Locking them up

You are done pumping scalp serums, massaging oil pods on your follicles, and wielding haute tongs to make your hair look glossy and voluminous.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

You are done pumping scalp serums, massaging oil pods on your follicles, and wielding haute tongs to make your hair look glossy and voluminous. Try going back to the basics—food. Eat healthy to pour the vitamin cocktail into your locks this summer.  

Says Dr Samudrika Patil, endocrinologist and CEO of Vedicure Healthcare and Wellness, “As hair follicles are mostly protein, consume adequate amounts of protein from both the plant and animal kingdoms to stimulate them for better hair growth. Biotin available in foods promotes keratin production, essential for strand growth. Eggs are biotin-rich, the yolk carries zinc for nourishing hair.”  

Our hair needs appropriate amounts of protein, Vitamins A, C, B12, D3, folic acid, and minerals in zinc, selenium and iron. “In addition to this, regular cleansing of scalp, conditioning of hair and a healthy lifestyle contribute to happy hair. Bring into your daily diet other biotin-rich foods in legumes, avocados, mushrooms, seafood, lean meats. Hair is formed of keratin, which is composed of proteins formed by various amino acids. Intake of eggs, onions, liver, sweet potatoes, mangoes and carrots help in boosting keratin formation further,” adds Dr Nandini Gupta, dermatologist, Apollo Spectra, Mumbai.  

Lack of iron in our diet often leads to anaemia, the biggest cause of hair fall, especially during menarche and perimenopause periods. “Iron present in fresh, seasonal green leaves composes the haemoglobin in our blood. This component combines with oxygen on inhalation, to be carried to all body parts, including the scalp, bettering hair growth, making follicular tissue healthier,” explains Dr Patil. 

Chomp on cabbage, spinach, lettuce, bathua even vegetables, including tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli, are rich in the compound beta carotene that makes hair cells strong and healthy. Adds Dr Gupta, “Intake of Vitamin C-rich foods like amla, lemon, and citrus fruits betters the absorption of iron, boosting hair growth.” Sprinkle flax seeds and chopped walnuts galore into your salads, infuse water with chia seeds to celebrate the biotin intake.

“Understand that external applications of such hair packs, serums and oils condition hair for improved smoothness in texture and lustre. Nourishment of hair is mainly derived from the nutrients in our food,” says Dr Gupta. Bring in the anti-oxidants and slow down the ageing process by consuming a generous amount of berries, and greens. “Spirulina intake combats hair loss as it contains amino acids, essential fatty acids, Vitamin A and beta-carotene, all of which are good for hair health. Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, tuna, amongst others contain Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D that betters hair health. For vegetarians, soyabean oil is an excellent source of Omega-3,” says Dr Patil. 

Tips to get that fabulous mane
● Avoid extreme diets as the first casualty is your hair
● Streamline the intake of sugary, starchy, oily and 
fried food
● Use lukewarm oil to 
massage your scalp, weekly
● Stay hydrated. Eat well. Sleep soundly. Exercise daily.
● Use a clarifying, oil-based shampoo, thrice a week
● Topical application of egg white pampers the locks 
● Smoking and alcohol consumption catalyse the ageing process, causing hair thinning, or strand loss

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