Feeding YOur Hair

Scalp Problems Tony Maleedy

“We are what we eat”, so the saying goes, and, of course, it is perfectly true.

Our bodies’ only get the nutrients they need to grow and function properly from what we put into our mouths … we don’t breath nutrients in!

When we don’t eat the right foods our hair can be one of the first parts of the body to suffer (if the level of nutrients is low the body will prioritise where the available nutrients go, and the organs and systems important for maintaining life obviously take priority over the hair), so it is enormously important that we have a good, well balanced diet, one rich in protein, fruit, vegetables, minerals, vitamins, water and fruit juices. And low in fats, carbohydrates and synthetic substances.

Dieting, particularly crash dieting can be disastrous on the hair. To suddenly stop eating food can cause hair loss by the hand full; this type of dieting should never be undertaken unless it is required for medical reasons. A well prepared and sensible diet, accompanied by exercise is, however, a good way to lose weight and will not cause hair loss.

Anaemia, or simply just low ‘normal’ iron levels, is another common cause of hair loss. In some cases leading to a marked thinning of the hair. Women are more susceptible to this problem than men because of the loss of iron in the blood during their menstrual periods. It is, therefore, very important that this iron is replaced either by way of iron tablets or iron rich foods such as almonds, asparagus, bran, celery, egg yolk, kidney, lettuce, liver, oatmeal, soy beans and whole wheat, or by taking iron supplements.

Here is a general guide to some foods which are good or bad for your hair and scalp:

Wholemeal bread
Vegetables (raw, or lightly cooked)
Mineral water
Pure fruit juices
Green salad
Pasta and rice
And… always eat breakfast!

Junk food
White bread
Fried foods
Processed foods – sausages, pies, tinned meat, tinned fruit
Fat on meat
Fizzy drinks, alcohol, too much tea and coffee
Too much salt
Full fat cheese (it can cause dandruff in some people!)