Genetics will always be a major determinant in the process of hair growth. Other factors such as age, gender, hormones, medical conditions and overall health also affect the speed of hair growth. However there is something you can do to make your hair grow faster – eating the right diet for hair growth.
So what foods should you eat? What nutrients does your hair need? Let’s have a look.
Nutrients for hair growth
A mix of various nutrients is necessary for good hair health and should be a part of a diet for hair growth.
1. Healthy fats: Fat is necessary for the absorption of some minerals and vitamins by the body. Fats are also important for that healthy sheen and luxuriant hair. Omega 3 fatty acids and linoleic acid (an unsaturated n-6 fatty acid) are particularly important for hair health.
2. Vitamin B12 and other vitamins: The B vitamins are vitally important for hair health – Vitamin B12 prevents hair loss and Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) prevents hair graying and hair fall; it gives strength, flexibility and shine to the hair. Vitamins A and E are powerful antioxidants, and help with blood circulation to the scalp.
3. Iron: One of the symptoms of anemia is hair loss, which signifies how important iron is for hair. Eating disorders, hormonal fluctuations and genetics can also cause iron deficiency, which in turn, impacts hair health.
4. Zinc: Zinc deficiency is known to cause hair loss. Adequate zinc helps to naturally condition hair and maintain its health.
5. Selenium: Selenium is important for maintaining good scalp health.
6. Biotin: This nutrient helps activate certain essential enzymes and its deficiency leads to hair loss and brittle hair.
7. Calcium: This is another key component for hair growth which you can’t afford to ignore.
8. Protein: Proteins help to promote hair health, just the way they promote overall health.
Food for hair growth
A healthy and balanced diet is essential for good health as well as for speedy hair growth. A good diet for hair growth should include the following:
1. Legumes: These contain iron, zinc and biotin; and in addition, they are a good source of protein as well.
2. Fish: Fish is a good source of healthy fats and protein.
3. Low fat dairy: Low fat dairy including skim milk, low fat cheese and unsweetened yoghurt are excellent sources of calcium.
4. Fruit and vegetables: A variety of nutrients can be obtained from fruit and vegetables. Concentrate on having a variety of these and try to include brightly colored fruit and vegetables; particularly dark green varieties.
5. Nuts: Nuts contain selenium and good quality fats which makes them essential for hair health.
6. Eggs: Several essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, proteins, biotin, etc. are found in egg yolks; so eggs are very important to include in a diet for hair growth.
7. Lean Meat: Lean meat is a source of good quality protein as well as iron and other nutrients essential for hair health.