The DO's and DON'T's of Food For Hair Growth
A list of the best food for hair growth...and the worst foods for the health of your locks!
You know, if you put the wrong kind of gas in your car, the car’s not going to function right and the exact same can be said for your body. You are what you eat, as they say! Once you start thinking about food as fuel, the choices you can make are clearer and may make healthy food seem a bit more enticing!
We know that a high sugar diet can cause breakouts and spots on our skin. But, did you know that the type of foods we eat can have an effect on our hair’s condition and the rate it grows too?
Of course, genetics, hormones, and age have a major influence over our hair, but you can help counteract those factors by supplying it with the right nutrition. So, when it comes to luxurious locks what are we looking for?
You need foods high in things like Biotin, Vitamins B, C, D and E, Iron, and Omega 3. Why? Well, Biotin is touted as the go-to supplement for hair strength and growth by experts. Vitamin D can help stimulate lazy hair follicles and Vitamin E is renowned for its antioxidant activity so can help reduce oxidative stress in the scalp which in turn may prevent hair loss. Iron has been scientifically linked to loss of hair and Omega 3 is recognised as a natural anti-inflammatory so it can counteract any inflammation that may be causing the hair to shed.
So when it comes to specific foods to eat to help our hair to grow, what should we be consuming? Below you’ll find 3 types of foods to avoid if you want to grow a magical mane, and what alternatives you should be putting in your shopping cart instead…
First thing's first: Protein
Before we get specific, remember: hair is made of protein. So, if you’re not getting enough, your hair is at risk of becoming brittle, weak, and dry. In extreme cases, hair loss and restricted hair growth can occur. As a general rule for happy, healthy hair your diet needs to be balanced with foods like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and dairy. If you’re vegetarian, stock up high on legumes and nuts.
Eat Less: Big Fish
What? But fish contains Omega 3 which is essential for hair health, right? Yes, that’s right but some fish carry lots of mercury which is a heavy metal. High levels of mercury can not only lead to hair loss but can also be harmful to humans. The understanding is that the bigger a fish is in the natural world, the more mercury it’s going to contain. So, avoid fish like tuna, swordfish, and king mackerel.
Eat More: Little Fish
In order to get your optimal levels of Omega 3, you want to stay well-stocked on salmon, sardines, cod, and halibut (which also contains high levels of magnesium which is awesome for you too)! If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, make sure you’re taking an Omega 3 supplement daily to get your mesmerising mane.
Eat Less: Sugar
When you reach for that candy bar or donut, it may taste great momentarily but it causes your blood’s sugar levels to spike which tells the body to release insulin. Insulin then makes the body release an excessive load of androgen hormones. These hormones can cause your hair follicles to shrink, so could impact the risk of hair loss. It’s best to leave those sugary snacks alone if you want a bouncing barnet.
Eat More: Berries
Berries will give you your sugar fix naturally and are loaded with beneficial compounds that can contribute to hair health and growth. They’re high in Vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant and this can protect your hair follicles from free radicals (harmful molecules).
Vitamin C is also used by the body to produce collagen - a protein that strengthens the hair and prevents it from breakages. Just 1 cup of strawberries provides a whopping 141% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C! Yum.
Eat Less: Fast Food
Foods that are greasy, like fries and burgers, are high in saturated fats, and the hydrogenated oils will not only clog the pores up on your face but the ones on your scalp too! Unfortunately, greasy food will lead to greasy hair. If you’re going to struggle to leave your favourite fried food behind, maybe invest in an air fryer to reduce the oil amount used on the food.
Eat More: Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash
These vibrant orange-coloured vegetables can help you with your potato craving but also provide you with high doses of Vitamin A. The body needs Vitamin A to create sebum which acts as your natural conditioner. Without sebum, you’re likely to experience a dry and itchy scalp and brittle hair. Carrots and pumpkins are great here too!
Be careful not to overindulge on Vitamin A though as too much can have the reverse effect. Make sure you’re not taking a supplement as well as eating a diet rich in this vitamin.
Vegetarian or vegan? Read up on Vegetarian and Vegan Foods for hair growth here!
If you’re reading this blog because you're looking to combat your hair loss specifically, have a look at Cel’s Hair Stimulation Formula which encourages optimal hair growth. It includes Asparagus Stem Cells which support a healthy scalp, to promote thicker, stronger hair. Read more about the beauty and health benefits of asparagus, here.