By Cipriana of Urbanbushbabes.com
People always ask me if I’ve noticed significant changes within my hair since switching my regimen to all natural products, and I would always answer with a resounding ‘yes’. But I really didn’t see the full potential of these changes until they coincided with my change of diet. Two of the biggest improvements that I can directly correlate to the change of my diet are reduced dryness and shedding. Since consuming more living foods, I’ve noticed my bouts of extreme dryness have drastically decreased and shedding has been reduced by more than 50% as well. I am not here to prosecute your diet choices, just keep in mind everything in moderation. After all, as the old saying goes “you are what you eat” and this does not exclude your hair.
Of course genetics play a role in all human bodies but providing your system with more living foods only increases the health of your hair whether you have a full head of healthy hair or need a major boost in your lifeless strands. Below is a very informative article by Guide to Living Naturally which explains the nutrients you should be consuming and the effects they will have in changing the condition of your hair.
Protein is the building block of hair. Hair is 88 percent protein. Protein will give the shaft of your hair more strength, and will reduce the probability of damage. Excellent sources of protein include tuna, shrimp, and cod, snapper, venison, halibut, salmon, scallops, turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, calf’s liver, spinach, tofu, mustard greens, crimini mushrooms, soybeans, and mozzarella cheese, eggs, milk, collard greens, cauliflower and many legumes including lentils, split peas, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans.
The B vitamins are necessary for healthy hair. Lack of B vitamins can lead to oily hair conditions. Good sources include: animal products (meat, poultry), yeast extracts (brewers’ yeast, Marmite), asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, bell peppers, turnip greens, bananas, potatoes, dried apricots, dates and figs, milk, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, nuts and pulses, fish, brown rice, wheat germ, garlic, tuna, wholegrain cereals, avocado, herring, salmon, celery, crimini mushrooms, sunflower seeds and walnuts.
It strengthens the immune system, and assists in metabolizing B vitamins and amino acids into the body. Lack of vitamin C can cause dry hair. Excellent food sources of vitamin C include: broccoli, bell peppers, kale, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, mustard and turnip greens, brussels sprouts, papaya, chard, cabbage, spinach, kiwifruit, snow peas, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, limes, tomatoes, zucchini, raspberries, asparagus, celery, pineapples, lettuce, watermelon, fennel, peppermint and parsley.
Vitamin A is important for the health of your scalp. A lack of it can lead to dry hair. Good sources include: Calf liver, Cow’s milk , eggs, carrots, apricots, mangoes, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens, tomatoes, guava, and pink grapefruit, salmon, shellfish, Cayenne pepper and chili pepper.
Vitamin E provides lots of benefits for growing vibrant hair. Good sources of vitamin E include: mustard greens, turnip greens, chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, collard greens, parsley, kale, papaya, olives, bell pepper, brussel sprouts, kiwifruit, tomato, blueberries, and broccoli.
Vitamin K helps to maintain healthy hair. Good sources of vitamin K include: spinach, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, green peas and carrots, fig, brewer yeast, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, egg yolk, oatmeal, rye, soybean, liver, wheat, yogurt, tomato paste, Swiss Emmental cheese and Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese
Healthy hair needs iron in the body. Iron is needed to help carry oxygen to the hair. Without enough iron, hair gets starved for oxygen. Good sources of iron include: chard, spinach, thyme, and turmeric, romaine lettuce, blackstrap molasses, tofu, mustard greens, turnip greens, string beans, and shiitake mushrooms, beef tenderloin, lentils, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, venison, garbanzo beans, broccoli, leeks, and kelp.
Magnesium deficiencies lead to hair problems. Good sources: of magnesium include Swiss chard and spinach, mustard greens, summer squash, broccoli, blackstrap molasses, halibut, turnip greens, pumpkin seeds and peppermint, cucumber, green beans, celery, kale and a variety of seeds, including sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds.
Copper is needed for hair structure and is involved in the pigmentation of hair.
Good sources of copper include: calf’s liver, crimini mushrooms, turnip greens and molasses, chard, spinach, sesame seeds, mustard greens, kale, summer squash, asparagus, eggplant, and cashews, peppermint, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, ginger, green beans, potato, and tempeh.
A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss. Zinc is necessary for building hair protein.
Good sources include: Calf’s liver, crimini mushrooms, sea vegetables, basil, thyme, spinach, pumpkin seeds, yeast, beef, and lamb, summer squash, asparagus, venison, chard, collard greens, miso, shrimp, maple syrup, broccoli, peas, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and mustard greens.
Water is important for hair. Water makes up one-fourth of the weight of a strand of hair. Moisture makes the hair supple and helps keep your hair silky and shiny. Eight to ten glasses of water a day are absolutely necessary to nourish healthy hair.
Potassium is found in abundance in many foods, and is especially easy to obtain in fruits and vegetables. Good sources of potassium include : chard, crimini mushrooms, and spinach, potassium include fennel, kale, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, winter squash, blackstrap molasses, eggplant, cantaloupe, and tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, turmeric, apricots, ginger root, strawberries, avocado, banana, tuna, halibut, cauliflower and cabbage
Essential Fats (EFAs)
Healthy hair also needs two essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 that are not produced naturally by the human body.Omega-3 fats sources: flax oil, algae, cold-water fish, dark-green vegetables, hemp oil and pumpkin seed oil. Omega-6 fats sources: borage, evening primrose oil, safflower oil, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, corn and pumpkin seeds.
Lastly…things to avoid
Eating dead food can lead to lifeless hair. These are sugars, chocolate, cakes, cookies, starches, soft drinks, snacks, Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and recreational drugs destroy important hair growing nutrients. If you can’t resist keep these to a minimum.