Food for Thought: How Does Your Diet Affect Your Hair?
Hair Care

Food for Thought: How Does Your Diet Affect Your Hair?

You Are What You Eat

I’m almost for sure most people reading this article right now have heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat.”

Tell me what you think of when you hear that phrase. I automatically think of my body because we all know that our diet affects our weight. We know it holds a grudge on our skin, but have we considered how our diet may jeopardize our hair?

The foods we ingest can promote hair growth, hair loss, hair color, and thickness or density. So although the favorite foods that promote growth, richness, and depth outweigh the harmful foods that help hair loss, we still have to be mindful of the hair loss diet. Some people suffer from hair loss as it is and maybe eating foods only that only help the process.

Be aware that some of these foods may not always have to be ingested, but ill explain some at home hair masks you will be able to try at home as well.

healthy food

Glowing and Growing

Growth is so significant in every aspect of life.

We as people grow over time physically, mentally and emotionally. The things around us grow trees, flowers, and fruit. Our nails, our skin and hair growth. We have to feed our hair just like we do our bodies.

Here are some foods you may want to start eating for long luxurious hair!

1. Avocados-

On top of being delicious for your baked tortilla chips, avocados are nutritious and contain vitamin E. Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that fights oxidative damage. Vitamin E protects the skin so, in essence, it protects the scalp. It neutralizes the scalp as a remarkable source of fatty acids that are beneficial to hair growth.

2. Fatty Fish-

Herring, Salmon, and Mackerel are excellent sources of the type of oily fish you are looking to eat. Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to improve growth and density. These fish contain protein, selenium, vitamin D3 and B Vitamins.

3. Shrimp-

Shrimp contain protein, vitamin D, iron, and zinc. Shrimp is also very low in fat and carry a small amount in omega three which we have learned is beneficial to hair sprouting.

4. Oysters-

Oysters are dominant in the Zinc minerals. Zinc helps with hair growth and repair cycle. Zinc Deficiency can cause hair loss. However, too much Zinc contributes to hair loss. Now that we have tackled our seafood options for our shellfish lovers let us discuss eating green!

5. Spinach-

Spinach is a plant-based healthy green vegetable which contains nutrients like iron, vitamins A and C, and Folate. All of these source help with hair growth!

6. Sweet Potatoes-

Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene. Loaded with vitamin A, a medium-sized sweet potato has enough beta-carotene more than four times your daily needs. Additionally, sweet potatoes have many factors that speed up the rate of hair growth.

7. Seeds-

Seeds carry a massive source of nutrients lacking many calories. To get the most extensive variety of nutrients, try different types of seeds. Variety of seeds have different supplements like sunflower seeds have vitamin E, flaxseeds and chia seeds have omega three fatty acids. All and all seed help promote healthy hair.

8. Meat-

Eating meat aids in hair growth because red meat is rich in iron and helps red blood cells carry oxygen to all cells in the body including hair follicles. Deficiencies in iron and protein have been linked to hair loss.

9. Eggs-

If you love a good healthy breakfast, most of us eat eggs. Eggs carry protein and biotin. Biotin helps with the production of a hair protein called keratin. There are hundreds of keratin treatments offered to the public if you have ever recognized the name before. Biotin deficiencies are uncommon if you have a pretty balanced diet. Eggs contain selenium and zinc which make them an excellent source for optimal hair health.

10. Sweet Peppers-

Sweet peppers carry the mineral resource of vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes the growth of collagen which helps strengthen the hair strands. They also contain vitamin A, either way; it benefits your hair growth!

11. Beans-

Beans are a plant-based source of protein. Rich in zinc as well. There are many types of beans, and they are inexpensive to add to your diet. Protein, iron, zinc, biotin, you can’t go wrong with beans!

12. Soybeans-

Soybeans carry one very beneficial supplement which is spermidine. Spermidine is a compound that has proven in studies that it prolongs the active anagen phase. If your hair follicle is in the anagen phase, it is in its most active period of hair growth.

