There are a lot of fancy hair care brands that crop up every day at the market. But don’t jump onto the latest shampoo or serum craze in the market. Instead of relying on multiple products, it is always advisable to nourish the hair from the inside. Nutrition plays a vital role in hair health, just like your skin. Hair needs as much nourishment as skin. Hair loss is a significant concern for all women. However, the cause may differ based on lifestyle and genes. The primary factors that affect hair loss are genetics, age, hormones, and nutrient deficiencies. Some factors like genetics and age are irreversible. However, nutrient deficiencies can be reversed by eating a healthy diet. Let us check the nutrients that are essential for good hair. One should ensure these nutrients in their diet for luscious hair:
- Protein: Hair is made from a protein called ‘Keratin.’ More than 90% of hair is protein. Therefore, considering adequate protein intake in a daily diet is essential for healthy hair. Rich protein sources include chicken, fish, pulses & legumes, nuts, and seeds. Vegetarians can increase protein intake in every meal by incorporating soya, pulses & legumes, milk, and milk products like paneer in their daily diet. Nuts and seeds are also an effective way to include protein along with other micronutrients and healthy fats.
Omega 3 fatty acids: Healthy fats are essential for hair health. Apart from protein, Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in healthy fats are required to keep inflammation away from hair. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to lubricating hair follicles. The best source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish oil. In addition, vegetarians can include walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds in their diet.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for normal cell growth and function. Therefore, they may contribute to hair loss when they are deficient in the daily diet. First, however, it is necessary to know which vitamins and minerals help treat hair loss.
- Vitamins: THe following play a vital role in hair health Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. The best way to get vitamins is to include a diverse range of fruits and vegetables, in the diet. In addition, some vitamins like vitamin A, D, and E are fat-soluble and are found in milk and milk products, eggs, nuts, etc.
- Minerals: Important minerals that are responsible for hair growth are Zinc, Iron, and Selenium. Iron deficiency is common in Indian women suffering from hair loss. One can avoid it by consuming iron-rich food. Another essential mineral, Zinc, can be found in abundance in fish and meat. And lastly, a lack of Selenium can result in brittle hair and also hair loss. The availability of selenium in various foods, such as meat, vegetables, and nuts, is sufficient to meet the daily requirement.
Eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a balance of healthy nutrients in the diet, and supplementing known nutritional deficiencies are the best ways to support hair health.