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Essential Hair Nutrients

As one of the fastest growing tissues in the body, hair requires adequate nutrition for proper growth. If it does not receive adequate supply of proteins, vitamins and other essential minerals and nutrients, the result is clearly evident with hairloss, dull, dry, lusterless hair.

Hair loss occurs when your diet is insufficient in B-vitamins, especially B5 (Pantothenic acid), B3 (niacin), B6 (Pyridoxine), Biotin, Inositol, Folic acid and minerals such as magnesium, copper and zinc. B-vitamins are especially important for hair growth.

Essential amino acids (that come from proteins) are just as important. They are known to control thinning and thickening of hair.

Essential fatty acids are responsible for hair texture while preventing dry brittle hair. A deficiency in essential fatty acids may lead to hair dryness, change of hair colour, redness of scalp and flaking.

 The following eating disorders can also lead to hair loss due to nutritional deficiencies they create in the body:

  • Anorexia: Severe loss of appetite from irrational fear of gaining weight.
  • Bulimia: Overeating/ Binge eating, followed by inducing vomiting or taking laxatives to prevent weight gain.

 

Let’s enlighten ourselves and know what foods your hair needs and why…

 

Nutrient

Role

Sources

Vitamin A

Prevents dryness of scalp by ensuring that the body produces and controls enough supply of sebum, a natural oil required to keep scalp moist and healthy

Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Mangoes, Papaya, Apricots, Pumpkin, Cantaloupe, Pink Grape fruit

B-Vitamins

Promotes blood circulation in the scalp, hair growth, prevents premature greying and augments growth and repair of body tissues.

Beans, green peas, cauliflower, soybean, bran, nuts and eggs

Folic acid

Promotes hair growth by renewing the cells that grow hair. Its deficiency can lead to premature greying and hairloss

Spinach, asparagus, dried beans and legumes, orange, wheat bran, poultry and  liver

Biotin

Promotes healthy hair growth and protects against dryness. It also increases the elasticity of the hair’s cortex, thus preventing breakage

Liver, egg yolks, Salmon, pork, avocado and cheese

Vitamin C

Aids in improving scalp circulation. It is important to maintain capillaries that carry blood to the follicles

Indian gooseberry (Amla), Guava, Citrus Fruits, Tomatoes and Green Peppers, Cabbage

 

Vitamin E

Increases oxygen uptake; this improves the blood circulation to the scalp and growth of hair. Stimulates hair growth by enhancing the immune system

 

Almonds, Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, Wheat Germ, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Olive oil, Sunflower Oil

Protein

Essential for Hair growth. Amino acids created from proteins can have constructive effects on the look and feel of your hair

Pulses like Kidney beans, Chickpeas, Moong, Soya, Pistachios, Fish, Eggs, Greek yogurt

 

Copper

 

Essential for hair structure and pigmentation of hair

Mushroom, Sesame seeds, Almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, chickpeas, tomatoes, prunes, seafood

Zinc

Stimulates hair growth by enhancing immune function

Mushrooms, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, sea foods, chickpeas, cashews

Iron

Important constituent of haemoglobin; vital for adequate oxygenation of all tissues

Dark leafy greens, black dates, black raisins, banana, apples, fish, poultry, lentils

Selenium

Essential for normal thyroid functioning and to protect against cancer

Brazil nuts, sea food, sunflower seeds, chicken, mushroom, whole grains, curry leaves.

Silica

Vital component of hair shaft, stimulates hair growth

Bell peppers, Oats, Brown Rice, Apples, Raisin, cucumber, Peanuts, tomatoes, lettuce, mango, flaxseeds

Omega - 3

Promotes healthy scalp, regulates sebum production

Flaxseeds, Chia seeds, Soy bean, spinach, Sea food, Fish oil, Walnuts

Omega - 6

Stimulates Hair growth

Evening Primrose Oil, Hemp seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Corn and Pumpkin Seeds

 

Hoping this was a great guide for all of you. You are what you eat. So choose your food wisely. Hair also needs nurturing like a plant. For hydration of the hair shaft water too is very essential. It also helps eliminate harmful toxins from the body and a very basic requirement for metabolism. Water can be consumed in many forms like fruit juices (not the tinned/processed) and coconut water.

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