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5 Nutrients for Healthy Hair Growth

• Mar 6, 2012

2. Protein

Proteins are part of every cell, tissue and organ in our bodies. We have 20 different types within our system. However, there are some essential proteins that are not naturally created by our bodies. These are the ones we have to make an effort to include in our daily intake. Most of us run to a protein treatment when our textures appear dull, before wondering if we’re eating enough of it on a daily basis. Although hair is “dead”, an essential component is protein! A deficiency can cause you to lose shine, definition, interfere with your moisture levels and ultimately result in stunted hair growth. Including whole grains, beans and legumes, eggs, nuts & seeds, lean meats, free-range or organic poultry will ensure your protein levels are in a healthy range.

3. Vitamins

Those of you suffering from scalp ailments, such as dandruff or constant buildup, may have a vitamin deficiency. Similarly to Omega‑3 Fatty Acids, a Vitamin A deficiency will affect your oil reproduction and overall scalp health. You can find Vitamin A in carrots, mangos, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach and collard greens; just to name a few.
A deficiency in Vitamin B may cause hair loss, excessive oil reproduction and premature graying. Eating things like whole grains, beans and lentils, potatoes and bananas will aid with restoring those deficiencies.

Vitamin C is what we count on for growth and cell repair. A deficiency can stunt your length retention and interfere with your scalp’s circulation and healing abilities. Including oranges, papaya, grapefruit, cauliflower and asparagus can help restore depleted levels of Vitamin C.

Vitamin E plays an important role in proper scalp circulation and the oil levels of your hair strands. A deficiency may cause overly dry, brittle hair and ultimately result in hair loss. Including avocados, nuts like almonds and hazelnuts, tomatoes and beets into your diet will help you maintain proper levels.

4. Minerals

Low levels of important minerals such as Iron, Potassium and Zinc can adversely affect the structural makeup of the hair. Your roots must receive mineral nourishment in order to perform the function of growing and maintenance. With a deficiency in these minerals, scalp tissue may break down and result in weakened damaged hair. You can control your intake of minerals by including rich greens like kale, brussels sprouts and spinach as well as corn, beans and fresh fruit into your daily diet.

Instead of carrying this long list of proteins, nutrients, vitamins and minerals and worrying about your possible deficiencies, it’s best to note that having a daily diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts will have all bases covered. I tend to juice most of these vegetables first thing in the morning to get my daily fix out of the way. A simple fruit cup will cover your daily serving of vitamins. I also throw flax seeds into my smoothies, oatmeal and yogurt to cover the nutrients. Instead of eating rice, try a rich whole grain like Quinoa instead. It actually cooks in less time! In the coming weeks, we’ll begin to discuss ways to gradually swap out our current eating habits with richer nutrient-rich alternatives.

5. Water

Oh, and last but not least, the most moisturizing and hydrating contributor to your hair’s health is water! Drinking half your weight in ounces (i.e. if you weigh 180 lbs, drink at least 60 ounces) on a daily basis will have you looking and feeling great in no time! I usually buy those big water bottles at Target that have the measurements so I can keep track of my intake. So the next time you’re wondering why your scalp is still dry or why your hair is so brittle, no matter what you seem to put in it, try breaking down your food plate and make sure you’re truly taking care of your body from the inside out. It’s true when they say, “You are what you eat!”

Fran is the author of HeyFranHey.com. Follow her on Twitter @heyfranhey.

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About Fran

I'm a natural hair, nutrition and fitness blogger from New York City. Battling a kidney related illness that doctors couldn't seem to fix, I became obsessed with alternative medicine. After months of researching and finally curing myself, it became quite evident that healthy resources in our urban communities were lacking. I began my health & wellness tumblr in Dec of 2010 as somewhat of a journal, hoping to shed some light on my journey to health as well as our disconnection with healthy living. It's been my goal to create a safe haven where our wellness concerns could be shared and hopefully cured, as naturally as possible.

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hyspin
hyspin
9 years ago

Ironically just got this food link as I was checking out this sit: http://youtu.be/3MvAM97VDE8

aleisha
aleisha
9 years ago

I’ve been considering incorporating fish oil in my daily vitamins. I think I will now

Cheryl
Cheryl
9 years ago

Everything was good until I got to the 1/2 your body weight in water. I eat a healthy Paleo diet and this much water just seems like overkill. May I ask? What are your sources for this recommendation?

