Hair and Your Diet, Maintaining Healthy Hair

Author: Benjamin C. Stong, M.D.

A healthy diet helps maintain a healthy body: organs, blood, bones, skin, and even your hair! That last one might surprise you! After all, hair is essentially dead proteins, right? But in the follicle, your hair is actually very much alive and well – and each hair follicle needs the correct nutrition to be capable of growing luscious, healthy strands.

Hair products like conditioners and moisturizers may be able to keep your locks smooth and shiny, but remember that such outside treatments won’t make locks grow. Hair follicles need protein, iron, B, C, and E vitamins, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, among other things, to thrive. So, one of the smartest ways to nourish your hair (and your body, of course!), is to eat nutrient-rich foods.

Specifically:

  • Choose protein sources like chicken, salmon, or lean red meats. In fact, red meat provides iron in addition to protein.
  • Remember that B vitamins can be found in a variety of foods, mainly plant based, like nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, and cauliflower, but also in eggs, fish, and chicken.
  • Consider that whole citrus fruits are great for Vitamin C. Guava, however, contains even more vitamin C than oranges.
  • Remember that Vitamin E, is mostly found in plant foods. These include such delicious foods as avocados, almonds, broccoli, parsley, and papaya. These are just a few of the foods that are packed full of vitamin E!
  • Don’t forget that the Omega-3 Fatty Acids in fish such as salmon will help keep your hair hydrated. (In addition to silky hair, omega-3s may help relieve depression and are a proven heart-helper!)

So, remember, not only will your hair benefit from a healthy, balanced diet…but the rest of you will as well!

The other side of the equation is to avoid junky foods that can actually mess with your health in numerous ways – including contributing to hair loss. For example, diet soda includes artificial sweeteners, specifically, aspartame, that has been linked to hair loss. And try to avoid starchy whites if you want beautify locks: these include sugar, since white bread, cakes, pastries, white pasta, and other refined, over-processed starches are converted into sugar, which causes your hair to thin. Instead, stick with whole wheat whenever possible.

When Eating Better Doesn’t Help

You might find that no matter how healthy you eat, you experience thinning and lost hairs. If male or female pattern hair loss strikes, it cannot be reversed by diet alone. NeoGraft Hair Transplant and Dr. Hochman can help you stop the receding hairline or the widening part.