Hair loss, aka alopecia, can be hereditary, resulting from medical conditions, hormonal changes or the aging process, like going gray. Genetics is the primary cause of losing hair, and men are more likely to lose hair. Although you can’t do anything about your genes, you might slow down hair loss. How? Make sure your body gets all the nutrients that prevent dull and brittle hair and hair loss. Eating right can slow down genetic hair loss and prevent non-genetic hair loss. Let’s look at the what and why of necessary vitamins and compounds.
Zinc can prevent hair loss
Studies show that people who experience sudden hair loss have low levels of zinc. Include spinach, beans or other legumes, eggs and lean meat. Furthermore, if you like oysters, you’ll be glad to know that no other food type is a better source of zinc.
Add iron to prevent hair loss
Although iron-rich foods can slow down or prevent hair loss, it comes with a warning. Men and women in their menopause should only increase iron intake after checking with a doctor. Lean beef is a good source of iron, and as Popeye shows us, spinach is rich in iron. Moreover, as you will see when you read on, spinach also contains other vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy hair follicles.
The sun provides Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a crucial component of healthy hair. However, if you avoid spending time in the sun, or cover your skin with sunscreen, you’ll have to get Vitamin D from your food. Eat salmon and tuna, egg yolks and beef liver. Check for foods fortified with Vitamin D, like orange juice, milk and cereals. You can take Vitamin D supplements, but getting it from the food that you eat is always better.
Orange colored food is rich in Vitamin A
Vitamin A and beta-carotenes are typically together, and both are good for overall health. While they are good for your hair, they also improve immunity and eyesight and help prevent cancer. Orange foods like carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, and — can you guess– spinach. Cooking decreases the beta-carotene content of food, so when appropriate, eat raw foods.
Vitamin B7 aka Biotin good for prevention of hair loss
A deficiency of Biotin causes hair loss and nerve damage, and it is essential for healthy skin. However, take note that Vitamin B7 supplements may affect the working of other medications. So, if you are taking medicines, check with your physician before taking supplements. To clarify, getting Biotin from your food should not be a problem. Get it from sweet potato, eggs and spinach.
Essential oils that promote hair growth
Some essential oils can be added to foods or used on your skin and scalp. They are highly concentrated, so you need only a few drops at a time. Rubbing a few drops of rosemary oil into your scalp can do wonders. Furthermore, add it to your food as an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. Rosemary oil is as good for hair growth as Rogaine (minoxidil), and it doesn’t cause an itchy scalp as a side effect.
Similarly, peppermint oil can also be massaged into your scalp to promote hair growth.
Selenium comes with a warning
Selenium can be too much or too little. The happy medium is the desired level. Selenium deficiency results from Crohn’s or similar GI conditions, dialysis, HIV or hypothyroidism. Adding 6 Brazil nuts to your weekly diet should be just enough to reach a healthy level of Selenium.
Omega Oils great for stopping hair loss
Omega-3 and omega-6 are fatty acids that are good for your brain and heart, but they also stop hair loss and promote regrowth. Studies showed that taking 400 mg of pumpkin seed oil per day for 24 weeks increased the participating men’s hair growth by 40%. Other sources include salmon, seeds and nuts. Also, coconut oil and oils from the seeds of grapes, sunflowers and pumpkins are excellent sources of omega oils.
Treat your scalp with a Greek yogurt massage
I’m not kidding. Whether you massage it into your scalp or eat Greek yogurt, it will strengthen your hair follicles. It contains Vitamin D and Vitamin B5. Furthermore, Greek yogurt is a rich source of calcium and protein linked to healthy bones and hair. However, if you don’t choose the low-fat version, you may land up with a healthy head of hair and an extra layer of fat on your body.
Honey — an age-old remedy
Not to eat but to mix with cinnamon and olive oil to make a rub for your scalp. Here’s how: Add 2 tablespoons each of cinnamon and honey into 1/2 cup of warm olive oil. Add a beaten egg and comb the mixture into your wet hair (if the oil is too hot, the egg will get cooked). Massage your scalp, and leave it on for 10 minutes before shampooing your hair.
Reportedly, this remedy also treats scaling and itchy scalp.
To sum up, with a bit of imagination, you can add these foods to your diet to bring not only a healthier head of hair but better overall health. Imagine a spinach salad with a chopped hard-boiled egg and a dressing of Greek yogurt and sesame oil. To make it extra special, add a few walnuts and voila!