Its no surprise that eating well is the root to great hair health. After all, our hair is the second fastest growing organism in the human body after our bone marrow. It grows on average around 1 cm per month - amazing right?! So its no wonder that nutrient deficiencies can cause hair issues. We get a lot of questions about which Superfoods can help improve hair so here we discuss some common issues along with our Sari tips for combating them. Listen carefully and you'll be one step closer to having naturalicious hair!
Dry hair and dry scalp
These are often signs that the skin on the scalp isn't functioning as well as it should be. Paradoxically, this can mean your scalp is dehydrated and is therefore unable to produce and regulate the natural oils which are needed to nourish and moisturize. The perfect way to hydrate skin cells and hair follicles on the scalp is to enrich them with essential fats in your diet as well as consuming Vitamin A which is involved in the production of important natural oils.
The most commonly recommended way to introduce more fatty acids in to your diet is to eat oily fish. It's recommended to make sure you have at least 2-3 portions a week of mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring or salmon.
However, there are other great (plant-based) ways to get more essential fats in to your diet. Nuts and seeds (walnuts in particular) are a great way to up the healthy fats needed for naturalicious hair. Avocados are also great, as well as coconut, flax oil and olive oil. You should aim to eat at least 1 portion of these a day.
Vitamin A is also really important for supporting healthy natural oil levels in the hair and skin. Vitamin A is converted in our bodies from beta-carotene, so beta-carotene is a really important nutrient to make sure we're consuming. It is a green and orange pigment found in green vegetables, sweet potato, carrots and squash - just work by colour! Sari Foods Organic Spirulina contains a whopping 900% of your daily intake of beta-carotene in just one serving.
If your hair could be defined as limp, droopy, thin or falling out you may be lacking enough protein in your diet. Split ends and extreme dryness can be signs of weak hair. Your hair is made up of protein so if it's showing signs of weakness, one of the best ways to support it is to up your protein intake. To ensure you are getting enough protein consume lots of protein rich foods during the day. Organic dairy free yoghurt, nuts, seeds, tempeh, beans, wild rice or quinoa are all great, animal free sources of protein.
Sari Foods Organic Spirulina Powder is also a great way to keep protein levels topped up. It consists of 60-70% protein and contains all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. Add to your morning smoothies, yoghurt, oatmeal or granola or just mix a teaspoon with lemon water in the afternoon.
Weak hair can also be caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C. One of Vitamin C’s major functions is to help produce and maintain healthy collagen, the connective tissue type found within hair follicles. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and protects both the cells found within follicles and the cells in nearby blood vessels. Sari Foods Organic Vitamin C powder from Acerola Cherries provides 833% of your Vitamin C RDA in one teaspoon (yes you read that right, 833%!) so it can help strengthen weaker hair.
For hair that’s on the oily side, watch out for an insufficiency of B Vitamins. B Vitamins are used up by our body when we experience stress so learning to manage our stress is really key as it can have a massive impact on our health and wellbeing. Taking time out to relax, grabbing a book and a cup of tea or doing some exercise like yoga or going for walk can help. Also make sure you have plenty of B Vitamins in your diet (particularly crucial for non meat eaters). Containing several B Vitamins, Sari Foods Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast is a B Vitamin superfood, which along with some individual dietary sources of specific B Vitamins such as watercress, mushrooms, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus and brown rice, is sure to keep you B covered and reign in any excessive oil production.
Slow Growing Hair
As with all of the above symptoms, check them with your doctor first to establish that there are no underlying issues but if you've had your thyroid function checked and there's no obvious medical reason why you're hair isn't growing, it could be that you are deficient in zinc, iron or lysine (an amino acid) which can affect hair thinning, hair loss and colour fade. Pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts are a great source of zinc and dark chocolate, leafy greens and organic dried apricots are great sources of iron. However, when it comes to hair boosters Spirulina really is a wonder (asides from the beta-carotene and the protein) Sari Foods Organic Spirulina contains iron, zinc and lysine - all in one hit!
Additional ways to help your hair
As well as making changes to your diet and adding in a few choice superfoods, there are a few extras that can also help not only to give your hair a boost but your general wellbeing too!
Switch to a organic shampoo and conditioner that gently wash and nourish the hair rather than stripping away its natural oils, anything containing sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is to be avoided.
Scalp massage. Treat yourself to an indian head massage or spend some extra time when washing your hair to massage your scalp and stimulate the blood flow.
Use a hair mask once a week. We recommend a home made one so you know exactly whats gone in to it. Or try massaging some coconut oil in to the ends, leaving overnight and washing out in the morning for super nourished hair that that smells good enough to eat!
Peace, love and totally naturalicious hair from the Sari Foods family!