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A balanced diet for healthy hair



Is clean eating and ditching those processed foods part of your new year resolutions? Rissa looks at the vitamins and foods that are essential for healthy hair.

A balanced diet should provide all the vitamins and protein you need. But which are the most important ones for healthy hair and how should we make sure we are getting enough?

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is vital for our health generally as well as healthy hair.

Rissa explains, “Because our bodies cannot store it, we must make sure we have it on a daily basis. Eat a variety of different colored fresh fruit and vegetables every day to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C. Freshness is important because vitamin C is easily lost from food through overcooking and storage.”

Iron

Vitamin C is also important for hair health because it enables us to absorb iron. A lack of iron (anemia) can cause hair loss, dry and brittle hair and slow growth. Red meat, spinach and lentils are good sources of iron.

Loss of blood, illness and pregnancy can be causes of anemia says Rissa. If you notice thinning hair or it isn’t growing at the rate it used to ask your doctor to test your iron levels as these can be symptoms of anemia. Always see your GP if you think you may have an iron deficiency and before taking supplements.

B vitamins

Complex B vitamins play a role in hair growth especially vitamin B7 (biotin) and B12 are important to strengthen and condition the hair.

B vitamins can be found in 100% whole grains, meat, fish, whole eggs, nuts and avocados.

Protein

Your hair also needs protein to maintain its strength, elasticity and ability to grow says Rissa. This is because hair is mainly made of a protein called keratin, so a lack of protein will make your hair brittle and more likely to fall out before it’s reached its full growing length.