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Eat your way to healthy hair

Our hair comes under daily stress, from heat styling to colouring to elemental damage, such as UV and free radicals. The key to restoring your crowning glory could be less about what goes on outside your body and more about what you put in

Hair specialist at Not Your Ordinary, Karley Weir advises us on the best ways to nourish our hair from the inside.  
1. Protein
Our hair is made up of protein, consisting of different amino acids, so having a protein rich diet will help hair grow and repair itself. You can do this by eating lean meat, nuts, beans, avocados, fish and eggs.

Almonds and sunflower seeds are also great sources of protein and they are high in Vitamin E too, which helps to prevent dry, brittle hair.

2. Healthy fats 
Including omega-3 fatty acids in our diet is essential healthy hair. Go for oily fish like salmon, trout and mackerel.

Plant based sources of omega-3 include avocado, walnuts pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds. So, you can nourish your hair with a well-chosen mid-morning nuts and seed mix snack.

3. Iron
Iron is an important mineral for hair and too little iron can contribute to hair loss. Red meat, chicken and fish are good choices because the iron is easily available to the body. Plant based options include lentils and leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and kale.

4. Zinc and selenium 
The minerals zinc and selenium are important for scalp health, guarding against hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp. Good sources of zinc include beef, eggs and oysters as well as fortified cereals and wholegrains.

5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is needed to create sebum, your scalp’s natural conditioner. A deficiency in vitamin A may lead to an itchy scalp and dry hair.

To ensure you’re getting enough of this important nutrient, include beef, liver and vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes in your diet.

6. Vitamin B
Vitamin B is great for hair growth and a deficiency of this nutrient is linked to hair loss. Choose foods that are rich in vitamin B6, such tuna, cod, cauliflower and green and red peppers.

7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, which is important for maintaining strong, healthy hair. It also supports the body’s uptake of iron, so try prepare your plate with it’s a great idea to include on your plate foods rich in vitamin C and iron.

For good sources of vitamin C, look to berries like blueberries, blackcurrants and strawberries. Broccoli, sweet potatoes and other fruits such as guava, kiwi fruits, oranges and papaya are great options.  

8. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known to keep your bones and skin healthy, but more recently it has been linked with hair growth. To ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D through your nutrition, choose fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon. Some dairy products and cereals are fortified with vitamin D.

9. Vitamin E 
Make sure to eat foods rich in vitamin E to protect your hair from sun damage and environmental harm. Nuts are a great choice because they also provide your body with zinc and selenium.

10. Supplements 
Nutritional deficiencies are linked to unhealthy hair and hair loss so you may wish to consider supporting your diet with a good quality supplement.  

Choose a supplement containing vitamins A to E as well as iron and zinc to ensure your hair receives all the nutrients it needs.
Karley Weir is a hair specialist with Not Your Ordinary, an organisation of leading industry experts, specialising in everything hair and beauty for events and occasions.