You cannot get away from the fact that the best way to keep a good head of healthy shiny hair is via eating good nutritious food full of vitamins and minerals.
There is much advertising in magazines and the television advising on products such as shampoos and conditioners that will produce wonderful shiny hair but it does not mean ‘healthy’ hair. Health starts from within and that means how well the body’s own mechanism is working.
When we talk about hair and hair loss it is normally associated with the head but hair is all over the body except for the sole of feet, palms of hands, eyelids and lips. Hair is there to serve a purpose, not just to look good. It is there to help control the body temperature and as such performs an important role in the general wellbeing of the body. The skin, from which the hair follicles form, is the largest organ of the body but the hair is the least important and when the body is not receiving the nutrients it requires to function the most important organs are ‘fed’ first and hair last. This is when hair loss can be seen.
To ensure hair receives its nutrients diet is important, lack of protein for instance, will greatly affect the health of hair. Vitamins are essential and can be found in many of the fresh foods available. Vitamin A and C are required to produce sebum which is a natural hair conditioner for hair as it is an oily secretion. A good source of these vitamins is a dark green vegetable such as cabbage.
Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, protein and iron which are all essential to good hair growth. They can help to strengthen hair and encourage healthy growth. However, care should be taken as they can be highly allergic to some people. As with most diets it is important to know what a body can tolerate as allergies can be detrimental to health and hair loss.
Milk is a good source of calcium especially known for healthy bones but is also a mineral that will help in the health of hair. Again, the general overall health of the body and mind has a positive or negative effect on hair condition. Eggs eaten in moderation are another essential to healthy hair with their vitamin B12 and biotin content. There has been publicity as to the damage eating too many eggs can cause but taken as part of a balanced diet they are important.
The scalp needs to be nourished in order to keep the hair follicles healthy. It needs to receive oils such as Omega 3 to develop the sebum hair needs to grow healthy. It will help to stop the scalp from drying and becoming scaly which can lead to inflammation of the follicles causing them to shrink and die. Fish is a good source of Omega 3 particularly salmon and mackerel.
Malnutrition is one of the major causes of hair loss and can be found in those who do not have a well-balanced diet. This can also be found in those who having eating problems such as bulimia and anorexia, as the body is not getting the essential nutrients it requires hair loss will occur.
In general there are certain vitamins and minerals that are required on a daily basis to keep the body in good condition that will ultimately lead to strong healthy hair. Protein, Vitamin A, Beta-carotene, Vitamin B5, B6, B7, copper and zinc and iron are all important nutrients that the body needs. There are many food sources which can be found in a good balanced diet with vegetables and fruit, meat and fish. That is not too say other foods are not important. Eating foods in moderation is the key to a good diet.
Hair loss can be a sign of an underlying illness and should not be dismissed. If a healthy diet is being followed and stress does not seem to be a factor then the help of an expert should be sought. There can be many causes to hair loss and it is important to find the cause.
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