Diet & Hair Growth
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Your diet is hugely important to the health of your hair, and the effects of your daily nutrition on its growth and appearance should not be underestimated. To help you understand this better, we will put hair growth and the energy needed to sustain it into perspective.
Your hair is comprised of the second fastest-growing cells in your body – intestinal cells being the first. To add to this, you have roughly 120,000 hairs growing on your scalp at any given time, all of which need to be supported. However, what may be the most challenging part of sustaining hair growth is this: hair is not a vital organ or tissue, and this means your body will never prioritize its nutritional needs. Due to its expendable nature, a nutritional imbalance will often show up first in the form of excessive hair loss.
Hair and scalp problems can arise from either a deficiency or an excess of nutrients in your diet, and in some cases nutrition alone can be the cause of hair loss. For example, in both our London and New York Clinics, we often see hair loss as the sole result of iron and ferritin (stored) iron deficiency. We have also seen hair loss from too much Vitamin A.
However, what many people have been led to believe is a ‘healthy diet’ often doesn’t include all of the elements needed for optimum hair growth, health and appearance. These include diets that consist of mainly of fruits, vegetables and salads, with only minimal amounts of protein and calories. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, diets that are high in protein and fat, with little or no carbohydrates (i.e. an Atkins-type diet). Your hair cells, as well as the cells throughout your body, need a balance of proteins, complex carbohydrates, iron, vitamins and minerals to function at their best.
For breakfast and lunch, we suggest including a portion of any primary protein (i.e. fish, chicken, lean meat, or 2 eggs) with a portion of complex carbohdrates. For example, whole wheat toast, potatoes (with skin), oats, barley, brown rice, or pasta.
To learn more about hair health and diet, please click through to one of the following pages: