Image of avocado on toast with eggs, seeds, and healthy hair nutrients. Taken from Pexels

Jun 26, 2024

Alright, let's get real for a moment. We've all had those days when we're just casually going about our business, and suddenly, it hits us like a ton of bricks—more hair than usual seems to be waving goodbye as we lather up in the shower or run a brush through our tresses. Cue the panic, the frantic Google searches, and the desperate attempts to salvage what's left of our once-enviable mane.

But here's the thing: hair shedding, to some extent, is totally normal. We shed, we regrow—it's all part of the grand cycle of life, right? Well, mostly. While it's true that losing a few strands here and there is par for the course, there comes a point where you start to wonder if your scalp is staging a mass exodus without your consent.

Enter the quest for the secret sauce to hair health. Spoiler alert. It's not just about slathering on the latest miracle serum or stocking up on supplements that promise to turn your locks into hip-length strands overnight. Nope, sometimes the answer lies in something a little more basic, a little more fundamental. Yep, you guessed it. We're talking about food.

Welcome to our ultimate guide on nourishing your locks from the inside out and putting a stop to hair loss once and for all. Buckle up, buttercup, because we're about to embark on a journey through the tantalizing world of hair-boosting foods, nutrient-packed superstars, and kitchen staples that double as hair heroes.

If you're ready to bid adieu to shedding strands and hello to a mane that's worthy of a shampoo commercial, grab a snack (preferably one that's good for your hair, of course), settle in, and let's dive headfirst into the delicious world of healthy hair nutrition. Trust us, your locks will thank you later.

How much hair shedding is normal?

Let's be real. Everyone loses hair. It’s a part of life, like that one ex you can't seem to forget. But what’s the deal with hair shedding? Well, your hair goes through a cycle: anagen (growth), catagen (transition), telogen (rest), and exogen (shedding). Most of us lose about 50 to 100 hairs a day. Yup, you read that right! That’s about 0.001% of your hair. Unless you're seeing clumps of hair everywhere, there's no need to freak out. It’s just the way of life. 

While normal shedding is, well, normal, some days it feels like you’re shedding more than a golden retriever. What gives? Factors like diet, stress, genetics, and hormones play a huge role in how much hair you lose. Remember that time you binged on junk food for a week? Yeah, your hair remembers too. The same goes for those stress-induced breakdowns and genetic quirks. Balancing your diet and managing stress are both key to keeping that mane on point. In other words, put down the Ben & Jerry’s with the heartbroken Netflix binges. Your hair won’t thank you for that. 


Nutritional deficiencies and hair loss

You know how your mom always told you to eat your veggies? She was onto something. Nutrient deficiencies, especially in iron and vitamin D, can lead to more hair shedding than you signed up for. Iron helps carry oxygen to your hair follicles, and vitamin D is a saving grace for growing out your hair. If you’ve been slacking on your greens, it’s time to step up your game. Smoothie, anyone?

The impact of nutritional deficiency on your hair

Alright, let’s spill the tea on how nutrition (or lack thereof) can totally mess with your hair game. Your hair health and growth speed depend on a cocktail of factors, including:

1) Age: Unfortunately, time doesn’t just affect your dance moves, but your hair, too.

2) Overall health: If you’re not feeling 100%, your hair probably isn’t either.

3) Genetics: Thanks, Mom and Dad.

4) Environmental exposure: Pollution, sun, and all that jazz.

5) Medications: Some meds can be real hair villains.

6) Diet: This is where you have the power to shine.


How diet influences hair health

While you can't turn back time or rewrite your genetic code, your diet is something you can control. Vitamins and minerals from food play an important role in the hair follicle growth cycle and cellular turnover. Translation? Your hair needs good nutrition to stay fab. 

When your diet lacks the necessary nutrients, it can lead to hair loss. Here are some key nutrients you don’t want to miss out on:

Vitamin B12: Essential for red blood cell production, which feeds your hair follicles.

Vitamin D: Promotes healthy follicle growth.

Biotin (Vitamin B7): Vital for hair strength and growth.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Helps cells function properly.

Iron: Carries oxygen to your hair roots.


What foods to eat to stop hair loss? Let’s take a look. 

Alright, now let's talk about the goodies that can help you eat your way to Rapunzel-like locks. Here’s the lowdown on some hair-loving foods that you do NOT want to miss out on. 

Eggs: Packed with protein and biotin, these bad boys are hair growth champions. Protein is super important for hair growth because hair follicles are mostly made of protein. Lack of protein in the diet can result in hair loss. Biotin is crucial for the production of keratin, a protein that makes up the structure of hair, skin, and nails. Plus, eggs are versatile—you can whip them into an omelet, scramble them, or enjoy them boiled. How do you like your eggs in the morning? We like ours that BOOST our hair. 

