What causes hair fall?
Hair fall can also be caused by anxiety, insomnia, hair abuse or excessive use of chemicals like bleaching treatments, perming and coloring.
The right foods can be really good for your hair, but hair loss has many causes. Sometimes, genetic factors like male or female pattern baldness can play a role. Thyroid disease, anemia, autoimmune diseases, and hormone issues may also cause changes or loss of hair.
Modern eating habits are also to be blamed (however, it is not true that our ancestors didn't have balding heads) - Soft drinks, snacks like fried, overcooked junk snacks, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine have detrimental effects on the nutrients that enhance hair growth.
Moreover, stress, some medications and poor dietary habits are known to retard hair growth. Eating right, exercising, relieving stress and getting plenty of sleep will help you maximize your hair growth. Also, incorporating healthy foods in your day-to-day diet will lead to a healthy hair growth.
Hair is made of protein, so you must ensure you have enough protein in your diet. If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle and weak. Extremely low protein diets may result in restricted hair growth and even hair loss.
The main sources of protein in our diet are chicken, turkey, fish, dairy products and eggs along with vegetarian sources such as legumes and nuts.
You must also ensure appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair.
Iron is an especially important mineral for hair and too little iron is a major cause of hair loss. The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient rich blood supply. When iron levels (serum ferritin) fall below a certain point, you may experience anaemia. This disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding.
Animal products such as red meat, chicken and fish provide iron with a high bioavailability, meaning the iron is readily available to the body.
If you are a vegetarians, you can raise your iron levels by including lentils, spinach and other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and salad greens.
Weekly Diet Chart for Healthy Hair
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM) 2 capsicum omelete + 1 multigrain bread toasted + 1 cup milk
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM) 1 cup coconut water
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM) 50gms salmon fish curry + 1 cup beans vegetable + 2 multigran chapatti + beetroot salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM) 1 orange
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM) 1 cup potato and drumstick curry + 2 chapatti + salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM) 2 beetroot parantha + 1/2 cup curd
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM) 1 cup pomegranate
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM) 1 cup potato carrot vegetable + 2 chapatti + 1 cup curd + salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM) 1 avocado
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM) 1 cup palak paneer + 2 chapatti +
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM) 1 cup vegetable rice flakes + 1 orange
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM) 1 cup guava
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM) 1 cup lotus stem + 2 chapatti + 1/2 cup curd + salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM) 1 cup fish pakora + green chutney
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM) 1 cup arhar dal + carrot salad + 2
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM) 2 onion capsicum omelette + 1 cup low fat milk
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM) 1 cup watermelon
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM) 1 cup pumpkin vegetable + 2 chapatti + 1 cup collard beans salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM) 1 cup sprouts salad
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM) 1 cup palak paneer + 2 chapatti + tomato salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM) 2 multigrain toasted bread + 1 spinach omelete + 1 gooseberry
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM) 1 cup aloe juice
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM) 1 cup fish curry + 1 cup brown rice + beetroot salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM) 1 cup lemon water
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM) 1 cup potato and capsicum + 2 chapatti + cucumber salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM) 2 broccoli and egg omelette + 1 toasted wheat bread ith peanut butter
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM) 1 cup green tea + 1 tsp honey + 5-6 almonds
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM) 1 cup baked kale with mushroom and tomato + 1 cup brown rice
Evening (4:00-4:30PM) 1 cup brussel sprout salad
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM) 1 cup cabbage peas + 2 chapatti + cucumber salad
Breakfast (8:00-8:30AM) 1 cup quinoa salad + 1 cup orange juice
Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30AM) 2 apricots
Lunch (2:00-2:30PM) 1 cup sweet potato curry + 1 cup brown rice + carrot salad
Evening (4:00-4:30PM) 1 cup musk melon
Dinner (8:00-8:30PM) 1 cup fenugreek with pea vegetable + 2 chapatti + onion salad
Diet Do's And Dont's
Do's for a healthy hair regime:
Do regular exercise
Follow proper diet.
