If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know by now the importance of a good diet. Not only is the right food essential for your overall health, but the correct blend of nutrients is also key to preventing hair loss and stimulating the growth of new, healthy strands. The vitamins and minerals in the food you eat are central to the hair growth cycle and hair follicle cell regeneration. If you aren’t getting enough of these nutrients, your hair will suffer.
There’s a long list of superfoods that you should include in your diet to give yourself the best chance of having strong, healthy hair. Here, we’re focusing on just a few to get you started. It may not be a definitive collection, but the fab four listed here should keep your strands growing!
The Fab Four
We make no apologies for putting the humble avocado right at the top of our recommended superfood list. This little fruit (and it is a fruit, even if it looks more like a vegetable) has been recognized for years as a rich source of minerals, vitamins and healthy fats. Roughly one-third of a medium-sized avocado contains something like twenty vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Incorporating avocado into your diet, therefore, will guarantee your hair follicles are getting the nutrients they need to produce healthy hair.
The versatility of the avocado is also one of its strengths. As a food, it goes with just about anything. You can also blend it and drink it as a smoothie. If you don’t want to consume it, you can make it part of your haircare routine by using mashed-up avocados as a DIY hair mask. Used like this, they can help unblock hair follicles and stimulate blood flow in the scalp. The natural oils found in the avocado will also moisturise your hair and soothe a dry or irritated scalp.
Salmon is stuffed full of proteins and Vitamin D, but it’s the omega-3 fatty acids that make this fish so good for your hair. Fermented fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to support hair growth in rodents in a study undertaken by Korean researchers in 2018. The same team applied the fermented fish oil to the skin of mice and discovered that it was able to shift hair into its growth phase. The oil was also effective in stimulating the growth of the cells that regulate hair follicle growth.
One small study on human subjects was carried out by French researchers in 2015. It concluded that a course of omega-3 and 6 supplements with antioxidants ‘acts efficiently against hair loss in improving hair density and reducing the telogen percentage and the proportion of miniaturized anagen hair.’
Eggs are a great source of protein. They also contain vitamins A and E together with biotin. Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, plays a role in various metabolic functions of the body. There isn’t a diagnostic test that will tell you if you are deficient in biotin, but hair thinning is one of the symptoms. The other main symptom is a rash on the face, so this is one deficiency you want to avoid if possible. Including eggs in your diet is an easy way of doing this.
As with avocado, eggs can also be combined with other ingredients and applied to your locks as part of a hair mask or clarifying shampoo. Both your hair roots and your scalp will benefit from direct contact with the vital vitamins and proteins.
Remember when, as a child, you were told to eat your carrots because they’d help you see in the dark? Spoiler alert: that was a big fat fib. That’s not to say that all that carrot crunching was wasted. Carrots are a veritable treasure trove of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants. Beta carotene plays a role in cell regrowth, something that helps prevent hair thinning.
In 2016, Portuguese researchers carried out work that demonstrated that carrot oil contains antibacterial properties that are effective against a variety of bacteria and fungi, including dandruff. Since the scratching induced by a dry, irritated scalp can lead to hair follicle damage and hair loss, anything that soothes this problem is to be welcomed.
Genetics and ageing are both important factors when it comes to hair loss and thinning. While you can’t do anything about that, you can ensure that you’re giving your hair the best support possible by taking onboard the nutrients your hair needs to stay healthy and keep growing. Superfoods are nature’s way of helping you do that.
If you’re worried that you’re experiencing more hair loss than usual, why not have a chat with one of Vinci Hair Clinic’s hair experts? We’re one of the world’s largest hair restoration organisations with clinics in many different countries. And, as a new client, you’ll get a free, no-obligation consultation. All you have to do is get in touch and make an appointment!