Cause of unhealthy hair/dandruff/hair fall:
Hair fall and baldness are increasingly becoming a problem for most people who love to eat junk food, follow an unhealthy eating pattern and have a stressed lifestyle. Hair fall can also be caused by anxiety, insomnia, hair abuse, or excessive use of chemicals like bleaching treatments, perming and coloring. Soft drinks, snacks like fried, overcooked junk snacks, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine have detrimental effects on the nutrients that enhance hair growth. Stress, tension, some medications, and poor dietary habits are known to retard hair growth.
Eating right, exercising, reducing stress and getting plenty of sleep, will help you maximize your hair growth potential. Also, incorporating healthy foods in your day-to-day diet will lead to a difference in hair.
Include the following in your diet for healthy hairs:
Carbohydrates - These are an essential source of energy and help in the growth of body tissues, hair. So, it is important to consume more complex carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and brown rice rather than simple sugars and white flours. Carbohydrate-rich foods are a good source of B complex vitamins that are vital to healthy hair.
Protein- Protein provides strength to the shaft of the hair and reduces the chances of hair fall by snapping and splitting. Inadequate protein intake over a lengthy period can cause major hair fall, which will affect its texture and quality. Foods high in protein are soy, tofu, and dairy products like milk, curd, paneer, cheese, nuts, oilseeds, beans and pulses.
Essential fatty acids – This aids dry and brittle hair and improves the texture. Essential fatty acids from vegetable oils, whole grains, legumes, fresh nuts and oilseeds, spirulina, flaxseed oil, and pumpkin seeds.
Vitamin A Vitamin A is essential for hair growth and a healthy scalp. Beta-carotene is found in green and yellow vegetables and fruits, sweet potatoes, broccoli, apricots.
Vitamin E Vitamin E increases oxygen uptake and improves circulation, thereby improving hair health and growth. Add E to your diet by consuming foods like avocados, rice bran, nuts, dark green vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Vitamin K This lesser-known vitamin helps to maintain healthy hair. Food sources of Vitamin K include dairy foods, figs, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, dark green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, rye, soybeans, wheat and yogurt.
Vitamin B To ensure that your hair is healthy and does not split include foods rich in the different B vitamins. These include whole grains, beans, lentils, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and tomatoes. Biotin deficiency has been linked to hair loss. Foods high in biotin are brown rice, cracked wheat, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds and walnuts. Deficiency of B complex vitamins can lead to greasy hair, dandruff, poor hair growth and grey hair.
Vitamin C Vitamin C is important for good circulation, hair growth and hair color. If you have enough vitamin C you will have strong, supple strands of hair that do not split. Good sources of vitamin C are all citrus fruits like oranges, lime, lemon, berries, and vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, tomato, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables and red peppers.
Iron – This carries oxygen to the hair. Without enough iron, hair and its follicles are starved of oxygen. This means that the goodness in the root of your hair is much less effective along the length of the strand. You can increase your iron intake by eating dark green vegetables, whole grains, and garden cress seeds or by adding iron supplements under supervision.
Potassium Banana is the best source for potassium, which is important in nutrient transfer through cell membranes.
Zinc - Zinc builds hair protein and thus plays a vital role in maintaining good hair condition. Zinc stimulates hair growth by improving immunity. Its deficiency often results in poor hair growth and considerable hair loss. Natural Sources of zinc are legumes, mushrooms, non-fat dry milk, spinach, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.
Lifestyle changes that need to be followed:
1. Along with a healthy hair diet, it is important that you exercise properly as it will ensure that there is proper blood flow to your scalp and will help in the growth of hair.
2. Treat your hair delicately. Avoid unnecessary brushing, combing, or handling. Use a soft, round bristle brush.
3. Have a weekly scalp massage to provide stimulation to the hair follicles.
4. Have regular trims to eliminate split ends and allow the hair to look and feel healthier.
5. Get plenty of rest and sleep to allow your body to grow hair.