I On Beauty: Foods for Healthy Hair

It’s safe to say that everyone dreams of having long, thick, healthy hair. Our hair can be our proudest feature, and our pride shows with just how much maintenance we put into haircare. We wash, condition and detangle it. We apply masks and treatments meant to moisturise, repair, strengthen and define.  We spend hours blow-drying, straightening and styling it, and spend hundreds of dollars at salons every year to keep up with different services.

However, one thing is for sure – there’s no amount of deep conditioners, masks or trims that can make up for an unhealthy diet when it comes to hair growth. The things we put into our bodies is our first and most important method of nourishing our body, hair and skin, as hair grows from within. Hair that is dry, brittle, frizzy and weak despite constant use of hair products is usually always a result of a bad diet. It’s important to remember that the macronutrients and micronutrients that our hair receives through our diet cannot always be supplied using topical products. A healthy diet that contains enough protein and healthy fats is the cornerstone of healthy hair. Here’s what you should be eating often to ensure strong, healthy hair with remarkable growth.

                   Fatty acids

Anyone who has ever told you that all forms of fat are bad is completely wrong.

This isn’t to say that the ten-piece bucket of fried chicken should be a staple in your diet, but good fats like omega 3’s are major hair boosters in terms of both growth and health. For shiny, lustrous hair that remains moisturised, try adding these foods high in good fats to your diet at least once a day:

Tuna, mackerel, salmon, and other types of fatty fish are great for you – and they taste great, too! Pan-sear a slice of fish as your main protein for dinner or lunch, and have it with vegetables as a filling meal. Tuna salad with a low-fat mayo can also be the perfect spread for a tasty sandwich, and you can even use the mix for a more low-carb vegetable dip.

Nuts like walnuts and almonds make for a healthy snack that can be eaten at any time to curb hunger and satiate your appetite.

Bananas, spinach and potatoes are high in vitamin B6. B-complex vitamins are all major components of healthy hair, as they strengthen hair to prevent splitting and breakage. For vitamin B12, meat and dairy products like cheese, milk, chicken, fish and beefare all great sources.

Fruits and veggies are always welcome for a healthy body, and the same goes for hair. Citrus fruits, beans and grains, as well as tomatoes are high in folic acid, which help to prevent thinning.

Protein is a no-brainer when it comes to healthy hair, as hair is comprised of protein. More lean meats like chicken and fish are recommended, while eggs, beans and soy products can make up a good part of your breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well.

Having long healthy hair can be made so much simpler just by eating right. Add the right foods to your diet, eat them consistently and don’t overeat, and your body and hair will thank you.

About Janet Brooks