What improves the condition of your hair most isn’t what you put on it. What matters most to your hair is what you put in it. While there are a number of things that you can do to protect and rejuvenate damaged hair, the absolute key ingredients come from within you.
So what exact nutrients does my body need in order to grow great sensual hair?
To build hair, your body uses the following main nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Essential fatty acids
Quite a list, isn’t it? Let’s go through them one at a time.
Protein is the basic ingredient that your body uses to produce cells, which are the basic building blocks of every single part of your body – brain, skin, hair, heart, stomach, liver, etc – all made primarily from protein. It’s also known under the chemical term ‘amino acids’, because there are several different types of protein. It’s good to consume a wide variety of proteins to give your body a range of ingredients to choose from in building its cells, whether to make repairs to damaged organs (whenever you get a cut on some part of your body, proteins are used to repair the skin over the cut) or to add material to hair or nails. You can find it abundantly in mushrooms, lentils, garbanzo beans, avocado, kale, sprouts, etc.
Silica is a very abundant mineral, found in lots of different places – for example, the sand at the beach is primarily silica! It’s essential to your hair because it provides both strength and shine. Without strength, your hair breaks and splits very easily. However, silica is far more beneficial to your hair if it’s built into the individual hairs rather than applied externally. The herb horsetail contains a lot of silica, but if that’s not available in your area, oats are also a great source of it, and easy to eat as porridge or added to baked goods.
Sulfur improves the thickness and density of your hair as it grows. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard or legumes (like lentils) are also fairly good dietary sources of sulfur.
Vitamin A helps both your skin and your hair to retain elasticity – in other words, you can pull it out of shape and it will bounce back into place. This is very important for your hair, as it can otherwise get overstretched (and therefore weakened) by simple acts like combing, brushing, or even washing. The body also uses it to produce sebum, which keeps your scalp from getting too dry and gives some gloss to your hair. Great sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots (best eaten raw when they’re young and sweet), spinach, kale, etc.
Vitamin C is used by your body in the production of cells of all types, including hair cells, and it’s particularly important in strengthening the capillaries that ensure a good blood supply to your scalp. If your scalp gets a good blood supply, then nutrients are delivered when and where they’re needed to build your hair. Good sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, guavas, dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and kiwi fruit. While oranges aren’t too bad either, you might be surprised to know that they’re quite low on the list of top vitamin C supplying foods.
Biotin is one of the B vitamin group, also known as B7 or vitamin H. It is used in hair cell production and growth. It’s fairly rare that people are found to be deficient in this particular vitamin, because our bodies can actually produce it (via beneficial bacteria in our intestines) without us needing to ingest it. However, people with metabolic disorders (where the body has difficulty processing nutrients correctly) can suffer from a B7 deficiency.
Iodine is used by your thyroid gland to produce hormones that are used in the production of hair cells. It’s termed a ‘micronutrient’ because you don’t actually need very much of it in order to get the benefits. A few good sources of iodine include kelp, Swiss chard, kale, asparagus, turnips, spinach.
Zinc assists your body’s cells to divide and grow correctly, with no malformations. This increases your hair’s growth speed and shine. Good sources of zinc include legumes, nuts, beans, whole grains, and seeds.
Selenium, like iodine, supports thyroid gland function – and hence the hormones used in the production of your hair cells. You don’t need much of it, and in fact supplementing selenium should be done with care, as high doses are toxic. Good sources of selenium are Brazil nuts, other nuts, grains, mushrooms.
Essential fatty acids is a blanket term that refers to a group of substances that your body needs in order to produce cells and perform a range of other important functions. The most important of these are alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Common signs of a diet lacking in these are dermatitis, dry skin, and dull hair. Good sources of these fatty acids include flaxseeds and hemp seeds.
If you’re healthy, well-rested, and happy, then your hair will grow faster, stronger, and more lustrous. Remember that your hair is produced from your scalp, and it’s built from nutrients supplied by your bloodstream. No nutrients equals unhealthy hair, and since you desire a healthy sensual hair, follow my blog to find out how to feed your hair properly.