Lustrous and silky hair is a pleasure to behold. Your hair not only says a lot about your personality, it also reflects your state of health. Healthy hair indicates your body is well-nourished while dry and dull hair, hair thinning, hair loss problems may be the signs of lack of proper nutrition.
Understanding your hair
On average, the human scalp has 100,000 hairs. Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the body, second only to bone marrow. At any given time, approximately 90% of the hair is growing, while the other 10% is resting. After a few months of rest, the hair naturally falls out to make room for new hair. When new growth begins, healthy hair will grow about half an inch per month. But it is important to know that everyone’s hair is different and factors such as genes, hair care practices and diet play a part in your hair growth process.
At some stage in our lives, both men and women will experience the onset of grey hair. As you age, the production of colour pigment slows down and grey hair begins to appear. Hair greying can occur as young as in our teens and range into our late 50’s and even older. What is it that makes your hair go grey before your time? The reasons for this phenomenon range from heredity to environmental causes of nutrient deficiency. It has been said that stress can hasten the greying process, or even cause hair loss!
Follow a healthy hair diet
Unlike the skin, hair cannot repair itself, but damaged hair can be replaced with new hair. That is why getting the right balance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytonutrients is vital to revive your hair’s natural health and shine. Hair and scalp require continuous nourishment to maintain healthy growth and replenishment.
Consume a balanced amount of protein every day to improve hair growth. Hair is largely composed of keratin, a protein made up of amino acids cysteine and methionine. To grow new hair, your body must produce more amino acids, which it can only do from consuming protein.
Get enough vitamins to spur hair growth and slow down hair greying. B vitamins, including B6, folic acid, biotin and inositol are instrumental in boosting hair health and spurring hair growth. Vitamin A, C and E are important antioxidants that help counteract free radicals, thereby “freeing up” the resources to feed your hair the nutrients it needs.
Vitamin A assists the production of healthy sebum in the scalp while vitamin E increases oxygen uptake which improves circulation to the scalp. Para-amino benzoic acid (PABA), one of the lesser-known members of the B complex family, has been shown to be an anti-grey hair vitamin.
Be sure to eat sufficient amounts of minerals in your diet. While our bodies need a variety of vitamins and minerals to support certain functions, there are specific ones that help promote healthy hair. Zinc, iodine, iron and manganese are imperative when it comes to combating hair loss. Adequate levels of silica help strengthen the hair and prevent split ends.