Protein is composed of the amino acids essential for the building of new cells, including hair. Five amino acids are of particular relevance to hair growth - cystine, cysteine, methionine, arginine and lysine.
Inadequate protein intake over a lengthy period can force hair into the resting phase with shedding a few months later. It is obvious then that sufficient portions of protein rich foods should form part of your daily diet. The best sources of dietary protein are lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, soy, nuts, grains and seeds. At least 15% of your daily calories should come from protein-rich foods.
Carbs are an essential source of energy and help in the growth of body tissues, including hair. They are an important source of the B vitamins that are vital to healthy hair.
It is important that you concentrate on consuming non-refined carbs rather than the sugars and white flour that are so prevalent in many over-refined carb products. You should place an emphasis on consuming vegetables, fruits, whole grains, brown rice and potatoes. It is recommended that you obtain 55-60% of your daily calories from the carbohydrates found in these foods.
Fat is used in energy production and can be found in both animal and plant foods. Your body needs sufficient levels of fat to maintain good health. That fat should be obtained from a mixture of lean animal and plant sources. Roughly 25-30% of your daily calories should come from these sources.
How much of each food group you eat depends on a host of factors including age, sex, health and level of physical activity. When choosing meals and snacks, take account of the following key principles of sound nutrition:
Following a nutritious diet is essential for good hair health, but on its own this may not be sufficient for a number of reasons:
It may be sufficient to supplement with a well-balanced multi-vitamin / mineral product but a number of products are available that specifically cater for the requirements of healthy hair.