Spinach: This leafy green is full of iron, vitamins A and C, and folate. Iron is vital because it helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your hair follicles, which is essential for growth and repair. Vitamin A helps your skin glands produce sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes your scalp and keeps your hair healthy. Spinach is basically a hair-boosting salad in a bowl. Throw it into a smoothie, sauté it with garlic, or enjoy it fresh in salads.

Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, this fish is a hair superhero. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, which means they can help if you have inflammation that's causing hair shedding. These healthy fats also keep your scalp healthy and promote shiny, strong strands. Plus, salmon is an excellent source of protein, selenium, and vitamin D3, which can help in maintaining strong hair. Grill it, bake it, or toss it in a salad.

Sweet potatoes: Loaded with beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. This helps your scalp produce the oils it needs to stay healthy. A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to a dry, itchy scalp and dull hair. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of antioxidants, which can help protect hair follicles from damage. You can bake them, mash them, or even make sweet potato fries—now that’s a tasty way to grow your hair. Sign us up!

Avocados: These green gems are full of vitamin E and healthy fats that keep your hair moisturized and strong. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your hair from oxidative stress and damage. Avocados also contain biotin and fatty acids that nourish the scalp and promote hair growth. Spread some avocado on toast, blend it into a smoothie, or enjoy it as guacamole with some (healthy-ish) chips. The choice is yours. 

Nuts and seeds: Especially almonds and sunflower seeds, which are packed with vitamin E, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients play a key role in protecting hair from sun damage and promoting healthy hair growth. Zinc keeps the oil glands around hair follicles working properly, and a deficiency can lead to hair loss. Selenium is another essential trace element that supports hair growth. Snack on a handful of nuts, sprinkle seeds on your salad, or mix them into your yogurt.

Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are bursting with antioxidants and vitamins that support hair growth. Vitamin C in berries helps with collagen production, which strengthens the hair to prevent it from becoming brittle and breaking. The antioxidants also help protect hair follicles against damage from free radicals. Add them to your cereal, blend them into a smoothie, or just eat them fresh.

Greek yogurt: Full of protein and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), it helps with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth. Pantothenic acid is often found in hair care products for its role in hair health and growth. Greek yogurt also contains probiotics, which can help create a healthy environment for hair growth. Enjoy it plain, mix it with fruit, or use it as a base for smoothies.

You don’t have to overhaul your entire diet to get healthier hair. Small changes can make a big difference. Start your day with a smoothie packed with spinach, berries, and Greek yogurt—or snack on nuts and seeds instead of chips. Add avocado slices to your salad or toast. Dinner? Think salmon and sweet potatoes. Easy peasy, we promise you it’s not as hard as it seems!

By adding these delicious and nutritious foods to your diet, you'll be well on your way to maintaining healthy hair and maybe even achieving those advert-ready locks you've always dreamed of. Remember, a balanced diet isn't just good for your body—it's a game-changer for your hair too.


Hydration and hair shedding

Hydration isn't just about quenching your thirst after a hot yoga class. Drinking enough water is essential for your scalp and hair health. It keeps your hair hydrated from the inside out, which means less breakage and more shine. And hey, if plain water bores you, go for water-rich foods like cucumbers, oranges, and strawberries.


Supplements for hair health

Sometimes, even with the best diet, we might miss out on some essential nutrients. That’s where supplements come in. Biotin, zinc, and iron supplements can give your hair the extra boost it needs. But remember, it’s always best to get nutrients from food first. Supplements should be your backup, not your main game plan—so stay on track with your food, and your hair will shortly follow (please, hair Gods!). 


Lifestyle changes for hair growth

Healthy hair isn’t just about what you eat. It’s about how you live. Smoking and excessive alcohol can sabotage your hair goals. So, if you’re serious about getting those luscious locks, it might be time to cut back. Managing stress is another biggie. Yoga, meditation, or even a good laugh with friends can keep those stress levels in check and your hair on point.


Seeking professional advice

If you've tried everything and still find more hair in your brush than on your head, it might be time to seek professional help. Trichologists and dermatologists can offer personalized advice and treatments tailored to your hair’s needs. Sometimes, an expert’s touch is just what you need to get back on track—and it could be something as small as your sleeping pattern…you never know!


Eat your way to healthy hair 

So there you have it, girlies! The secret to a healthy hair routine isn't hidden in a pricey bottle—it's right there in your kitchen. By eating the right foods, staying hydrated, and making a few lifestyle changes, you can stop hair loss and flaunt the luscious locks you’ve always dreamed of.

Think of your diet as your hair’s best friend. When you feed it nutrient-rich foods like eggs, spinach, salmon, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, berries, and Greek yogurt, you're not just satisfying your taste buds—you’re giving your hair the fuel it needs to grow strong, shiny, and breakage-free.

Remember, beauty starts from within, so treat your body well, and your hair will follow suit. Now, go on and eat your way to healthy hair. Here's to you and your journey to becoming the definition of ‘you are what you eat’—one delicious bite at a time!