The beginning of a new year is often seen by many people as a fresh start, a chance to turn over a new leaf and improve their lives. For many, this may mean starting a new diet to lose weight, increase fitness levels and improve general health.
So how do you choose a diet that not only helps you lose weight, but also keeps your hair healthy?
Your hair is composed almost entirely of protein, making it an essential building block for new growth. Your chosen diet may suggest reducing meat intake (one of the best sources of protein), so ensure you account for this by eating more beans or lentils, egg yolks and curly kale.
The protein from which your hair is made keratin relies heavily on sulphur for strength. If your diet reduces your sulphur intake too much, your hair will become brittle and more prone to breakage. Keep dietary sulphur levels up by eating more fish, eggs, onion and garlic for instance.
Vitamins A and C are critical for general health and wellbeing, so it is little surprise that they are also essential for hair growth and the production of sebum. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and lemon are great sources of both vitamins, but green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and chard will help add variety and maintain recommended daily intake.
The mineral zinc is used by your body to repair tissue, like the cells in your scalp and hair follicles. Let those levels of zinc drop, and your body may have problems regrowing hair, or regulating testosterone which plays a part in baldness. Consider eating more wheat germ (frequently found in breakfast cereals) and chickpeas to compensate.
The cornerstone of many diets is the reduction of fat intake. However Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fishes like salmon and tuna, could still be important. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to help improve the strength of hair, thereby reducing the chance of loss. If you don't want to eat fish, Brussel sprouts, kale and walnuts offer useful alternatives.
Iron helps transport oxygen through the bloodstream, delivering it to the cells in your body and helping to keep them healthy. Because your hair relies on a good flow of nutrients to the follicles and scalp, maintaining good levels of iron is essential. Make sure your diet allows for foods high in the mineral, like red meat or mussels and oysters. If these foods are out of the question, darker green vegetables like spinach will help maintain good levels of iron in the blood.
It’s important to realise that no diet can guarantee a full head of hair: indeed, the most common form of hairloss is Pattern Baldness, which is genetic in origin. However, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is the best thing you can do to maintain your hair in its optimum state of health.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.