Lovely locks aren’t just the result of a stellar styling routine. Mounting scientific evidence is showing that you can eat your way to stronger strands and thicker tresses.

“Hair follicle cells are some of the most metabolically active and have amongst the highest cell turnover rate in the body,” says Dr Alan Bauman, a hair restoration physician and hair transplant surgeon. “Restricting kilojoules or falling short on protein, minerals, essential fatty acids and vitamins can lead to abnormalities in hair fibre structure and production, pigmentation changes as well as hair loss. If you’re deficient in the basic nutritional building blocks like protein, your body won’t produce healthy hair.”

The best vitamins and nutrients for hair growth

Hair growth is most prolific from age 15 to 30, and may slow or change after 40. While there’s no vitamin H to reboot your hair, building a menu that’s rich in these components will offer the biggest benefits:

● Protein
● Iron
● Vitamin A
● B Vitamins, including 6 and 12
● Omega-3 Fats
● Zinc
● Selenium
● Magnesium
● Vitamin D (supplementation required)

If altering your diet doesn’t do the trick, speak to your doctor, suggests dermatologist Dr Salvatore Di Grandi. Hair loss or drastic hair health changes could be a symptom of an internal disease, like an under-active thyroid, a liver issue or an autoimmune condition, such as lupus. Or it could be linked to “telogen effluvium,” the name for hair loss caused by a major life stressor, such as giving birth, a death in the family, a new job or loss of job or moving. These triggers will likely require a more multifaceted treatment approach

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