Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hair Love: Great Looking Hair Begins Within
by: stayingalivemoma
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “You are what you eat” before.

Well, it’s more than just an old saying – it’s actually true!

Your hair – like the rest of your body – needs a certain amount of nutrients and vitamins in order to stay healthy, shiny and strong.

Depending on your lifestyle, there may be several factors that are prohibiting your hair from growth, causing fragility and brittleness, as well as dullness and lack of volume. However, there are ways to feed your hair back to health and get it back on track. Any changes you implement now will take anywhere from six months to a year before you see maximum results, so be sure you’re in it for the long haul!

Bad News for Your Hair

There are some elements that should be addressed, avoided or drastically reduced in order to nurse your hair back to health:

  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Hormonal changes or imbalances
  • Vitamin deficiencies/malnutrition
  • Over processing with heat and/or chemicals
  • Crash diets
Some of these factors can be easily stopped or changed, while others may take some time to correct. If you smoke, stop. It does damage to your entire body; skin, nails, organs, and yes, your hair. Too much stress is not good for anybody, so try to stay as stress-free as possible. Meditating, yoga or aerobic exercises are great ways to relieve stress! 

Lack of sleep can be attributed to stress, but there may be other underlying reasons as well. If you’re not getting the sleep your body needs, you’ll have more than just bags under your eyes. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your entire body and cause hair loss.

Both hormonal changes and vitamin deficiencies will take a little longer to correct. Most often, different diseases and conditions can contribute to hormonal imbalances. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can come from a number of things, but illness and poor diet will definitely cause hair breakage and slowed growth. Crash diets usually mean that you are giving up some nutrients and exchanging them for a large dose of another. In the end, crash diets will leave both you and your hair starving.

Foods to Eat for Gorgeous Hair

So by now you’re wondering what do you need to do in order to keep your hair looking diva-rific, right? By implementing a few small changes in your diet, you can have gorgeous hair in a matter of months!

  1. Walnuts: Full of Omega-3 fatty acids (which, by the way, your body doesn’t make, but needs in order to grow hair), walnuts help shield off sun damage as well as keep your natural hair color at its best. They also contain biotin, which prevents hair loss.

  1. Sweet Potatoes: Don’t wait till Thanksgiving to have these; sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that is part of your body’s natural process of making Vitamin A. How important is that? Every single cell in your body from your toenails to the strands on your hair needs Vitamin A to function. Low levels can lead to reduced scalp oils and itchy scalp with dandruff.

  1. Eggs, Chicken & Other Poultry: These foods are high in protein, which is extremely important to your hair. Why? Because your hair is actually about 97% protein. So, here’s some simple math. No protein, no hair growth. They also are high in zinc and iron. For women especially, iron deficiency equals hair loss because iron helps cells carry oxygen to your hair follicles.

  1. Blueberries, Kiwi, Strawberries & Tomatoes: Dive into these delicious fruits which are great sources of Vitamin C – necessary to circulation to the scalp and prevention of hair breakage. So go ahead and have that fruit salad!

  1. Spinach & Other Leafy Greens: Spinach also has a hefty supply of beta carotene, vitamin C and iron, as well as folate. These nutrients all contribute to keeping your scalp healthy and for circulation of your scalp’s natural oil. You can also try broccoli or kale instead of spinach.

  1. Salmon, Sardines, Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds: These tasty foods also come jam-packed with that precious Omega-3 fatty acid. Try to incorporate some into your diet daily for healthy hair cells and scalp.

Remember, your hair will be good to you if you treat it well. So often ladies, we are in a hurry to dress up our lovely tresses with moisturizers, gels, spritzes and sprays – all well worth it - but healthy hair really does start from within. So go and have yourself a Spinach Chicken Salad with Blueberries & Walnuts and feed that hair!

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