Good nutrition fertilises healthy hair. Sometimes nutrients don’t reach hair, so it’s advisable to apply external aids, too. Be aware that restricting foods can shed hair as well as kilos. Enjoy a balanced diet of wholegrains, protein, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and pure water, and your hair will shine from the fringe benefits.
Vitamin A & betacarotene
Stimulates sebum and the hair follicle for growth and gloss. Insufficient vitamin A causes dry hair, whereas excessive vitamin A causes hair loss. Food sources include: apricots, carrots, cod liver oil, milk, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes.
Prevents hair loss and fortifies hair at follicle. Food sources include: grapefruit, orange, kidney beans, peas, green beans, lima beans, split peas, blackeyed peas, blackberries, artichokes, okra.
Increases circulation to scalp’s capillaries to nourish new hair.
Food sources include: wheatgerm oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, Swiss chard.
Increases scalp circulation.
Food sources include: chicken, tuna, tofu, eggs, wholegrains, peanuts, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes.
Sufficient iodine is essential to prevent thyroid disorders, which can cause hair loss.
Food sources include: yoghurt, milk, strawberries, eggs, seaweed, iodised salt.
Strengthens hair roots, preventing hair loss and greying. Clears dead skin cells, so helps dandruff and dry scalp.
Food sources include: wholegrains, legumes, peanuts, brewer’s yeast, shiitake mushrooms, avocado, yoghurt, corn, sweet potatoes.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Prevents hair loss, flaky scalp and dry hair. Food sources include: flaxseed oil, walnuts, salmon, sardines and other oily fish, olive oil.
Prevents loss of hair and colour.
Food sources include: chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, shrimp, milk, cheese; plant-based sources of B6 include lentils, spinach, brown rice, sunflower seeds, wheat flour, carrots.
Your hair is largely made of keratin and your body needs protein to allow cells called keratinocytes to manufacture keratin. Essential amino acids for healthy hair include cystine, cysteine, methionine, leucine, serine, glycine, arginine and threonine. Protein deficiency causes loss of colour and hair.
Food sources include: meat, eggs, cheese, tempeh, mung dal, urad dal.
Ensures iron and blood supply to follicle for growth. Strengthens the cuticle and prevents hair loss.
Food sources include: clams, liver, chicken, eggs, fortified cereals, Swiss cheese, spirulina, yoghurt.
Iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss in women. It is essential to feed the follicle and sustain the shaft.
Food sources include: spinach, apricots, red kidney beans, adzuki beans, blackstrap molasses (reputed to restore colour also).
Essential for protein synthesis, including keratin. Biotin deficiency causes hair loss and dry hair. Supplementation promotes growth and prevents greying.
Food sources include: Swiss chard, bananas, carrots, walnuts, eggs, milk, peanuts, strawberries, cauliflower.
Ensures shaft strength and integrity of follicle to prevent hair loss.
Food sources include: oysters, wheatgerm, tahini, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts.
Strengthens and thickens the hair cuticle.
Food sources include: gelatine, mushrooms; dark green leafy vegetables and vitamin C help to produce collagen.
A trace mineral essential for hair strength from the core to the cuticle, silicon makes hair more elastic, shiny and manageable.
Food sources include: wholegrains, almonds, apples, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, oranges, kelp, flaxseed, strawberries, horsetail tea.
Due to antioxidant properties, prevents hair loss. Food sources include: kiwifruit, gooseberries, strawberries, pineapples, oranges, capsicum and tomatoes.