Are you looking for foods to strengthen your hair? If so, you may have noticed some signs that something is not quite right. Perhaps the loss of elasticity, hair irritation or inflammation of the scalp. Hair loss, excessive breakage, split ends or frizz are signs that action must be taken before a temporary inconvenience becomes a permanent problem.
Hair is the fastest growing natural tissue in the human body: the average growth rate is 0.5 cm to 1.7 cm per month, depending on various factors. The speed of hair growth is based on genetics, gender, age or hormones. But it can be reduced by nutrient deficiencies, hormonal fluctuations (i.e. menopause, polycystic ovaries, thyroid disease), unbalanced diet, toxic hair care habits, or abuse of heated hair care tools are just some of them.
The causes can be very varied, and different factors can influence hair weakness. Fortunately, there are simple but effective solutions, such as including hair-strengthening foods in your diet.
When your hair needs extra care
Seasonal changes, excessive activity or times of high levels of stress may be the right time to consider incorporating hair-strengthening foods into your diet.
It is also a good idea to do so after recovering from an illness, as in the fight against it, the body will have prioritised using nutrients and vitamins. The levels are likely to have dropped in hair, nails and skin.
Foods to include in your diet
Foods to include in your diet
Healthy hair starts from the inside. Hair nutrition is, therefore, an essential part that is achieved from specific vitamins and different foods, such as avocado, eggs, honey, pomegranate, yoghurt, chicken, pulses, almonds and others.
When creating a special diet to strengthen hair, at least these ingredients should be included:
- Eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, two essential nutrients for hair growth. Eating chicken is also beneficial because of its iron content.
- Berries. Berries are loaded with beneficial compounds and vitamins that can help hair growth. Raspberries, blueberries or blueberries are rich foods for strengthening hair from the start of the day if included in breakfast.
- Spinach. As well as other green vegetables, they provide reasonable amounts of iron and calcium, benefits that are added to their vitamin contribution (Ay C).
- Fish. Thanks to their trace elements and fat-soluble vitamins, they help to achieve healthy, strong hair.
- Carrots. They provide vitamin A, which contributes to growth and shine. Strengthening comes from the hair follicles, which become healthier.
- Soya: when consumed, high-quality vegetable protein is obtained, and it is essential for the keratin in the hair, which is key to its formation and resistance.
- Yoghurt, curd and other dairy products. Whey, casein, biotin and calcium arrive with each portion consumed, strengthening hair and improving its health.
- Seeds. Like fenugreek, chia, sesame, pumpkin, flaxseed or sunflower seeds, rich in iron and protein, antioxidants and selenium, which gives them the ability to gradually improve hair quality, reduce hair loss and revitalise follicles.
- Onion. It serves to increase collagen production and accelerate hair growth.
Foods and ingredients as a basis for natural hair care and hair masks
- Caffeine. This one shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. As caffeine is a stimulant, it causes this effect on the hair follicles. The boost it gives your scalp helps stimulate them and helps them produce and grow new locks of hair faster. As we age, this process naturally slows down, so adding a stimulant like caffeine makes it possible to keep that process going.
- Aloe vera. This ingredient is 99.1% water. Hence, it is an excellent source of moisture for hair. It also provides calcium and magnesium. Calcium is a vital mineral for maintaining the body; therefore, it benefits the overall health of our hair. Magnesium plays its role in promoting hair follicle growth.
- Biotin. As an ingredient that your body produces naturally, this is also one that you will see diminish as you age. Also known as vitamin H, biotin helps maintain the health of your hair strands and prevents them from becoming dull and brittle. Biotin also works with the protein keratin to promote stronger, thicker hair growth.
- Castor oil. This oil is composed of 90% ricinoleic acid, 4% linoleic acid, 3% oleic acid and 1% stearic acid, fatty acids that act as a moisturiser for the hair, fight inflammation, improve the health of hair follicles and promote hair growth (as well as protect against hair loss). It serves to grow, condition and strengthen hair thanks to its unique structure.
- Lactic acid. Generally found in sweat, lactic acid is something that would damage the health of your hair. But contrary to what you might expect, when used in shampoos, the ingredient helps stimulate a natural response to hair loss and damage.
- Essential oils. Essential oils of peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemongrass or lavender are excellent for hair growth and strengthening, acting specifically on the scalp.
Another ingredient that can be used both topically as a component of specific products and as a dietary supplement is silica, which, in addition to hair, also improves skin condition and nail maintenance and growth.
Silica helps strengthen hair by providing essential nutrients, maintaining shine and preventing breakage and hair loss. Its benefits may differ depending on the topical use of the ingredient versus ingestion. Some of the benefits of supplements containing it are:
- Reduces hair brittleness (boosting hair strength).
- Improves collagen formation in skin and bones.
- Increases blood circulation in the scalp and strengthens the scalp.
While silica can be beneficial for any hair type, people with damaged, broken or thin hair tend to find the ingredient most helpful, as they experience a wide range of positive effects. Some results are noticeable quickly because fine hair tends to break more efficiently, which does not happen when silica is taken. Have you thought about including it in your diet as a supplement?