Our hair naturally changes over time, and believe it or not, it can actually tell you a lot about your health…
Unfortunately for you McDonalds lovers out there (guilty), your diet is a big factor in our hair health – if you’re not healthy enough, your body will tell you in many different ways, many different ways that we would quite frankly like to ignore:
1. Shedding too much hair…
It’s completely normal to shed a bit of hair, especially when you’re in the shower giving it that deep cleanse it has been craving for weeks. However, if you find yourself shedding more than usual, this could be an indicator of something more serious…
Paradi Mirmirani – dermatologist and regional director of hair disorders at Kaiser Permanente – says excessive hair loss can be caused by deficiencies or medical issues:
“In addition to testing for thyroid disease and anemia, your physician may check for certain vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies, including a vitamin D deficiency,” she added.
2. Dry hair…
According to Megan Faletra (MS and a global health consultant and dietitian), you should consume enough healthy fats in order to keep your hair healthier and less dry (what about unhealthy fats I hear you ask):
“Think about supporting the health of your hair by supporting your skin and scalp with an abundance of healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, and salmon into your diet.”
Okay, Saturday night takeaway clearly doesn’t qualify as a healthy fats then.
3. Dull hair…
According to Kaleigh McMordie, if your hair looks dull, it’s a sign that you’re not consuming enough healthy fats, and to add shine to your hair you need to consume more products such as Omega 3.
“Omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats are important for overall health, but dull hair could be a sign you aren’t getting enough. Load up on salmon, avocado, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and nuts.”
Healthy fats nourish the hair follicles and help to add elasticity, preventing breakage. Brilliant – do chocolate covered peanuts count?
4. Brittle Hair…
Tania Dempsey, MD from Armonk Integrative Medicine, claims that having very brittle hair can indicate a zinc or iron deficiency – or potentially both.
“Zinc and iron are important for keratin production so not having enough of these can lead to changes in the structure of hair. Zinc can be taken alone or with a mineral formula including iron. You can add foods that are high in zinc like beef, pumpkin seeds, and lentils to your diet, too,” explained Tania.
Again, more healthy food? Give us a break!
5. Dry Scalp…
Having a dry scalp means you need more omega-3s and omega-6s. Again with the Omegas? These fatty acids are apparently essential for healthy follicles, bringing extra moisture to your hair and scalp. Therefore consuming more foods that are rich in these fatty acids should rid you of your dry scalp woes.
Foods like sunflower seeds, fish and flaxseeds have a lot of fatty acids but you can also take fish oil supplements. Mmm fish tablets…delicious.
6. Thin Hair…
McMordie says ”Hair cells, just like every other cell in the body, are made up of amino acids, which are the broken down form of protein, so if you aren’t getting enough, you may start to lose more hair than normal,” she explained.
It’s a sign that your body needs more protein, she advises consuming protein-rich foods like: eggs, fish, beef, nuts, beans and whole grains.
7. Naughty Greys…
The loss of pigment in your hair is sometimes down to genetics (cue silver fox Philip Schofield), but when it happens at a significantly young age it maybe a sign of a copper deficiency. And guess what…we have more ravishing food suggestions for you to tackle this deficiency with: sesame seeds, mushrooms and seaweed.
And whilst we’re on the subject of hair…
Get your chops around this crazy fact: we’ve always been taught to shampoo first, condition after but it turns out we’ve been doing it wrong this entire time.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Nina Dimachki, the artistic director of Kérastase says:
“Conditioning before you shampoo is great for adding nourishment to fine hair without weighing it down.”
“It also promotes a longer lasting blow-dry and primes the hair before cleansing, allowing shampoo to distribute easier and more evenly.”
So why have we been doing it the other way around then?
Apparently, this way of washing your hair is only needed for certain hair types – not all of them. So those of you out there with greasy or highlighted hair, I’m afraid it is you that should switch up your hair washing routine – if you want your hair to last longer between washes and become less knotty, give these tips a go.
We’ve also been told to only cover our ends with conditioner, to keep them looking clean and tidy and avoid those dreaded chip pan, greasy roots. But now we’re being told that we’re supposed to be covering the roots with conditioner too…is there anything we are doing right?
“You will be cleansing it after, so your hair won’t be weighed down or oily.”
Kératase has products meant for this routine, if you’re looking to mix things up in your hair department, why not try this? Couldn’t hurt, could it.
And if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to splash the cash on expensive hair products then high street brand Tresemmé could be the brand for you. They offer salon-worthy products for a fraction of the price: their Beauty-Full Volume Reverse System collection is a personal favourite.
You could also try co-washing, which means “conditioner-only washing”, supposedly giving you that perfect in between “freshly washed and second-day hair” – smooth, soft and easy to manage. The dream.
“In between shampoos, I apply a co-wash. My favourite is the ‘As I Am’ Coconut one because it seals in moisture,” Viola Davis claims.
So there you have it, everything you could possibly need and want to know about how to create those luscious locks you have always longed for.
And we cannot wait to get started on our new hair routines; move over Cheryl, because ‘we’re worth it’ too.