Tip & How-To about Health & Beauty

When it comes to healthy hair

By Hilary Parker
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
"Lather, rinse, repeat" may be standard advice, but shampoo and conditioner alone won't give you the healthy hair you crave. For the most luxurious locks possible, you'll need to step out of the shower, and into the kitchen.
"Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month, and the foundation of all of our new hair, skin, and nail growth is the nutrients we eat," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a Chicago-based dietitian. "If you eat a healthy diet, you will grow stronger and healthier cells throughout your entire body -- inside and out."
If you were born with fine, thin hair, you'll never have rope-thick tresses -- no matter what you eat -- but a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of growth-promoting protein and iron can make a difference, say nutrition and hair experts.
And beware of dietary supplements often marketed to thicken hair or make it grow faster. They may backfire.
"Even though you can find beauty supplements on the shelves of most stores, try to get the nutrients you need from foods whenever possible," Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist in Vallejo, Calif., tells WebMD. "In rare instances, excess supplementation of certain nutrients, such as vitamin A, has been linked to hair loss."
Read on for the 10 top foods that should be the foundation of your healthy hair diet.
(What are some of the things you do to keep YOUR hair healthy and shiny? Talk with others on the Skin Care: Share Your Tips message board.)
Healthy Hair Food No. 1: Salmon
When it comes to foods that pack a beauty punch, it's hard to beat salmon. 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."
Vegetarian? Include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.
Healthy Hair Food No. 2: Dark Green Vegetables
Popeye the Sailor Man didn't eat all that spinach for healthy hair, but he could have. 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.
Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.
Healthy Hair Food No. 3: Beans
Beans, beans, they're good for your ... hair?
Yes, it's true. Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample 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.
Healthy Hair Food No. 4: Nuts
Do you go nuts for thick, shiny hair? You should.
Brazil nuts are one of nature's best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp.
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.
Healthy Hair Food No. 5: Poultry
Chickens and turkeys may have feathers, but the high-quality protein they provide will help give you the healthy hair you crave.
"Without adequate protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair, while a profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color," Giancoli tells WebMD.
Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.
Healthy Hair Food No. 6: Eggs
When it comes to healthy hair, it doesn't matter whether you like your eggs scrambled, fried, or over easy. However they're served up, eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find.
They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.
Healthy Hair Food No. 7: Whole Grains
Sink your teeth into hearty whole grains, including whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, for 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.
Healthy Hair Food No. 8: Oysters
Oysters may be better known for their reputation as an aphrodisiac, but they can also lead to healthy hair -- and who doesn't love that?
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.
Healthy Hair Food No. 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.
Healthy Hair Food No. 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, you'd be wise to include carrots in your diet as snacks or toppings on your salad.

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1 Answer

bleached hair roots turned white the rest is orange


You cannot lighten "color" with "color". If you had to, and only had one color, you could possibly put color on the ends first, wait 10 mins and then apply to roots (which is difficult to do on your own hair) Virgin (uncolored hair) lightens MUCH faster than colored hair. alot of times the colored parts of the hair will never get as light as the roots, without using a differant product. This is why people go to salons :) Anyway, first try Matrix shampoo called "So Silver" (this will tone the hair. Its purple color neutralizes the orange. Most likely though, the color you used was a darker level of color than what your ends were and since you cannot lighten color with color, you get brassy orange. Go to sally's beauty supply, pick up some hair bleach, 20 vol. developer. mix together equal parts. wet your hair, lather with shampoo/conditioner mixture, and smush bleach mixture ONLY to your orange ends (NOT YOUR ROOTS)watch your strands fade from orange to light pale blonde and rinse as soon as it hits desired level (only takes a few minutes) Hope this helps.

Sep 02, 2014 | Clairol Nice n Easy Born Blonde Hair...

3 Answers

My 12 yrs old daughter has long,dry, curly hair. I apply oil regularly. Once she dries her hair after bath it puffs up & are quite dry. Please advice on appropriate shampoo,condtioner,hair oil & if any other conditioning is required. Thanks for your effort & valuable time.


Hello,
I've used Freeze ease shampoo and conditioner by john frieda and that helped me with the puffiness. Now I also get the keratin treatment which moisturizes so it eliminates the freeze BUT I'm an adult and since she is only 12, she has to wait till she is older to do it. Meanwhile I would recommend freeze ease serum and shampoo(you can get these from any regular pharmacy like CVS or Wallgreens. Also there is a shampoo and conditioner that does wonders for me. it's called Brazilian blowout Acai anti-freeze shampoo and conditioner. But it's pricey. It's about 45 $ a bottle and you can get it only in beauty salons. I would ask to see if it's OK for a 12 year old to use it.
Good luck :)

Dec 15, 2010 | Health & Beauty

1 Answer

how often must i change oil and what viscosity should i use pontiac grand am, 4 cilinder


recommendation is every 3000 but shampoo says lather rinse and repeat. never have to do that. i try to go 4000 to 5000 then change. latest recommendation for viscosity was 10 - 30 this works well any time of the year. good luck

May 05, 2010 | 2003 Pontiac Grand Am

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