Hair loss is a serious condition that can have a devastating impact for both men and women. Genetics has a big say on whether you suffer from hair-loss, along with hormonal imbalances, an underactive thyroid gland, nutrient deficiencies and insufficient scalp circulation.
Fret not though as there are a whole range of treatments for hair-loss including diets rich in vitamins and minerals to promote healthy hair. These top 11 foods and natural remedies can make a difference to your hair and your confidence.
1. IMPROVE KERATIN PRODUCTION WITH MSM
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) supports the creation of keratin (a core protein in the hair) whilst simultaneously strengthening hair follicles. Primary sources of MSM include alfalfa, and leafy vegetables (Swiss chard, watercress and cabbage). It is acknowledged that raw vegetables contain greater amounts of MSM than cooked vegetables as the exposure to large amounts of heat cause MSM to volatilise.
2. BOOST COLLAGEN PRODUCTION WITH VITAMIN C
The breakdown of collagen surrounding our hair strands is one of causes for hair to thin or to break. Worse, we lose collagen as we age. One way to increase collagen production in the body is through consuming a vitamin C-rich diet. Foods high in vitamin C include strawberries, red peppers and various citrus fruits. Alternatively, you can take supplements which can also significantly reduce wrinkling.
3. GET ENOUGH ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Not all fats and fatty acids are bad for your health. Some fats are essential for proper bodily functions, including hair growth. Since your body cannot create essential fatty acids on its own, you must create a diet that includes a healthy dose of it. Some great foods that contain these types of fatty acids are flaxseeds, walnuts, avocado and fish.
4. EAT FOODS RICH IN IRON
Iron is an essential mineral for hair growth and can be found in blackstrap molasses, green leafy vegetables, cashews, leeks, dried fruits, berries and figs. Enough vitamin C is important to absorb iron in the body.
5. SUPPORT YOUR HAIR WITH ENOUGH ZINC AND SILICA
Zinc and silica are crucial minerals for healthy growing hair. Experts recommend 500mg of silica twice daily and 30mg of zinc once daily. Mango, cucumber, green leafs, beans, asparagus and celery are good sources of silica, while foods high in zinc include fresh oysters, eggs, Brazilian nuts and pecans.
6. ADD SAW PALMETTO IN YOUR DIET
One study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that saw palmetto (serenoa repens) can improve hair growth in men. In the study, men who took 400mg dosages of Saw Palmetto and 100mg dosages of beta-sitosterol (from saw palmetto) daily saw significant changes.
7. IDENTIFY A NON-FUNCTIONING THYROID GLAND
Thinning hair is often a symptom of hypothyroidism. Add iodine-rich sea vegetables such as dulse, nori, wakame, kombu and kelp into your diet – to balance the condition. Also avoid drinking or cooking with tap water since it typically contains two potentially hazardous chemicals, chlorine and fluorine, which inhibit the absorption of iodine in the body. Always seek advice from a specialist if you suspect a sluggish thyroid gland.
8. REVITALISE HAIR FOLLICLES WITH B-COMPLEX
Reduce the extent of hair thinning by revitalising hair follicles and improving scalp circulation by taking a daily B-complex supplement (100 mg) that contains both vitamin B6 and biotin. Biotin is a water soluble B complex vitamin that encourages both scalp and hair growth. Brown rice, oats and nuts are fantastic sources of biotin.
9. AVOID HAIR DAMAGE WITH VITAMIN E
Vitamin E is another substance that improves your body’s ability to produce keratin to reduce damage to hair strands and, hence, the chance of hair damage. Supplementing daily with 400 IU of vitamin E can help restore the quality of your hair. Pine nuts, almonds, dried apricots, olives, cooked spinach and sunflower seeds are foods that are high in vitamin E.
10. BOOST SCALP CIRCULATION WITH ROSEMARY OIL OR COCONUT OIL
Rosemary Oil is an essential oil that has been used traditionally to improve circulation to the scalp. Simply apply a few drops of this essential or even the trusted coconut oil when washing your hair or massaging your scalp regularly to see impressive results.