Each hair strand is made of cells that contain keratin… a fibrous, helicoidal protein that forms part of the skin and all its appendages (body hair, nails). It adds elasticity, suppleness and resistance to the hair. But to have a constantly nourishing bounce, one must supply it with minerals and vitamins. “Diet plays an important role in keeping the hair healthy. Certain proteins, fats, and vitamins are important for hair growth and texture. Foods which have vitamin D such as walnuts, yogurt, chia seeds and flaxseeds or eggs, fresh berries, spinach help in increasing the hair growth,” says Radhika Sharma, chief operating officer of Lucullan Studios, Delhi.
Many people spend a lot of money on hair care products to deal with hair loss. Your hair care products could solve the problem of hair loss at times, but what about excessive hair fall and slow hair growth? Lifestyle factors, genetics and wrong diet can cause serious damage to hair. Even hair styling tools like hair dryers and straighteners cause harm to strands. This can result in a dry, dull mane and split ends. Hair follicles are constantly creating new hair from nutrients in the body. The food people eat affects hair growth and its quality. Certain proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals are especially important for strong, healthy hair. Healthy hair need deep conditioning treatment, hair mask and rich diet with the right nutrients.
Some super foods can give your hair a healthy glow. Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal suggests, “Luscious, thick and healthy mane are desired by everyone and why not, your hair serve as your crowning glory. However, chemical products, dust, pollution, stress can affect your hair health to a great extent. The right way to start caring is from within by incorporating foods like eggs in the diet which are a great source of protein and biotin, the two most crucial nutrients to promote hair growth. Fatty fish like tuna, mackerel or salmon being rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce hair loss and increase hair density. Vegetarians can rely on flaxseeds or walnuts for their Omega-3 needs. Vitamin E rich foods like almonds, walnuts or avocado can promote hair growth by neutralising harmful radicals. Soy, kidney beans, quinoa and pulses are rich in plant-based proteins that ensure a healthy mane. Additionally, soybeans contain a specific compound called spermidine that can prolong the active hair growth cycle. Iron deficiency is another common reason for hair loss, so one must include foods like pumpkin seeds, spinach, quinoa, lean meat, lentils, broccoli, dates and flaxseeds to flaunt voluminous and healthy mane.”
Hair is a fast-growing tissue and the first thing that you should work on when suffering from hair loss, excessive hair damage or slow hair growth is to have a nutritious diet. Good nutrition is extremely important to enjoy healthy hair growth. There are a variety of nutrients required for healthy hair growth such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, protein, essential fatty acids, silica, sulphur and germanium. Here, we recommend a few healthy hair super foods by experts that can be easily introduced in your daily diet to promote hair growth and curb hair loss.
Nuts: Regular intake of nuts like almonds, pecans, peanuts, walnuts and cashew nuts help in hair growth. Vitamin E helps in the appearance of hair. These contain zinc which minimises hair shedding. Also, walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acids, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid that help condition your hair.
Salmon: Salmon is an appropriate hair food, full of protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, iron and vitamin B-12, essential for hair growth or prevention of excessive hair loss.
Eggs: Eggs work wonders in a healthy-hair diet as they are the best source of protein. Rich in biotin (vitamin B) which is very good for scalp, eggs are high in iron also.
Oysters: Oysters are rich in zinc that help to keep the oil glands at the scalp function right. If the oil glands do not function properly, it can result in slow hair growth, dandruff and hair loss.
Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are full of beta carotene that promote the growth of healthy cells and tissues. Sweet potatoes are also rich in Vitamin C, copper, iron and protein.
Carrots: Carrots are packed with vitamins. Good for eye-sight, carrots are also used to control hair loss. Have it in salad or juice or as a vegetable, it is a perfect diet for healthy hair.
Fruits: Mango, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple and peaches are all rich in vitamin C, and an essential element in making collagen.
Vegetables: Kale, broccoli help to produce sebum (oily substance secreted by our hair follicles which works like a natural hair conditioner) in the scalp.