Healthy hair needs protein, too.

A healthy diet plays an instrumental role in the health of your hair.

We talk about the importance of nutrition when it comes to our skin, but it doesn’t stop there. A healthy diet also plays an instrumental role in growing healthy hair. With so many products on the market today, including shampoos, conditioners, gels, sprays and more, you’d think that the only thing we can do for our hair is cover it up with product. But that just isn’t the case. Like our skin, the condition of our hair can be a true reflection of what’s going on inside of our bodies. Let’s take a look at the importance of nutrition and our hair.

Our hair is part of our unique look. It can be conservative, quirky or free flowing, and everyone is different. Some like long, bouncy curls while others like a short, polished look. And some prefer no hair at all. No matter what your style is, there’s one thing that experts agree on. A healthy diet that includes a variety of nutrients, including proteins, vitamins and minerals, can help improve how our hair feels and looks. That’s right. Our diet is a direct link to the overall health of our hair.

The Nutrition Link to Healthy Hair

What is Healthy Hair?

Healthy hair is full, bouncy, manageable, shiny, soft and silky. Healthy hair grows out of every hair follicle without issue. It’s strong, doesn’t break easily and it’s attached to a healthy scalp. A balanced diet is important to give your hair the nutrients required to look and feel healthy. And guess what one of the most important things for our hair is? Protein.

The Power of Protein

Did you know that hair is comprised primarily of proteins called keratin? Keratin is actually a family of proteins that are a major component of hair, skin, teeth and even the horns and hooves of animals. In fact, hair is made of approximately 95% keratin. Because of this, hair requires adequate amounts of protein from our diet to thrive.

As Susan Bowerman said, “Many women, especially when they’re watching their weight, often don’t eat enough protein as they try to get by on a lot of salads. Since protein is so important for healthy hair, it’s something they should pay more attention to.” And, boy, is she right. In fact, there are many studies that indicate that occasional hair loss may be due to a lack of protein intake. Crash diets that exclude protein or unhealthy eating practices in general can be damaging to our hair, and may contribute to hair loss. But don’t worry, because including adequate amounts of protein in our diet from chicken, meat, eggs, fish, tofu, nuts and other sources can solve the problem. We never start my day without a delicious protein shake, and our afternoon snack is always a protein bar. Just remember the power of protein.

Nutrition and Your Hair

While protein is important for healthy hair, it’s not the only thing. Trace minerals like iron, copper, magnesium and selenium are helpful, as are vitamins E, D, and C. These nutrients are involved in the production of keratin, so it’s important to include them in your diet. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients can compromise hair health and cause hair loss. Be conscientious of the foods you’re eating, and take a daily multivitamin to ensure you’re providing your body (and hair) with what it needs to flourish. Using the right hair care products is also important. Choose formulas that contain antioxidant vitamins, natural hydrating ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera, and those that are sulfate-free. The combination of inner and outer nutrition is great for your hair.

Here are some of our favorite fun facts about hair.

  • Hair grows all over our bodies except for the palms of hands, soles of feet, eyelids, mucous membranes and lips.
  • When wet, a strand of hair can stretch 30% beyond its normal length. This is why it’s important not to brush or comb hair too vigorously after washing. We don’t want to damage or break the hair strands.
  • Red hair is the most rare, and it’s found in about 1% of the world’s population. Blond hair represents about 2%, with black being the most common color of all.
  • Freaking out over hair in the shower drain? Don’t. The average person has 100,000 to 150,000 hairs on their head. It’s normal to lose 40 to 150 strands each day. The good news is that when a hair falls out, it usually grows back up to 20 times in a lifetime.
  • A single hair can have a lifespan of 5 years. So, take care of it by choosing a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Look for products with clinical tests to improve hair strength. And don’t abuse your hair with excessive drying and styling practices.
  • The only part of the hair that isn’t dead is the hair inside the scalp. So give your scalp a nice massage when cleansing to stimulate blood flow. It’s beneficial and feels great, too.

A healthy diet can lead to healthy skin and healthy hair. It’s our number one beauty secret to looking and feeling fabulous. And it’s that combination of taking care of our bodies inside and out that really makes a difference. It’s about being healthy. And remember, the healthiest skin (and hair) is always the most beautiful.

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