The secret to beautiful, shiny hair doesn’t have to be an expensive shampoo or salon treatments - it's all about what you eat. Just like the skin, your hair’s condition is an outward sign of your inside health.
Hair is primarily made of keratin - a protein that also forms nails and the outer protective layer of skin. Each hair is attached to the scalp via a follicle. Each person has on average between 100,000 and 350,000 hair follicles on their scalp.
The cells that make up each strand of hair need a regular supply of specific nutrients to grow healthy hair. Hair’s growth varies significantly from person to person and is influenced by some major factors - genetics, age, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, and more. For instance, some people tend to have dull, weak, or thin strands. If you’re one of those, have a look at what you’re putting on your plate, your hair might be hungry!
What you eat is one of the things you can do to control your hair’s behaviour. There’s a strong link between your overall health and the state of your hair. Eating a variety of foods for healthy hair will give you the mane you've always dreamed of.
By eating nutrient-rich foods - and avoiding those that only do harm - you can influence your hair’s thickness, shine, growth and even its likelihood of greying.
Check out these foods for healthy hair, packed with nutrients to begin growing your best hair ever:
The benefits of almonds for hair are amazing! These nuts contain a variety of nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and vitamins.
Almonds are rich in flavonoids and vitamin E, which is vital to skin health. Vitamin E is especially good for keeping your locks thick and lustrous.
The best diets for hair growth should include almonds. Almonds are high in biotin which will make your hair grow faster and thicker.
They are also a great source of magnesium and vitamin D. Deficiency of magnesium in the human body can lead to hair thinning. When consumed properly, magnesium encourages the growth of skin, hair and nails.
Almonds can help ward off the damage caused by free radicals as well as oxidative damage caused by smoking. Try a handful of almonds, or enjoy them in almond butter spread on your favourite bread slices.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that grows naturally in oceans and salty lakes in subtropical climates.
Due to its impressive nutritional profile, spirulina is considered one of the world's greatest super-foods, with an extraordinary array of potential health benefits.
It is particularly rich in protein which is the building block of hair. If you don't get enough protein, your mane will grow more slowly, and strands will be weaker.
Spirulina is a concentrated source of both iron and copper - two important minerals you need to prevent hair loss. Although the highest concentrations of copper are found in the livers of various animals, the highest amount of non-animal-derived copper can be found in spirulina. Being rich in iron and copper, spirulina prevents excessive hair loss, one of the most common problems people suffer with.
Alopecia is a disease characterised by hair loss at a disquieting rate. It can also lead to hair loss across the body and face, even in women. Taking spirulina as powder or tablet increases your nutrition intake avoiding the further loss of hair and acting as an alternative medicine to facilitate hair renewal.
Spirulina also contains numerous other health hair promoting nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C which encourage hair growth.
Spirulina’s nutrients can be supplied to hair either by consuming spirulina or by applying it externally as a mask. This algae is also used as an ingredient in shampoos and conditioning treatments.
As we’re speaking about the best foods for healthy hair, we must include eggs.
Eggs are loaded with a B vitamin called biotin, which is essential for scalp health and hair growth. Not having enough of this vitamin can lead to hair loss. Many people trying to grow their hair take biotin in the supplement form. Other good sources of biotin are almonds (that we’ve mentioned already) and salmon.
They are an excellent source of omega-3s and protein. Hair is mainly composed of keratin protein, so egg’s protein helps rebuild damaged hair.
Some people put raw eggs directly onto their hair to help with conditioning.
Egg conditioning can be an intense natural protein treatment which will help you to maintain your hair strong and promote hair growth. You can also eat the eggs for these benefits. Whether you enjoy them for breakfast or boiled and sliced cold over a green salad, eggs are serious food for healthy hair.
Be aware that it’s not the egg white that will make your hair beautiful, it’s the yolk. Eating too many egg whites can block the absorption of biotin into the body, causing a diminution of this nutrient.
One of the best foods for healthy hair is sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are an extraordinary source of beta-carotene, which the human body turns into vitamin A, a nourishing agent for your hair and skin.
The cells of our body can not properly function without enough vitamin A. It also helps produce and protect the oils that sustain the scalp, fighting dull hair and dry skin. Being low on vitamin A is a leading cause of dandruff and can even leave you with irksome, itchy scalp.
For a healthy scalp try incorporating more foods rich in beta carotene into your diet. Other smart choices to get glowing hair and skin include carrots, butternut squash, and pumpkin. They will stimulate the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid called sebum – a true elixir of the locks.
Sweet Potatoes contain starch, a produce with emollient properties that smooth the skin. Regular eating of sweet potatoes will help you with growing a healthy, beautiful hair.
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that promote hair growth. Your body can't make these healthy fats, so you must get them from food or supplements.
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and not only help you stay fit and disease free but also enable you to keep your hair shiny and full. The anti-inflammatory properties will also help to open the hair follicles which promotes healthy hair growth. One of the signs of lack of Omega 3 is a dry scalp and dull looking hair.
Be aware that is always best to get omega-3s from natural sources and to avoid farm-raised fish.
Salmon contains a high amount of protein along with B vitamins, including B12, and several other minerals and vitamins. All these nutrients are essential for hair growth and to help cure problems such as excessive hair loss and dry hair.
There are hundreds of ways to enjoy all this fish’s benefits. Try it grilled, baked, in your pasta, with a salad, or just with a side of asparagus.
Healthy hair is quite difficult to achieve and manage as it is exposed to chemicals and pollution on a daily basis. Don’t rely only on shampoos and salon treatments cause it’s not just what you apply on your hair, but also what you eat that counts. To care for your hair inside out, eat a healthy and balanced diet. Choosing the right foods for healthy hair is the way to go!