Shiny, strong healthy-appearing hair is a sign of good health. On the other hand, sickly dull looking hair indicates poor health. To have healthy hair, you must have a healthy diet. And you must supplement the diet with good hair care practices. However, lack of access to good nutrition increases nutrient deficiency risks. As a result, you start having nutrient deficiency linked hair problems. And these include poor hair growth, hair loss, breaking and balding. Some medical conditions also predispose you to nutritional deficiencies. And these nutritional deficiencies cause hair loss. In this article, I will discuss foods for hair loss. These foods will help you prevent nutrient deficiencies. And also help you reduce diet linked hair loss.
For more information on the effects of nutrient deficiencies on hair loss, also read: Causes of hair loss: Effects of nutrient deficiencies
Foods for hair loss
The best way to deal with nutrition-related hair loss problems is through balancing your diet. You can do this by prioritizing foods that have beneficial effects on hair health. And the foods for hair loss can help you maintain healthy hair.
An effective hair loss diet must be rich in nutrients. They must provide adequate healthy proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Some of these foods are listed below.
1. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are excellent sources of selenium. Selenium helps boost the hair growth. And it is also involved in hair creation. New hair takes in selenium as it grows. And Brazil nuts are a healthy natural selenium source. Brazil nuts are also sources of healthy fats which are good for hair health.
Other healthy selenium sources include meat, milk, eggs, bread and cereal products and milk products.
Walnuts are good sources of zinc and alpha-linoleic acid. And these nutrients are good for hair synthesis and conditioning. Other nuts like cashews, pecans and almonds are also good sources of zinc. Adequate dietary zinc also prevents hair loss and shedding.
Nuts are also sources of healthy fats which are important for healthy hair.
Fish are excellent sources of healthy fats which include omega fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are good for healthy hair growth. They are a source of arachidonic acid which is involved in hair follicle health. Fish are also good sources of vitamin D which also helps boost hair growth and health. Fish oil contains docosahexaenoic acid which boosts hair growth. They are also a good protein, iron and vitamin B12 source. And all these nutrients reduce hair loss and also improve hair growth. They also improve hair colour and reduces hair dullness.
Some fish like salmon and mackerel are rich sources of omega fatty acids, proteins, iron and vitamin B12.
Rich sources of omega fatty acids include:
Other healthy fats sources include:
- Macadamia nuts
- Seeds like flax and chia seeds
- Oil of these healthy seeds eg flax seed oil
- Spirulina (high protein content)
- Canola and soybean oil but too much of these is harms your health.
4. Vitamin D fortified foods
Vitamin D improves hair health. Fortified foods can include:
- Breakfast cereals
- Dairy products
Other sources of vitamin D include:
- Beef liver
5. Healthy protein-rich foods for hair loss
Having adequate protein is very important in hair growth. Because hair is made from proteins. And a low protein diet means you will have inadequate protein and poor hair quality. Adequate dietary protein can improve your hair strength and health. And they also help make your hair less pluckable.
Healthy protein sources include:
- Marine protein sources like fish, algae, seaweed.
- Also lean meat like poultry breast, beef and pork loin.
- Eggs and insects
- Milk and dairy products
Also read the article on spirulina a healthy protein source.
- Tofu and other soy products
- Whole cereals and seeds.
6. Eggs as foods for hair loss
Eggs are a natural multivitamin. This is because they are good sources of several vitamins. And in addition, they are excellent sources of proteins, minerals and vitamins. And they are almost complete foods since they have everything needed by the embryo for growth. They contain many of the nutrients associated with hair growth.
Eggs are very good sources of healthy protein, vitamin B12 and biotin. However, they also contain antinutrients like avidin. Avidin is a protein that binds to dietary biotin irreversibly. So overeating eggs can lead to biotin deficiency, which also leads to hair loss.
7. Dark green leafy vegetables
These include kale, spinach, broccoli and covo among others. Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants. And all these are critical for hair loss prevention.
These vegetables are good sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium and magnesium. And all these nutrients are important for hair growth.
Seeds are rich sources of healthy fats, proteins and nutrients. These seeds include nuts like hazel, walnut, cashew and pelicans. They also include seeds like hemp, chia, and flax seeds. they are rich in many nutrients that are essential for hair growth!
9. Whole-grain foods
Whole-grain foods like whole oats, whole maize meal, oatmeal and brown rice have beneficial effects on hair growth.
These foods are rich in minerals like zinc, iron and B vitamins which are important for hair growth. They also contain a lot of dietary fibre which help regulate nutrient intake. Also, whole foods help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels which influence hair health. This will be discussed further in the next article on healthy foods for hair growth.
10. Yellow and orange coloured vegetables
These are excellent sources of carotenoids which are vitamin A precursors. Vitamin A is essential for hair growth and conditioning. However, too much will cause hair loss. And animal vitamin A sources usually contain too much. Too much vitamin A is toxic to the body. Which leaves these vegetables as a healthier and safe alternative to improve vitamin A intake.
So, what does this mean?
As a conclusion on foods for hair loss
The most important thing to note is that no one solution can suit everyone. However, if your hair loss problems are nutrition linked, these foods can help delay the problem. Some of the effects may even be reversed! Just be wary of hair loss products and supplements. Supplement companies are out for the buck, that’s why I think healthy foods are safer!
I think the best way to improve your hair health is through a balanced diet. Looking at all the foods mentioned above they contain all aspects of good nutrition. And good nutrition is key to all health-related issues. So balance your diet with the foods for hair loss above. And enjoy healthy hair for life!