Your hair is just like every part of your body when it comes to nutrients: if it doesn’t get enough of the right stuff, it will not be as healthy and quite possibly weaken. Unfortunately, that is not to say that eating all the right things will prevent hair loss. But your Philadelphia hair restoration expert urges you to pay careful attention to your diet, so your hair benefits the most from what you consume.
Protein: Hair is made from protein, so ensuring that your diet gives you enough protein is vital. Protein deficiency will lead to hair becoming dry, brittle and weak. Extremely low protein diets may result in hair loss. Obvious protein sources include meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. For vegetarians, legumes and nuts are good alternatives.
Iron: Iron is crucial for hair, and too little can also be a cause of hair loss. Hair follicles and their roots are nourished by a nutrient-rich blood supply. Too little iron can interfere with this supply, affecting hair growth and may even lead to shedding. Meat, poultry, and fish are iron-rich consumables. Lentils, spinach and other leafy green vegetables (broccoli, kale and salad greens) are also good sources.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C serves a double purpose, both aiding in the absorption of iron and the production of collagen. Collagen strengthens capillaries, which are responsible for hair shafts. Of course, there are many other reasons to consume Vitamin C, including its service as a powerful antioxidant for the body. Good sources are fruit and vegetables.
Omega 3: Fatty acids, omega-3s are in the cells that line the scalp, as well as provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Fish are a great source, as are avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
Vitamin A: This vitamin is used to make sebum, an oily substance generated by our hair that provides a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. Healthy sebum production prevents itchy scalp and dry hair. Vitamin A is available in meat, poultry, fish, and orange/yellow vegetables like carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.
Zinc and Selenium: Lack of zinc can lead to hair loss and dry scalp. Oysters, meat, and eggs, as well as whole grains and fortified cereals are the strongest sources.
Vitamin E: Just like it can damage your skin without the proper protection, sunlight can also damage hair. Vitamin E provides the necessary protection for hair. A great source of Vitamin E are nuts, which are also rich in zinc and selenium.
Biotin: A water-soluble B vitamin, biotin is another important nutrient for hair. Too little of it can lead to brittle hair and even hair loss. Good sources for biotin are wholegrains, liver, eggs, and yeast.