Who do you blame when your hair is dry, dull and breaks easily? You probably curse your damaging hair dye, ruthless blow dryer, low-quality shampoo and bad genes. In reality, the problem may lie in what you eat. And in what you don’t eat!
The logic itself is simple. No matter how much we value our gorgeous hair, our bodies do not consider hair a vital organ. Once our bodies start distributing the nutrients, our hair is somewhere at the end of the line. Depending on how well-nourished we are, some bits and pieces are left for hair cells as well, but in the worst case, they are left with nothing at all. The longer they starve, the more lifeless they become.
Hair needs a complex cocktail of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins.
- Keratin is the main building material of hair. To produce keratin, our bodies need proteins. Exercise lovers know this, but let’s recall: dairy products, turkey and eggs are some protein-rich foods.
For vegans and vegetarians, good protein sources include walnuts, almonds and various beans. Our bodies also need vitamin C to produce keratin, so do not forget to eat citrus fruits, berries and various kales or spinach.
- Iron is also very important. Iron deficiency is often the reason behind hair loss. Hair follicles and bulbs get their vitality from oxygen-rich blood. A low iron level can lead to anaemia. This disturbs the follicle’s energy supply and growth cycle and the hair strand may fall out.
You can keep the iron level normal by eating red meat, chicken and fish. Vegetarians and vegans should definitely eat lentils, broccoli, spinach and all other green salads and kale. Also keep in mind that our bodies need vitamin C for iron absorption.
- Another reason behind fragile hair prone to falling out may be low biotin levels. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin B. If you suspect a low-biotin diet may be the reason behind the poor state of your hair, you should eat liver, egg yolks, various nuts, soybeans, bananas, cauliflower and mushrooms.
Those who put emphasis on their looks are likely familiar with dieting. However, the idea behind many diets is cutting down the consumption of certain food categories (e.g. the Atkins diet) or outright starvation. Although it may show results in terms of body weight often temporarily it can have a devastating effect on your hair.
What else should you avoid?
- Excessive alcohol consumption is also bad for your hair. Alcohol reduces the amount of zinc in the blood. Zinc, on the other hand, is an important nutrient for hair.
- It may sound like a cliché, but fatty fast food really is bad for your hair. Eating fatty food increases sebum secretion in your scalp, clogging the pores. Clogged pores, in turn, may cause hair to fall out.
- Sugar is also one of the worst culprits in terms of hair, as it inhibits protein absorption, that being an important building material for hair.
- Diet beverages have zero sugar, but they include all kinds of sweeteners and sadly, connection has been noted between sweeteners and hair loss.
Your body is healthy only when, in addition to a balanced diet, you drink enough water. Keep it in mind during winter as well; heating rooms makes indoor air dry, which, in turn, dries up your hair and skin.
If your diet is balanced and you pay attention to all food categories you shouldn’t have any issues with deficiencies. If that is the case, the problem may lie elsewhere. You should, just in case, consult your doctor, who will carry out further analyses, if necessary.