Hair is an important part of ones personality, it is a reflection of their mental and physical health. Everyone goes through a period of hair loss at some point due to various factors like stress, hormonal imbalance, anemia, thyroid or insufficient absorption of nutrients. Many women are facing this challenge and wonder if they would ever get a shimmering lustrous hair again or not.
Cheer up folks! Hair loss can be treated after determining the cause, right from balancing hormones to improving absorption and assimilation of nutrients to managing stress or regulating overactive immune system. Naturopathy deals with an ailment by diagnosing the symptoms and treating the root cause.
Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin. As follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are being pushed out through the surface of the skin at the rate of about six inches a year. The hair that you see is a string of dead keratin cells.
Diet is an integral part of naturopathy treatment which provides a very rich source of vitamins and proteins through nature. For restoring the vitality and growth of hair we should include some essential nutrients in our diet.
Here are some foods that will nourish and help with hair growth.
- Vitamin B: Hair loss occurs due to inadequate vitamin B, especially B6, biotin and folic acid together with minerals like magnesium, sulfur and zinc. Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid and B3 niacin, are especially important for hair growth.
Food source: mushroom, avocado, sweet potato, beans and lentils, brown rice, nuts are some foods rich in vitamin B.
- Iron deficiency or anemia is one of the most frequent cause of hair loss. Iron plays a key role in manufacturing hemoglobin, the part of the blood that carries oxygen to different part of the organs and tissues in our body. When we have a healthy level of iron, oxygen is present everywhere in the body including scalp and there is good flow of blood which in turn stimulates and promotes hair growth.
Food source: Dried fruits like dates and raisins, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, and whole grain cereals are good source for vegetarians. However, while choosing plant based iron, make sure to have some citrus fruits like orange or orange juice so that the iron gets activated and can be easily metabolized in the body. Plant based iron source are non-active, so vitamin C aids in their absorption.
- Protein: Since hair is made up of protein called keratin a diet rich in protein encourages hair growth.
- Food Source: brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, beans and lentils are some of the vegetarian food source. Mix together equal quantity of brewer’s yeast and wheat germ to two parts of granulated lecithin and have this as supplement for a high protein diet to encourage hair growth.
- Zinc plays a key role in the functions of our body including cell production and hormonal balance. All these play a very important role in hair growth. When we are deficient in zinc, hair follicles become weak causing strands to break off and fall out. A diet high in zinc help combat this problem.
- Food Source: nuts and seeds like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and lentils and beans.
Some Tips to Manage Your Hair
- Gently massage and shampoo into your length of your hair and use the conditioner at the end.
- Drying your hair- wrap your hair in a towel and let it dry. Gently rub with the towel.
- Brushing- if you have straight hair, wait until the hair is dry before you comb. Use a wide tooth comb. However, if you have curly hair, comb your hair while it’s damp.
Reduce the use of artificial and synthetic products to minimal.
- Use as little as possible hair colors, styles and other hair products to limit hair damage. – Do not use brush or combs in excess.
- Blow dryer- limit the use of blow dryer, curler, and hot iron as much as possible to prevent hair damage. Use lowest heat setting possible, when required.
In addition to healthy diet, reducing stress is very important for healthy and shimmering hair. Yoga, pranayam and meditation aids in healthy emotional outlets for stress relief.
Contact JKYNH, one of the leading naturopathy hospitals in India, for lifestyle consultancy.