Healthy hair is more than just a matter of what you put on it. Healthy hair is rooted deeper in the body, down to your dietary habits.
An overall nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle will promote hair growth and strength, but the following 8 foods and supplements are special in that they will especially cater to your hair’s needs. Put down the brush and look beyond shampoos and conditioners to give your locks the tender love and care it wants.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are what help hair to grow long and luxuriously. You body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids on its own, so they must come from foods. Consuming salmon is just one way of getting your omega-3 fix. Three-percent of the hair shaft is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids nourish hair follicles and enrich cell membranes, which leads to healthy hair growth.
You’ll often see biotin supplements at the pharmacy labeled as some sort of hair loss remedy. Biotin is a water soluble vitamin of the B complex that encourages hair and scalp health. It produces keratin, which is what hair is made of. Biotin is found in oats, making them an excellent food for healthy hair.
3. Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is a palm plant grown along the Atlantic coast of North America. Its potency lies in its berries. The plant was originally used by the Native Americans as a food source and an herbal remedy for urinary tract infections. This herbal supplement is now commonly used to treat hair loss. Saw palmetto is effective when taken orally (meaning, don’t rub it on your head).
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
Iron is essential for hair growth. Researchers have noted a link between iron deficiency and hair loss. Up your intake of green leafy vegetables, which are rich in iron. The greener the better!
5. Sea Vegetables
Hypothyroidism, also known as an under-active thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t make a sufficient amount of the thyroid hormone. This can result in thinning hair. Iodine is essential in maintaining healthy thyroid function. Sea vegetables are rich in iodine and should be enjoyed regularly. However, excessive iodine can also damage thyroid function. Talk to your doctor about finding the right balance.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain the antioxidant beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the small intestines. Vitamin A is essential in the maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes. In this vein, it produces oils to sustain a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp is literally at the root of healthy hair.
Iron transports oxygen throughout the body, including hair follicles. An insufficient amount of oxygen in the hair follicles contributes to hair loss. Eggs are rich in vitamin A, calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin B12 as well as iron. Not only are they nutrient rich to promote overall health but they provide the iron that healthy hair requires to grow.
8. Rosemary Essential Oil
Topically, rosemary oil is often used to treat muscle pain by boosting circulation. In this way it is also effective in stimulating hair growth. Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner.
Image Credit: KendraMillerPhotography
Related on EcoSalon: