We all wish for that long, shiny, healthy hair that we see on shampoo commercials. However, the reality is often quite different. Many factors play their role in having that perfect hair, including genetics, age, hormones, hair care, use of the right hair products and a healthy diet. So let’s discuss a factor you can control, diet. Unhealthy food does not only harm your body, it also causes your hair to fall and break. A balanced healthy diet is essential to help your hair grow strong and stay healthy. AramanYC, a renowned hair photographer from NYC describes hair as living art, and to help you keep the beauty of it we’ve decided to share the following list of the most important nutrients for healthy hair.
Hair needs iron for growth and repair because it helps blood cells carry oxygen to hair cells. Therefore, it is an essential mineral for your hair. You can find it in red meat, chicken and fish as well as in many vegetables, such as spinach, lentil and kale. Including iron in your diet is easy whether you are a vegetarian or not.
The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C, plus its role in iron absorption play an important part in your hair’s strength. Also, when your body makes collagen, it uses Vitamin C in the process. Collagen is known to protect the hair from breakage and brittleness. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, kiwi, guava, pepper and sweet potatoes.
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for your body. Do not let the “fat” part scare you, they are one of the good types of fat. They are important for heart health and blood pressure. However, our bodies do not produce Omega-3 on their own, we get them from fish types such as salmon, sardines and trout. They can also be found in avocado, pumpkin seeds, soybeans and walnuts. Their importance for hair care lies in the fact that they nourish the hair by providing oils that help hair growth and scalp hydration. They are also linked to hair thickness.
Hair follicles are made of protein, mostly. Therefore, having it in your diet is essential to ensure long, strong and healthy hair. Low levels of protein can result in hair loss, in addition to dryness and brittleness. Protein can be found in eggs, chicken, fish and dairy products. Vegetarian sources include tofu, chickpeas, lentil and quinoa.
The scalp needs protection and taking care of, just like the hair itself. One way to take care of your scalp is to provide it with zinc. Zinc is important for scalp health and hair growth. It can restore the health back to your hair and it is found in eggs, crabs and oysters, as well as whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Biotin, also known as vitamin B₇, is a water-soluble B vitamin. Its job is to help the body convert food into energy, so you can imagine how important it is. For the hair, it plays a role in its nourishment and growth. It is found in egg yolk, liver and yeast, in addition to soy flour and whole grains.