How Does Diet Affect Hair Health?

What do you usually do for your hair? A little shampoo and conditioner, a bit of styling product perhaps and hoping for a good hair day! Unless there’s heavy hair fall, chances are little that you go for any special care for your hair. But when hair fall starts, confusion and frustration become the order of the day. What you need to know that like all other body tissues, the state of your hair is related to your overall health and individual physical characteristics.

According to doctors, healthy hair grows appropriately out of every follicle, is not easily broken, and is connected to a healthy scalp. It’s hair that's long, bouncy, shiny, and manageable.

But what has hair to do with diet? Experts agree that a healthy diet with the right mix of iron, protein, and other nutrients improves the health, look, and feel of your hair. Let’s see how diet affects hair health.

Protein is a must

• Hair is made of protein. Dietary protein is obtained from fish, chicken, eggs, legumes, dairy products, soy foods, some whole grains and vegetables. Inappropriate intake of protein slows down the rate of new hair growth.

• Hair naturally sheds and doesn’t grow back quickly. With excessive hair loss, the scalp starts to show through. Starvation and extreme weight loss deplete the body of other nutrients that are important for hair growth. In the long term, it reduces hormone production which leads to thinning hair.

Iron and other nutrients

• Healthy hair needs iron, vitamin E, trace minerals like magnesium, copper and selenium. They help in the production of various proteins that make up your hair.

• Lack of iron can cause hair loss. The best sources of iron in your diet include meat, fortified cereals, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, white beans, lentils, and spinach.

Vitamin D

• Studies suggest that Vitamin D plays a role in the hair cycle. Vitamin D can be obtained from the sun but there are other sources too. Vitamin D can also be obtained from milk, orange juice and cereals. It’s always good to talk to your doctor about your vitamin D needs and whether you should take supplements or not.

Hair supplements

• Vitamin deficiency causes hair loss as all vitamins are important. The best source of all vitamins is a balanced diet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take supplements for your hair. Zinc and biotin supplements are good for hair but it’s better to consult a doctor before taking them.

Now when you know what you need to eat for healthy hair, make the necessary alterations in your diet and start afresh!


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