13. Berries-

Berries carry strong antioxidants from vitamin c sources, promoting hair growth and good consumption!

14. Nuts-

They are convenient for a quick snack and easy to carry around especially if you buy them in the little packs at your convenient local store. Nuts have vitamins like E and B, zinc and essential fatty acids. They are helpful to the growth of your hair.

Avocado

The Growing Mask

Often we have busy lives, but if we want our hair to be healthy, we have to take the necessary steps to take care of it.

There are DIY masks that you can execute at home for different reasons catering to your hair needs. Let’s tap into a mask that will help hair growth. This mask is very simple and been proven highly effective.

What you need:

  • Two eggs
  • One teaspoon of olive oil
  • One teaspoon coconut oil

Mix the following ingredients and stir well. I advise you to use a color brush when applying the product to the hair but if not you can use your fingers. The color brush helps without the sticky mess on your fingers.

Put a plastic shower cap on and let it sit for a few hours preferably overnight for the best results. Shampoo it out next day and watch your hair flourish!

avocado hair mask

Don’t Take A Loss

Beautiful, healthy hair is so important, but we need to be aware of some foods we may ingest that coexist with hair loss.

50% of women over age 65 have reported that they suffer from thinning hair. Studies show some women suffer from hair loss due to enormous amounts of stress or even depression. 21 million American women currently have a form of alopecia.

So what foods exactly should you be avoiding?

1. Fried Foods-

high in fat, fried foods cause hydrogenated hair oils. These oils lead to an increase in testosterone which sometimes can lead to male pattern baldness.

2. Sugar-

Sugar produces insulin and shrinks hair follicles causing hair loss.

3. Foods high in Vitamin A-

Although vitamin A isn’t likely to take your hair out, it isn’t smart to make it as an individual supplement unless advised by your doctor.

4. Aspartame-

Aspartame is a sweetener that has connections to thinning hair.

straight classic black hair color

The Hair Mask For Hair Loss

Hair loss can be tragic and depressing. It can cause low self-esteem and give people insecurity issues within themselves.

Luckily, we are exposed to DIY crafts at home using google and Pinterest. I’ll be sharing with you all an egg mask you can perform in the comfort of your own home. I have a theory about eggs. Most of the time we use eggs a lot when we cook. What does that have to do with hair you ask?

Eggs are used in the following for one reason and one reason only. Eggs are to hold things together. Just like when you bake a cake with eggs when you make meatloaf and so forth. So, when you think about the power of eggs, you must recognize that putting eggs in your hair can only accomplish the same thing.

If you’re having trouble in life with shedding hair and hair loss, eggs, help to build a stronger hair follicle. You use an egg mask regularly; I’m sure you can almost rebuild the structure of your hair follicle and ultimately keep the hair from breaking off.

So, let mask!

What You Need:

  • One egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil

In the process of making the mask, you want to whisk the egg together along with the other ingredients. Once done apply mixture to your scalp and cover with plastic cap. Let’s the mixture sit for 20 minutes and rinse!

You can also use a few eggs if you don’t have all of the ingredients.

hair mask

Grey Hair, Eat Fair

As women get older, some embrace their new journey into their grey hair while others are not too fond.

They end up resorting to dying their grey hair over and over again. Growing older, you have lost melanin in the hair shaft. Well sometimes we can’t help what is destined to be, but we may be able to prevent it with a change of diet now!

Let’s tap into some food you can eat to help correspond with those greys.

1. Mushrooms-

Mushrooms hold the powerful herbs that have been studied in China to help white hair prevention.

2. Walnuts-

If you’re a nut fanatic, you probably love walnuts, they are rich in copper. Copper is beneficial in the production of melanin.

3. Broccoli-

Broccoli is an excellent source of folic acid, and folic acid is known to reduce premature greying.

4. Spinach-

Deep green vegetables such as spinach contain iron and calcium. Great assets to having beautiful dark hair.

Take the Grey Away Mask

I can only imagine this smell being horrid, but an onion mask has been proven to stop hair from greying.

