Which diet and nutrients are best for beautiful hair?

Which diet and nutrients are best for beautiful hair?

Hair loss: what are the reasons? 

To better understand hair loss, it is important to look at the follicle cycle, which determines the phases of hair growth and loss, and its lifespan. Actually, a hair lives on average for 2 to 7 years, passing through the different phases of the follicle cycle:

- The anagenic phase: the hair growth phase, during which time the hair draws nutrients into the follicle and the blood system to which it is connected. This phase can last for several years.

The catagenic phase: the hair has finished its life cycle, its root retracts, it enters the breakdown phase.

The telogenic phase: the hair is dead and a new root appears, nourished by the scalps blood system. Its growth takes around 3 months, then the new hair pushes out the dead one, which detaches and falls.

A multitude of factors can influence the follicle cycle and hair loss:

Heredity and genetic predisposition.

Hormonal status: hair is particularly sensitive to the effect of Androgens, in particular a substance derived from testosterone, DHT or dihydrotestosterone. Under the influence of this hormone, the hair cycle is accelerated and shortened. The hair becomes finer and falls more readily. This particularly affects men and menopausal women. Similarly, hair loss or changes in the hair fibre during puberty or pregnancy are not uncommon.

Stress: there is a reduction in growth phases during periods of stress.

Exposure to aggressive substances, as hair is a veritable “sponge”: pollution, UV rays, endocrine disruptors, medication, etc.

Oxidative stress and free radicals can cause damage to the hair structure, responsible for their greying and fragility. Oxidative damage also has an impact on scalp health (dandruff, sebum production, etc.).

Diet and nutrition: hair loss can be accelerated by nutriotional deficiencies, notably in amino acids, nutriments and trace elements such as iron, zinc and copper.  

Hair nutrition: how does it work? 

As you will have realised, a healthy, balanced diet is important for maintaining beautiful hair. Nutrients from food are transported throughout the body via the bloodstream. In this way, they reach the scalp and hair bulb, nourishing the growing hair root. 

To have beautiful hair, external care is not enough! You should also take care about what you eat and don’t forget the nutrients essential for boosting hair growth. Dietary supplements can also be used to provide the right nutrients. Prioritise nutrients such as: 

  • Iron, essential component of haemoglobin, the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen to the red blood cells. Iron also contributes to good cellular and scalp oxygenation. Iron deficiency can cause significant fatigue, which can lead to hair loss.
  • Zinc, which plays an important role in protein synthesis, in forming Keratin and collagen, the proteins which make up the capillary fibre. 
  • Essential fatty acids, notable omega-3, which contributes to the hairs suppleness and shine.
  • Vitamin B8, also known as biotin, which helps maintain healthy hair, supple, shiny and strong.  

Amino acids for keratin synthesis

Healthy hair also depends on how rich it is in quality keratin. This protein is the main component of hair and nails. It’s a hydrophobic molecule that ensures impermeability, shine and protection. Keratin is exceptionally rich in amino acids including methionine and cysteine (10 to 17%) which forms disulphide bridges between the protein chains, conferring rigidity and strength throughout the hair structure. These amino acids, which are found in sources of protein, are essential for hair construction and strength.

Antioxidant nutrients 

Oxidative stress is a well known cause of ageing including the hair. In effect, oxidative stress accelerates greying, reduces hair production, affects the scalp and leaves the hair looking dull whilst accelerating hair loss. Our hair is frequently exposed to oxidative stress: the sun’s UV rays, pollution, chemical hair products etc. It is therefore essential to protect it (by wearing a hat, using protective care products) but also by consuming antioxidant nutrients. One should also mention vitamins A, C and E, trace elements such as zinc, copper or selenium, which help to protect the cells and the body against damaged caused by oxidative stress. 

What are the best food sources for supporting hair growth and strengthening capillary fibre? 

To summarise, what is the best diet for the hair

  • eggs, which are sources of protein (amino acids) and fatty acids
  • whole grain cereals which are rich in zinc and B vitamins
  • pulses (lentils, chick peas etc.) which are rich in vegetable proteins, in B vitamins and iron
  • oily fish (sardine, salmon, mackerel), sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • seafood which is rich in zinc
  • almonds and walnuts which are rich in vitamin E
  • brewer’s yeast and wheatgerm, sources of protein, B group vitamins and copper

Use quality dietary supplements to help complement your diet! Choose dietary supplements that combine several nutrients in the same formula (amino acids + vitamins + antioxidants) for complete nutrition and hair protection.