It doesn't matter if you want your hair to grow long, or be soft and silky or to stop breaking, or even to quit thinning. You might want your hair to be straighter, curly without the frizziness and tangles. It doesn't matter your age or if you are a woman or a man. Everyone seems to want something different for their hair.
Many things we use or are found in our environment can cause hair problems. Acid rain and air pollution can contribute to the problems. As well as chemicals found in your house or office. According to https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/hair/protect-your-hair-from-pollution/ pollution can cause oxidation. “Oxidation (a result of free radicals created from UV rays and pollution) is one of the main culprits behind brassy, lacklustre hair. “If you have degradation of colour, it’s because of two reasons: one, keratin [is damaged] and two, oxidation of the dyes,” says Popescu. “For example, red becomes orange.” Oxidation damages the keratin protein structure that exists to protect your hair. When the keratin is damaged, your hair becomes more porous. Think of it like little holes in each strand of hair; when these holes exist, your hair loses the good stuff (think: hydration) and makes it easier for the bad stuff (like free radicals) to get in.”
I used this quote because of the way it explained the oxidation effects of pollution on your hair. However, this site advertises a hair product which they claim protects your hair from pollution. I have not tried this product, and am in no way associated with this company. If you wish to try the product I would speak with both your Dr. and your hairdresser or barber.
If you want to see if the Canadian city you live in is among the Top 10 for Air Pollution you can go to the Readers Digest Link https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/health/the-worst-canadian-cities-for-air-pollution/
The reasons for hair loss are many and varied and should always be discussed with your Dr. The following website discusses 21 reasons why you may be losing your hair. https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20727114,00.html
One of the websites I found discusses the possible link between zinc and healthy hair https://blog.viviscal.com/zinc-for-hair-growth/
This website states “To understand the link between zinc and hair growth, you should first know the connection between deficiency in zinc and hair loss. Some experts believe that zinc deficiency actually can lead to deterioration of the protein structure that makes up the hair follicle. This weakening of follicles can in turn cause hair shedding and hair loss.”
Nutrition for your Hair
On the HealthLine website, it gives a list of foods which are good for hair growth. In reviewing these foods, I noticed berries were listed. Berries are high in antioxidants, which help fight against the oxidation of cells in your body and hair follicles. For the complete list of foods go to this link https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-for-hair-growth
The following website gives the most comprehensive information on hair.
The following is a list of the areas this article covers:
NUTRITION AND HAIR HEALTH
- Trace elements
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Ageing effects
- The 10 top foods that are the foundation of healthy hair diet.
- Patient education
I would highly recommend this site it has great information. Some people may want to skip over some of the more technical and scientific explanations and just look at their list of Top 10 foods that are the foundation for a healthy diet.
The following are among the most common topics and suggestions I have found.
- Proper nutrition is vital for good hair it is important for strong healthy hair and to help protect against oxidation from pollution. Nutrition for your hair should include both internal and external applications such as honey, olive oil, coconut oil and other natural products in the form of pastes using yogurt and egg whites.
- Fenugreek is an herb similar to clover that is native to the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, and western Asia. The seeds are used in cooking, to make medicine, or to hide the taste of other medicine. Fenugreek seeds smell and taste somewhat like maple syrup. Fenugreek leaves are eaten in India as a vegetable. Use fenugreek for healthy hair and scalp. See https://www.rewardme.in/beauty/hair/8-amazing-benefits-of-fenugreek-seeds-for-hair Fenugreek is relatively safe but should be used with caution for anyone with allergies to chickpeas, green peas, or peanuts.
- Stress can play a major role in hair health make sure to take time to relax and enjoy life.
- Use of harsh chemicals and shampoos can do damage to your hair try using a clarifying shampoo for most times you wash your hair.
- Use an EDTA or chelating shampoo if you live in an area with very hard water or if you swim in pools with chlorine. Even saltwater pools have low levels of chlorine. This type of shampoo removes hard metals and chemicals from your hair and scalp. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-chelating-shampoo.htm
- From the websites https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-for-hair-growth#section12 and https://www.hairscientists.org/hair-and-scalp-conditions/nutrition-and-hair-health I found The top foods for healthy hair include:
a) Eggs with or without added omega 3. They are a source of biotin, protein and B12. With the omega 3 added they offer extra protection against oxidative stress occurring in your scalp and hair follicles.b) Berries especially dark-coloured such as blueberries, and blackberries are high in antioxidants.
b)Berries are loaded with compounds like antioxidants and vitamins that may promote hair growth. For example, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which aids collagen production and iron absorption, two factors that may promote hair growth.
c) Dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and swiss chard which are high in Vitamins A and C as well as iron and Calcium.
d) Fatty fish- the best fish are salmon and mackerel which provide omega 3 fatty acids, B12 and iron. Vegetarians or vegans can obtain omega 3 from eggs with omega 3 added, or plant-based omega 3 from flax seeds, macadamia nuts.
e) Sweet potatoes and carrots, which are high in beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A.
f) Avocados are high in vitamin E. This vitamin is an antioxidant which helps prevent oxidative stress to your hair follicles and scalp.
g) Nuts are packed with nutrients like vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids, all of which may promote hair growth and are linked to many other health benefits.
h) Seeds such as sunflower, flax and chia are rich in vitamin E and other nutrients that may promote hair growth. Some seeds also contain omega-3s, which have been shown to prevent oxidative stress in hair and your scalp.
i) Sweet peppers are a rich source of vitamins A and C, two nutrients that help ensure hair stays healthy.
j) Oysters- lack of zinc in the diet may promote telogen effluvium, a common but reversible form of hair loss caused by a lack of nutrients in the diet. Studies have shown that taking a zinc supplement can reverse the effects of hair loss caused by a zinc deficiency. However, taking too much zinc could also promote hair loss. That’s why getting zinc from foods like oysters may be better than taking supplements since foods provide zinc in small but healthy doses.
k) Shrimp are a great source of protein, B vitamins, zinc, iron and vitamin D, which may aid hair growth. They also provide a small amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
l) Beans like kidney, soya beans and lentils which provide a great plant-based source of protein, which is essential to hair growth. Like oysters, beans are a good source of zinc, which aids the hair growth and repair cycle. They also provide many other hair-healthy nutrients, including iron, biotin and folate. On top of all these benefits, beans are highly versatile and inexpensive, which makes them an easy addition to the diet.
m) Meat is a great source of protein, which is essential for healthy, strong hair. Red meat, in particular, is rich in iron, which may aid hair growth.
What you eat is very important for overall nutrition and for the health of your hair.
I hope these suggestions help. Remember to speak to your Dr. and/or nutritionist as well as your hairdresser or barber before starting any new product on your hair.