How the right foods and nutrients can promote healthy hair.
As we age, how our hair looks and feels can not only define our moods, it can be a signal of certain deficiencies and underlying concerns. If your hair is thinning and weaker hair is a concern for you, certain foods and supplements could be a welcome addition to your life in order to add some needed strength and volume.
How LYMA can help with hair growth.
LYMA contains the world’s first solubilised, active keratin. It's been hailed as the most exciting ingredient in nutricosmetics.
Keratin plays an important role in the body. It is a major structural component of hair, skin and nails, but it is not naturally soluble, bioavailable or digestible. Evidence suggests oral supplementation of this special material provides beauty benefits.
LYMA’S Cynatine® HNS uses the latest technology to deliver a highly bioavailable, stable and clinically proven form of natural keratin peptides, capable of being delivered directly to hair, skin and nails to repair, protect and strengthen. Clinical studies have shown that a daily dose of 500mg/day over 3 months can improve the appearance of hair, skin and nails within 90 days.
Keratin is an important structural protein, and it can certainly help with hair thickness. If taken correctly, Keratin makes hair less prone to breakage. This is because keratin bonds to the rough edges of individual hairs, covering the cuticle, straightening it, and promoting shine and strength.
If you're going through or about to enter the menopause, changes in your body may also have an effect on your hair. "Hair loss becomes more of an issue leading up to and after the menopause” reveals Dr Paul Clayton.
Stress and hair loss can be related.
Three types of hair loss that can be associated with high stress levels are:
- Telogen effluvium. In telogen effluvium (TEL-o-jun uh-FLOO-vee-um), significant stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase. Within a few months, affected hairs might fall out suddenly when simply combing or washing your hair.
- Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh) is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body. Hair pulling can be a way of dealing with negative or uncomfortable feelings, such as stress, tension, loneliness, boredom or frustration.
- Alopecia areata. A variety of factors are thought to cause alopecia areata (al-o-PEE-she-uh ar-e-A-tuh), possibly including severe stress. With alopecia areata, the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles — causing hair loss.
Stress and hair loss don't have to be permanent. If you get your stress under control, your hair might grow back.
If you notice sudden or patchy hair loss or more than usual hair loss when combing or washing your hair, talk to your doctor. Sudden hair loss can signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment.
How fast it grows depends on factors like age, health, genetics and diet.
Although you can’t change factors like age and genetics, diet is one thing you have control over. In fact, consuming a diet lacking the right nutrients can lead to hair loss.
On the other hand, eating a balanced diet with the right nutrients can help promote hair growth, especially if you’re experiencing hair loss due to poor nutrition.
Here are the best foods for hair growth
Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, two nutrients that may promote hair growth.
Eating adequate protein is important for hair growth because hair follicles are made of mostly protein. A lack of protein in the diet has been shown to promote hair loss.
Biotin is essential for the production of a hair protein called keratin, which is why biotin supplements are often marketed for hair growth. Research has also shown that consuming more biotin can help improve hair growth in people with a biotin deficiency.
However, biotin deficiencies are uncommon if you consume a balanced diet. There is little evidence to show healthy people benefit from consuming more biotin.
Eggs are also a great source of zinc, selenium and other hair-healthy nutrients. This makes them one of the best foods to consume for optimal hair health.
Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, which are important for hair health and growth. A deficiency in either of these nutrients has been linked to hair loss.
Berries are loaded with beneficial compounds and vitamins that may promote hair growth. This includes vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants can help protect hair follicles against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals. These molecules exist naturally in the body and the environment.
For example, 1 cup (144 grams) of strawberries provides an impressive 141% of your daily vitamin C needs, also, the body uses vitamin C to produce collagen, a protein that helps strengthen hair to prevent it from becoming brittle and breaking.
What’s more, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron from the diet. Low iron levels may cause anaemia, which has been linked to hair loss.
Berries are loaded with compounds like antioxidants and vitamins that may promote hair growth. For example, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which aids collagen production and iron absorption, two factors that may promote hair growth.
Spinach is a healthy green vegetable that’s loaded with beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, all of which may promote hair growth
Vitamin A helps the skin glands produce sebum. This oily substance helps moisturize the scalp to keep hair healthy
A cup (30 grams) of spinach provides up to 54% of your daily vitamin A needs.
Spinach is also a great plant-based source of iron, which is essential for hair growth. Iron also helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel your metabolism and aid growth and repair.
What’s more, iron deficiencies have been linked to hair loss. Spinach is loaded with folate, iron, and vitamins A and C, which may promote hair growth. A deficiency in these nutrients may result in hair loss.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel have nutrients that may promote hair growth. They are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to hair growth.
A study in 120 women found that taking a supplement containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as antioxidants reduced hair loss and increased hair density. Another study found that taking a fish oil supplement significantly reduced hair loss and increased hair growth in women with thinning hair.
However, there are only a handful of studies on omega-3 fatty acids and hair growth. More studies are needed before health experts can make any recommendations.
Fatty fish is also a great source of protein, selenium, vitamin D3 and B vitamins, nutrients that may help promote strong and healthy hair. Fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved hair growth and density. However, there are only a few studies in this area, so more are needed.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene. The body converts this compound into vitamin A, which is linked to good hair health.
A medium sweet potato (about 114 grams) contains enough beta-carotene to provide more than four times your daily vitamin A needs. Research has shown that vitamin A promotes the production of sebum, which helps keep hair healthy.
What’s more, vitamin A could also speed up the rate of hair growth and encourage the growth of thicker hair, all while preventing other hair follicles from regressing.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which helps aid sebum production. Additionally, it has other factors that may help speed up the rate of hair growth.
Avocados are delicious, nutritious and a great source of healthy fats. They are also an excellent source of vitamin E, which may promote hair growth. One medium avocado (about 200 grams) provides 21% of your daily vitamin E needs.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals.
In one study, people with hair loss experienced 34.5% more hair growth after taking a vitamin E supplement for eight months. Vitamin E also protects areas of the skin, like the scalp, from oxidative stress and damage. Damaged skin on the scalp can result in poor hair quality and fewer hair follicles.
What’s more, avocados are a great source of essential fatty acids. These fats cannot be produced by the body but are essential building blocks of your cells. A deficiency in essential fatty acids has been linked to hair loss.
Originally published Sep 10, 2020.