Though male pattern baldness gets most of the press, female hair loss is an issue many women face at some point in their lives. Whether it is a transitory problem that occurs with stress or hormonal fluctuations (such as pregnancy and menopause) or a more chronic issue due to age, for women it can be devastating. The good news is that with some dietary changes you can reverse the situation.
Foods to Encourage Hair Regrowth
For hair to grow thick and healthy, it needs a constant flow of nutrient-rich blood to its follicles. A healthy-hair diet includes adequate amounts of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Fatty acids make up to 3 percent of the hair shaft and a diet rid in EFAs supports the strength of hair strands to prevent breakage and support strong, healthy growth.
To ensure that you are getting enough EFAs in your diet, eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like flaxseeds (4–6 tablespoons per serving) and wild-caught, cold-water fish, such as salmon, trout, or halibut (three times a week). Nuts, like walnuts, are also a great source of EFAs. While you take in more EFAs for your hair there is the added beauty benefit of improved skin as EFAs are also extremely beneficial to skin because it helps to retain moisture, keeping skin soft and supple.
It’s almost important to have zinc in a hair healthy diet. The best food sources of zinc are wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and oysters, and high-protein foods such as chicken breast, eggs, and fish. Pumpkin seeds are the perfect snack if you want softer, shinier hair. They’re loaded with important vitamins and minerals, including protein, zinc, and potassium—not to mention essential fatty acids.
Making sure you have enough protein in your diet is essential. Without enough protein, your body can’t replace the the hair that is shed. Protein deficiency can also result in dry, brittle, or weak hair. Oysters, lean meats, fish, nuts, are all great healthy sources of protein.
Many women don’t realize that iron is especially important to hair health because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles. In fact, too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss, particularly in women. Supplementing with iron is great. You can also boost your iron stores with animal sources, including chicken, fish, pork, chicken or beef liver, and beef.