It’s 2018. We can all agree by now that health is a functional phenomenon, aka our wellness is dependent on all of our bodily functions working in harmony. What goes into our bods is important, and how we fuel ourselves radiates on the outside. Think hair, skin, nails, that sort of thing. Shiny, beautiful hair starts from the inside out. No matter how many products you pile on your exterior, if you neglect your diet, expect to find yourself in a frizzy, dried out, damaged rut.
Our hair is made up of the protein keratin. It’s kept strong and shiny thanks to essential amino and fatty acids that our body can’t make on its own. Enter your upgraded grocery list, aka your hair’s saving grace. Here are some foods to add to your diet for your healthiest hair and self.
Foods rich in Vitamin A:
Vitamin A is important for hair cell growth and moisture. It can be found in plenty of foods. And even better, they’re all pretty delicious. Next time you’re at the Whole Foods, toss a couple of sweet potatoes in your cart. Butternut squash, carrots, kale, and spinach are also great sources of Vitamin A. The possibilities are endless!
Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Our culture’s come a long way from past obsessions with low-fat diets and outlooks. Thankfully, fear of dietary fat and its shaming have been put to rest as irrational conspiracies. Not only does our brain rely on fat to function, but our hair also uses it as a lifeline. That’s because omega-3 fatty acids enable hair growth by reducing inflammation around hair follicles. This allows them to grow! These acids also promote blood flow to the scalp, which prevents dry hair. The more you know, right? Here’s another fun fact; our bodies can’t produce omega-3’s on their own. Luckily, there are plenty of foods that can help you out. Wild caught salmon, flax seeds, avocados, and walnuts are all healthy helpers that can kick start your journey to a hydrated and flowing mane.
It almost seems wrong to not include quinoa on a list of health foods, right? Luckily, quinoa truly earned its place here. This pseudo-grain is actually a seed... meaning it mimics a grain and can be used in place of one, but its seed identity gives it special properties that are awesome for hair health. For example, because it's a seed, quinoa is high in protein. Specifically, it has a high amino acid content. Similar to omega-3’s, our bodies can’t make amino acids on their own even though we ~need~ them. These acids strengthen and protect hair strands. Extra benefit for all for you with color treated hair: quinoa is also an antioxidant, so it helps keep your color from fading. Think about that next time you’re deeply pondering what to have for lunch. One quinoa bowl please!
For those who are real daring, spirulina may be your next adventure. You may know this superfood for its deep green color. Made up of 60% protein and all eight essential amino acids (score!), spirulina is another player in the protein game. It can be added to smoothies and elixirs for an effortless hair and health boost.
Bonus: Hard Water
Okay, so now you have an extended grocery list of things to add to your diet, but avoiding harmful environmental factors is just as important. Ever heard of hard water? It’s possible that the water in your shower falls under this category. This type of water is loaded with minerals, usually calcium and magnesium, and sometimes sulfates find their way in as well. The presence of all of these elements majorly decreases the effectiveness of your shampoo and conditioner. They also interact with the soaps to leave residue on your strands and dry them out. Your best bet for avoiding hard water? Invest in a shower head filter. Spending the money on one now will save you lots of trouble in the future. In the name of healthy hair, right?