Products, products, products! Every day, we’re introduced to a new product that guarantees miraculous results – longer, stronger or healthier hair. We rely immensely on these magical serums and creams to keep our manes in tip top shape. But in the midst of it all, we sometimes forget that the true key to a healthy mane is not only what you apply on top of the hair, but what you take inside your body.
Girl Eating Fruit For Healthy HairI was confronted with this realization a couple of weeks ago, when my mother in law was visiting. On one of our normal debates about healthy hair, I explained to her some of the various benefits of my favorite conditioners and daily products. She listened keenly to my list of wonder ingredients – Olive oil, shea butter, apple cider vinegar. She then replied, “it sounds like your hair is healthier than your body”. I must admit, the quick witted statement left me both flabbergasted and enlightened, as I was quickly reminded of the direct parallel between nutrition and good hair.
It’s no secret that nutrition plays an integral part in our outer beauty – This is something that has been known for centuries. But like everything else in our society, we have moved towards quick and easy solutions, and we sometimes forget about life’s simplest principles. Just like the body, our hair requires a wide variety of vitamins to operate properly and achieve optimum performance. Therefore, it is important to consume a diet that is rich with protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Some key vitamins are A, C, B, E, foliate and zinc.
Hair is protein, so having a balanced amount of protein adds strength to the mane and prevents breakage. Some great sources of protein are tuna and salmon which also contain Omega 3 fatty acids which contribute to shine. Vitamins A and C have antioxidants that are beneficial to the overall health of your hair. You can find vitamin A in broccoli or eggs and Vitamin C in citrus fruits or dark green vegetables. You can enhance circulation around your scalp by consuming cold-pressed vegetable oils which are packed with Vitamin E. Vitamins B6 and B12 can help to prevent hair loss. B6 also creates melanin, which will aid in hair color. Here is a list of super foods that are packed with these vitamins:
Blueberries – Vitamin A and C
Spinach – Vitamins B and C
Salmon – Protein, B vitamins, Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Tuna – Protein, Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Oysters – Zinc
Walnuts – Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Eggs/Egg Whites – Protein
Cottage Cheese – Protein and Calcium
Short-Grain Brown Rice – B vitamins and complex carbohydrates
So the next time you’re looking for solutions to stop hair loss or add shine to your dull tresses, reflect on the foods you’re eating. Start with assessing whether your diet is balanced and if you are getting enough of the vitamins that you need. Keep in mind, applying product on the hair has some benefits, but will only provide a temporary fix to the problem. The real solution starts with good nutrition.