An ideal Good Hair Diet is one that delivers enough protein, minerals, vitamin C, biotin, and healthy fats; one that you can assimilate with good gut flora and keeps inflammation at bay.
1. Proteins promote cell growth and repair, and are the literally the building blocks for healthy hair. An absolute must! (That is why going vegan can lean you out but also cause your hair to thin unless you pay close attention to protein intake.)
Lamb and buffalo meat are good clean sources of protein. If you are vegetarian than take ample Spirulina or Chlorella, which pack a punch when it comes to protein and other nutrients.
2. Iron found in lentils and soybeans (preferably fermented), and zinc found in oysters help hair follicles to grow and are essential in terms of strengthening the hair and making it feel full. Without enough zinc you will notice some hair loss and possibly thinning of your eyelashes. Zinc is that wonderful mineral that activates 300 or more enzymatic processes. It makes every-other-thing in your body just work like you want - at peak capacity!
3. To keep your hair elastic, hydrated and silky, Omega 3 fatty acids are a must.
My favorite sources for healthy oils are sardines and occasionally salmon (it’s been over-fished). Eating these once or twice a week keeps my hair shiny. If you don’t like eating fish take 1 gram per day of a DHA and EPA supplement instead.
4. There is an essential B vitamin hair requires called Biotin. Not only does it help hair to grow but it also strengthens it. If you don’t have enough of this one you might start to see your hair gradually fall out. The very best source of Biotin in food is in eggs. If eggs aren’t your thing, Biotin supplements are readily available at your local health food store.
5. To stop hair from breaking and to better absorb iron (the other essential nutrient in The Good Hair diet); Vitamin C does the trick. Tropical fruits like guava brim with Vitamin C. But to keep it simple just pick anything from nature that has a yellow, orange or red tone which means it is high in beta-carotene and gives you ample doses of this terrific Vitamin.
Eliminate the culprits
Over-processing: Like over-processed foods, over-processed hair trashes our scalp and all chances of growing healthy hair. Compare the hair of most women in the west with that of indigenous peoples. Hair is lustrous, healthy and strong even in older indigenous women. In fact for native people hair represents strength, wisdom and power. It is a sign of vitality so it is cared for solely with plants and natural oils. Why do indigenous women have such healthy hair? They don’t use product.
Heat and chemical processes like blowouts, keratin treatments, hair dyeing; even showering in super hot water can damage your hair by opening-up the cuticle and leaving it vulnerable to moisture loss (keep in mind hair expands 30% when wet!)
We know about ingredients like sulfates and parabens that have been linked to cancer, but what about silicones? Like GMO-soy found in virtually every processed food, silicones are put in every hair product imaginable. Even though they instantly make hair appear strong and shiny (a magic-bullet quick-fix for damaged hair of sorts) the reality of the matter is that in the long run silicones render hair lifeless and can even cause it to fall out. By suffocating the follicle silicones can cause the hair to thin.
Support the environment
Scalp health is key!
• Don’t over-wash and don’t use harsh detergents or preservatives and avoid “quats” ingredients ( hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, behentrimonium chloride and stearylkonium chloride.) “Quats” (they are a lot more common than we might think!) are anti-static agents that make the hair feel smooth and slippery but can also build up on the hair and scalp and prevent good hair health.
• Most importantly, don’t be deceived by marketing words like “organic”, “botanical”, or “derived from coconuts.” Also, just because a product lists a dozen essential oils realize what else is there as the active wash agent hidden in-between the reading lines.
• Lastly, if you want to go the extra mile, ask the company if they have the MADE SAFE™ certification, which is the strictest one in the industry.