Diet check for healthy hair

Hair is said to be our crowning glory. Hair fall and thinning of hair are common issues today. Modern hectic lifestyle, exposure to pollution, inadequate sleep, stress and the use of chemical products deteriorate hair quality and lead to dandruff and hairfall. Shahnaz Husain will give you some simple tips to keep your hair healthy and voluminous.
There is no miracle treatment to stimulate hair growth. Hair only grows a quarter inch per month when they are healthy. Leading a balanced lifestyle, adequate diet, proper physical activity and caring for your tresses, as well as your scalp properly will encourage hair growth.
Hair is made up of a protein matter called keratin. It grows out of a hair follicle beneath the surface of the skin. The hair is fed by the nutrients in the bloodstream, which flow to the follicles with the blood. Deficiencies in diet can lead to inadequate supply of nutrients to the follicle.
We all know that protein is necessary for strong and healthy hair but recent research findings indicate that a high-protein diet of meats can lead to a deficiency of certain minerals, undermining the health of the body and affecting the hair. The daily diet is as important for hair as it is for every part of the body. Apart from proteins, the daily diet must supply the body with adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and bioflavinoids. It should also provide enough enzymes for the proper breakdown and utilisation of proteins.
Protein is one of the main nutrients for hair growth while amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Having a small bowl of sprouts daily controls hair loss and also promotes hair growth as sprouts are rich in amino acids. Nutritionists say that fish and sea food are ideal for enhancing healthy hair growth. Protein can be obtained from lean meats, fish, egg, paneer, yogurt, dals, peas, beans and nuts. Moong and kala chana can be easily sprouted at home.
External hair treatments, containing protein, also help to strengthen the hair and restore health. Protein has other benefits too that improve the texture and look of the hair. For instance, some ingredients that are rich in protein may be applied on the hair to add body and thickness. They also make the hair appear healthy and shiny.
Applying egg on the hair has been a beauty treatment for centuries. Eggs, especially egg whites, are rich in protein. For oily hair, apply egg white 20 minutes before shampoo. This not only nourishes and cleanses the hair but also adds body. For normal to dry hair, apply the whole egg or only egg yolk.
Green tea is just not a great drink but has fabulous hair benefits too. It is super rich in EGCG, an antioxidant that helps in boosting hair growth and preventing hair loss. Scaly and flaky skin on the scalp can be treated with green tea, which regulates the scalp’s protein levels, nourishes, hydrates and moisturises scalp. Apply warm green tea (from the used tea bags) over your scalp and leave it for an hour and rinse well to make your hair softer, stronger and less prone to breakage.
Daily intake of eight glasses of water /juice/ soup etc promotes cell growth and reproduction — your hair won’t grow without liquid intake. Proper hydration is not only essential for the growth of your hair but it also ensures that your body parts function properly.
Daily physical activity results in increased blood circulation across body which also promotes healthy hair follicles.
Milk contains protein that helps hair growth. It is full of nutrients and contains different kinds of proteins. Milk can be applied on damaged hair to soften it. After your shampoo, rinse the hair with milk and leave on for 5 minutes. Then rinse off with plain water. For extremely dry hair, add a little milk to egg yolk and apply on the hair half an hour before shampoo. The hair becomes soft, smooth, healthy and lustrous. Yogurt can also be similarly applied on the hair before shampoo to restore the PH balance and enhance hair growth.
The use of coconut milk is the most effective remedy for natural hair growth. Take coconut milk from a fresh coconut. To it, add half a squeeze of lemon, 4 drops of essential lavender oil. Mix it well and apply it on your scalp. Leave it on for 4-5 hours and then rinse it off.
A pre-shampoo treatment can also be done with a hair pack containing powdered milk. Add a little water to make a thick paste. Apply it on the hair and do the hot-towel wrap to nourish the hair.
Other proteins like lentils, soyabean and yogurt are used to cleanse the hair and enhance growth. For a home treatment, soak a cup of moong dal without skin overnight. Make a paste in the blender with water. Apply this like a pack and wash it off with plain water after half an hour. Indeed, proteins not only enhance the health and beauty of the hair but can also reverse the damage and restore health to the hair.
If you are after long, lustrous and shiny looking hair, frequent trims after every eight weeks are a must. Living with frayed, split ends will eventually cause your hair to break further. Regular trimming also prevents split ends from moving up the hair strand and causing major breakage.

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