Everyone desires beautiful hair, and just like your skin, your hair reflects what you eat. If your hair has been weakening lately, there are many products in the market to help improve strength. Sadly, most hair product experts won’t tell you that the journey to healthy hair starts with a healthy diet.
We consulted with a hair loss specialist in New Jersey who takes the time to explain everything there is to know about weak hair and the foods you can eat to change that.
Causes of Weak, Thinning Hair
Several signs will reflect that your hair is becoming weak. You must identify the root cause of the problem. Here are some of the most common causes of hair loss.
- Unhealthy diet
- Some medical conditions and medications
- Hormonal imbalance
- Not having frequent hair trims- after every two months
- Using strong chemical-based products- e.g., Coloring or bleaching products
- Heat damage
- Scalp infection
Why A Nutritious Diet is Important for Your Hair
The amount of hair on everyone’s head varies from person to person. However, on average, every person has about 100,000 hair follicles on the head. Your hair follicles are constantly creating new hair cells. This is why once you lose a hair strand, another strand is ready to grow in its place. For this reason, your hair needs constant nourishment, and that is why a healthy nutritional balance is essential..
Nutritious Boosts That Will Help Strengthen Your Hair Again
1. Protein from Breakfast
Every hair cell is made from keratin protein which is essential for your hair regeneration. You are advised to incorporate at least 45grams of protein into your daily diet to enhance continuous hair growth. Some of the best protein foods include:
- Low-fat Dairy products- cheese
- Lean meat- chicken, fish, and turkey
2. Foods Rich in Biotin
Biotin, which is famously known as vitamin B7, is a vital nutrient for the growth of your hair. Biotin is responsible for stimulating keratin production in hair which, as previously explained, stimulates hair regeneration. You can only consume this vitamin from foods such as:
- Nuts-walnut and almonds
- Whole Grains-lentils
- Egg yolk
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3. Foods Rich in Zinc
Zinc is a mineral essential in strengthening your hair follicles to enhance hair growth and cell repair. A deficiency in zinc levels in your body can cause your hair to dry up and you to develop a flaky scalp, leading to hair loss. Some of the best zinc-rich foods include:
- Shellfish- oysters, lobsters, and crabs
- Sunflower seeds
- Nuts- cashews, walnuts, and almonds
- Whole-grain cereals
However, you’re advised not to take zinc in excess as it may lead to hair loss. As with everything, portioning is key. Check with a nutritionist or your doctor to determine how much zinc is recommended for your age, health, and biological sex.
4. Foods Rich in Iron
An iron deficiency is known to cause anemia which is a top condition for hair loss. When your red blood cells are well-nourished with iron, your whole body benefits. It is no surprise that this also applies to your hair follicles. Therefore, if there’s an iron deficiency, you’ll possibly notice stunted growth or hair loss. You can avoid this situation by eating iron-rich foods like:
- Leafy green vegetables- spinach, kales, broccoli, and salads
- Red meat
5. Foods Rich in Omega-3
Omega-3 is a fatty acid that you must have in your diet or in supplements. It not only helps your hair but is a general health booster. They also help provide the necessary oils and hydration that prevent your scalp and hair from drying out. Apart from that, they also improve hair density, hair growth, and good shine. Foods that contain omega-3 include:
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- Plant sources- walnuts, avocado, and pumpkin seeds
- Oily fish- trout, salmon, mackerel, and herring
6. Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is vital for hair growth since it helps in the absorption of iron in the body. It is also responsible for the build-up of collagen, which is essential for the strength of the hair follicles. You can consume vitamin C by taking:
- Citrus fruits- oranges, lemon, grapes
- Sweet potatoes
As previously read, your scalp can quickly dry out just like your skin can. Water is responsible for the energy required for your hair cells to enhance growth. Therefore, as you incorporate the rest of the essential foods into your diet, don’t forget hydration.
Depending on your body weight, you can check how many glasses of water you should consume per day. You can also take fruits like watermelon and oranges or vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce with high water content.
The adage “you are what you eat” is very true. Our health is reflected by our diets. You get out what you put in. With time, you’ll start seeing significant changes in the health of your hair and scalp.
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.