Whilst there is plenty of information about products to keep your hair healthy, often they only address symptoms of larger underlying health issues. Whether it be dandruff, split ends or an early onset of graying, these issues are often in part due to poor diet or an overall lifestyle that could be prevented or minimized by making better lifestyle choices.
One common hair problem is those pesky white flakes. That’s right, we are talking about dandruff. Now there is a range of ways we can approach this problem. Firstly, before we touch on health, it is beneficial to know how to get rid of dandruff symptoms as well as how to prevent them re-occurring through a healthier lifestyle. Now getting rid of dandruff should be approached through researching suitable shampoos and possible remedies. However, as soon as you stop using these often expensive products, the issue generally tends to come right back. So whilst they do seem to fix the issue, they are not actually addressing the cause of the dandruff. These products are just preventing the symptoms from occurring by treating a dry and oily scalp. By all means, use anti dandruff shampoos ( I am not at all against this) if you are suffering from the condition, however fix your diet to! By doing so, you may not get such a dry and oily scalp in the first place.
Eating nutrient dense food will give your hair larger benefits than you probably think. Iron and zinc are vital in helping hair follicles grow. Whilst supplements can be helpful, look at eating foods that will increase the levels of iron and zinc in your body. This includes red meat at least two or three times a week, or if you are after a vegetarian option then include foods like lentils or soy beans in your diet. Vitamin D has also been shown to generate hair growth, many people have a vitamin D deficiency. I would advise seeing your doctor who may be able to suggest a vitamin D supplement.
Eating a diet rich in protein will actually help strengthen your hair. It encourages hair re growth and if you are not getting enough protein in your diet, it can become noticeable in your hair. Depending on your weight and gender you will need a different amount of daily protein in your diet. Remember to keep it simple, foods like chicken, red meat and fish are high sources of protein. Before rushing of to buy expensive supplements, think about what changes you can make to your diet. Your hair and scalp will thank you for it.
So apart from maintaining a balanced diet, how else can I treat common hair conditions like dandruff and split ends?
There is a range of natural remedies that you can also use together with diet changes and the use of over the counter shampoos.
Using lemon juice as a remedy is a great idea. It is extremley cheap and easy to source and has some great benefits. I generally like to recommend about three tablespoons, or slighlty more if you have very long hair. Massage it into your hair and leave I there for around ten mins before you rinse it off. Do this 3-4 times per week and you should start to see changes. It won’t help split ends but it will certainly help your scalp to fight off dandruff.
Just like lemon juice, this is an ordinary household item that is cheap and effective. There is really no correct way to use it, but generally you will want to mix it with something (usually water). Run this through your hair before you rinse it off.
Aloe Vera is known to have anti fungal properties. This will help keep dandruff away by targeting the areas on the scalp that are susceptible to this condition. I would recommend using Aloe Vera gel if possible. Apply this to you hair once or twice a day before you use your shampoo.
“Ok, so we have covered dandruff and how to approach it with diet, remedies and products. But what about split ends?”
Split ends are a bit more complicated and can occur for a number of reasons. My best advice would be to visit the wikihow page on split ends. Sheknows.com is also another great resource for approaching this issue.
So in conclusion, we can see that diet can play a large role in general health issues. This includes the health of your hair. Whilst products have uses, if you can concentrate on keeping yourself healthy and eating nutrient dense food, then you are halfway there.