For some of us that have gone through a hair transplant, or are currently comparing whether the FUT or the FUE hair transplant technique is the best option for us, we might be wondering where it went all wrong and how did we lose our hair in the first place.
We all love the idea of eating takeaway food every night due. We all lead busy lifestyles and have a very scant amount of time to actually take care of our bodies. Have we ever thought what the ingredients (or lack of ingredients) in our fast food is doing to our hair? The lack of vitamins and nutrients in the fast food we consume is the real culprit. Not having sufficient vitamins and nutrients in our meals can cause our hair to be unhealthy, and even contribute to our receding hairlines.
Whilst what we eat is not the only factor that can contribute to our hair loss, it is the only factor we can control. The other factors such as our age and our genetics are things we are not able to change (for now), food IS something we can control.
Let’s have a look at some of the vitamins and nutrients that are important to healthy hair and aid in the prevention of hair loss.
Protein and hair regrowth
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to strong, healthy hair. In fact, some studies have shown that a lack of protein in the body can reduce the amount of hair growth and potentially lead to you losing your hair.
For most people in the western societies, this is not a problem due as we consume large amounts of meat on a weekly basis. But for those who are not meat eaters, protein can also be found in foods such as nuts and legumes.
Vitamin C and hair damage
Also known as L-ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in fruits and vegetables. Besides the benefits it has in hair restoration, it also assists with the protection against heart disease, aids in the absorption of iron, and is crucial in the creating of a protein called collagen which is important to the health of our hair. Some foods that contain a high level of vitamin C include Oranges, Red Peppers, Kale, Strawberries, and Broccoli.
Vitamin C can also assist in protecting against free radicals damage which blocks hair growth and accelerates the aging process of your hair.
For those who are wondering what exactly are free radicals, free radicals are the natural byproducts of chemical processes, such as metabolism. Our bodies are constantly under attack from free radicals and they have been found to be associated with human disease, including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even hair loss. According to Christopher Wanjek, a Bad Medicine columnist for Live Science, there may also be a link between free radicals and ageing. You can read more about free radicals in this Live Science article.
Vitamin D for fighting hair loss
Although the role that vitamin D plays in hair regrowth is still unclear, most research still alludes that having an insufficient amount of Vitamin D in your body is linked to hair loss.
There is a famous saying that goes, “we all need a little bit of sunshine in our life.” This is true when it comes to hair loss prevention as the sun is one of the best ways to get vitamin D into your body. But just like everything else, this needs to be done in moderation. Most research suggests about 15-minutes a day is ideal. You can also get a dose of Vitamin D from foods such as fatty fish and cod liver.
Vitamin A for growing hair and keeping scalp moist.
For any cell to grow, it requires Vitamin A, and it is no different when it comes to your hair. In fact, your hair is the quickest growing tissue in your body!
There are certain factors where are critical to healthy hair, including the creating of sebum which assists in avoiding the drying up of the scalp by creating an oily substance that moisturizes the scalp. Like everything else, too much of a good thing is not a good thing and some studies have suggested that too much Vitamin A can lead to hair loss. So ensure you do and consume everything in moderation. Foods which are rich in Vitamin A includes beef liver, carrot and sweet potato.
B- vitamins hair loss prevention
Biotin is critical for hair loss prevention and is often used as an alternative for hair loss treatment. Luckily for us, B-vitamins are contained in lots of food including meat products, eggs, dairy whole grains, and almonds.
Iron for hair loss
Iron is an important component of hemoglobin – the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen. It does many things in our bodies including hair regrowth. Anemia is the technical term for when the body has an insufficient amount of iron in our body, and this condition is more common in women due to several factors such as the blood loss from menstruation and the increased blood supply demands during pregnancy. Foods rich in include read meat, seafood, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
In is important to note that although most of these are available in supplement form, getting it from a whole food source is a much better option (unless you have been directed by a medical practitioner to do otherwise). Having large amounts of vitamins and minerals can have adverse effects to hair growth and your overall health, so prior to consuming any vitamin or mineral supplements, please consult with your medical practitioner on its suitability.