COULD THE ANSWER TO A THICKER HEAD OF HAIR REQUIRE A HEALTHY HELPING OF MEAT?
Losing one’s hair is never easy. The cause for alarm can send people running to the pharmacy and/or the internet looking for the magic pill/cream/lotion/solution, spending thousands of dollars and hours looking to recapture what was now lost. But instead of focusing on what’s not on your scalp, maybe you should examine what’s not on your plate.
We’ve discussed the connection between hair loss and diet, but new studies suggest that meat, especially red meat, should be a must in the diet of one looking to maintain their hair. In an article from the South China Morning Post the connection between meat and hair growth is examined.
London based Lisa Caddy, a certified trichologist (a dermatologist that specializes in hair and scalp health) for Philip Kingsley said, ”Eating a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding excessive stress, extreme diets and fast weight loss are vital in maintaining healthy hair growth.”
A diet rich in red meat flies in the face of most popular diets today. Diets championing mostly vegetables and fruits that have a lot protein to calorie ration typically don’t include all the necessary ingredients needed for hair growth.
The cells responsible for healthy hair growth require a balance of proteins, complex carbs, vitamins, minerals, and iron. Meats, but especially red meat, are important due to it being a rich source of ferritin — a stored iron that is crucial producing hair cell protein.
"If you have a [ferritin] deficiency, the growth of hair cells can be badly affected … vegans, vegetarians, and those who choose not to eat red meats are most susceptible. This is especially true of menstruating women," says Caddy, who adds that ferritin deficiency is by far the most common cause of hair loss in women.
What about vegetarians? North Carolina based dermatologist Dr. Zoe Draelos suggest that vegetarians need to add protein to their diet through sources such as cheese, yogurt, or milk. Our bodies need essential amino acids, explains Dr. Draelos, and that vegetable proteins lack the complete proteins our bodies need — taking multivitamins cannot make up for this lack.
Calories are vital to the body as well meaning crash diets can cause havoc on the hair cells. Despite being the fastest growing cells in the body, the hair cells are the first suffer during the fad crash diets. "Crash diets literally starve your follicles of vital nutrients and energy, and can cause many hairs at once to prematurely enter the shedding phase of the cycle," says Caddy. "Nutrients will always first be sent to parts of your body that really need them - like your heart - and only then, if there's enough left over, will your hair benefit.”
Now you have a the green light to visit the local butcher, pick up some steaks, and fire up the grill. You’re hair will thank you for it.