7 Key Nutrients for Hair Health and Growth
Let’s Talk About Hair and How We Can Get The Best Locks From These 7 Key Nutrition Points We Can Consume.
When you were growing up as a young child, did your parents ever tell you that certain foods would make your hair long and strong? And some foods would even make your hair curly?
There may be some strong truth in what they were saying!
When you were in high school, your hair was likely one of the most significant elements that got you included in the “IN” crowd or not. Your hair would be the one thing that you would be so self-conscious of, making sure there was not a hair-strand out of place.
As long as it was in the best condition it could be, regardless of the horrendous torture we put it through to be perfect, it was great!
It is a fact that hair is incredibly resilient to most things, such as heat and product styling, but there comes a time when the condition and strength of your hair can start to fade from the mane it once was.
As we get older and our bodies start to change and age, hair may have the potential to look a little thinner, feel a little more brittle, and possibly fall out altogether.
These are the times we really need to be taking heed from the nutrients we are (or are not, as the case may well be!) placing in our body and being incredibly mindful that everything we are consuming is full of the best nutrients that are known to support hair health and increase the rate of growth.
To take in the best vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to give you the hair you dream of, we first need to know what those elements are and how we can incorporate them into our daily lives to support healthy hair and optimum growth and condition.
Let’s take a look at the top 7 nutrients that are essential for hair health and growth.
Vitamin C has one of the best natural compounds to assist in the growth of hair and support the condition and the resilience of the hair you already have.
Vitamin C is a naturally abundant antioxidant, which can help absorb the impact that free radicals have on hair growth and condition. Free radicals are molecules that can inhibit the optimum growth of your hair, and Vitamin C can act as a neutralizer to these molecules, making sure you maintain healthy hair that grows at a great rate.
Vitamin C also:
- Assists the body in the natural production of collagen, which is a naturally occurring substance in the body that can help the hair stay strong and avoid brittle breakages.
- Helps the body to absorb iron more efficiently, which is super essential for hair growth
Consuming adequate protein in your diet or via a supplement may help to increase the rate of hair growth. Since hair follicles are mainly made from protein, supporting adequate protein levels may help to reduce the rate of hair loss and promote new hair growth.
You can increase the amount of protein you consume in many ways, such as:
- Natural proteins- This includes within foods such as eggs, fish, and meat.
- Artificial proteins- Including protein shakes, plant-based proteins, and meat alternatives.
- Supplements- Supplements that include either clean and natural or artificial proteins will also help improve the protein levels within your body, increasing hair growth and reducing hair loss.
Vitamin A is a clever vitamin and one that helps the body produce sebum, a natural secretion from the body that restores moisture and conditioning to the skin and hair.
Sebum is a great moisturizing natural oil that is produced by the body, and some people have an over-production of the oil. Still, it is essential to know that where hair is concerned, sebum is a good thing!
It helps to intensely condition and strengthen the hair right from the root, especially the scalp, to promote healthy hair growth and condition.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have previously been strongly linked to the growth of healthy hair and potentially increasing the resistance of the hair follicles against everyday damage and styling.
Omega 3 fatty acids have also been linked to increasing the strand density of your hair, making it look thicker, which can be a concern if your hair is naturally fine or has become thinner over the years through aging or hormone imbalances.
You will find the highest Omega 3 fatty acids concentrations in foods such as salmon and mackerel, which have this magic nutrient in natural abundance. However, most supplements that include this within their formulations can replicate the concentration of Omega-3’s to match your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
Zinc is a base element that is essential for the prevention of thinning hair and hair breakage, and any zinc deficiency will indeed show its signs in the way your hair behaves.
With a zinc deficiency, you may find:
- The rate of hair growth is slow or non-existent
- Existing hair can become thinner
- Hair may become more susceptible to breakages and damage
While zinc is an essential nutrient that you should have for maintaining healthy hair, it is also an element that can have adverse hair effects if it is over-consumed.
Zinc is one of those elements that also help your body absorb other essential nutrients too, such as vitamin E.
The current guidelines recommend that 11 milligrams of zinc daily in our diets or via a supplement can be enough to prevent hair loss and improve the strength of your hair.
Selenium is very similar to zinc, and selenium deficiencies occur in the blood when the blood is not able to absorb the trace element.
Selenium can be found in supplements that support hair growth, and deficiencies can contribute to hair loss; and, much like zinc, too much of a good thing can actually have the opposite effect on the hair.
Current guidance on the recommended amount d selenium needed to support healthy hair growth and condition stands at 25-50 mcg of selenium daily, which is equivalent to under half of a Brazil Nut, so it is straightforward to incorporate into a healthy hair diet.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble and vitamin with a high bio-availability, which has incredible antioxidant properties, which makes it a fantastic repairing element.
Vitamin E may be responsible for the increase in capillary circulation of the scalp, which may encourage and increase hair growth.
As Vitamin E is fat-soluble, it can also be used externally on the hair to provide a protective and moisturizing layer of lipids on the hair strands, which may help to protect it from environmental stresses such as pollution.
Hair friendly foods
A lot of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients mentioned here that can help maintain healthy hair can be found easily and readily in foods such as:
- Meat, such chicken and Beef
- Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel
- Spinach, Kale, and other leafy green Vegetables
- Beans and Pulses
If you find that changing everything in your diet is a little overwhelming, you can also find some really great supplements that will give you your RDA of a combination of the most essential elements that will support your hair growth and condition.
As you can probably see from this information, you can include a lot of these essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients into your everyday diet by making the foods you eat as fresh and as hair-friendly as possible. However, supplements may boost the levels of some crucial areas of hair growth and hair condition.
By making sure that you are knowledgeable about all of the essential nutrients you should be consuming daily to maintain healthy hair, reduce thinning hair, and reduce hair loss, you can make sure that you include all of the best nutrients available to you.
Varying your diet to include all of the essentials mentioned above will not only do your hair a power of good, but it will also improve your overall health and wellbeing as well as maintain a healthy weight, which are 2 other areas that may be linked to hair loss and weak hair.
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