Have a weekly scalp massage to provide stimulation to the hair follicles.
Get plenty of rest and sleep to allow your body to grow hair.
Keep a gap of 1 hour between meals and these tea/coffee/milk.This inhibits the absorption of minerals and vitamins from meals.
Dont's for a healthy hair regime:
Avoid unnecessary brushing, combing or handling. Use a soft, round bristles brush.
Avoid hot shower.
Skip meals because you don’t feel hungry. This disturbs the delicate hormone balance because our body tends to compensate for the missed meal.
Food Items You Can Safely Consume For Healthy Hair:
Cereals: fortified cereals and Wholegrains
Milk and milk products: skim milk, yogurt, cottage cheese
Meat: lean chicken, fish (salmon), eggs, oysters, beef
Fruits and vegetables: blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries, avocado, orange/yellow coloured vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, onions and sweet potatoes
Nuts and seeds: pumpkin seeds, chia seed, almonds and walnuts
Pulses and legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, masoor dal, moongs beans
Oils: sunflower oil, avocado oil, soybean oil, cod liver oil
Notes on select food items useful for healthy hair
1. Spinach: Rich in iron, folate, vitamin A and C, spinach is a powerhouse of goodness. Spinach boosts the production of sebum, an oily, waxy substance that helps moisturize the scalp, keeping your hair strong and healthy.
2. Avocado: Helps with scalp health and hair growth. Rich in vitamins and minerals. Fatty acids, folate, and vitamin K and C, strengthen your hair.
3. Moringa: Moringa powder has a rich quantity of Zinc, Vitamin A, chlorophyll, amino acids, and antioxidants. It moisture the hair and leave it soft and healthy.
4. Eggs (yolk): Has Vitamins A and E, biotin, and folate are just some of the nutrients that promote hair growth and healthy hair.
5. Papaya: Excellent for scalp care, and strengthening your follicles.
6. Amla: Rich in amino acids and proteins that help in hair growth, hair fall, and nourish the roots of the hair. Take one or two fruit maximum per day.
7. Sweet potatoes: Fibre-rich source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into to vitamin A which increases the rate of hair growth and encourages thicker hair while preventing hair follicles from degeneration.
8. Beetroot: A great source of food to stay away from hair loss. It's a good source of potassium which can prevent hair loss and enhance hair growth. Take daily 3-4 cubes of beetroots with your meals.
9. Vitamin C-rich foods: Vit C is needed for blood circulation to the scalp and supports the small blood vessels that provide your hair nourishment.Examples...Blueberries. Strawberries, kiwis, and tomatoes.
10. Wheat Grass Powder/juice: Contains 17 amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, all essential for keeping our hair, it's very rich in antioxidants, and it greatly prevents premature aging too.
11. Aloe vera: Works as a natural conditioner and cools the scalp. Aloe vera has Vitamin B2, B6, B12, B& Vitamin C. The B vitamins aid in reducing hair thinning.
12. Fenugreek seeds: Fights dandruff, dryness of hair, and hair thinning.
Some protein-rich fish
Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other fatty fish (rich in omega-3 0 - Good for your skin, hair, and nails)
Some Protein-rich vegetarian food items:
Chickpeas (Safed/Kala chana):
One bowl of chickpeas provides approximately 10 g of protein, calcium, zinc, iron and Vitamin C. You can either make curry or mixed vegetable salad with chickpeas, as shown below:
One bowl of soybean provides approximately 8 gm of protein, omega-two fatty acids, anti-oxidants, Vitamin B1, Vitamin K, Molybdenum, copper, etc. However, avoid high intake because it might suppress your thyroid gland or cause diarrhoea. You can try this tangy soya chunk recipe:
One serving of oats (30 gm ) with milk provides 12 gm of proteins, fibre, Vitamin B1, minerals and antioxidants.