Diet and Hair Loss – Change Your Diet To Help Prevent Hair Loss
New and healthy hair growth requires nourishment and the right nutrients on a continuous basis. It is a common perception that once you experience hair loss, there is nothing you can do about it. Luckily, for many individuals, this is not the case. Sudden hair loss can be caused by a lack of the right nutrients that your hair, hair follicles and surrounding skin needs for functioning effectively. Altering your diet and adding a few beneficial foods that stimulate hair growth, can help achieve a lower rate of hair loss, even if hair loss is in your genes.
Just as your diet is important to help maintain your everyday health, it plays an essential role in promoting healthy hair and hair growth. So if you are seeing more strands of hair in your brush that usual, or feel that you are losing more hair than you normally do when washing, then you might want to analyse your diet. Amending your diet and adding a few essential foods to your daily intake will help to prevent hair loss, preventing the onset of alopecia.
A healthy diet to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss
Although hair loss is mainly determined by your genes and how your hair follicles react to certain hormones, a healthy diet that contains the right foods can help keep hair loss at bay. A poor diet can lead to early hair loss, which can actually speed up the occurrence of genetic Alopecia. A healthy diet will thus ensure that you get the right nutrients to promote healthy hair growth, and in turn, help prevent hair loss and thinning.
Foods that promote healthy hair growth:
What exactly does a healthy diet for good hair growth look like? A healthy diet means a sufficient intake of essential vitamins and minerals you get from eating a variety of foods. This means that you should stay away from ‘fad diets’ that promise quick weight loss and usually require that you don’t eat certain foods. Fad diets will literally starve your hair follicles and deprive them of the essentials vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair growth. Here are a few essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need to include in your diet for healthy hair growth, as well as natural sources:
- Proteins: Your protein intake is probably the most important factor when amending your diet to accommodate healthy hair growth. Because your hair strands are mainly built out of protein (called Keratin), adding protein to your diet is highly beneficial. Proteins are found in red meat, eggs, soya, fish and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Red meat is also a good source of iron, which is essential in helping the body to produce hair cell protein.
- Vitamin A: Moderate sources of Vitamin A in your diet, will help to prevent hair loss. Vitamin A assist in the development of healthy cells, and help to prevent the fair follicles and hair to dry out, causing the hair to break or fall out. Vitamin A is found in cod liver oil (fish oil), spinach and carrots.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is beneficial in promoting blood circulation, which as a result will increase the oxygen supply to the hair follicles, needed for healthy hair growth. Most leafy greens, soybeans, nuts and some cereals contain Vitamin E.
Other essential Vitamins include B complex (B6, B12 and Biotin), Vitamin C, Folic Acid and Zinc.
Caffeine is known to increases cellular metabolic activity. The theory is that caffeine could reduce the shrinking of the hair follicle, which will, effectively, help prevent male pattern baldness and hair loss. Studies have already been conducted in this regard, showing that caffeine actually stimulates hair growth in cell-cultured follicles, in the following manner:
- Promoting a longer hair shaft in both male and female cell-cultured follicles.
- Increasing the amount of hair matrix keratinocytes (the cells that form the hair shaft and its surrounding protective structure in both male and female cell-cultured hair follicles).
- Increasing the stimulation of a hair growth factor called IGF-1 in both male and female cell-cultured hair follicles.
If you are not seeing an improvement in your hair loss condition regardless of your diet, then it might be time to seek medical advice.