of leafy greens, brown rice, lentils and fresh fruits as they’re all high in silica.
So, there you have it! How many of these foods are you already regularly including in your diet? And where might you be able to sneak some more into your fav snacks, or meals?
If you feel like you have an awesome, balanced diet but your hair is feeling those negative effects, it’s always beneficial to seek advice and guidance from your doctor or a nutritionist.
Tune in next time for a special interview piece with Simone Lee of Tyler Reid Hair who specialises in Trichology at Australian Institute Of Trichology - as we talk about various scalp condition – causes, treatments and prevention.
Steph Meyer & Co.