Hair loss. Is there anything that yells AGE louder than a receding hair line? May wrinkles, but it is probably a close tie. The single most common cause of hair loss is genetics. You can’t change your genes, but you may be able to improve or slow your hair loss.
If your body is missing important vitamins and other compounds, your hair may fall out, look dull, or get brittle.
Making changes to your diet can help you to slow or even stop non-genetically caused hair loss. Plus, you will feel and look better, so it is a win-win proposition.
Foods rich in iron may help you if you are iron deficient. Word of warning for men and menopausal women. Don’t rush out and add a lot of iron to your diet. Have your doctors check your iron levels first.
Good sources of iron include Popeye’s favorite food, spinach. Spinach is full of other great minerals and vitamins that help keep hair follicles healthy. Lean beef is another terrific way to add iron to your diet.
Zinc appears to be a terrific nutrient to help prevent and treat hair loss. Studies seem to show that people experiencing hair loss also have lower zinc levels. If you like oysters, you are in luck! There is no food higher in zinc.
If oysters aren’t your thing, you can enjoy spinach, lean red meat, legumes like beans, and eggs. The nice thing about these foods is they show up several times. Kill two birds with one stone!
Foods rich in Vitamin A tend to be rich in beta-carotenes. Eating for your hair will be good for your body in general. Beta-carotene is good for eyesight, immunity, and helps to prevent cancer.
To increase your beta-carotene intake, focus on orange food. Carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash and our old friend, spinach are high in beta-carotene.
Focus on eating foods raw (when appropriate) because the cooking process will decrease the amount of beta-carotene in the food.
Selenium is an important on many levels, including hair loss and immunity. A selenium deficiency is rare in the US but can occur if you have hypothyroidism, HIV, are undergoing dialysis or have a GI condition like Crohn’s.
Add 6 Brazil nuts a week to your diet. Go easy on adding selenium to your diet since too much is as bad as too little.
What other yummy foods can you add?
Biotin is one of the B vitamins. Otherwise known as B7, a deficiency can cause hair loss, nerve damage and skin health. You’ll find high amounts in food like eggs, sweet potatoes and our old friend, spinach.
Biotin affects how some medications work so talk to your doctor before starting supplements. Eating food with biotin levels should not be an issue.
So far, spinach is a clear leader in healthy hair foods. What else is good for you?
You’ve heard that omega-3 and -6 are great for your heart and brain. There is evidence that fatty acids are great for stopping hair loss and may help regrow hair.
Salmon is a great way to get omega 3. If you don’t like fish, nuts, seeds, and oils from grapeseed, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, and coconuts are great. In fact, men who took 400 mg per day of pumpkin seed oil for 24 weeks has a 40% increase in hair growth.
Essential oils are highly concentrated, distilled oils. You can use them in cooking and are great as skin care products. Rosemary oil is thought to be an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Massaging a few drops of rosemary essential oil into your scalp after showering may have terrific results. It was shown to be just as effective as Rogaine (minoxidil) and didn’t come with the itchy scalp side effect. Peppermint essential oil is used to promote hair growth.
Honey, olive oil and cinnamon are an old folk remedy for growing hair. There is evidence it helps with itchy scalp and scaling. You don’t eat it, you rub it into your scalp.
Warm ½ C olive oil and add 2 tablespoons of honey and cinnamon (each). Beat in an egg and comb the mix into your wet hair. Let it sit for 10 minutes and shampoo. Don’t make the oil too hot, or you will cook the egg.
And finally, Greek yogurt. Whether you eat it or massage it into your scalp, Greek yogurt is full of both vitamin B5 and vitamin D. Both of these are linked to strengthening hair follicles. It is also high in protein and calcium. These are also linked to healthy hair (and bones).
Get the low-fat version so you don’t overo the calories if you decide to eat it.
Will all these foods help regrow hair or stop hair loos? There is evidence that they will, with spinach being a clear winning in almost every category. Even if you don’t suddenly sprout Samson-like locks of hair, you will be healthier, your hair will be stronger, and you will feel better.
Eating these foods really doesn’t have a drawback, so you may as well. You could be pleasantly surprised. So, whip up a spinach salad, toss on a cook egg and maybe some walnuts and have a tasty meal. You pretty much can’t go wrong!