Is your diet contributing to your hair loss?
Hair loss is a common issue experienced by both men and women worldwide, no matter their age. There’s several reasons why an individual may experience hair loss, with the majority ruling it down to your genetic factors. However, your diet and nutrition play a huge part in contributing to hair loss and promoting hair growth.
Choosing the perfect balanced diet that works for you is detrimental to improving or maintaining healthy hair. Focusing on the intake of the required vitamins and minerals needed to prevent hair loss is the most crucial step to improve hair health and quality.
- How can your diet affect your hair health?
- Thing to know about hair growth
- How can a balanced diet promote hair growth?
- How can a balanced diet promote hair growth?
How can your diet affect your hair health?
For your hair to grow, your body needs to absorb sufficient nutrients. A lack of the nutrients required for the growth and maintenance of healthy hair leads to hair loss over time. Hair follicle cells have a high nutrient requirement because they are very active.
Malnutrition and also avoiding certain foods (which is common when dieting) leads to the lack of macronutrients. Including fats or proteins and micronutrients such as zinc, iron, or vitamins.
These are the substances that affect hair growth, the hair structure, or the pigmentation of the hair. Deficiency of the main nutrients required by your body affect your hair health.
Additionally, your skin also becomes susceptible to inflammation. Therefore, you need to ensure the body absorbs sufficient nutrients to promote strong hair growth.
Top nutrients required for hair growth:
- Protein: Protein deficiency causes the hair to become thinner and easier to tear out. Also, protein deficiency alters hair development, making hair less curly, less pigmented, and more susceptible to mechanical stress. In particular, the amino acids proline and lysine, combined with vitamin C (ascorbic acid), are associated with a healthy dermis, the skin layer in which the hair follicles are located. Lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products are all a good plant based source of protein.
- Essential fatty acids: Cell membranes are made of fatty acids. Fatty acids are an essential part of the sebum. The layer acts as a natural barrier against external influences and protects the skin. Fatty acids are a good source and come in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, coenzyme Q10, and α-tocopherol (vitamin E).
- Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins A and C, iron, copper, potassium, beta carotene, zinc and selenium are all highly beneficial for preventing hair loss. Zinc boosts oil production to nourish the hair strands, while selenium works to prevent scalp irritation and dandruff. Beta carotene aids hair growth to prevent hair thinning – sweet potatoes are a good source of beta carotene.
Thing to know about hair growth
According to MedicalNewsToday, “On average, hair tends to grow between 0.5 and 1.7 centimetres per month. This is equivalent to around 0.2 to 0.7 inches.”
Hair growth depends on a number of factors, with the primary being based on genetics. However, one thing that we all have in common is the fact that all of our hair goes through the hair growth cycle, no matter your age, gender, or ethnicity.
The hair growth cycle consists of 4 stages:
- The anagen phase, also known as the growth phase. Lasting between 3 to 5 years, the anagen phase is when your hair follicles are pushing out hairs that will continue to grow until they reach the next stage.
- The catagen, also known as the transition phase, begins straight after the anagen phase. Lasting between 1 to 2 weeks, the catagen phase is when the hair follicles shrink, and hair growth slows. The hair also separates from the bottom of the hair follicle during the final days of growing.
- The telogen phase, also known as the resting phase, typically lasts 2 to 4 months. Hair growth has stopped during this stage and is the stage before hair begins to fall out for the cycle to restart. New hairs start to form in follicles that have just released hair during the catagen phase.
- The exogen phase, also known as the shedding phase which can last between 2 to 5 months. This is when hair begins to shed from the scalp. During this stage, new hairs are growing in the follicles, ready for the hair growth cycle to restart.
Which factors influence hair growth?
There are many factors that influence the length, thickness, and quality of your hair, which vary depending on the individual. This includes:
- Genetics – Genes affect how quickly your hair will grow
- Gender – Male hair grows faster than female hair
- Age – Hair grows fastest between the ages of 15 and 30 before slowing down. As people get older, some follicles stop working altogether
- Nutrition – Good nutrition is essential for the growth and maintenance of healthy hair
Balanced diet vs. unbalanced diet
A balanced diet is simply a variety of foods that supplies the correct amount of nutrients your body needs to absorb for good health.
A diet should be balanced as it provides better nutrition than an unbalanced diet. An individual has too little or too many foods such as proteins, fat, carbohydrates, fibres, vitamins, and minerals.
For people that don’t or can’t eat meat based product a dietary supplement is the ideal solution to enrich their diet and stregthen their hair
How can a balanced diet promote hair growth?
A balanced diet can promote hair growth and the quality of your hair, including the strength of your hair and the overall look due to the nutrients found in different foods.
An unbalanced diet produces either too little or too many nutrients, leading to hair loss, similar to iron deficiency anaemia and biotin deficiency.
In contrast, a balanced diet provides the right amount of each nutrient required for your body for optimum hair growth and hair health.
Both your body and hair cells need a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, iron, vitamins, and minerals to function at their best which some of the most popular diets such as keto and plant-based lack.
- Eat a balanced and nutritious breakfast of proteins and complex carbohydrates to give your hair a nutritional boost.
- Drink approximately 1.5-2 litres of water a day to keep your scalp hydrated, making the perfect growing environment.
- Drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, or eat one of your favourite fruits/vegetables to help with iron uptake. E.g. leafy greens and sweet potato.
- Eat more protein as it is vital for hair growth. E.g. fatty fish, chicken, lean meat, eggs, beans, quinoa, tofu, seitan, legumes, nuts).
- Eating a varied diet will help ensure you are getting a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Dairy products are a great source of calcium. However, if you are prone to dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis, dairy can exacerbate or trigger the condition.
Quick and easy ways to lose weight are becoming more common worldwide, with social media being one of the top ways to spread new diets.
However, although diets such as plant-based diets and keto result in weight loss, they are unbalanced diets with several potential risks, such as hair loss.
The majority of the nutrients required to maintain your overall health including hair, skin and body, can be found in the food you eat.
By incorporating a balanced diet into your life, you can avoid the potential risks of some top diets, such as hair loss, improve your hair health, reverse any hair loss, and lose weight.
Free hair analysis from Europe's No.1
Our team of experts analyse your hair to provide you with a no-obligation quote. Use our free hair calculator to submit your requirements - it only takes 2 minutes!