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October 2, 2010 at 8:00 PMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Hair Dos: Diet Tips for Lucious Locks

By Claire Franklin More Blogs by This Author

Despite what many commercial hair products claim, a healthy head of hair actually depends upon diet. While shampoo and conditioner are vital to cleansing hair, the most luxurious locks actually come from within. Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, states, If you eat a healthy diet, you will grow stronger and healthier cells throughout your entire body  inside and out. While professionals are quick to point out that thin hair will never be transformed into thick ropes, a well-balanced diet can and will make a substantial difference. Protein and iron are two key nutrients that maintain healthy hair. According Paradi Mirmirani, MD. Even though you can find beauty supplements on the shelves of most stores, try to get the nutrients you need from foods whenever possible.

A Healthy Head of Hair Comes from Food

One of the foremost complaints of hair is its lack of growth. According to experts, hair grows at a rate of approximately one quarter to one half-inch every month. The foundation of all new hair, as well as skin and nail growth, is in the nutrients that a person eats. When essential vitamins and minerals are missing from a diet, hair growth can slow considerably. For the richest and longest locks possible, hair should be well hydrated from the inside. Six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water are recommended each day. To promote overall hair growth, the trace mineral silica is recommended. This is critical to the strength of hair and can prevent breakage. To increase silica within a daily diet, the following foods should be enjoyed:

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Onion
  • Asparagus

Hair growth also depends upon several key vitamins, include B, E, A and C. These are largely found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oatmeal, yogurt and nuts. Foods that are high in protein such as meats, eggs and cheese are also required. Again, nutritionists advise that well-balanced diets are those that provide the greatest benefit.

Diet Solutions for Hair Problems

Hair that is dry or breaks easily commonly lacks essential fatty acids (EFAs). Strength and shine can both be restored with foods that are rich in essential fatty acids. Oily fish such as salmon, trout and tuna pose the greatest benefit. Flaxseed oil and pumpkin seeds also provide a healthy dose of EFAs. Avocados, olives and nuts are additional options to consider for EFAs. Just as brittle hair often demonstrates a lack of important nutrients, so too does greasy hair. In this case, vitamin B is absent, and it needs to be replenished with such foods as whole grains, leafy vegetables, eggs and dairy products. Oily foods should be avoided when possible to help with the problem. Hair that is beginning to fall out is likely the result of an iron deficiency. Red meat, wholegrain cereals and dried fruits are all excellent sources of iron. In addition, hair is mostly composed of protein. Protein works to reinforce hair follicles, which in turn keep hair firmly in place. Thus, adding protein-rich foods like cheese, seeds and nuts will likely cause a positive reaction in hair growth and stop loss. Soy milk, tofu and soy beans are additional food items that may stimulate hair growth. Evidence suggests that soy proteins promote healthy hair, as do antioxidants. Vegetables, fruits and teas are excellent sources of antioxidants, which help to slow the overall aging process. To this end, a healthy scalp will also mitigate hair loss and encourage growth. Vitamin A promotes scalp health that leads to a well-conditioned head of hair. According to nutritionists and health officials, ten foods in particular improve the condition of hair. These can be mixed and matched with daily diets to create beautiful and healthy locks.

  • Salmon
  • Dark green vegetables
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Whole grains
  • Oysters
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Carrots

Here's to your beautiful head of hair!


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