The healthy hair diet

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


We’ve heard the saying “you are what you eat.” The truth is, there are foods out there that do more than just taste good.

When it comes to hair, it’s not just what you put in that counts. Beautiful, lustrous hair needs more than just a visit to the salon. A trip to your kitchen and a healthy diet are equally as important. Lack of nutrition can cause dryness, brittleness, dandruff and ultimately hair loss.

Just as much as certain foods have extra benefits to our skin and bodies, there are foods that also do wonders to hair and keep it looking healthy:

One of the building blocks for your hair, protein should make up at least 20% of your daily calories. It provides strength to the shaft of the hair and reduces chances of hair breakage from snapping and splitting. Lack of protein can lead to hair breakage, which affects the overall texture and quality of hair.
Foods to try: Soy, tofu, dairy products like milk, cheese, nuts, oil, seeds and beans.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for hair growth and promoting a healthy scalp. Beta-carotene is found in green and yellow vegetables and fruits.
Foods to try: Sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots and apricots.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E increases oxygen and improves circulation, which improves the health of hair as well as the growth.
Foods to try: Avocados, rice bran, nuts, dark green vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

Vitamin K
Vitamin K helps to maintain healthy-looking hair.
Foods to try: Dairy foods, figs, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, dark green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, rye, soybeans, wheat and yogurt.

Water makes up a quarter of the weight of a strand of hair. Moisture makes the hair supple, so make sure you get plenty of fluids. Water also helps to eliminate all toxins, chemical wastes and other pollutants from the body. Not only does it hydrate our bodies, but also keeps our hair silky and shiny. It is recommended that you should drink between eight and ten glasses of water a day.

Tips to longer, healthy hair
1. Reducing stress, having plenty of sleep and exercising will maximise hair growth.
2. Treat your hair with care. Avoid unnecessary brushing, combing or handling. Use a soft bristle brush.
3. Have a weekly scalp massage to provide stimulation to hair follicles.
4. Have regular trims to eliminate split ends and allow the hair to look and feel healthier.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Street style: Hair edition
Top tips to maintain your natural hair
What an at-home oil treatment can do for you
The best tips for washing your weave
How to: Detangle your natural hair

Written by

Sinethemba Makhasi is a former beauty editor at Real magazine. She researches on beauty topics and frequently attends women's events and conferences to share beauty tips and host beauty workshops. She currently works as a copywriter for an international cosmetic company.

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  1. Parbie

    Never miss an avocado. That’s the rule I live by!

    2 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    Stress is a big factor – I agree. It shows when I am stressed and I wash my hair – I get so much fallout. This is a good reminder to stay calm and remember that it’s not the end of the world. :)

    4 years ago •

  1. Cornelli

    This is such a great article!! Thank you!! I never knew my eating habits had an influence on my hair!!!

    4 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Thanks for the article. I don’t like veggies but tend to enjoy them when I make a stir fry.

    4 years ago •

  1. Selona Govender

    I never knew this. I will have to eat more healthy foods and drink lots of more water. It is a very helpful article.

    4 years ago •

  1. Rashmee Bagirathi

    I believe in oil treatments and scalp massages too.

    4 years ago •

  1. Portia Motsage

    I must definitely look at my diet and drink a lot of water so that my hair looks healthy. In addition, I must limit brushing and combing my hair.

    4 years ago •

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