Have you ever wondered what foods are good for hair to include in your diet? Would you like to know how you can improve the health of your hair with your diet?
The graduate and nutritionist Carlos Valencia Ramos solves all doubts in this article. Do not miss it!
Carlos, do you think it is important to take care of hair health?
Without a doubt, it is one of the most exposed and least protected parts against harmful external agents. For example, it is quite common for the general population to use sunscreen for the skin on the days of more heat stroke. But ... how many people do we know to use sunscreen also for hair? In the end the hair, like the skin, reflects in its appearance and health the way we treat it. And in general, the need to take care of it properly is not so present.
Can we consider feeding a determining factor for healthy hair?
Bringing an inadequate diet is going to manifest externally at many levels. Not only in the hair, because in the end what we eat is the "raw material" with which we regenerate all the structures of our body. A poor or unbalanced diet will obviously have its reflection in our hair: hair fragility, hair loss, excess hair fat ...
What would an exemplary / ideal diet be like for healthy hair?
It would be a balanced and varied diet, which includes virtually all types of food in moderation. Poor in saturated fats and simple sugars and trying not to end up too full to eat. There are no secrets, the balanced diet, based on Mediterranean food, is a diet that will help us better maintain our overall health, not just hair.
What specific foods improve hair health?
There are several nutrients that are specifically important for hair. Some of them are:
Biotin(also known as vitamin B8 or vitamin H): we find it in foods such as beer yeast, egg yolk, liver, nuts such as nuts or almonds, soybeans, some types of mushrooms ...
Folic acid(or vitamin B9): present mainly in plant-based foods such as green leafy vegetables (spinach, endives, watercress, arugula, parsley) and others such as broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
What foods are harmful to the hair and / or scalp?
The foods that we advise against nutritionists are those with a high content of saturated or trans fats, simple sugars, or those foods that we can include in the ultraprocessed category: sugary sodas, excess alcoholic beverages, tobacco ...
And water, what role does it have in the health of our hair?
Hydration is essential for good overall health. Of course hair is no exception. Having adequate hydration levels means that our skin and our hair will look better. For example, it can help cushion the harmful effects of the sun on them and promote hair growth. Without avoiding the need for specific sunscreens for skin and / or hair.
Is it true that, if we apply some food directly to the hair, such as olive oil, the benefits are much better?
Certainly. Topical application of certain foods in the hair, particularly those rich in fats and vitamins such as E, can help improve their appearance by their antioxidant effects. Let's say it could help repair damaged structures.
However, it is advisable to go to a dermatology professional. This way you can determine if the direct application of these products is adequate depending on the individual needs of the patient.
Do you know any false myth about foods that are favorable for hair?
When talking about good foods for hair, we must clarify that they are because they contain the necessary nutrients for proper hair health. No need to look for miraculous foods. The key is to maintain a correct diet, including all types of food in the appropriate proportions, and providing the specific foods that we have mentioned above.
A patient with dry and brittle hair, what nutritional recommendations would you give to improve her hair condition?
On a nutritional level we can suggest the patient to follow a varied and balanced diet. You can supplement it in cases of major deficits with some supplements. As for example, a polyvitamin, biotin, brewer's yeast and, of course, good hydration. However, I believe that the use of hair care products that are specific to this problem (shampoos, masks) would be essential to be able to get where only with food we cannot.
And a patient with oily hair?
On the one hand, you have to avoid a diet with excess fats and simple sugars, excess alcohol, tobacco ... On the other, you have to see the patient that apart from taking care of their nutrition, should be followed by a professional dermatology. This will advise you to supplement that proper nutrition with specific treatments for your problem.
Are there any foods that help us stop hair loss?
There are no good hair foods as such or miraculous. Only well-balanced diets appropriate to the patient's individual situation. I reiterate, the most important thing to keep the hair in the best possible conditions is to eat everything, in the right proportions and quantities.
Throughout your professional career, what are the most frequent cases about hair health?
These cases have occurred more in patients who had carried out very restrictive nutritional regimens for long periods of time. They usually refer to hair fragility and excessive hair loss. An inadequate diet (either restrictive or excessive) maintained over time will certainly lead to a worsening of the appearance and health of our hair.
Do you think society cares about the health of your hair?
I believe that with the greatest amount of information available to us today, there is a greater awareness of body care and overall health. Of course, hair should not be an exception to this. Although the truth is that I respond based on perceptions. Among my patients very rarely I have raised specific hair problems, but as a symptom that showed that they were not following an adequate diet.
If you had to give 3 tips to have strong, healthy and shiny hair, what would they be?
Take a complete, balanced and as varied food as possible. Avoiding as much as possible the excess of saturated and trans fats, simple sugars, alcohol and tobacco. Protect hair from the sun especially in the warmest and sunniest months of the year.
Adequate hydration, if possible not less than 2 liters (8 glasses) of water per day. Special attention should be paid to hydration in the summer months, as it is more frequent during these months when more cases of dehydration occur.
Go to a dermatologist if hair problems appear that do not remit despite maintaining a good diet, so you can advise us on specific treatments for our hair type and problem.