Foods for strong and healthy hair (expert tips)

Tried various shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments but nothing seems to work? The real reason for bad hair could be a poor diet. What you feed your hair internally has more effect on it than external factors like shampoos or hair packs. And there are certain essential nutrients that both your body and hair need to look healthy and strong. Dr Dinyar Workingboxwalla, a celebrity cosmetologist with clients like Jacqueline Fernandes, Lara Dutta and many more, explains how food plays an important role in the health of our hair and also lists down the essential ones we should all consume in his book ‘Beauty Unleashed: A Comprehensive Guide To Getting Perfect Skin And Hair’. Here’s an excerpt from the book.

The type, the length, the growth, the thickness, the thinness, curls and strength of your hair all depends on what you have inherited genetically, but the condition of your hair depends on the internal state of your body, which feeds the papillae that produces it. For the hair to be strong and beautiful, the cuticle and cortex have to be strong first. Any animal lover changes the look of his pet’s hair by altering its diet. The same goes for humans, too.
Each hair follicle depends on the current nutritional state of one’s blood stream and on adequate oxygen reaching each cell. If a person goes on a poor diet, or for some reason—like stress—has improper food, detrimental changes in the hair bulb can be detected in as little as three to four days. People going on a protein-free diet for ten days have found that when their hair has been plucked and analyzed microscopically, it showed significant changes in colour, texture and structure.

In my experience, I see a higher percentage of vegetarians with hair thinning problems. While many are extremely conscious of their diet and get all the required minerals, vitamins and basic nutrients, what is often neglected is protein, which makes up the core of hair. The essential amino acids that are the building blocks of keratin are most plentiful in animal products, and without adequate intake, less energy is available for hair follicle production.
• Eat lots of lean meat, especially liver which is high in iron and Vitamin B12, and also seafood, which contains the all-important iodine.
• You will also benefit from a sufficient intake of vitamins A, B and C, which are found in eggs, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables. A daily course of vitamins and oil capsules may help if your hair is dry and brittle.

• Use biotin and calcium panthothenate tablets if you suffer from hair fall.
• Hair is fed by the blood flowing to the follicles, so a good diet and circulation from exercise and massages are essential to give your hair shine and vitality.

Remember, just as the residue from drugs and medication and all the negative things that we put in our bodies show up in our hair, the positive results of nutritional care are also seen.

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