You probably have some idea of what to eat to trim your waist or amp up your immune system, but did you know that what you eat can positively affect your hair, too?
When your hair is dry, unruly or flat, you might reach for some type of conditioner, spray or mousse to fix it. While hair products can do wonders and are a great instant fix, you might also want to assess what is in your pantry to fix your hair dilemma.
As much as you may have dyed, teased and styled your hair over the years, it is not the external damage that is relentless – it’s what is nourishing (or not nourishing) it from the inside. Dr. David H. Kingsley, a hair and scalp expert of the British Science Corporation in New York City, told Women’s Health Magazine that how your hair looks may actually show how healthy you are inside.
To banish your worst hair enemies, stock your kitchen with foods that have these nutrients and let the natural beauty of your tresses shine from the inside out.
Protein. Making sure you have plenty of protein in your diet will nourish your hair follicles and ensure that they function properly. Hair follicles are the system in your scalp responsible for growing hair. Eating protein also helps the formation of keratin, the structural material that makes up each strand of hair.
Keep the follicles functioning healthfully with high-protein foods like lean beef, egg whites, dairy, chicken and soybeans.
Fatty acids. Getting omega-3 fatty acids into your diet can make your hair shiny and lustrous. This is because they nourish your scalp, preventing dandruff or itchiness and making natural oils that will condition your strands. Eat fish like mackerel, salmon and sardines, and stock up on spinach and walnuts for these nutrients.
B vitamins and biotin. Vitamins B-12, B-6 and biotin will help strengthen your hair’s cuticle, the outermost layer. Making this outer layer as strong as it can be once it leaves your scalp will prevent it from splitting or thinning once it gets longer. Eat bananas, eggs, spinach, salmon, lentils and beans for these nutrients.
Eating these nourishing foods won’t change the locks that already fall on your shoulders. Instead, they will nourish the parts under your scalp that grow the hair. Hair grows about half an inch per month, so you should start to see results in about three to six months if you start eating these foods now.