Thick, luscious, shiny locks – we all want them. Some people are blessed with it, but most just aren’t. And if you also want to be able to do pretty much ANYTHING to your hair – like straighten it, colour it, have treatments, or even have the occasional blow dry, then the chances are you’ve noticed it feeling a bit sub par.
Throw in some stress, a busy job, average hair care products (these contain sulphur and other chemicals that can damage hair) and a less than average diet, and many can find that hair thins out, and feel wispy and lack lustre.
Having worked with thousands of people wanting better skin and hair in her London based clinic, we asked our in-house Nutritional Therapist and co-founder Alice Mackintosh her top tips all for how to eat for better hair:
If your hair is feeling the heat (literally) then its time to make sure that your diet isn’t lacking in the essential goodness that is needed to keep it healthy. Here are some simple foods to focus on that may begin to make a difference.
If your hair is falling out more than usual, or feeling noticeably thin then it might be time to have a think about your iron intake because the two are strongly linked. This is something I see all the time with my female clients – so many of them are veggies/vegans, or don’t eat red meat because they don’t like it, or just can’t be bothered to cook it. The problem is that as women we are much more predisposed to iron deficiency than men, and if you’re having monthly periods or have had children, then you need to take note of what iron you’re getting in to prevent deficiency.
Best iron rich foods – red meat (lamb, beef, venison, chicken leg meat) mackerel, edamame beans, black quinoa, dates, chickpeas, tomato paste, black strap molasses.
SilicaSilica is needed to make collagen, which is one of the reasons why people take it for skin, hair and nail health. It’s also needed for hormone balance and may help supply hair follicles with other minerals to keep hair healthy and shiny.
Best silica rich foods – rhubarb, chestnuts, cucumber, oats, brown rice, onions, flaxseed, avocado. Supplements containing bamboo extract are also a good way to get more collagen into the body.
Some studies have shown that biotin supplementation can lead to better hair growth in women. This may be related to the fact that biotin is needed to create keratin, the protein found in our hair.
Best sources of biotin – carrots, oats, egg yolk, beans and pulses, cauliflower, mushrooms, almonds.
Grey hair? Receding hairline or thyroid issues leading to hair loss? Get more zinc rich foods. This is can be a factor in those who are stressed, fatigued, smoke, drink or are often jet lagged owing to travel for work and I see any women low in zinc when I test their blood.
Best zinc rich foods – poultry, seafood (especially oysters, muscles), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, tahini, oats, chickpeas, garlic, cacao.
Fat is sooooo important to hair. Often those on low fat diets can find hair is dry, thin, lacklustre and missing that luscious and well-conditioned feeling. Healthy fats lubricate our cells and hair and are vital structurally throughout the whole body. They also help to support hormone balance and combat stress, which is essential for healthy hair.
Best sources - mackerel, salmon, fresh tuna, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hempseeds, flaxseed, avocado and extra virgin olive oil.
Last but not least, stress and a lack of sleep can lead to hair loss and more greys and depleted skin hair and nails. Manage stress with our top tips here. Our current favourite is ‘4-6 breathing’ – breathing in for 4 seconds and out for 6 seconds for 2 minutes, which can reduce circulating cortisol (our stress hormone) levels. You can do this in the car, in a meeting, on the bus or before bed.
And on the days you just can't manage to get these in, or when stress gets the better of you, our Beauty Formula delivers ideal doses of hair supporting minerals zinc, biotin, silica and iron, as well as collagen, omega 3 from algaes and adaptogenic herbs to help nourish adrenals, thyroid and female hormones.
We’d love to hear how you get on, and see any before and after pics either privately over email or on Instagram. Tag us with @equilondon or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more inspo check out our Instagram or Facebook to see what we are up to and hear about exclusive offers.
Disclaimer: No one diet or supplement regime works for everyone and you should always seek help from a GP and registered health expert before making changes to your diet, or before introducing any supplements.