Beautiful hair starts with meals rich in nutrients for hair health and vitality, writes Meera Murugesan
GORGEOUS hair always draws attention.Whether straight or curly, if it’s thick, shiny and lustrous, it will always be your best “accessory”.
While using the right hair care products does play a role in how hair will look and feel, the root cause of beautiful hair lies in our diet.
What we eat or don’t eat can affect the growth, strength and appearance of hair.
There are some foods which are crucial for hair growth and can even reduce hair loss or thinning so it’s best to include these “hair-raising” ingredients in your daily meals so you crowning glory is well protected.
Here are some of the most nutritious foods for hair:
There’s a reason so many home-made hair masks involve eggs. Eggs are a good source of protein and bioton, both of which promote hair growth.
Protein is a key ingredient for good hair because hair follicles are mostly made up of protein.
Biotin, meanwhile, is necessary for the production of a hair protein called keratin (a word you’ve probably seen on shampoo bottles).
Eggs are also rich in zinc and selenium which both promote healthy hair so whether you like them scrambled, poached or boiled, add an egg daily to your diet for beautiful hair.
Fish is not just brain food but also food for hair. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are important sources of omega 3 fatty acids which have been linked to hair growth.
Adequate intake of these fish is believed to not only promote hair growth but also reduce hair loss.
Fish is also a good source of vitamin D which is essential for hair health so head on to your fishmonger to get started on the journey to beautiful hair.
SEEDS AND NUTS
If you enjoy snacking on these, you’re on the right path to strong, shiny hair.
Nuts have a variety of nutrients that are essential for hair growth. Almonds, for example provide vitamin E as well as a variety of B vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids. A lack of these nutrients can cause hair loss.
Sunflower seeds are also rich in hair healthy B vitamins and vitamin E. Flaxseeds and chia seeds provide omega 3 fatty acids.
Brazil nuts, meanwhile, offer selenium to boost hair growth so stack up on these healthy snacks.
When your mother told you to eat your greens she had good reason to do so.
Spinach is loaded with nutrients such as folate, iron as well as vitamins A and C, all of which encourage hair growth.
Spinach is also a good source of iron, especially if you’re vegetarian and don’t eat meat. Lack of iron can cause hair loss so be sure to eat this leafy green vegetable to maintain the fullness of your hair.
Besides spinach, other greens such as watercress, chard and cabbage promote the production of keratin which strengthens hair follicles.
Sweet potatoes are a major source of beta-carotene and our body converts it into vitamin A, an essential vitamin for healthy hair.
Vitamin A helps with the production of sebum so your hair doesn’t become dry and brittle.
Sweet potatoes also contain many of the nutrients that are important for hair growth including B vitamins, potassium, vitamin C, and zinc and it’s crucial that we don’t suffer a deficiency in any of these vital nutrients.
Avocado is also commonly used in hair masks to deeply condition hair and promote lustre and shine.
Avocados are a good source of healthy fats which are necessary for hair growth and very high in vitamin E which is known to help combat hair loss. It also protects the scalp from damage and stress as a damaged scalp means fewer hair follicles and weaker hair.
Avocados and the nutrients contained in this superfruit are known to improve circulation on the scalp which translates to healthy hair growth.
EGG HAIR MASK
(promotes strong,lustrous hair)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon honey
½ ripe avocado (to add softness)
2-3 tablespoons full fat yogurt (for strength and shine).
1.Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin out the mixture.
2. The avocado must be mashed nicely before adding.
3. Apply from root to tip. Place a shower cap over hair and allow the mask to soak for 15-45 minutes.
4.Rinse with cool or lukewarm water then shampoo.
* Repeat once a week for best results.
* Egg yolks are good for dry hair while egg whites are ideal for oily hair.
*For normal to combination hair, the whole egg can be used.
* Instead of avocado, banana can also be used.
Sources: hairbuddha.net and stylecraze.com
KEEP track of these signs because they are an indication that you need a hair rescue:
* Dry and brittle
* Oily and limp
* Breaks easily during combing or brushing
* Split ends
* Looks dull and flat, lacks shine
THE American Academy of Dermatology estimates that we lose between 50-100 hairs a day and hair generally grows around 15.24cm per year or 1.27cm a month. But how fast hair grows depends on age, general health, genetics and diet.
IF you’re already consuming a balanced diet, you’re off to a good start as beautiful hair starts begins from the inside.
However, do add some products containing hair nourishing ingredients to your daily routine to ensure better protection and care.
Vatika Honey and Egg Shampoo
This deep conditioning formula with the goodness of egg promotes soft, shiny hair. It also helps revitalise tired, dull looking hair.
Aroma Honey and Egg Yolk and Olive Oil Shampoo
Great for damaged hair, it protects the pH balance of the scalp, moisturises and restores hair’s natural shine.
Yoko Deep Intensive Treatment Hair Mask (with avocado)
Massage onto wet hair and leave on for 2-3 minutes before rinsing. Contains avocado oil to nourish, moisturise and improve the elasticity of hair.
Briogeo Curl Charisma
(Avocado Leave–In Defining Crème)
Great for wavy or curly hair, this defining cream makes hair easier to style while providing long lasting results. It also locks out frizz and adds body to hair.
WANT to avoid a bad hair day and walk out of your house with locks that are full of body and shine? There are many things we should and shouldn’t do on a daily basis to ensure hair looks and feels good.
Limit sun damage
Just like skin, hair too can suffer from the ill effects of the sun, becoming dry, brittle and unsightly after over exposure. To prevent sun damage, use a leave in conditioner regularly or apply a heat protectant spray with SPF when going to the beach or after a swim to coat and protect hair.
A hundred brush strokes a day isn’t necessary. Always be gentle when combing and brushing hair to remove tangles. Use a brush that’s suited to your hair type and always use a wide-toothed comb to gently comb wet, freshly washed hair.
There are also paddle brushes designed to detangle long hair and various round brushes to help you straighten, build body and volume or enhance waves.
Sleep on silk
Silk pillow cases don’t cause so much friction on hair as cotton, especially as you toss and turn your head during sleep. The result is less frizzy hair when you wake up in the morning and also hair that’s not so prone to breakage.
Wash in balance
Over and under washing both affect the quality of hair. If you have dry hair, you don’t need to shampoo every day as you will be stripping hair of its natural moisture. But if have oily hair or live in an environment that’s humid and polluted, a daily wash in lukewarm (not hot) water is necessary.
Keep it trimmed
Even if you’re trying to grow your hair, a regular trim is necessary to ensure hair grows well and stays healthy. A haircut every six to eight weeks is ideal to ensure split ends don’t form or get worse.
While it may be tempting to just gather your hair into a tight bun or ponytail during a bad hair day, do be mindful that doing this too frequently can damage hair and cause friction which leads to breakage and hair loss.
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