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What you should (and shouldn’t) eat if you have thinning hair

Are you getting it right? By Sophie Hines
thinning hair

According to trichologist Anabel Kingsley from Philip Kingsley in the UK, the health and fullness of our hair is closely connected to what we put into our bodies. While external factors such as the amount of heat styling and the products we use on our hair will certainly have an effect, if you’re experiencing thinning hair it’s worth considering what you should and shouldn’t consume for optimum hair health.

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One thing to bear in mind is that fad diets are bad news for your hair, says Anabel. ‘Avoid cutting down on protein and nutritious foods – this is important regardless of whether or not you are experiencing reduced hair volume – but a poor diet can certainly make hair loss worse,’ she says.

‘At least once a day a client comes to me professing they are eating an incredibly healthy diet. They do not snack and they have fresh fruit for breakfast and salad for lunch with a bit of chicken or fish. ‘While this may appear fine for your body, it’s simply not enough for your hair – and the wrong diet is a very common cause of excessive daily hair loss (telogen effluvium).

‘While hair is incredibly important to us psychologically, physiologically our body could not care less’ she continues. ‘Any nutrients ingested first go to essential systems, with hair (a non-essential tissue) receiving whatever is left over.’ So drastically cutting calories or eliminating food groups is likely to have an impact on our hair – even if we think we’re being super healthy.

Protein, says Anabel, is particularly important. ‘To help ensure you are taking in adequate nutrients for hair growth, eat at least 120g of protein at breakfast and lunch’ she advises. ‘Hair is made primarily of protein. Energy to form hair cells drops four hours after eating, so if you are going longer than this between meals, snack on a nutrient dense carbohydrate, such as fresh fruit or whole grain crackers.’

Getting to eat plenty of healthy food sounds good to us, but is there anything we should avoid for great hair? ‘Tuna and Swordfish contain high amounts of mercury, and so it’s best not to eat these foods regularly’ reveals Anabel. ‘Mercury is toxic, and high mercury levels can cause many health problems, including hair loss.’ 

From: Good Housekeeping UK

PHOTO: iStock/AndreyPopov


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