Α balanced diet can fight hair loss

Α balanced diet can fight hair loss

Healthy hair is an indication of good health and proper care. Most people with healthy hair maintain good eating habits.

The impact of nutrition on hair health is somewhat complex as the effect of malnutrition is manifested slowly and is usually accompanied by other conditions such as certain diseases, heredity, medications, hormonal disorders, psychological stress, ageing etc. However, research clearly shows that hair health is inextricably linked to nutrition and that nutrient deficiencies are clearly linked to hair loss.

That is why diet is always a part of hair restoration therapy. Technically the process by which nutrition affects hair health is the following one: nutrition supplies and supports the body at both energy and structure levels. Hair needs other “building blocks” (proteins, minerals, trace elements etc.), derived from nutrition, to grow in a healthy way.

A percentage of the food intake is used by the body to meet its energy needs (dynamic, thermal, kinetic etc.), while part of the energy is used for structural development needs. The conversion of food into energy and building blocks is achieved in two ways:

  • through enzymes - coenzymes and hormones produced by the body
  • through the use of vitamins that are not produced by the body (except D) and thus must be taken from the diet

Nutritional recommendations for healthy and strong hair

The main nutritional factors associated with hair loss are proteins, B vitamins, vitamins A, C, E as well as minerals such as iron, zinc and copper.

Proteins: Proteins are a structural component of body tissues. A diet poor in protein intake leads the body to receive proteins from hair follicles and this is achieved by forcing hair to go into telogen phase, which is the last phase of the hair's life cycle. This condition results into serious hair loss which becomes apparent in 3-4 months.

B vitamins:

B5: makes hair shiny, strong and elastic while prevents hair loss

B12 and B6: responsible for the transport of oxygen and blood to the follicle and hair. They help hair loss prevention

B1 and B2: they nurture hair follicles and prevent hair loss

balanced diet prevents hair loss and keeps hair healthy

Folic acid: Folic acid plays a key role in the reproduction of cells including hair

Biotin: Biotin is another element associated with hair loss. Biotin is responsible for a number of enzymatic reactions and is necessary for the proper metabolism of proteins, fatty acids and carbohydrates. Therefore, poor metabolism of nutrients can lead to poor nutrition of the follicles.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps in the production and maintenance of collagen, which is a connective component of tissues and hair follicles. This vitamin is also a powerful antioxidant and it enhances cells’ health by preventing hair’s premature aging.

Vitamin E: This vitamin promotes the stability of cell membranes and acts as a powerful antioxidant that promotes hair health.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A (beta-carotene) helps in the maintenance of epithelial health

Zinc and Copper: These two elements are very important for hair health as they are involved in protein synthesis. Zinc plays a very important role in the synthesis of DNA and RNA which leads to the normal formation of hair follicles. Zinc also helps cell membranes stabilization.

Iron: Iron is the most important element for achieving hair health. Hair loss is one of the most common features of anemia. Although it is not completely clear the way that iron is related to hair health, it is likely that in the case of low iron the body makes the supply of oxygen to the vital organs a priority by depriving it of other functions such as hair nurturing.

Water: Catalytic is also the role of water. Water is essential for the transportation of the nutrients that the hair needs to stay healthy. People with chronic dehydration experience hair loss. Statistical surveys show that people who suffered hair loss consumed 1.5 fruit/day, very little or no salad, unsatisfactory water intake and they skipped at least one meal/day.

Top 10 foods to consume to have healthy hair

  1. Salmon (contains protein, omega 3, iron, B12)
  2. Spinach and broccoli (contains vitamins A and C)
  3. Pulses (containing protein, iron, zinc and biotin)
  4. Nuts (containing zinc and omega-3 fats)
  5. Poultry (containing high biological protein and iron)
  6. Eggs (containing proteins, biotin and B12)
  7. Enhanced whole grain breakfast cereals (containing zinc, iron and B vitamins)
  8. Milk and yogurt (containing whey casein and vitamins)
  9. Carrots (containing vitamin A)
  10. Oysters (containing zinc)

To sum up, we would say that in order to have healthy and strong hair a balanced diet is required , which must become a way of life.

Anna Kompou,

Nutritionist-Dietitian

Advanced Nutrition