I know many of you have heard of the phrase, "You are what you eat." Well, just to add to that lovely 'healthy lifestyle' construct, so is your hair.
As much as you need to take care of what you put on it externally, so too must you be weary of what you put into it. Our hair not only grows in response to the conditions we place it in on the outside but also to the resources we provide it with internally.
Our hair is 91% protein. Meaning that within our daily diets and intakes, we must incorporate this alongside elements that give off enough oils and hydration to keep our hair balanced and healthy. A few great examples of foods that provide the above mentioned and that can be easily incorporated into our daily diets are :
Nuts are a great source of unsaturated fatty acids amongst other healthy benefits. They contain high levels of healthy protein along with selenium and omega-3 fatty acids which strengthen the health of your scalp and prevent hair loss. Eating about a handful a day of nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts can have a great effect on the growth and texture of your hair. Of course, one must be weary of salted/flavored nuts as these tend to be less healthy and could possible have most of the nutrients stripped in the roasting and salted process, so we'd say stick to raw options. Nuts are great because they're easy, they require no preparation and can be a great travel snack.
2. Green Vegetables
Remember how your mom used to tell you how, "You must eat your vegetables. They're good for you." Well, our mothers never lied. Green leafy vegetables are a great source of vitamins A and C. This is great because the much like your skin and nails, your hair needs help maintaining strength and elasticity. So these vitamins help to lock in the iron, producing of sebum — natural hair oils — which then condition the hair and promote hair growth. It's also important to note that vitamins are highly soluble, our bodies cannot store or accumulate too much of them so daily, balanced intake is crucial. Raw spinach goes highly recommended because it contains iron, beta carotene, folate and Vitamin C which help keep your hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.
Of all the elements that could've been included and nominated for this list, water would remain a heavy constant. 70% of our bodies are made up of water so how could it not be a necessary element to make mention on this shortlist of healthy eating (and we guess drinking) options. We all know the myriad ways in which water is good for us but has anyone ever really broken down how it works wonders for our hair? Water hydrates the scalp and also encourages great circulation of your blood which in turn helps the different and vital nutrients find their way to your hair shaft. Water makes almost ¼ of the weight of a hair strand, thus we need to drink two liters of water every day to maintain gleaming and healthy hair. Dehydration, like with the body, has a direct impact on the growth of your hair. If water is a hard one for you to consume, try add slices of lemon; cucumber; strawbery or even mint leaves to add a bit of flavour without taking away from the goodness of water.
A healthy hair diet forms part of a bigger ecosystem of habits that need to be monitored, adjusted and maintained as you work your way to great hair. A few ways to assist this journey are :
If you're a fan of weaves/wigs or even head wraps, be sure to massage your scalp to get the blood flow back to regular programming. The pressure applied when wearing such has an adverse effect on the blood flow which in turn has an effect on the hair growth/quality of it. So be sure to massage that head — more especially the hairline — to keep hair growth even and healthy. Try do a scalp massage weekly to encourage hair follicle stimulation.
Be gentle with your hair. Avoid unnecessary brushing, combing or handling. If you struggle with nots, rather apply a detangling hair product and comb the nots out from the end of the hair strand, working your way in. This is cause less day and prevent excess hair loss.
Have regular trims to eliminate split ends and allow the hair to look and feel healthier. Leaving split ends causes thinning and unhealthy looking hair because the split end moves up into the hair strand and eventually damages the hair shaft. So sacrifice an inch to encourage longer more healthier inches.
Get a good amount of sleep every night to allow your body to grow hair. Our bodies work through all the mess and discovers and transfers the nutrients when we're asleep. So the less time you give yourself to rest, the less time your body has to feed your hair the elements it needs to stay strong, healthy and growing.
Be the reason your hair blossoms this summer! Happy ‘Hair-Healthy’ eating folks!