Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hair and Nutrition

Hair is part of a women’s beauty so you can imagine my horror when I noticed my hair falling out. I noticed that when I comb my hair, more hair than usual will end up on my hair brush, when I wash my hair, my hair would easily slip through my fingers and down  the plughole. I got really worried as my hair has always been nice and thick and didn't want to lose my healthy hair at a ‘young age’.

So, I consulted my hairdresser when I had an appointment for my regular hair trim and she asked me if I had changed my diet. It was Ramadhan at the time and so I said, yeah kind of, maybe I hadn't been eating as much or as healthily as I should have been. And she joked, “Well, you should know what to eat, you’re a nutritionist so at least you know what foods will help you with your hair.”

It’s true, what you eat will reflect on your body not only on the inside but on the outside as well. There are certain foods that will help our hair to grow well and healthy. Our hair is made up of protein, keratin and minerals, so these are the kind of foods we need to help improve the health of our hair, whether it is for its thickness, strength, length or shine.

Here are some tips for healthy hair (if any of you are going through the same problem):
  • Chew your food properly, so that all the nutrients you consume will be absorbed properly.
  • Make sure you have enough protein in your diet; eggs, fish, poultry, meat, nuts, beans, lentils, seeds. These are the basic building bodies for your hair, skin and nails.
  • Salmon is good as it contains good protein, vitamin B12, iron and omega 3 which will prevent dry scaly scalp and will give it a healthy shine.
  • Omega 3 and 6 helps to strengthen and grow hair, skin and nails, we can only get these from our diet so it is important we ensure we are having it. Although, they are fats they are good fats, you can find them in oily fish, nuts and seeds and some oils, like flax seed, canola, and evening primrose oil.
  • B vitamins are great for healthy hair and are often added to hair products. You can also get them from; whole grains, dark green vegetables, oily fish, oats, nuts, brown rice, berries, eggs, broccoli, cauliflower.
  • Other foods that may help: avocado, sprouts, spinach, low-fat dairy products like cheese and yoghurt, brazil nuts, walnuts. 
  • Relax, don’t stress, this will only aggravate the situation.
  • Take a supplement, if you feel like you need an extra boost. However, do not overdose your vitamins and minerals as this will only backfire. 
  • Avoid washing hair every day, as it can dry it out and take away its natural oil and moisture.
Overall, have a healthy diet and lifestyle. Following a strict diet may limit you in some essential nutrients which may affect your health, like omega-3’s, zinc, vitamin A and E. Hope this helps and please let me know what works for you, as different things work on different people.

Happy healthy hair!

Note: Other factors can affect hair loss as well, such as, age, genes, hormones and lifestyle.

A H Nutritionist
26th September 2012

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