One of the most common questions I’m asked is: ‘How do I get longer and stronger hair?’ As a nutritionist, my approach is to go deeper and look at the root causes that could be causing thin, brittle or dry hair. And – no surprises here – but my first piece of advice is to pay attention to your diet.
You see, our bodies are constantly reflecting our inner state of health. From our hair to our skin, there are plenty of signs that reveal what’s happening within and that all starts with our diet and state of our gut. To help you along, I’ve outlined 10 of my tried-and-tested tips for longer, stronger hair:
Enjoy a wholefood diet: This means organic protein, veggies, grains, legums, fish, nuts and seeds. If you struggle to make nutritionally balanced recipes, use an app to help you create dedicated meal plans and ensure you’re eating the essential vitamins and minerals you need to keep your hair long and strong.
Eat lots of dark, leafy greens: Yes, eat them at every meals. There are even clever ways to sneak them into your brekkie, too!
Pop a multi-mineral supplement: every day for 3 months. Make sure it contains iodine, zinc and selenium – they’re great for hair growth.
Enjoy good fats and protein: The amino acids in protein work to build strong hair cells, while good fats nourish those cells, making your hair appear shiny on the outside. So, eat up!
Boost your iron levels: Low iron may be the culprit behind your hair breakage. Ask your GP for a blood test, and check that your ferritin levels are around 70. To increase your iron, eat more greens and enjoy red meat twice a week, or invest in a high-quality supplement.
Load up on vitamin C: This vitamin boosts collagen production, which keeps hair thick and strong. Rich sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, capsicum, strawberries and greens.
Eat more yellow and red: Yes, this might sound odd, but yellow and red fruits and veggies increase your beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the body to boost your scalp health.
Supplement: Try fish oil to improve hair strength and shine or look for a mineral-rich formula to solve hair loss issues. Iodine and zinc are two common minerals we tend to be low in and can be very important for overall health and hair growth, so try adding these to your daily routine.
Combat your stress: For stronger, healthier hair, commit to doing stress-relieving exercises every day.
Check your thyroid levels: Low T3 (the active thyroid hormone) levels can cause hair to fall out. If you suspect this might be the case, get your T3 levels checked and support your thyroid with the help of your medical practitioner.