Our diets can affect many things, from our weight to our moods and our energy levels to our overall bill of health. But whether or not it can prevent hair loss or encourage growth is something that has been debated over many years.
Now we understand more about different foods and drinks, we know that many different foods contain antioxidants, riboflavins and a whole host of other health changing properties. A number have studies have found that these properties can help to aid a wide range of health issues and many are thought to also aid hair growth and prevent hair loss.
It is important to note, there is no miracle cure for hair loss – unfortunately, eating an apple a day will not keep hair loss at bay – however eating a variety of other foods could help slow the effects of hair loss.
Rather than miracle creams and exotic conditioners, often the quality of our hair is down to how balanced our diet is. Many experts believe that the right balance of iron, protein and other nutrients will improve not only the health of your hair, but the look and feel of it too.
Your hair goes through two different stage, firstly the growing stage and secondly the resting stage before it falls naturally, ready for a replacement hair to grow. At any time, 90% of your hair is in the “growing stage” where it often is growing for two to three years, when it enters the resting stage it will remain for around three months before falling.
A strand of hair is made up mostly of protein – meaning it needs protein in order to grow. If you find yourself consuming less protein you may notice your hair thinning. Most people have around 120-150,000 individual hairs, and between 50 and 100 fall every day – whilst that is often not noticeable, if a large number of “resting hairs” fall at the same time, it can become more obvious.
Though there is no concrete evidence, some studies suggest that vitamin D may play a big role in the cycle of hair growth. Many people are thought to not get enough vitamin D and many more believe the only way they can get more is through exposure to the sun – which may have a bad effect on our skin.
However, by including more milk, orange juice and cereals in your diet you are immediately consuming more vitamin D. Any vitamin deficiency will cause hair loss so it is important to try and introduce a wealth of foods to your diet which contain vitamins B, C and E.
Some people who turn vegetarian notice their hair begins to thin – this isn’t due to giving up meat, but actually the lack of iron in your diet – which can luckily be found in meats as well as a variety of meat free products.
The best source of iron is meat – clams, oysters and organ meats (heart, liver and kidneys) are full of iron, although lean meats such as pork, beef and fish are also great sources. If you are a vegetarian, try to include more fortified cereals, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, lentils and spinach – however it might be an idea to take an iron supplement as iron from plants are a lot harder to be absorbed by the body.