10 Nutrition Tips For Healthy Hair:
Everyone is in the process of growing and losing hair. Even the fullest head of hair loses anywhere from 50-150 hairs a day. Outside of your genetic tendencies your hormones play a very large role in the process of hair growth. This article goes over some of the most important nutrition tips for healthy hair.
Many women commonly notice that their hair is at its fullest during times of pregnancy. After the pregnancy period, many lose large amounts of hair in short periods of time. This process called telogen effluvium is a great example of the role of hormones and hair loss.
Hormonal Imbalances and Hair Loss:
Hair loss in women is most often associated with an imbalance of estrogen & testosterone in their bodies. This often happens during times of menopause (1, 2, 3). Factors that increase the likelihood of hair loss in women are the following:
1) Use of birth control pills throughout life
2) High stress and poor posture and breathing patterns
3) Poor diet that is loaded with toxins and is deficient in essential nutrients
4) Lack of regular exercise
5) Heavy exposure to environmental toxins
Make the Right Nutritional Changes:
Making dietary changes is the very best first step for someone to stop this process and naturally balancing hormones. Begin adding phytonutrient dense superfoods that are loaded with antioxidants, trace minerals, healthy fat & protein sources.
Three critical nutrients for healthy hair include silica, zinc, & biotin. These minerals are found in many plant and animal foods. Silica helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively. It is critical for healthy hair as we age and can be found in cucumbers, celery, sprouts and bell peppers.
Nutrient Deficiencies and Hair Loss:
One of the most common nutrient deficiencies in our society today is zinc. Zinc is critical role in the formation of important hormones and enzymes. Dietary phytic acids bind to zinc and reduce their effectiveness in the body (4).
Heavy intake of dietary phytates present in many grains, legumes, & nuts is a common cause for zinc deficiencies. A lack of zinc causes the increase in a chemical messenger called Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-a). TNF-a causes the immune system to attack healthy tissues in the body such as hair (5).
Sufficient levels of zinc help preserve healthy hair, however, heavy doses of zinc supplementation can reverse the process and cause accelerated hair loss.
Biotin and Hair Health:
Biotin (Vitamin B7) is commonly referred to as vitamin H because of its importance in producing healthy hair. Excessive consumption of alcohol, refined foods and egg whites, as well as long-term antibiotic usage can deplete the body’s biotin levels and other key B vitamins as well (6).
Egg whites eaten without the yolk are a problem because they contain the protein avidin, which inhibits biotin absorption (7). Many individuals have been misled to believe that egg whites offer a low fat and healthy form of protein. Consuming large amounts of egg whites without the yolk can cause serious health problems.
Protein Digestion and Hair Health:
Poor protein digestion can also be a major factor in hair loss. High stress and poor diet over time can cause a reduction in the stomach’s ability to secrete hydrochloric acid. When this happens the stomach cannot lower its pH effectively enough to completely metabolize protein. Using apple cider vinegar and/or digestive enzymes in conjunction with protein foods can dramatically help.
Collagen is the major protein within hair that gives it volume and strength. You can improve collagen production through healthy diet that is rich in collagen proteins from bone broth and sulfur compounds found in onions, cruciferous veggies and mushrooms.
Other powerful nutrients that enhance hair health are anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, oregano and ginger. Low-sugar, nutrient dense fruit such as lemon, lime, berries and granny smith apples contain key antioxidants that benefit hair health as well.
10 Nutrition Tips for Healthy Hair:
1) Change Your Diet: Remove sugars, pasteurized dairy, & processed foods from diet.
2) Drink a SuperFood Shake: Make a shake everyday with coconut milk, berries, and an easily absorbable complete protein such as raw organic eggs, bone broth protein, collagen protein, brown rice, pea or hemp protein.
3) Soak Out the Phytates: Soak grains, legumes, & nuts in clean water with a tablespoon of ACV for 8 hours before eating.
4) Eat Your Yolk: Do not eat egg whites without the yolk. Eat the whole egg together so as to maintain healthy biotin absorption.
5) Consume More Zinc: Eat zinc rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, eggs, & sunflower seeds
6) Get More Silica: Eat silica rich foods such as cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, and sprouts daily.
7) Consume Foods Rich in Collagen: This includes bone broth, organ meats, onions, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower.
8) Get Lots of Good Fats: Consume generous amounts of virgin coconut oil, pasture-raised eggs, extra-virgin olive oil, wild-caught salmon and grass-fed butter/ghee. These will provide key fats that will improve the texture of the hair and scalp.
9) Try Cold Water Showers: Hot water has the tendency to dry out our skin, so it’s best to use cold water to tighten your cuticles and pores, which will prevent them from getting clogged. Cold water can “seal” the pores in the skin and scalp too, preventing dirt from getting in.
I begin with warm water and do a 30-60 second cold water finish at the end of my shower. It is quite invigorating and great for the skin and hair. You can read more about this here
10) Take a Collagen Supporting Product: CollagenMax, is the best vegan product I have found for helping to regenerate the tensile strength of skin, hair, nails, bone and joint structures. I recommend this product for anyone that is looking to improve these features, prevent injuries and/or relieve the suffering of joint degeneration and arthritic conditions. It is also an exceptional product for beauty and anti-aging!