How does our diet affect our hair and scalp?

Our diet has a massive affect on the health of our hair and scalp. Hair cells are the second fastest-growing cells in our body (second to intestinal cells). Hair is a non-vital organ or tissue, so our body will not prioritise it’s nutritional needs if somewhere else in our body requires them. A nutritional imbalance will usually show up first in the form of hair loss.

Our diet and hair loss

If our hair isn’t receiving the correct amount of nutrients it needs to grow and be healthy, then you may experience hair loss known as Telogen Effluvium(TE). 

Our hair growth cycle has 3 main stages; Anagen (the growing phase), Catagen (the transitional phase) and Telogen (the resting phase). During the Telogen phase our hair sheds and falls out, around 5-10% of our hair is in this phase so it’s not noticeable, however with TE around 30% off our hair is in the Telogen phase so we notice an increase of hair fall and hair thinning. 

Telogen Effluvium is temporary and can take 3 – 12 months for our hair growth cycle to get back to normal and hair shedding to decrease.

What foods should I eat?

Your hair cells need a balance of proteins, complex carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals to function properly.  

It’s important to eat foods that are fresh, in season, and varied to ensure your hair is getting the nutrients it needs.

What foods should I avoid?

Processed foods, food high in salt and sugar, and oily foods. 

Food that is grown with pesticides and are genetically modified have a lower nutritional value, so does food being cooked on a too-high heat and overcooking.

Does my diet also affect my scalp?

If you suffer from scalp conditions such as dandruff, eczema or psoriasis certain foods such as dairy(especially cheese), foods high in salt, sugar and oil can aggregate your scalp and make the flakes/itchiness worse.

If you are experiencing hair loss contact your Hair and Scalp Specialist for advice.

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