A Balanced Formula
If you think great hair starts with your shampoo and conditioner, you’re not alone. Most people think great products = great hair, but whilst quality hair care products are critical, the most important hair care doesn’t happen in the shower. Every long, thick, luscious mane starts in the kitchen with the right nutrition for healthy hair.
That’s why we’ve invited expert nutritionist Lizzy Cangro to explain the five nutrients you need for your most marvelous flow—and the foods that deliver.
“Babe, how do I get my hair to grow faster?” my boyfriend questioned, as he gazed in the mirror at his awkward stage hair. I won’t lie; it takes me aback to be asked about hair growth from someone other than my female clients.
As a nutritionist I see clients all the time wanting to look and feel their best. Women always ask questions about the best nutrition for healthy hair, but the guys? Never.
This got me thinking. What if my male clients have also wanted to know how to have amazing hair, but have been hesitant to ask? What if they don’t even know that long, thick, healthy hair is all about putting the right nutrients into their bodies in the first place?
If this sounds familiar, this article is for you, dude.
First, a disclaimer. Whilst we can encourage hair growth by eating a balanced diet with the right nutrients, the speed of this growth depends on other factors you cannot control, like age and genetics. So be patient.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into the top five nutrients for healthy hair—and the delicious food sources where you can get them.
As you’ll recall from this insightful post about damaged locks, our hair is made of keratin. This is one of the most important structural proteins in our bodies, but we need certain nutrients in order to produce it. For example, biotin (also known as vitamin B7) is essential for this process, which is why most biotin supplements are marketed for hair growth.
Research has shown that increasing our biotin intake helps improve hair growth if we are deficient in this B-vitamin; but it’s unlikely this is a problem if you have a balanced diet. To be on the safe side, make sure you’re eating plenty of biotin-rich foods like eggs, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
C Your Way To Healthy Hair
Whilst our hair is made of keratin, we need to be aware of another key protein to help keep our locks looking long and lush. Collagen provides essential amino acids for our bodies to make keratin. It also helps strengthen hair and promotes elasticity and moisture in our scalp for healthy hair growth.
Sure, you can take a supplement, but you can also get adequate collagen from your diet; bone broth, chicken, fish and eggs are excellent sources.
Cc Your Proteins With Vitamins
Meanwhile, make sure you also chow-down on plenty of berries, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables. That’s because these are great sources of vitamin C, an antioxidant the body uses to produce collagen.
Antioxidants help protect the body, including the hair follicles in our scalp, against the damaging effects of free radicals in our environment. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants in our bodies. It’s also awesome for helping the body absorb iron from our food. Let’s look at why that’s important, shall we?
Make Your Deposits
The reason Popeye loved his spinach? It’s loaded with iron, an essential mineral for our body’s
Make sure you’re getting enough iron by eating your greens, as well as meat, fish, shellfish, beans and lentils.
For A+ hair, you want to make sure you’re eating enough...well, A’s. Vitamin A to be exact. This fat-soluble vitamin is found in plant and animal food sources. For example, sweet potatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene; a type of vitamin A, which, as it turns out, also acts as an antioxidant.
Research suggests that vitamin A, whether in the form of beta-carotene or not, promotes the production of sebum, which moisturises our scalp, speeds up hair growth and encourages our hair to grow thicker. Pretty impressive, huh?
Quick Recap: Optimize Your Nutrition for Healthy Hair
A balanced diet that includes plenty of biotin, collagen, vitamin C, iron and vitamin A will not only make your hair look and feel amazing, it will boost your overall health and wellbeing so you can smash your workouts, crush your career and be the best man you can be.
Don’t leave it up to products alone for your life’s best hair whips. It’s time to get in the kitchen and start providing yourself with optimal nutrition for healthy hair.
Expert Nutritionist Lizzy Cangro
Associate Registered Nutritionist and Wellness Coach Lizzy Cangro holds masters in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and Nutrition from King’s College London. Her rebellious approach to health and wellness incorporates nutrition and mindset to help men & women lose stubborn fat, maintain energy, gain confidence and achieve greater wellbeing.
She can help you do the same. Book a free discovery call to work with Lizzy right here.
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