Olive oil was called liquid gold and used to moisturise hair in ancient Greece. Chinese princesses washed their hair with rice water in the imperial dynasties. Nourishing hair naturally is nothing new - though it’s not just about what we put on our hair - but what we put into our bodies that counts. Here are some nutrients we can’t look past for healthy hair… beauty comes from within after all:
“In medical training, we’re taught that proteins are the building blocks of the body, so it makes sense that boosting our protein intake keeps our hair strong”, says Wellington doctor, Dr Singh.
80 to 85% of hair is composed of a protein called keratin, which needs to be adequately fed for hair to reach its full growth potential. “More people are seeing the benefits of protein powders, as a quick and easy way to boost nutrition”, adds Dr Singh. If you need a protein boost on the go or struggle to meet your protein quota in your diet - a powder, like those from Dose & Co may be a good solution.
Eat: eggs, lean meats, beans, quinoa, tofu, nuts
Vitamin C: helps in the production of collagen which strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shafts. Eat: citrus fruits
Vitamin A: is needed by the body to make sebum, the oily substance created by our hairs sebaceous glands and provides a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. Eat: sweet potato, carrots, dairy
Vitamin E: reduces oxidative stress and preserves the scalps protective lipid layer, giving hair a strong base to grow from. Eat: nuts, leafy greens, olive & sunflower oil
Illustration : Studio Bon x Dirty Lemon
Omega-3 fatty acids help stimulate and nourish hair follicles and may be beneficial in reducing hair loss and increasing density. According to a report in Vogue, omega-3 can also protect the hair shaft's hydro-lipid layer, which prevents dull, dry and brittle locks.
Eat: oily fish (such as salmon), avocado, pumpkin seeds, walnuts
Our bodies produce collagen naturally, but production declines as we age. Boosting our collagen intake provides proteins and amino acids to help make keratin, the building blocks of hair.
Try: Dose & Co collagen powder stirred into coffee, tea, smoothies & baking.
Just as water hydrates and replenishes the skin, it does the same for the scalp and in turn, your hair. If your scalp isn’t getting enough water from within, problems like dryness, itchiness, or dandruff can develop. Water also helps ensure nutrients are absorbed and distributed throughout your body and hair much more effectively.
Drink: water, infused-water, caffeine-free herbal teas
When we were talking about all things natural hair health we knew we had to reach out to MANE friends the Tasty Twins for some delicious inspiration. They were kind enough to share a recipe from their cookbook The Healthy Kiwi Student with us - packed with protein and healthy fats essential to hair health, it’s also as easy as pie to make. Bon Appétit!