Welcome to the latest in our series of guest blogs, this time from the writers of the lifestyle website Groom and Style. Here they look at what vegan-friendly foods will help care for your hair, giving you lustrous locks!
You can be careful about the hair products that you use and you can get as much hair treatments as you want, but if you’ve got a bad diet then there will be consequences for those locks of yours.
You hair needs its nutrition just as much as the rest of your body does. Your hair follicles are made mostly of protein, and so to keep them strong you need to be taking in a lot of the right kind of protein.
Keratin is another essential part of your hair and that comes from a nutrient called biotin. You can find an abundance of both of these things in eggs and red meat. Foods which also have other hair-friendly nutrients such as zinc and selenium and red meat in particular has a type of iron that’s very easy for your body to absorb.
So that’s all well and good for people who eat meat and dairy, but what about those of us that are following a strictly plant-based diet? You can get the nutrients necessary for healthy hair, you just need to look in different places.
Here are some plant-based foods that will keep your hair looking beautiful:
Our old pal and notorious spinach-eater Popeye was probably bald under that little hat of his, but that was a choice. It wasn’t because all the spinach he was eating was having no benefits for his hair.
Spinach is packed with Vitamin A and this helps your skin glands produce an oily substance known as sebum. The production of sebum on your scalp will moisturize and hydrate the skin, giving the hair follicles a good environment to thrive in.
It’s also an excellent source of iron. Anemia is common among vegetarians and vegans because it can be tough to incorporate iron into your diet and as we mentioned earlier, it’s essential for hair growth too.
Your hair needs a supply of oxygen and if you are lacking in iron, that won’t be pumped around your body quite as effectively. You hair will suffer if this is not the case so iron is very important.
In the last decade, the popularity of avocados has absolutely exploded. So much so that the obsession millennials seem to have with this particular fruit has become a bit of a joke, and not always a friendly one.
But avocado is popular for good reason. The health benefits are numerous. It’s packed with vitamins, it’s a great source of potassium, good for your cholesterol, and most relevant to us, it’s good for your hair too.
Avocado is high in what are known as monounsaturated fats, the kind of fats that are beneficial for you and as it pertains to your hair, they will ensure that you retain moisture and that your hair doesn’t suffer any weather damage.
There’s a lot of Vitamin E in there too which has some great healing properties, so if you hair does get damaged, eating avocado could aid in repairing it.
So what kinds of food are we referring to when we talk about whole grains? Rye, barley, rice, oats, and something else that, like avocados, has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years is quinoa.
As you can see, there’s quite a bit of variety there. Whole grain isn’t a specific thing like an avocado, it’s something that you can incorporate into your diet in a number of different ways, each of which suits a different meal.
Oats are a popular breakfast cereal, you can make sandwiches with whole rye bread, and there’s a whole host of delicious dinners that you can make with brown, whole rice. You could have three helpings of whole grains per day if you wanted.
The oats are rich in hair-friendly nutrients such as folate and B6, there’s a lot of zinc in the quinoa and then the antioxidant selenium which we’ve discussed earlier you can find in brown rice. Whole grains are basically a miracle for your hair.
Not very specific, but that’s because there’s a lot of different beans that can help out in keeping your hair healthy. Take black beans for example, there’s a lot of zinc in them, 7% of your daily zinc needs in 100 grams, and they also have iron and folate.
And then you’ve got soybeans, which have a compound in them called spermidine, which has been proven as an effective supplement in prolonging phases of active hair growth, so that’s a big plus.
Beans in general tend to be full of protein and as I’ve said a bunch of times already, that’s one of the most important parts of your diet that will ensure healthy hair.
There’s no shortage of plant-based foods that will benefit your hair and the ones that I’ve listed here are barely even scratching the surface. So if you’re not a meat eater yourself, don’t panic, your hair doesn’t have to suffer for it.