Maintaining a Healthy Diet Can Help to Prevent Hair Loss
May 31 2020
While it’s true that heredity, the natural aging process, and other factors can play a major role in hair loss, maintaining a healthy diet of nutritious foods has been linked to improving the growth, strength, and volume of your hair.
Let’s start with the basics. Hair grows from the roots, and healthy roots are directly related to the health of your hair follicles and scalp. Your hair is constantly being replaced with new growth and because of this, the hair follicles are always building new hairs from various nutrients found in the body. Studies have shown that certain proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals can have a direct impact on the health and strength of your hair.
What factors can affect hair growth? When follicles stop producing new hairs, it leads to hair thinning and eventual hair loss. Causes may include a combination of genetics, your natural aging process, or medical conditions. This can also cause your hair shafts to become finer and lose their color, resulting in gray hair.
What can cause sudden hair loss? Sudden hair loss can be a result of many factors including childbirth, thyroid conditions, stress, and a medical condition called alopecia.
Can malnutrition lead to hair loss? Yes! Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can help you maintain normal levels of hair growth and can aid in the replacement of hair loss. When you eat a proper diet, it can help prevent dryness, brittle texture, and dandruff, as well as strengthening your hair to prevent easy breakage.
Have you noticed hair loss? You may have noticed a lot of hair being left in your brush each morning. Typically, the average person loses between 50-100 hairs each day, then new hair regrows from the same hair follicles. When you have underlying factors such as health issues, age, or even heredity traits, you can find that you are losing even more hair than average.
Here are some key nutrients to look for that will have positive results for hair growth.
Eggs. Eggs are a great source of biotin, a mineral that may help to boost hair growth. Loss of body hair, thinning hair, brittle nails, rashes, and skin infections can all be signs of a biotin deficiency. While biotin deficiencies are rare, many supplements and natural foods contain biotin along with other nutrients that assist in hair, skin, and even nail health.
Other examples of foods that contain biotin include meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
Other compounds found in eggs that may boost hair growth include L-lysine, certain minerals, and vitamin D. Eating a hard-boiled egg to start off your day can help improve the health of your hair.
Fatty Fish. Fatty acids are an important part of every diet. These healthy fats include omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for hair, skin, eyes, and heart. Fish is a strong source of omega-3’s and vitamin D, which both boost hair health.
In a recent animal study, it was found that fish oil extract, containing docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, actually increased activity of certain proteins in the body that showed to increase hair growth.
The richest source for omega-3 fatty acids is salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring.
If you aren’t a fish eater, omega-3 supplements have been proven to decrease hair loss and, in some instances, may help stimulate growth. You can also get omega-3’s from walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and fortified foods.
L-lysine Sources. L-lysine is an amino acid that can help to promote hair growth. L-lysine is also naturally found in the hair’s root and is ultimately responsible for the shape and volume of your hair. An L-lysine deficiency may cause some hair loss. While supplements are available, you can also find L-lysine in meats, eggs, nuts, lentils, and beans.
Vitamin D Fortified Foods. While Vitamin D is an important part of your diet for muscle, nerve, and immune system functions, it’s also been shown to possibly help to improve hair growth. Orange juice, yogurt, soy drinks, margarine, and breakfast cereals are typical foods that are fortified with Vitamin D.
Brazil Nuts. Selenium is a mineral that can help to boost hair growth, and brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium. While a scientific review has noted that selenium in involved in the creation of hair, too much selenium can cause brittle hair and hair loss in some instances, as well as rashes, nausea, and nervous system problems, so be aware of how much you eat.
The recommended limit for selenium is 400 mcg for adults. One brazil nut provides 68-91 mcg, so you only need 4 brazil nuts a day to reach this limit! Other selenium-rich foods include liver, fish, eggs, milk, and some breads.
Other Rich Nutrients. Certain deficiencies can cause hair loss, so it’s a good idea to find out if you have any vitamin deficiencies so you can supplement if needed. The following nutrients and minerals may boost hair growth, support healthy hair follicles, protect & prevent hair damage: zinc, iron, protein, niacin, folic acid, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
Natural & Herbal. There are also natural and herbal supplements that may enhance hair health. Ginko Biloba is known to encourage hair growth by delivering nutrients to the scalp. Saw Palmetto may prevent and even partially reverse hair loss.
It’s best to find out the immediate reason for any hair thinning and hair loss to determine any medical issues but, in most cases, the quality, volume, and growth of hair has been closely linked to diet. Following a healthy diet is the easiest and best way to improve not only your health of hair but also your overall health.
** Remember: Although eating a healthy diet can help your overall health, it may not address genetic or systemic problems.
Our experienced professionals at the Hair Restoration Institute can help you determine the best course of action for your hair loss. Make an appointment today to get started with a free, private consultation. You can find us at 8030 Old Cedar Ave S #202 in Bloomington, Minnesota, or at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call 612-588-HAIR (4247) in Minnesota or 817-854-HAIR (4247) in Dallas/Fort Worth for a complimentary consultation.