For centuries there has been a great deal of stigma surrounding hair loss, with many suspecting something 'unnatural' about losing hair. In the 19th century, doctors referred to it as a 'disease of civilisation', blaming the rising rates of baldness on the increase of hat-wearing. Eventually, this theory was disproved and doctors turned to the theory of gene-affected hair loss.

But new research has scientists rethinking this theory too. Today’s new culprit: food.

How diet can affect hair loss

According to David Kingsley, a Ph.D. and world-renowned hair-loss expert, “The consensus is that diet influences hair loss”. This of course raises the question - can you fight increased hair loss with food?

In simple terms, yes. Science says that nutritional deficiencies can contribute to increased hair loss by weakening hair shafts, which in turn causes breakage and slow re-growth of new hairs. What this means is that if you’ve noticed signs of balding already, you can quickly turn it around and stop hair loss in its tracks with the food you eat.

Essentially, it’s like treating your hair loss from within. The healthier your body is, the healthier your hair will be. By eating healthy foods known for their nutrients, you can ensure your hair is growing to its maximum potential.

So what foods should you be looking for?

There are a few specific nutrients that aid the body’s ability to construct a proper hair shaft, and produce strong follicles and lustrous hair.

Included in this list of nutrients and minerals are:

item name description foods
b vitamin

A good way to think of B vitamins is to suggest the B stands for Beautiful. It’s these vitamins that will make your hair, skin, and nails look great. Folate, B6, B12, and biotin are involved in the creation of new red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells in your hair and scalp. Without them, hair can become weak and brittle, and the growing process rapidly slowed down.

  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Bread
  • Whole cereals
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Soybeans
Magnesium

Magnesium helps your hair to stay in peak condition, keeping hair follicles strong and hair strands intact for a long time. Research has shown that magnesium deficiency is strongly linked to prompt hair loss.

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish
  • Soybeans
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate
  • Low-fat yoghurt
Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body, which is needed for hair cell growth. It’s what keeps hair growing fast so that as you lose old hair, fresh and strong hair takes its place. If you suffer from brittle, dry hair and a flaky scalp, chances are it’s a result of vitamin A deficiency.

  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Beet greens
  • Pak choi
Vitamin E

Vitamin E is required to nourish damaged hair and to prevent breakage. It helps by aiding the body’s ability to manufacture keratin (you will notice this ingredient in many hair products), and by encouraging blood flow to the scalp.

  • Almonds
  • Raw seeds
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Hazelnut
Silica

Silica is a trace mineral that strengthens the body’s connective tissues - muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, and bone. It also helps with better absorption of other important nutrients. Lack of silica can also result in reduced elasticity.

  • Oats
  • Cucumber
  • Millet
  • Barley
  • Potatoes
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Red beets
Omega-3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid known for its high anti-inflammatory qualities. It keeps hair and skin supple, and helps the body absorb the vital ingredients, such as vitamin A, required for hair growth.

  • Flaxseed oil
  • Salmon
  • Chia seeds
  • Sardines
  • Radish seeds
Copper

Copper helps promote haemoglobin, which is required to supply oxygen and blood to the hair. A deficiency in copper can lead to brittle hair and noticeable hair loss.

  • Turnip greens
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Summer squash
Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the building block for collagen, the protein that gives hair a strong and youthful appearance. It’s also needed for better absorption of iron, and should be consumed at the same time.

  • Chilli peppers
  • Capsicum
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Cauliflower
Iron

Lack of iron is one of the biggest culprits associated with hair loss. Iron helps the red blood cells carry oxygen, which is needed for efficient hair growth and strength. The best form of iron is found in animal sources, but iron can be absorbed as a plant-base so long as it’s consumed alongside vitamin C.

  • Clams
  • Liver
  • Beef
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Nuts
  • Lamb
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Tofu
Zinc

Zinc helps the hair follicles do their job more efficiently, and so can speed up the growing process. Insufficient zinc can leave hair looking thin and dull.

  • Oysters
  • Liver
  • Lamb
  • Cheese
  • Sesame seeds
  • Peanuts

By consuming these nutrients, you can not only prevent further hair loss but can also help speed up the growing process to help build thicker, longer, and more lustrous hair.

So what about the actual foods? What foods should you be consuming?

Best foods to eat for healthy hair

Knowing what foods contain the required nutrients is the best way to ensure your diet leads to healthy, fuller hair. When possible, you should consume fresh produce in its season, as not only will this ensure what you eat tastes great it will also ensure that the nutrients are at their most potent.

Item Name Description season image
Salmon

Fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium. As your body can’t naturally produce these healthy fats, fish like salmon is a vital part of your healthy hair diet.

