Want to know which 10 foods will make your hair grow faster, stronger and healthier? Let me take you to a picturesque street market on Majorca, while buying fresh and ‘hair loving’ groceries. Enjoy the wonderful pictures we captured for you!
Avoiding brittle hair, split ends and hair loss – with the right diet!
Are you already using a high quality shampoo, conditioner and treatments? Perfect, that´s good and right! But unfortunately not enough. Healthy hair wants more! Gentle care, suitable lifestyle, balanced diet, rich in proteins, vitamins, mineral nutrients and healthy fat. If you don´t live and act accordingly, you may end up with brittle hair, split ends, dandruff or in the worst case hair loss.
‘Just like every other part of your body, the cells and processes that support strong and vibrant hair depend on a balanced diet,’ says New York nutritionist Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, author of The Beauty Diet.
It might take longer to see any good or bad changes in your hair than in your skin. For example, ‘just one week with a poor diet can yield acne flare-ups or dry, sallow skin within days,‘ says New York City dermatologist Cybele Fishman, MD, ‘but with hair, it can take a few months for a nutritional deficiency or the effects of a crash diet to show up.‘
Hair-loving nutrients for a healthy scalp and healthy hair
The nutrients you eat today help fortify the hair follicle – from which each strand is born – and the scalp that surrounds it. ‘Healthier follicles? Healthier hair. Healthier scalp? Healthier hair!‘ Drayer says.
Sure, it´s not just what you eat, there are other factors such as sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalance, smoking or poor quality care products can have a bad influence on the ‘look & feel’ of your hair. A lack of these factors cannot be balanced completely by alimentation.
However, with a healthy and balanced nutrition you will do a big favor to your hair. But if you include following 10 hair friendly foods in your daily diary, you’ll be giving your hair all the nutrients it needs and deserves..
Let´s go! Come with me to the lovely street market in Santa Maria, just 20 minutes by car from Palma de Majorca, and discover those fantastic foods your hair will love.
Salmon is not only a great source of protein, it´s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and ‘sunny’ vitamin D. The omega-3 fatty acids avoid dry scalp and brittle hair, the Vitamin D and the protein makes the hair stronger.
Other options: If you don´t like salmon, try other fish like sardines, herring, trout or mackerel. Alternatively, eat walnuts, avocado and/or pumpkin seeds.
Walnuts are the only type of nuts that have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, it has a lot of Vitamin E and Biotin, which helps protect your cells from DNA damage. Without getting enough biotin, you can eventually lose your hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. ‘Walnuts also have copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous.‘ Fishman says.
Other options: Use walnut oil in your salad dressing or stir-fry.
Oysters are not just packed with proteins; it’s also rich in zinc. Too little zinc in your body may cause dry, flaky scalp or even hair loss – not mentioning other possible physical problems. Only 3 ounces of oysters have a tremendous 493% of your daily value. But oysters are also protein boosts. ‘Hair is about 97% protein,‘ Drayer says.
Other options: Nuts, eggs or beef.
The sweet potato is an excellent source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. ‘Basically, every cell of the body cannot function without enough vitamin A,‘ Fishman says. It also helps protect and produce the oils that sustain your scalp. A lack of vitamin A might cause itchy, irksome dandruff.
Other options: Pumpkin, mangoes, carrots or apricots.
Eggs are another great source of protein, providing four important minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur and iron. Iron is especially very important, as iron deficiency is one of the main reasons of hair loss – particularly in women.
Other options: Fish, beef, chicken or pork.
Spinach contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron and foliate, keeping the hair follicles healthy and helping your scalp’s oils circulate.
Other options: Dark, leafy vegetables, such as kale, broccoli and Swiss chard.
Tiny but mighty! These little guys are rich in protein, iron, zinc, and biotin. They are not just ideal for vegetarian and vegans, but also a favored option for meat eaters.
Other options: You can use in salads and soups kidney beans or soybeans.
Thanks to its protein, Greek yoghurt is highly ‘hair friendly’, equipped with plenty of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid, an ingredient you’ll often see on hair care products) and vitamin D. Research is linking vitamin D to hair follicle health.
Other options: Low-fat cheese, cottage cheese or skim milk.
Exotic super fruits may come and go, but when it comes to vitamin C, ‘It’s hard to top this nutrient superhero,‘ Drayer says. Vitamin C feeds the follicles and give it great support towards a healthy scalp. A lack of vitamin C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.
Other options: Strawberries, kiwis, tomatoes or sweet potatoes.
Because hair is almost 100% protein, ‘foods that are rich in protein literally give you the building blocks for hair,‘ Drayer says. But poultry has more than just protein; it has plenty of ‘hair friendly’ zinc, iron, and B vitamins, all nutrients that help make your hair stronger.
Other options: Lean cuts of beef.
This article was written by Silke von Rolbiezki, hairdresser, hair stylist and owner of ‘Silke von Rolbiezki Coiffure’ in Palma de Mallorca – has been involved and connected for more than 18 years in the high end hairdressing industry. She has perfected her skills over time with top hair stylists in Germany and Spain. In addition to cutting and styling, Silke is very well known for her extensive expertise in hair coloring.
References: The Beauty Diet: Looking Great has Never Been So Delicious | Lisa Drayer
Pictures: © Silke von Rolbiezki Coiffure, 2014 – except ‘blueberries’: © Benjamin Thompson, 2010, license notice
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