Onions contain antioxidant enzymes that can restore hair back to its natural color state. You can eat onions early on to prevent the grey hair, but when you apply the onions to the scalp, they reduce hydrogen peroxide build up and have been known to reverse the grey. You can use one onion, blend it, strain the juice and add it to your scalp but the smell can be a bit unruly.

We can’t eliminate the odor, but we can calm it down with more ingredients.

What You Will Need:

  • One onion
  • One egg
  • One tablespoon of olive oil

Blend your onion and strain the juice into a bowl, add an egg, and the tablespoon of olive oil. Once it’s mixed, add to hair and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the mixture out once the allotted time has passed and I suggest washing with shampoo to kill the scent.

curly gray hair older black woman

Rather Be Thick Than Thin

Many women suffer from others body shaming all the time on whether they are thick or thin.

I think we can all agree that we would prefer thick hair over thin hair. While we have talked about what to consume in your diet for hair growth, hair loss prevention and hair color, last but not least let’s tackle hair thickness and density. Pretty impressive to find out how your diet can involve your hair and not just your body.

Learn how to get thick hair with the following foods.

1. Avocado-

We learned Avocado helps contribute to hair growth, but the copper mineral in avocado helps build collagen and elastin. It strengthens the hair to prevent breakage. Also, the vitamin E in avocados help increase blood circulation to the hair.

2. Whole Grain Cereal-

Whole grain cereal options are an excellent source of iron. Iron gives the hair follicles oxygen which allows them to stay thick.

3. Clams-

Clams carry a vitamin B12. B12 works excellent with keratin in the hair and allows for a healthy scalp.

4. Carrots-

Carrots not only help promote hair growth and have been proven to help aid your vision but if you eat carrots, they also produce natural sebum oil which gets your scalp healthy.

5. Yellow Peppers-

Yellow peppers are an excellent source of vitamin c. Citrus fruits contain vitamin c, but yellow peppers contain five times more vitamin c than our daily citrus fruits. They are considered one of the best anti-oxidants you can digest to strengthen the hair shaft and follicles.

6. Peanut Butter-

Peanut butter is filled with zinc, and as we have previously discussed, zinc helps to strengthen your hair.

7. Dairy Products-

Any dairy product primarily yogurt and milk are packed with calcium and calcium helps hair growth and strengthening.

Avocado Thickening Mask

Our last mask I will explain is another mask you can try at home, and it helps with the thickening of your hair. Another straightforward task to accomplish with a few ingredients from your kitchen.

What You Will Need:

  • ½ an avocado
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
  • One egg
  • 15 drops Rosemary essential oil

Beat the mix together until well blended and apply the mask to your hair generously wet or dry. Cover your hair with a plastic cap for about 20 minutes then rinse and shampoo as usual.

The goal of the mask is to stimulate the less active hair follicles.

conditioning hair

Food Is Bond

As you have learned there are so many foods you can add to your diet that promote healthy scalp and hair follicles. We must create a bond with our hair.

We bond with our body when trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Keep in mind what you eat doesn’t just affect your body or weight, but it changes the hair that grows on your body as well. “You are what you eat” isn’t exactly a phrase you would want to use because it is undoubtedly true.

If you are saying to yourself, you don’t have the time to eat healthy because you are also running around. Use your down time at home to meal prep and use some of the options given like whole grain, dairy, citrus fruits, protein filled meats and create a balanced diet at home that you can take on the go.

We are our most prominent critics, and if healthy hair is what you want, you can indeed achieve it with proper planning.

Healthy flourishing beautiful hair is right in front of your face and can indeed rest assured in your diet; it’s up to you whether you want it or not!

About Joydan Dawson

Joydan D'nay is a writer and an aspiring publicist. She acquired her cosmetology license in high school. She used that license to financially support herself through college doing hair and nails. Graduating in 2016 with a B.A. in Communication, she has an entrepreneur mindset and ready to get her feet wet in the field of media, public relations, and all things beauty.

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