Hair may be a non-living component of the human body, but it’s also what brings life to our features and sets each of us apart from everyone else. And even though we may love our hair, we also seem to find pleasure in torturing it. We curl it, straighten it, perm it, dye it, slick it back, pull it into tight ponytails, and basically wreak havoc on it nonstop. While the ends of your hair will tell the story of how much damage you’ve inflicted upon it, the roots of your hair tell the story of how well you eat. If you have dry, brittle hair and haven’t found a remedy for it yet, read up on these tips for how to eat the right foods for healthy hair…
As your hair grows out of the follicles on your scalp, you can see the results of the quality of your nutrition. However, by the time you see that new hair, it’s too late to improve how it looks through better nutrition. Once it’s out of your scalp, it is dead, and any chances for revival are long gone. Hair only grows about half an inch per month on average, which makes improving the health of your hair a very long process. If you have long hair, it could take up to six months to make a significant improvement.
Beautiful hair is nourished hair, so don’t think you can rely on hair products alone to tame your mane. So which nutrients are important for nourishing dry, brittle hair and how can you get them?
The Right Foods for Healthy Hair
Hair is made up primarily of a protein known as keratin, which is also found in fingernails and toenails. Make sure you eat enough high-protein foods every day to ensure that your body will keep producing keratin to build strong hair. Good sources of healthy, lean protein include nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. Protein from the foods you eat is broken down into individual amino acids, which can be rearranged like an anagram to provide the body with a handful of different proteins, such as the proteins that make up keratin. In other words, eating enough lean protein every day is essential for having healthy hair.
Essential fatty acids also play a key role in healthy hair. Fats that contain essential fatty acids, like omega-3, nourish dry, brittle hair and help to reverse a dry, itchy scalp, which can be a result of dandruff, psoriasis or eczema. Fatty fish, such as salmon, supply these essential fatty acids and also provide a healthy source of lean protein. If you do not eat fish regularly, you can supplement your diet with flaxseed oil or evening primrose oil every day.
Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains all supply B-complex vitamins, like biotin, folic acid and vitamin B12, as well as vitamin A, copper and zinc, which are all necessary for remedying dry, brittle hair and nourishing a healthy scalp. Some prime examples of foods that contain these nutrients for healthy hair include:
· Folic Acid – asparagus, beets, broccoli, avocados, Brussels sprouts, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, oranges, fresh peas, turkey and spinach.
· Biotin – cauliflower, liver, salmon, carrots, bananas, cereals, yeast, and soy flour. Keep in mind that biotin content is reduced when food is cooked or preserved.
· Vitamin B12 – foods rich in vitamin B12 include animal protein (such as beef, lamb, and veal), clams and oysters, liver, fish, milk, and egg yolks.
- Vitamin A – butter, egg yolks, fish, fortified milk, organ meats (such as liver), and dark green, orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables, which all contain beta-carotene.
- Copper – oysters and other shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, and organ meats are good sources of copper. Dark leafy greens, dried fruits such as prunes, cocoa, black pepper, and yeast are also sources of copper in the diet.
- Zinc – beef, eggs, liver, pork, poultry, and oysters. Also is also abundant in other high-protein foods, like cheese, legumes and nuts.
If having a lush, beautiful mane of healthy hair is important to you, don’t just look to hot oil treatments and shine emollients. Eat these foods for healthy hair and say “bye-bye” to bad hair days.