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The Road to Healthier, Longer, Shiny Hair!

Let's talk food & diet... what is necessary in my meal plan to achieve / maintain healthy hair?

A healthy balance of protein, dairy and green vegetables will definitely help with this. Below are the top ten food items that you want to include in your everyday diet. If you are Vegetarian, you will want to include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats to take the place of some of the protein items listed.

1: Salmon

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron.“Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull look.”

2: Dark Green Vegetables

Dark green vegetables provide your body with iron and calcium. Spinach, like broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body’s natural hair conditioner.

3: Eggs

Whether you like your eggs scrambled, fried, or over easy, eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find.They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.

4: Beans

Legumes like kidney beans and lentils are an important part of your hair-care diet. They provide protein to promote hair growth as well as iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.

Blatner, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, recommends three or more cups of lentils or beans each week

5: Nuts

If you are longing for thick and shiny hair, walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.

6: Poultry Chicken / Turkey

These provide the high-quality protein you need to help give you the healthy hair you crave.Without adequate protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair.

7: Whole Grains

Whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, contain a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron and B vitamins. A whole-grain snack can also be a great go-to food when your energy is zapped halfway through the afternoon, and you’ve still got hours to go before dinner.

8: Oysters

The key to their love and hair-boosting abilities is zinc — a powerful antioxidant. If oysters don’t make a regular appearance on your dinner plate, don’t despair. In addition to getting it from whole grains and nuts, you can also get zinc from beef and lamb.

9: Low-Fat Dairy Products

Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources. For some healthy hair foods “to-go,” try throwing a yogurt or cottage cheese cup in your bag when you head out in the morning to snack on later in the day. You can even boost their hair benefits by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

10: Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp along with good vision. Since a healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, well-conditioned head of hair, it is wise to include carrots in your diet as snacks or toppings on your salad.

What can help with my Dry Scalp?

Massaging your scalp on a regular basis will stimulate oil production, which will help reduce the dryness of your hair. Daily shampooing is not recommended for any hair type especially ethnic hair because it is dryer than other types of hair. Shampooing too frequently can strip away the natural oils from your hair and scalp as well as promote overactive oil glands causing your pores to close and create flaking. Try shampooing once every 7 to 14 days instead. Also try to stick with products that are sulfate / alcohol free.

Why is my hair so tangled after I shampoo?

When shampooing use a warm to tepid water temperature, hot water can dry your hair/ scalp and promote more tangling throughout the hair. Also, it is best to massage / rub the hair in one direction to avoid tangling. While towel drying your hair, blotting instead of rubbing helps ensure less tangles. Use a leave in conditioner while your hair is damp and run your fingers through your hair before combing through with a wide tooth comb to help with the detangling process.

How do I prevent heat damage?

Using a heat protectant serum helps with this. You will want to apply your heat protectant to damp hair after shampooing and conditioning and before blow-drying. A way to check and see if your heat protecting product is doing its job is to apply heat to your hair after use. If your hair strands are room temperature immediately after passing a flat iron through it once that is a good sign... if your hair strands are extremely hot to the touch after passing a flat iron through once, chances are your heat protectant is not working.

Why won't my hair stop shedding?

Shedding hair is a natural process. It is said that a healthy head of hair can shed up to 100 strands a day but if you notice that you are having excessive shedding or hair breakage it could be a remedy as simple as a protein and deep conditioning treatment to help strengthen your hair and replace the nutrients that some of the chemicals we use such as lightener, color, relaxer, perms etc take out.

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