Nutrition for hair growth is more important compared to natural shampoos and enriching conditioners. Here’s why,
A balanced diet contains 13 different vitamins which aid in hair growth and maintenance. Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins play a critical role in hair repair and protection.
Recent research shows that regular vitamin D, vitamin E, and B complex vitamin consumption resulted in significant hair growth and repair.
What factors affect hair growth?
Five million hair follicles cover the human body. One hundred thousand of these follicles is present on your head.
According to the WHO, the average time for a single strand of hair to grow half-inch is one month. That’s 6 inches per year(assuming you have a healthy and balanced diet).
However, a few other factors determine the growth rate of your hair. These include stress levels, age, hair type, health conditions, drug interaction etc.
How to make hair grow faster?
1.Manage your stress – High-stress levels diminish hair health. It is also a common factor for hair thinning, grey hair and hair fall. But these effects are reversible. Take yoga or meditation classes to reduce your stress levels. However, significant research isn’t available to prove that low-stress is a hair growth factor.
2.Keep up with your vitamins.
Vitamins play a crucial role in hair growth and nutrition. Here are a few vitamins with their food sources and uses.
a. Vitamin A – It promotes sebum secretion from the skin. Sebum (an oily substance) moisturizes the scalp and helps keep hair healthy.
b. Biotin – It avoids hair shedding and promotes hair growth.
c. Vitamin C – Reverses the effects of greying and thinning hair.
d. Vitamin D – Promotes formation of hair follicles which serve as centres of hair growth. It also helps in fighting hair loss/ Alopecia (caused due to vitamin D deficiency)
e. Vitamin E – Research shows that constant consumption of Vitamin E for a period 8 – 10 months increases hair volume.
|Vitamin||Food sources||Advantages||Supplements/Food source|
|Vitamin A||Milk, eggs, cod liver oil||Fast hair growing tissue||Food source|
|Vitamin B||Whole grains, almonds, meat, fish, seafood and dark, leafy greens.||Promotes hair growth and reduces baldness.||Both|
|Vitamin C||Strawberries, peppers, guavas and citrus fruits||Promotes hair structure||Food source|
|Vitamin D||Fatty fish, cod liver oil, some mushrooms and fortified foods.||Promotes hair growth||Supplements|
|Vitamin E||Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocados||Promotes hair growth||Supplements|
3.Consume sufficient protein.
Protein deficiency is a vital factor for hair loss.
Make sure to consume at least 0.7 g of protein, per pound of bodyweight. For example, If you weigh 100 pounds, you need to consume 70 grams of protein each day.
Protein-rich foods include pulses, eggs, green leafy vegetables, milk, nuts and fruits. Proteins clubbed with the right amount of vegetables leads to complete protein formation. Complete protein, when absorbed helps in maintaining healthy hair.
4. Keep up with your minerals
a. Calcium – Available in food sources. But if you fail to consume enough Vitamin D, calcium deficiency rises. Calcium sources include eggs, whole grains, legumes, bananas, cauliflower etc. Taken with omega 3 and 6 helps complete absorption.
b. Iron – Deficiency of iron will lead to lack of hair growth and severe hair fall. Consumption of green leafy vegetables, milk and eggs adds more iron to the food.
c. Zinc – Hard to find on a typical diet but has a ton of health benefits. Zinc protects hair follicles. Foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and lentils.
d. Omega 3 and 6 supplements – Improves hair density and quality.
In addition to having a balanced diet with vitamins and minerals, you need to ensure the following,
- Get 6 – 8 hours of deep sleep
- Exercise at least three times a week
- Manage your stress
- Include sufficient macronutrients like – carbs, protein and fats.
These steps nourish your hair and make it strong and healthy.
Factors such as skin allergy or high exposure to air conditioner or sun may also cause hair fall. In such cases, consult a medical professional.
To wrap up
Nutrition for hair growth plays a vital role in healthy hair development. To ensure proper hair nourishment, you should focus on macro and micro-nutrient intake. Also don’t forget to focus on other factors like sleep, sun exposure and stress.
Are you suffering from severe hair loss and looking for hair loss treatments? Maybe the some of the following could help,
1. What is good for hair growth and thickness?
A balanced diet, good sleep and a stress-free life are vital factors for hair nourishment.
2. Which fruits and vegetables are best for hair growth?
Fruits – Orange, Guava, Peach, Banana, Papaya
Vegetables – Spinach, Sweet Potato, Beans, Carrot and Soybeans
These are a few fruits and vegetables that help in hair growth and strengthening. You can also add nuts like almonds to your diet as they provide a lot of nutrition for hair growth.
3. Does poor nutrition stunt hair growth?
Yes, binge eating unhealthy junk food and malnutrition are a few common causes of hair loss. Stick with a balanced diet to prevent this.