Hair Loss and Our Diet
Published: 15 June, 2015 - Updated: 30 July, 2020 | 2'
In summer, salt, chlorine and excessive sunlight have done their damaging work: Our hair balance has been altered. Stress, unbalanced diets that do not provide the necessary nutrients and other external factors have influence on our hair. As a result, hair falls more easily, apart from being drier and more fragile. If you want to slow down hair loss, do not forget that care from inside is as much or even more important than the outside care.
Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to hair loss, weakening its structure, causing hair breakage and slow regeneration. These problems may be corrected with a proper and balanced diet.
Main nutrients involved are vitamin A, vitamin B, biotin, vitamin C, copper, iron, zinc, proteins and water.
Hair, the same as skin and nails, is being permanently renewed and its metabolism and regeneration get very easily affected by nutritional deficiencies. In fact, any vitamin, mineral, or protein deficiency may debilitate hair, make it more fragile or cause it to fall. Iron deficiency or iron-deficiency anemia can result in hair loss. Iron deficiency, even without suffering from anemia, can damage hair and make it fall off.
Hair contains other minerals like magnesium, silicium, selenium, copper ... In order to keep it healthy, we must make sure that we take these nutrients with our diet. It is also essential to provide our body sufficiently with high-quality proteins: eggs, milk, cheese, fish,..., without forgetting plant-derived fats (nuts and olive oil) which prevent hair from becoming dry and fragile. Linoleic acid (found in sunflower seed oil and soya oil) is fundamental for getting shiny and healthy hair.
Nevertheless, there are other causes not related to nutrition that can lead to hair loss: nervousness, stress, environmental factors, skin problems, certain medicine treatments, seasonal changes (In autumn, for example, a lot of people lose more hair than normal), use of certain hair care products (shampoos, lotions), etc.
The importance of biotin and folic acid in our diet.
The combination of biotin and folic acid promotes metabolism in tissues with quick reproducing cells like hair, skin and nails.
Biotin is very important for skin, hair and nail health. Biotin deficiency is very seldom in people who eat healthy. Apart from being taken from food, biotin is produced by bacteria in our intestine. In some cases, biotin deficiency can cause hair loss.
Biotin is found in a lot of different foods like eggs, liver, bread and cereals.
Folic acid, also known as folacin, is a key nutrient that takes part in DNA synthesis. It also takes part in the metabolism of important amino acids and together with vitamin B12 and nicotinic acid in different functions.
Folic acid is involved in cell multiplication and in the formation of red and white blood cells and in the synthesis of different neurotransmitters. The recommended daily intake for folic acid is 400 micrograms for an average adult and it can be found in vegetables, orange juice, avocado, beetroot, broccoli, brewer's yeast, liver, wheat germ and some enriched cereals.