Best foods for healthy hair

Most of us have probably seen at least one television advert for the latest ‘miracle’ shampoo that claims to give you luscious, glowing and healthy-looking hair by using said shampoo.  In recent years, Cheryl Cole is the latest in a long line of celebrities who have provided their good looking presence for such adverts, endorsing the L’Oréal shampoo products – ‘because you’re worth it’, as the memorable slogan states.

In one particular advert that features the attractive Geordie singer, she smiles at viewers and pronounces: “My hair feels stronger, full of life, replenished with a healthy shine. It’s got its mojo back.” Of course, information not fully made clear is that in addition to being blessed with good genes, the diet that these chosen celebrities are on is without doubt a lot healthier than the average person due to them being able to afford luxuries like personal chefs and trainers. Oh, included on the aforementioned advert is a very small disclaimer than informs viewers that Cole is sporting hair extensions…costing in the region of £1,000!

So, if you are not a multi-millionaire singer but are curious how to go about achieving healthier hair, what can you do? Well, if it is actually hair loss that is the problem (a problem ironically sometimes caused by extensions), there are clinically proven products available such as Regaine (for both men and women), Propecia (for men), Dianette and Florisene (for women).

However, as highlighted earlier, dietary choices can also have a major impact of the health, strength and structure of our hair. Occasionally, hair loss can actually be linked to a lack of certain vitamins and minerals.  A diet that is sparse of foods containing these important nutrients can be detrimental to maintaining a good head of hair.

Here are some of the best foods for healthy hair:

. Salmon – It contains plenty of protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids; all vital for healthy hair. Your body doesn’t produce omega-3, but it is an essential component of hair growth. Approximately 3% of the hair shaft is comprised of these fatty acids. In addition, omega-3s are contained in cell membranes in the skin of your scalp and within the natural oils that maintain scalp and hair hydration.

. Walnuts – As well as boosting sperm health (mentioned yesterday), walnuts are just like salmon in that they are rich in omega-3. As your hair is unprotected from the sun’s rays, it is exposed to DNA damage and therefore the biotin and vitamin E in walnuts are particularly useful as they shield the cells from such damage.

. Carrots – It is a widely known fact that carrots are great at boosting vision. However, they are also rich in vitamin A. This helps in promoting the formation of sebum oil in the scalp. Sebum keeps your scalp and hair moisturised, resulting in much healthier hair.

. Beef – If you aren’t suffering with high cholesterol, beef (eaten in moderation) is excellent for hair. It contains protein, vitamin B, iron, zinc and other vital minerals that aid in maintaining the health of your hair and scalp.

. Prunes – Are you suffering from dryness, stiffness, thinning or discolouration? If so, then a lack of iron in your diet may be the cause for these problems. Prunes are known to be rich in iron and not only do they provide a boost to hair texture, they are great for ensuring regular bowel movements.

. Eggs – For those wanting a head of healthy looking hair, eggs are the way to go (again, eaten in moderation). They are packed with essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin B12, iron, zinc and omega-6 fatty acids. Lacking any of these vitamins and minerals will have a negative impact on hair. Eggs also contain biotin – useful to help combat hair loss.

. Green tea – Green tea is rich in polyphenols which work to keep your scalp healthy. A healthy scalp therefore means much healthier hair! Some experts also argue that washing your hair with green tea or applying it to the scalp can help with conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff by soothing skin and lessening irritation.

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