11 FOODS AND NATURAL REMEDIES FOR HEALTHY HAIR GROWTH
By Michelle Schoffro Cook
Hair loss affects both men and women. While genetics plays a role, there are other factors, including hormonal imbalances, an underactive thyroid gland, nutrient deficiencies and insufficient scalp circulation. In addition, there are many foods that offer vitamins and minerals that support healthy hair.
Here are the top 11 foods and natural remedies that can help boost healthy hair growth.
1. Get Enough Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are specific fats that are critical to the proper function of your body. Your body is not able to produce these fatty acids on its own, so it is necessary that you eat foods containing them.
Essential fatty acids from walnuts, flaxseeds, fish and avocado are great foods to eat for healthy hair.
2. Ramp Up Collagen Production With Vitamin C
Collagen surrounds the hair strands but as we age collagen breaks down, causing hair to be more vulnerable to breaking. The best way to boost collagen is not through some expensive medical procedure, it’s by getting more vitamin C.
Foods high in vitamin C include: citrus fruits, strawberries and red peppers. Supplementing with 250 mg daily can help boost collagen production which has the added bonus of reducing wrinkling.
3. Boost Bioton
Biotin, a water soluble vitamin of the B complex, encourages hair and scalp health. Dietary sources of biotin include nuts, brown rice and oats.
4. Boost Keratin Production with MSM
Methylsulfonylmethane aids in the production of keratin (a protein in the hair) while doing double-duty to strengthen hair follicles. In one study 100 percent of people who supplemented with MSM showed reduced hair loss and increased growth in only six weeks.
Leafy vegetables, such as Swiss chard, cabbage and watercress, contain a small amount of MSM. Raw vegetables contain a higher amount than cooked vegetables because heat causes some of the msm to volatilize. However, you still receive some when you eat cooked asparagus or beets. Those who like to eat alfalfa also receive MSM when ingesting its nutritious leaves.
5. Eat Iron Rich Foods
Iron is also essential for hair growth and can be found in blackstrap molasses, green leafy vegetables, leeks, cashews, dried fruits, figs, and berries. To help your body absorb iron, you’ll need enough vitamin C.
6. Give Your Hair A Mineral Boost
The minerals silica and zinc are also critical for hair growth. Take 500 mg of silica two times daily and 30 mg of zinc once daily.
Food sources of silica include cucumber, mango, green leafs, beans, celery, asparagus. Natural Organic silica is also found in horsetail herb. Among some of the foods high in zinc are pumpkin seeds, fresh oysters, brazil nuts, eggs, pecans.
7. Add The Herb Saw Palmetto Into Your Diet
A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that saw palmetto (serenoa repens) may increase hair growth in men. Hair growth improved in men taking 400 mg of a standardized extract of saw palmetto and 100 mg of beta-sitosterol (from saw palmetto) daily. Historically, saw palmetto has been used by herbalists for hair loss in both men and women.
8. Address A Possible Underactive Thyroid Gland
Hypothyroidism can cause thinning hair. Add sea vegetables like kelp, nori, dulse, kombu and wakame, all of which are rich in iodine may be helpful to balance this condition.
Avoid drinking tap water since it typically contains fluorine and chlorine, two chemicals that inhibit iodine absorption. You may also want to supplement with 100 mg or 1 mL of the herb bladderwrack (focus vesiculosus) daily. Work with a qualified holistic health care professional if you suspect a sluggish thyroid gland.
9. Rejuvenate Hair Follicles With B-complex Vitamins
100 mg daily of a B-complex supplement that includes biotin and vitamin B6 can reduce hair thinning by increasing scalp circulation and rejuvenating hair follicles.
10. Prevent Breakage With Vitamin E
Vitamin E is required to nourish damaged hair and to prevent breakage. It aids the body’s ability to manufacture keratin within hair strands to reduce breakage. Supplementing with 400 IU of vitamin E can be helpful to restore locks.
Some foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, dried apricots, cooked spinach and olives.
11. Boost Scalp Circulation With Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil has been traditionally used to increase circulation to the scalp. Add a few drops per dollop of shampoo or, better yet, add a few drops of rosemary to coconut oil and massage your scalp regularly.