Can You Eat Your Way To Better Hair!

Written By Wilfredo Allen on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 7:00 AM

From the point of view of a woman her hair is her crowning glory and although it might not be the most well publicised aspect of health and wellness, it is a fact that what you eat can affect the quality of your hair.

If you stop and think about this for a moment, it is actually quite a logical state of affairs that this should be so. It is the case that hair follicles rely on nourishment from the blood stream, but they also compete with the rest of the body for nutrients. As your body classes your hair as effectively a non essential organ, it is quite low in the pecking order as far as the priority list of the bodies various functions with regard to receiving nutrients is concerned. In a situation where your diet is lacking in sufficient nutrients, such nutrients as are available, will automatically be diverted to higher priority organs.

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The consequence of this is that your hair really misses out in nourishment, and the results of lack of nutrients are that your hair can become dry, and also really slow to grow new hair. However, you can take active steps to help to avoid this.

Set out to make sure that you eat a well balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, and with at least two servings of protein in each meal. Include decent quantities of energy giving whole grain
carbohydrates in your overall diet, which will ensure maximum nutrition for your entire body. In turn your hair will get its fair share of necessary goodness, and as it is receiving the proper nutrients your hair should grow at a speed of about 14mm a month. It should also start to become much stronger and thicker as a consequence of this.

You can also prevent particular hair problems with a good diet, but do remember that no amount of nutrients can help to repair hair that is chemically damaged or split. You can certainly take some specific steps to help some other types of problems with your hair however.

Here are one or two examples for you.

Oily Hair

Hair which is naturally oily is genetic, and there is nothing you can do to change your genes. If your hair has become oily all of a sudden, you could do well to check out your intake of spicy food. Food that causes the skin to sweat, like chilli or curry, can cause the scalp to sweat and this will in turn increase the oil levels.

Dull Hair

If your hair is dull and lacks a shine, that means that it is not reflecting the light properly. Healthy hair is formed with a flat cuticle, and when light rays hit them they bounce back, which is what creates the shine. If the cuticle on the hair lifts that reflection will not happen, and hair will look dull. You are probably thinking as you read this, why does it lift! The most common cause is hair that is chemically treated like bleaching and perming. Another common reason is a lack of protein in your diet. Eating foods like lean meat, poultry, fish, nuts seeds or pulses will help remedy this situation.

Dry Hair

This is one of the most common symptoms of a deficiency in essential fatty acids. You will notice this in people who have frizzy or fly away hair. The essential fatty acids must be increased, which can be done by eating nuts, seeds, and oily fish like mackerel. These foods also have protein in them which is vital for glossy hair as it happens. Where a deficiency of these nutrients exists, the hair forms with a lifted cuticle, which reduces the hair's natural protection, making it easier for moisture to evaporate and drying to occur.

Hair That Just Will Not Grow

If you are experiencing this problem, there is probably a lack of B Vitamins in your diet. These provide the body with energy, and are vital for hair growth. In addition, if your energy levels are low, hair growth slows down. Eating a little and often, will help to keep your energy levels up. Also biotin which is sometimes called vitamin H, can help to create thicker faster growing hair. You will find Vitamin H in eggs, fish, milk, nuts and pulses.

Thinning Hair

This tends to be linked to an iron deficiency. Make sure that you are taking about 14mgs of iron a day, either from a supplement, or by increasing the amount of lean red meat and dark green vegetables in your diet. It is also recognised that too much Vitamin A can lead to hair loss. This is only likely to happen if you are taking high levels of Vitamin A loaded foods in your diet, or are taking high levels of Vitamin A supplements. If you are, stop, because Vitamin A is a toxic to the body, and hair loss is one of the first signs of this. If you want Vitamin A for your skin just increase your fruit and vegetable intake.

Hair Loss

The most common cause of hair loss is a shift in the growth cycle. In other words, some of your is growing, and some of it has ceased growing completely. Most hairs have a life expectancy of three to six years. These hairs will go into a resting stage for three months then fall out, and then new hair is produced from the same roots. A certain amount of hair loss is normal, for example cats and dogs shed hair everywhere without going bald. We normally will shed fifty to one hundred hairs every day. There are a whole host of life events that can cause changes in your hair, for example, in women birth control pills, pregnancy, and the menopause.

These can all affect hair growth conditions,as can rapid weight loss, severe dandruff, iron deficiency, and lack of proteins as mentioned above. A lack of these will also cause hair loss, just as a serious physical illness or stress can trigger a dramatic loss of hair. In most cases this is usually only temporary, and only occurs in extreme cases. However, hair loss, particularly when it occurs at the crown is usually genetic, but contrary to popular belief, hereditary baldness is not only a male problem, as women can inherit this problem from their parents as well.

Hair loss takes such an emotional toll on people, especially women, although both women and men usually invest a great deal of time on their appearance. Although hair loss is not something that we are going to die from, it really can affect our self-esteem considerably.

To date there is not a complete cure for hair loss and baldness, but paying attention to diet and eating the proper nutrients can contribute greatly to slowing hair loss down. As well as looking after your diet when it comes to your hair, you should also get your hair trimmed regularly. This will help to make your hair look thicker and more groomed. Have your hair styled to suit your features and remember never to be afraid of experimenting with change. At worst, if you do not like the new style it will grow out fairly quickly.

It is always better to go to the hairdressers with some idea of what you want, and it could help to take pictures of styles you have seen in a magazines. The hairdresser will thank you for this, as he or she is not psychic and cannot read your mind. I am thinking particularly of the ladies here, but for men I would suggest that if you are losing your hair, or have balding patches, it is best to keep it as short a possible.

Blog, Updated at: 7:00 AM

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