Many factors affect hair growth and the health of our hair can change for a number of reasons. Excluding genetics, hair growth is also affected by our diet, nutrition levels, age, and hormonal changes especially during pregnancy and menopause. Getting enough nutrients is the foundation for overall health, but if nutrition is low then our body will make a choice where to allocate our intake of vitamins, minerals and protein. This means your hair can be neglected as the body will focus on allocating nutrients to supporting functions that are more crucial/important to maintaining life. If you have noticed that you are experiencing hair loss or thinning hair then focusing on increasing vitamins, minerals and protein can support your hair especially as this is a sign that you could potentially be low in certain nutrients.
Protein is required for hair growth, and provides essential amino acids which act as building blocks to support everything in the body from the production of hormones and connective tissue, to collagen and even healthy hair growth. Without adequate intake of protein for our hair, or with impaired protein digestion and absorption, our hair will suffer. If your diet is low in protein or there is an increased demand then supplementing with a protein powder can support optimum levels.
Vitamin H, also known as Biotin is required for the maintenance of normal hair, mucous membranes and skin and prevents hair and nails from breaking, and also helps to stimulate growth. Biotin can be sourced from eggs and dairy however a supplement is a great way to ensure you are getting your daily dose. Shop Wild Nutrition Complete Beauty Support & Food Grown Women’s Daily Multi Nutrient & Energy Support.
Silica is the must have mineral for strong connective tissue and our bodies depend on silica to prevent dry skin, hair breakage and brittle nails so it can help to improve hair growth and strength. As we become older, our silica production decreases and as it is found in low levels in our diet, our bodies can become prone to deficiency. Silica requires synergistic nutrients, such as Vitamin C, in order to be absorbed. Shop Wild Nutrition Vitamin C & Bioflavonoids.
Hair loss or excessive shedding can occur due to iron deficiency which disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle because iron is essential for carrying oxygen around the body and low levels can affect the hair growth cycle. Although the best source of iron is heme iron, which is found in meat, non-heme iron found in plant food such as spinach is very well absorbed especially when combined with important nutrients such as vitamin C to support its absorption. In fact Food Grown Iron has been shown to be up to 44% better absorbed than iron from other sources such as that contained in Wild Nutrition’s Iron Plus. Shop Wild Nutrition Iron Plus.
Zinc is involved in more than 200 reactions within the body and is well known for supporting a healthy immune system, production of collagen and contributes to normal skin, hair and nails. If you notice your hair sheds a lot, you have slow healing wounds, recurrent infections, or white spots on your nails, increasing your intake of foods high in zinc, nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds or taking a Zinc supplement may be just what your body and hair needs. Shop Wild Nutrition Zinc Plus.
One of the less obvious factors involved in hair thinning is the disruption of the digestive process. Our bodies require certain molecules in order for hair to grow. Therefore, some digestive disorders (e.g.: Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Disease) can affect digestion. This means that the body might not get the proper nutrients it needs from the food we eat. Not having the necessary nutrients means no building blocks for hair growth. Shop Wild Nutrition Multi Strain Biotic.
Written by Vanessa Tucker - Nutritional Therapist, Naturopath and Herbalist and Gilly Brunton - Registered Nutritionist (RNutr/MSc)