A thick lock of hair is usually a sign of youth and health on first impressions. Without a head full of thick hair, a person can sometimes look older than they really are. Sometimes it depends on your hair type as well, because if your hair strands are coarser, it will generally make your hair look thicker. I myself have very fine hair, and if I don’t take care of it, they can sometimes look limp and make me look really dull. Taking care of your hair doesn’t just mean making sure you are using the right shampoo or applying the right products; what you eat or don’t eat will affect the condition of your hair too.
Three different hair cycles
There are three different phases your hair goes through in your lifetime. There are known as the Anagen cycle (growth phase), Catagen cycle (transition phase) and the Telogen cycle (rest stage). Most of your hairs on your head are in their Anagen stage, which lasts from 2-8 years on your head. The Catagen stage typically lasts 2-3 weeks, and the Telogen phase lasts around 2-4 months. While most hair follicles on your hair are always going through transitions, for a healthy normal head, 90% of them should be in their Anagen stage and only 10% should be in either the Catagen or Telogen stage.
Normal hair loss
It is normal for people to lose 50-100 strands of hair every day and upon washing, sometimes you can lose up to 250 strands. But all that is normal because even if you don’t wash your hair or tug at it, those hairs will still fall off on their own. Unusual hair loss can sometimes be attributed to heredity, pregnancy, and medical problems such as thyroid disorders, anemia, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Physical or emotional stress can also be one of the reasons why a person may lose a large amount of hair overnight.
Reasons for unhealthy hair
Always styling and manipulating your tresses may prove to be more harm in the long run even though the hair loss during these inflictions is temporary. Drying your hair too roughly when it’s wet, daily blow drying hair, and tying your hair too tightly on a daily basis tend to break your hair and make it brittle over time, and in the long run may add to premature hair loss. It’s best to let your hair breathe once in a while without too many styling methods.
Foods to improve hair growth
If you are born with fine or thick hair, improving your diet will not drastically change your hair type, but rather, it will significantly improve the growth of new and healthy hair in time to come. People often overlook ways to improve the health of their hair through diets because they tend to forget that it is the follicles and condition of the scalp that determines the growth of hair. Here are some of the foods to eat to improve the condition of your scalp and future hair growth.
- Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are needed to provide hair with a shiny and moisturized outlook. Having sufficient omega 3 fatty acids will ensure a healthy scalp and will help prevent dry and brittle hairs that are prone to breakage. Foods that contain omega 3 are salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds and fish oil.
- Vitamins A and C
This helps your body produce sebum secreted by hair follicles and acts like a natural conditioner for your hair. Foods that have vitamins A and C are kale, carrots, broccoli and brussels sprouts.
Iron improves blood circulation and in turn promotes healthy cell growth. This works for a better quality hair growth as well. Foods that contain iron include dark, leafy greens, beans, artichoke, liver, and egg yolks.
- B vitamins
Foods that are high in all the B vitamins promote better and healthier skin. Having all the right nutrients your body needs to improve the condition of your skin and scalp will result in healthier and better hair quality.
Zinc is a powerful anti-oxidant that will improve the general being of your skin and stimulate hair growth for your scalp. Foods contain zinc include seafood, nuts and beans, and poultry.
Hair care from inside out
The health and condition of our hair is very much dependent on the scalp which is also part of our skin. I think the best way one can ensure healthy hair is through diet, as that is the only method foolproof enough compared to applying external products. Apart from heredity, prevention of hair loss and unhealthy hair is not as impossible as it seems. If your body is healthy from the inside, it should reflect on the outside and vice versa. So the next time when you decide on your meals, think of your hair!