Meryl Neemann
9 years ago

izoder yang?n yal?t?m

Aisa @ 4 Us Naturals
9 years ago

I think the math is a little off. Half of 180 is 90 oz of water not 60. Whew. Its still a lot of water! I need to amp up on b vitamins (without carbs) to prolong gray hair as long as possible.

C'est Moi, Samii
C'est Moi, Samii
9 years ago

Thank you Frannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn… Love this post. #AlwaysLearning

T.L
T.L
9 years ago

Correction: There are not 20 different types of proteins, but 20 different amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. If we only had 20 types of proteins in our body we wouldn’t be as complex of a species as we are!

Barbara
Barbara
9 years ago

1/2 body weight??? Just a note, drinking too much water can lead to water poisoning which leads to death. Don’t forget the old adage, “too much of a good thing” is not necessarily good.

marie jones
9 years ago

Hi Fran — Enjoyed your article and agree clean water and good (real) food are necessary for healthy, manageble hair. I have been using a shower water filter and am happy that my hair is much softer, shinier and retains the natural oils. Chlorine in tap water is really hard on your hair. It’s a strong disinfectant! I bought my shower filter at http://www.Best-ShowerFilter.com . It was not expensive AND I installed it myself. Easy to do.
Thanks for your info, too,
Marie

LiberianGirl
LiberianGirl
9 years ago

Great read!

J Johnson
J Johnson
9 years ago

Great info.….thanks so much.

Moshe Yannone
Moshe Yannone
9 years ago

Great article, I loosing some hair so I will definitely try it. Thanks

trackback

[…] Last week we discussed the importance of being aware of our nutrition and daily food intake. It’s important to assess what we are consuming, not only for the sake of our beauty regimens but also for our overall health. Eating processed, factory-made foods deprives us of essential nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals. We blame a lot of our beauty goals not being met on specific products and techniques, but our food plates are important factors contributing to those expectations. By incorporating more natural, healthier eating habits into our daily routines, we will see and feel incredible results as well… Read more »

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[…] to incorporate essential vitamins and nutrients that your body is unable to create on its own.  Last week we learned that our bodies need Omega‑3 Fatty Acids, Water, Protein, Minerals and Vitamins to be properly […]

Candice
Candice
8 years ago

Wow, it’s weird how trolls fixate on one things. According to the Mayo clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283), you should drink AT LEAST 8 eight-ounce glasses of water per day. 8 x 8 is 64. 64 oz is a half a gallon. But that is the MINIMUM that someone should drink per day. Drinking a gallon of water throughout the day is extremely good for you. Also Fran never suggested that someone chug a large amount of water in one sitting, which is what can lead to toxicity (but you probably have to drink 5 gallons at once to experience this).  Fran, I… Read more »

Tee tee
Tee tee
8 years ago
Reply to  Candice

I was thinking the same think. I have heard the minimum of 8 glasses of water per day before, so i didn’t even bat an eye lid. Of course if you are in hotter places, you will need more for sure. But, for me, at work, i drink easily 12 glasses, 8 of those being water, the rest is herbal / english tea. I didn’t read the water thing as in ones seating, so i am trying to figure out why some comments are up in arms with corrections and objections. Thank you for this fran, will save for another… Read more »

TINA SMITH
TINA SMITH
8 years ago
Reply to  Candice

NO ONE CARES ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK

Janeen
8 years ago

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Gudrun
8 years ago

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.

Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where you got this from. Much appreciated!

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Fantastic blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

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There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Thanks!

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Anyhow, I’m blown away by your concept here, I’ll certainly subscribe to
your RSS feed! Regards!

gigi
gigi
8 years ago

It’s hard at first until you get the hang of it, but eating raw vegan at the right balance provides the best of everything for your entire body, specifically hair — micro-nutrients. Even though there are those who will say otherwise, we *really* don’t need to consume meat or animal products at all. The very animals we’re eating don’t [by nature] eat themselves right… so? just sayin… I guess we’ve been taught the opposite so long, anything else sounds bizarre & foreign. I’d be all in, but I keep choosing shortcut, easy to eat stuff — need to focus

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7 years ago

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Joanne Washington
7 years ago

The information on this site is very well done. It is important that women get the right information to help their hair to thrive. thanks

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