- For a lot of people, their hair is an extension of their personality. Your hairstyle is a mark of your individual style, and the idea of losing your hair can be terrifying. If you believe you are the only one with thinning hair, you are not. This problem is not as uncommon as you would think. An average person has about 1,00,000 hair strands on their scalp. About 80% to 90% of these are in the growth phase, also known as the anagen phase. The remaining hair is in the resting phase or the telogen phase. The hair are then shed after the telogen phase. Typically, most people shed 100-150 hairs per day.
- What can cause hair loss? Different conditions such as stressful and traumatic situations, hormone imbalance, tight hairstyles and excessive styling with products, or poor nutrition or abrupt weight loss can cause hair loss.
- One of the commonly seen reasons for hair loss is a rigorous weight loss program. Cutting calories to the extent that your body develops deficiency of certain nutrients, or depriving yourself of food containing various vitamins and nutrients, proteins and good fats, such as in crash diets, makes your hair weak and leads to hair loss.
Fortunately, this type of hair loss can be reversed.
- A healthy diet should contain an appropriate amount of fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Carrots, kale, spinach and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which is good for hair. Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids that serve as a natural lubricant for the scalp and protect the hair from breakage. Salmon also contains vitamin D, which nourishes hair follicles and helps with better growth. Eggs are a nutrient-dense food for the hair as they are a good source of proteins, iron, folate and biotin, and help in controlling hair loss by strengthening the structure of the hair and boosting its growth. Oysters, although not eaten as commonly, are the best source of zinc, which promotes hair growth. Nuts are a rich source of selenium, which is essential for the health of the scalp.
The most important nutrients for your hair are as follows:
- One of the reasons for dry and brittle hair could be protein insufficiency. Meats, poultry, seafood, soy, beans, dairy, seeds and nuts are good sources of protein. Proteins can also be found in many grains and vegetables in small amounts.
- The haemoglobin present in red blood cells, which contains iron, is the oxygen carrier in the body. One of the classic symptoms of iron-deficiency anaemia is hair loss. Iron is present in two forms in foods – heme iron that is present in meats and non-heme iron that is present in dried fruits, spinach, bran and beans. The heme iron is better absorbed in the body as compared to non-heme iron.
- Copper is essential for the synthesis of red blood cells in the body. Copper deficiency due to the lack of copper in the diet is not common but may be seen in people with some genetic condition or in the presence of excessive zinc in the diet. Copper is present in many food items like seafood, organ meats, seeds, nuts and dark-green leafy vegetables.
- Zinc is a vital mineral for tissue growth and repair and cell reproduction. It also helps in maintaining the health of the oil-secreting glands accompanying the hair follicles. A deficiency or excess of zinc can lead to hair loss. Zinc is present in different foods like meats, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. It is always better to get enough zinc from your diet instead of consuming supplements as an excess of zinc can cause hair loss.
- Vitamin A is essential for healthy cells and tissues, including those of the scalp and the hair. Sebum production, which is necessary for the moisturizing the hair also depends on vitamin A. vitamin A is common in yellow- and orange-coloured foods and dark- green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is also found in eggs, fish oil, liver and fortified dairy products. Just like zinc, vitamin A in excess can cause hair loss.
Vitamin B group
- The vitamins from the vitamin B group that affect the health of the hair and help in its growth are folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. The B vitamins are imperative for the production of red blood cells that transport oxygen to all the different cells in the body, including the hair. Deficiency of these vitamins causes the hair to fall off with slowing of its regrowth. Vitamin B6 is present in chicken, fish, pork, eggs, wheat germ and peas. On the other hand, folic acid is seen in green leafy vegetables, fortified cereal, citrus fruits, beets and tomatoes. Animal products can give you your required amount of vitamin B12.
- Vitamin c is important for the synthesis of collagen in hair, which gives the hair its structure. Lack of this vitamin causes hair breakage. Vitamin C also helps in the production of sebum. Vitamin C can be obtained from citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, berries, broccoli, dark-green leafy vegetables, etc.
- Our hair is indelibly connected to our identity. Instead of going on a crash diet that will ultimately lead to hair loss, you can visit www.healthassure.in today and find the most suitable diet to aid your weight loss. Download the HealthAssure app to get in touch with our expert nutritionists and dieticians and start your weight loss journey now.
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