You are what you eat – this is true when it comes to hair growth. What you consume can greatly affect the growth and appearance of your hair. Safe to say, if you eat poorly, you can expect your hair to be dry, frizzy, and prone to breakage.
With that being said, if you want your hair to be beautiful and shiny – just like those in commercials – then you need to consume these 10 essential nutrients for thick, healthy hair.
Zinc is a trace element that can be found in meat, shellfish, seeds, legumes, eggs, and nuts, to name a few. How much zinc you have in the body is important as it can dictate hair health. A study by researchers from the San Diego Children's Hospital and Health Center has shown that a deficiency can lead to hair loss (alopecia). Likewise, zinc supplementation was enough to foster hair regrowth in affected people.
Vitamin D is an important substance that boosts immunity. It can also stimulate cell growth and enhance skin health as well. It can also promote hair growth as it can help drive the creation of hair follicles. Of course, the more follicles you have, the thicker your hair will be!
Vitamin D is a substance that can be easily obtained from most foods. Good sources include tuna, salmon, mackerel, beef liver, egg yolk, and cheese.
Having the right intake of selenium – 55 micrograms daily – is essential for hair health. You can easily get the recommended dietary allowance of this nutrient simply by eating chicken, turkey, pork, beef, fish, or brazil nuts.
It’s important to be careful about eating selenium-rich fare though. If you go beyond 400 micrograms, you may suffer from Selenium toxicity, where symptoms include hair loss, fatigability, and foul breath, to name a few.
More than just influencing hair growth (especially in the right amounts), Selenium can help prevent the onset of gray hair as well. A study conducted at the University of California – Los Angeles has shown that selenium supplementation can help bring the hair back to its former color.
Also known as False Daisy, Eclipta Alba is a plant that belongs to the sunflower family. More than just being a quaint flower, it may hold the promise towards better hair growth.
Its capability was proven in a study by Datta, et al. where the researchers applied Eclipta Alba extract to the affected mice. Surprisingly, the subjects demonstrated better hair growth after a few weeks.
To enjoy Eclipta Alba’s hair growth benefits, you can take an oral supplement of this extract. You can also make use of a formulation that can be applied on your scalp.
This extract, as the name suggests, is obtained from wine grape seeds. They have usually crushed seeds that are packaged in either powder, tablet, or capsule forms.
Whatever form you wish to take, know that grape seed extract can help delay hair loss – and graying as well. This is due to its high antioxidant content, which can help fight free radicals. These damaging substances are usually acquired through exposure to pollution and UV rays, to name a few. Without grape seed extract antioxidants, free radicals are free to damage the cells – including the hair cells – bringing about hair loss.
With consistent use, grape seed extract may help make your hair healthy in as little as 3 to 4 months.
Horsetail is a plant that boasts of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Because of these properties, it has been used as a cure for wound and urinary infections, to name a few.
Horsetail extract is good for the mane because it contains several nutrients that help promote hair growth. One is silicon, which strengthens the hair strands and gives them their hypnotizing shine. It also contains selenium (as discussed above), as well as manganese and magnesium. Low levels of these two nutrients have been associated with slow hair growth.
Horsetail extract is a dried herb that can be taken as a supplement – or a tea even! It can also be directly applied to the hair as needed.
Rosemary is not only good for cooking, it can work wonders for your hair as well. It can help improve circulation, which provides more nutrients to the strands so they don’t easily fall off.
Apart from curbing hair loss, rosemary can help address other hair issues, such as graying and dandruff.
You can massage rosemary oil directly onto your scalp – or you can add a few drops to your favorite shampoo. You can also opt for a rosemary leaf supplement so you can enjoy its other health benefits as well.
Saw palmetto, or the dwarf palm plant is a species found in the southeastern United States. It has been used by Native Americans for several millennia because of its ability to help reduce inflammation and improve urinary functions. Scientifically speaking, saw palmetto is being used to improve prostate health in men.
While these are already very impressive, there’s even more to saw palmetto. Now, its supplements are being used to enhance hair growth as well. A study in mice has shown that saw palmetto extracts can help prevent hair loss – and promote hair regeneration in the long run.
Spirulina is an edible ‘bacteria’ found in most bodies of water. Before you get taken aback by the fact that it is a microbe, know that it comes with a variety of health benefits.
Apart from protecting and ‘rejuvenating’ the skin, spirulina can help promote hair growth. This product, which is available in supplement or powder forms, contains several nutrients that boost hair health. They include protein and fatty acids – two important nutrients that can help your strands become thicker and stronger.
Curcumin is a bright yellow substance known as the main ingredient of turmeric. It has been used in India for more than 4 millennia because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
More than just making foods more delicious, the curcumin in Turmeric can help make your hair grow better. When applied directly to the scalp, curcumin can rejuvenate the scalp – thereby allowing your hair to grow longer. It also helps make the strands stronger so they are better resistant to breakage – a factor that can greatly contribute to hair loss.