If like most people you’ve overdone it with the Christmas food and booze this festive season, you may well be considering a diet to shift those extra holiday pounds and inches.
But if you’re adopting a planned diet that involves cutting out certain foods, or even a detox plan that requires you to forgo most foods for a set period of time, you should first be aware of the nutrients your hair needs to stay healthy and strong.
Could a fad diet be a risk to your hair?
Because hair is constantly growing and refreshing itself, it requires a steady stream of nutrients, to act as building blocks and to facilitate the actual process of hair growth. If you reduce your dietary intake of certain foods, you may cut off your hair’s supply of these vital nutrients. Over time, this can lead to hair which is brittle and prone to breakage, or may even result in hair loss.
The nutrients that the body needs to fulfil functions such as hair growth can be divided into vitamins and nutrients. As a general rule, a healthy balanced diet which contains lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and other sources of protein should provide all the nutrients your hair needs to stay healthy. But here is a rough guide to the some of the specific nutrients needed for healthy hair, and the foods in which contain them.
Nutrients required for good hair health
Vitamin A – Essential for growth and functioning of cells, such as hair follicles. Common sources include eggs, milk, carrots and potatoes.
Vitamin B6, B12 – Required to keep haemoglobin levels in the blood at normal levels. Haemoglobin is important for hair growth as it carries oxygen in the blood to where it is needed. Common sources include fish, milk, cheese, eggs, poultry and cereals.
Folic Acid (B9) – another crucial nutrient for red blood cell production. Found in beans, leafy vegetables, rice and cereals.
Iron– Low levels of Iron in the body have been linked to hair loss and poor hair health. Iron is also involved in haemoglobin production. Good sources for hair health include red meat and some fish.
Vitamin C – Needed for collagen production, a vital substance in the body which keeps tissues healthy and supple.
While not a comprehensive list, this should demonstrate the negative effect that crash diets or a lengthy detox can have on the hair.
Eat smart for healthy hair
When the body detects that it is running short of certain nutrients, it will do whatever it can to keep vital processes running and maintain the internal organs. In order to do this, it may redirect resources from less crucial parts of the body… such as the hair. This is why your hair may suffer the most if you deprive your body of certain food groups.
If you’ve suffered hair loss which you think may be related to your diet, The Belgravia Centre can help. We have effective pharmaceutical treatments which can help to re-grow hair, and our own Hair Vitalics nutritional supplement which contains many of the vitamins and minerals needed for optimal hair health. View our large collection of regularly updated hair loss success stories to see the levels of regrowth that so many men and women see.