All year

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt contains two very important ingredients - protein and vitamin B5. The protein acts as a building block for healthy hair, and the vitamin B5 helps to thicken tresses.

All year

Carrots

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which when turned to vitamin A help produce scalp-sustaining oils.

April - September

Spinach and Kale

Spinach and kale are packed with powerful nutrients, including vitamin A, iron, beta carotene, folate and vitamin C. Working together, these nutrients will keep hair moisturised so that it doesn’t break. Bok choy is another good source.

April - October

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, and unpeeled cucumber contain abundant silica, which promotes hair growth and elasticity. Silica is often a prescribed supplement in cases of extreme hair loss.

April - August

Guava

One cup of guava contains 377 milligrams of vitamin C, which helps to moisturise the hair and prevent breakage.

March - May

Iron-fortified cereals

Iron-fortified cereals (such as Kellogg’s All Bran) are a great way to start the day when you’re trying to achieve healthy hair. For best results, consume them with fresh fruit such as strawberries or a glass of orange juice, which will help the body absorb the iron. Rolled oats are rich in iron, zinc, and folate.

All year

Green peas

Green peas are not overly potent in their doses, however green peas include many of the nutrients required for healthy hair. Among these nutrients are iron, zinc, vitamin B1, protein, vitamin B6, copper, vitamin C, magnesium and folate.

October - December

Almonds

Almonds have high biotin content, with one cup containing nearly one-third of your daily requirement. Almonds will make your hair grow faster and thicker, by contributing to the elastin in your hair. Almonds are also high in magnesium. Walnuts are another great source.

All year

Chicken

Without protein, hair growth “rests”. As a result, when old hair falls out, there’s nothing to replace it. Lean meats, such as chicken and turkey contain lots of protein and lack the saturated fat associated with beef and pork.

All year

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are filled with beta-carotene and will help protect against dry, dull hair by encouraging the scalp glands to produce sebum.

March - August

Avocado

Avocados contain important essential fatty acids and can not only be consumed, but applied topically to the hair. Try mixing avocado with a little sour cream (which contains lactic acid to help exfoliate dead skin on the scalp) and massage it into your hair for ten minutes before washing off.

April - December
(Hass)
January - April
(Shepherd)

Beef

Beef contains high amounts of protein along with B vitamins, iron and zinc. Lean beef can be eaten twice a week for optimal hair growth.

All year

Soy beans

Soy beans contain a good amount of iron and vitamin E. The iron creates the red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen to the tissues in the body, while the vitamin E increases circulation and the speed in which the oxygen travels. They also contain good levels of copper.

September - March

Cinnamon

Cinnamon helps keep your circulation in check. In other words, eating cinnamon will help oxygen and nutrients get delivered to your hair follicles.

All year

Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and are also rich in biotin. Not only will they keep your hair healthy, but they’ll also have your nails looking their best.

All year

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a good source of zinc and vitamin B6, the building blocks of hair protein. Eating chickpeas can prevent dandruff and reduce hair breakage.

All year

Oysters

Oysters are rich in zinc, which keeps the hair working at its maximum capacity and helps prevent dandruff. You can also find zinc in crab and lobster.

September - March

Yellow capsicum

Yellow capsicum has nearly five and a half times more vitamin C than oranges and can help to strengthen the hair shaft and hair follicles.

December - May

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds contain high doses of vitamin E and copper, which will enhance blood flow to the scalp to promote faster growth. They’re also very high in magnesium, containing 128 mg in just ¼ cup.

All year

Water

Proper hydration is a key factor in healthy hair and overall well being. Hair cells rely on water to function properly.

All year

Lentils

Lentils are loaded with protein, iron, zinc and biotin, as well as a ton of folic acid to help supply the scalp its much needed oxygen.

All year

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids and vitamin B1, as well as a whole host of other nutrients that can contribute to healthy hair.

All year

At Leimo we believe the the right approach to hair regrowth is a balanced combination of proven products and lifestyle choices. Improving your diet is essential to stopping and reversing hair loss and when combined with our Leimo Hair Regrowth System the results can be significant.

Did you find this information helpful?

Share this page on social media and we’ll unlock an incredible ebook, Hair Growth Food Recipes: A Practical List of Recipes for Every Day of Your Week. This informative and handy guide to food planning is yours free as a way to say thanks for sharing our helpful guide to healthy hair through food.

So get sharing, get cooking and get thicker, fuller hair today!



Sources:
http://www.details.com/body-health/diet/201203/is-your-diet-making-you-bald-hair-statistics
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/27/chili-oil-hair-growth_n_6939384.html
http://healthreviewcenter.com/health/foods-for-hair-growth/
https://www.omveda.com.au/support/links
http://www.traditionalherbs.com.au/links.html

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