If given a choice to eat healthily or use hair products with lots of nutrients, you are likely to choose the latter because of convenience. We also feel that applying a product directly onto hair somehow allows us to reap the benefits better than when we consume those nutrients through various foods.
However, the way our hair benefits from both these practices are different. While using hair products is definitely extra care for our hair, getting the necessary nutrients from the food you eat is mandatory.
Nutrition For The Hair
You could use all the expensive products available in the market for your hair and yet have weak and lumpy hair because of a poor diet. When you are unwell, your doctor might prescribe medicines to you but more importantly, they ask you to focus on eating right and providing the body with nutrients it lacks. Problem is, we forget that our hair is also a part of this very body.
You may have weak hair due to various reasons, some of which are not even in your control. Unlike those reasons like genetics and hormonal imbalance, hair loss or weak hair due to bad nutrition is something that you can fully control and change.
A lack of many vitamins, minerals, etc can severely affect hair growth. The hair strands and follicles need to be constantly nourished with nutrients for their proper growth. Even when you visit the doctor because of hair problems, chances are they prescribe you supplements. These supplements are basically a compact and concentrated version of all the nutrients you can get from a healthy diet. Ensuring that you follow a good diet that includes all the nutrients needed for the hair will help prevent any hair loss and promote hair growth.
Our hair needs specific nutrients that can help with hair growth. Let’s look at what they are.
Nutrients That Help Hair Growth
- Protein: Our hair follicles are mostly made of protein (keratin). In fact, your entire body requires protein for its proper functioning. However, when you don’t get enough protein, your body rations a limited amount and uses the protein for more important functions. Hence, your hair gets a limited amount and this, in turn, affects the health of the hair.
- Biotin: Biotin is necessary to stimulate keratin production. This helps increase the rate of follicle growth. Too little biotin is proven to increase hair loss.
- Omega 3-fatty acids: One reason for reduced hair growth can be a dry scalp with inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids are found on the scalp and even in the natural oils that our scalp produces. However, a lack of it can increase dryness which affects hair growth.
- Iron: Haemoglobin in our blood is responsible for carrying oxygen to the follicles for the growth and repair of cells. A lack of iron won’t allow your body to produce enough haemoglobin. Hence, eating foods that are rich in iron is essential for hair growth.
- Vitamin C: Speaking of iron, if you had something that helps in the absorption of iron, it would help with hair growth, right? Vitamin C is that something. It also helps in collagen production that helps in hair growth.
Now that we know what nutrients are necessary for good hair growth, let’s look at what specific food items you should be consuming on a daily basis.
10 Foods You Should Have For Hair Growth
- Eggs: Prioritising the need for protein, eggs should be a staple in your diet. Biotin is also essential for the production of keratin. Eggs are a great source of biotin as well.
- Guava: Easy breakage of hair, leading to increased hair fall can be reduced with Vitamin C. Guava, being rich in Vitamin C, helps keep your hair strong and promote better hair health.
- Salmon/chia seeds: For your necessary intake of omega 3 fatty acids, salmon is a popular choice. However, if you are not a fan of seafood, you can easily add a teaspoon or two of chia seeds into your morning oats. Chia seeds are the easiest way of including omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. Simply add chia seeds to water or any other food items.
- Sweet Potatoes: Being rich in Vitamin A, sweet potatoes help in maintaining good sebum production, helping the hair stay protected and shiny.
- Nuts: If you are someone who likes snacking on chips and other unhealthy snacking food, it is time to replace them with nuts. Nuts and nut butter like peanut butter and almond butter are great for hair growth because of the high amount of vitamin E, zinc, fatty acids, etc.
- Yoghurt: Yoghurt is a good source of protein and probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that help your body to absorb the necessary nutrients. Add yoghurt to your breakfast and you are sorted!
- Meat: Most of us get our daily protein intake from meat. They also provide many other nutrients that help strengthen the hair follicles and improve hair growth. A type of iron that is easy to absorb is also found in red meat.
- Carrot: Who said carrots were only for the eyes? If you have dry, easily breakable hair, carrots are the way to go. It helps with the production of sebum that keeps the scalp moisturised.
- Oats: You’ll be happy to know that the easiest go-to breakfast meal can help in hair growth. It has iron, fibre, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, and many more nutrients which promote hair growth.
- Lentils: Be it green moong, urad dal, toor dal or any other lentil, no Indian household does a day without a side of lentil dish. Folic acid, which helps the body make red blood cells, is found in this legume. As mentioned, the presence of red blood cells helps the growth and repair of cells in the scalp.
Eating right is definitely important for good hair growth. However, so is giving your scalp and hair that extra care. Along with following a good diet, make sure that you use natural products with Ayurvedic ingredients that can also assist with hair growth.
Tru Hair offers a range of products that have all of the goodness of rare Ayurvedic herbs and none of the harsh chemicals. Check out products like natural biotin shampoo, Ayurvedic hair oil for hair growth, chemical-free herbal shampoo, serum, and much more personalised hair care.
Dr. Tambe (Ayurvedic Practioner)
Dr. Tambe is an Ayurvedic Consultant, practicing in Satara City, Maharashtra for the last 45 years.He comes from a long line of Ayurvedic doctors. His grandfather and father were both Vaidyas, therefore he wanted to continue the family legacy.This year, his family will celebrate 100 years of Ayurvedic service