Hair loss is a big problem for some people, and can sadly be a source of embarrassment and anxiety for sufferers. While there can be a multitude of reasons for hair loss, including gender, genetic factors, illness, mites living in hair follicles, poor blood circulation, nutritional deficiencies, diabetes, thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases and even excessive stress, there are important nutrients we can include in our diet to protect our hair from falling out.
Friends and clients who have just had a baby often complain to me that their once lustrous, thick and shiny pregnancy hair seems to shed more two to three months after their child is born. This is perfectly normal as various hormonal changes block normal hair shedding during pregnancy. It’s also normal for women to notice their hair thinning as they get older, and especially post-menopause.
But for all of us, it’s perfectly normal to lose between fifty and one-hundred hairs everyday.
So what can we do about thinning or balding hair? Paying attention to the nutrients and foods going into our body is one of the first steps to take. Avoiding fasting and yo-yo dieting is SO important to avoid developing nutritional deficiencies that lead to thinning hair. Low-calorie diets tend to lack nutrients like zinc, iron, biotin, essential fats and vitamin A, and can actually cause hair loss. Crash diets that cause us to lose weight very quickly, can also affect our hair growth cycle, with abnormal amounts of hair shedding only becoming obvious a few months later. A well-balanced diet should reverse the situation.
Here are my top foods for preventing hair loss and improving growth, and many feature in my recipes on the site 🙂
1. Protein-rich quinoa, beans, legumes and almonds
2. Walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds for their essential fatty acids.
3. High-flavonoid berries for their antioxidants.
4. Biotin-rich foods including sunflower seeds, oats, lentils and green peas.
5. Leafy green veggies such as spinach and kale
6. Sulphur-rich cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
7. Fermented soy foods like tempeh, miso and natto may block the formation of dihydrotestosterone, a hormone linked to the hair loss process.