Are you sick of dry, brittle hairs that need to be chopped every time you try to grow them out? Have you always imagined yourself with a long, lustrous mane but never really achieved it? Well then, look no further. Ms T is here with a list of foods to stimulate hair growth and give you those luscious locks you have always dreamt of!
Whether you are trying to recover your locks from a misguided haircut or simply wish to have longer hair, you may have a hard time waiting for the desired length. Trust us, we’ve all been there. Nothing tests one’s patience like growing hair does!
Luckily, concentrating on your hair growth can actually get great results, especially when you invest in some strategic eating. Ms T has shortlisted seven foods which will not only help you lengthen your locks but also give them strength and stimulate the growth of new hair. Read on for hair that just begs to be touched.
Besides being loaded with proteins and Vitamin D — both of which are essential for strong hair — salmon and other cold water fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids which our hair needs to grow. These fatty acids are found in the cell membranes and natural oil of the scalp and extra doses from salmon replenish these, thereby stimulating hair growth and keeping the scalp healthy.
Rich in zinc, selenium, sulphur and iron, egg yolk helps carry oxygen to the hair follicles and also contain biotin which promotes growth. A word of warning though: remember, it is the egg yolk and not the whites which make the hair long and strong. Over consumption of egg whites has been found to block absorption of biotin and other minerals into the body, leading to hair loss and other health issues.
3. Sweet potatoes
This delicious vegetable contains large amounts of beta carotene which is converted into Vitamin A upon entering the human body and enhances the scalp and quality of existing hair. Vitamin A is essential for the functioning of all cells in the body and also sustains the natural oils produced by our scalp. Sweet potatoes are an excellent remedy for itchy scalps and dandruff as well.
4. Dry fruits
These nuts make hair grow faster and thicker owing to the high levels of biotin and Vitamin E present in them and shield hair against DNA damage and UV rays. Walnuts have also been proven to have copper, a mineral which maintains the richness of natural hair colour, adds shine and keeps them soft and lustrous. One cup of these nuts comprises nearly one-third of the average daily requirements and can be added to every foods like salads and even curries, etc. If consumed regularly, one should be able to see a difference in hair growth within a month or two.
Cruise the dairy aisle at your local supermarket for low-fat yogurt or buy it from your neighbourhood doodh-wala. It doesn’t matter where you get it from so long as you treat yourself to the magical food, rich in hair-friendly proteins, vitamins like B5 and D and natural moisturizers to hydrate your scalp and keep it healthy. If you are not a fan of plain yogurt, invest in cups of flavoured yogurt and get started on your hair repair regime. The best thing about yogurt is that it can also be applied to the hair directly to counter dry and dull hair, dandruff and brittle ends.
For those who don’t know, the lentil is an edible pulse grown for its lens-shaped seeds for basic foods, like daal and beans. Although tiny in size, lentils are full of protein, biotin, zinc and iron, making them highly advantageous for hair growth and the overall health of the human body. The lentil family includes channay, kidney beans, lobia (black eyed peas) and even soybeans, etc, all of which stimulate the hair follicles and encourage growth. Toss the beans into a soup or salad or stick to everyone’s favourite daal chaawal but be sure to give lentils a shot for a strong, rejuvenated mane.
A high concentration of fatty acids which keep skin smooth and soft make avocados an age-old beauty secret. When applied, avocadoes stimulate collagen and elastin which make the skin supple and hair soft. An excellent way to reap the countless benefits of the fruit is by mixing it into some sour cream and applying it to your hair 10 minutes before taking a shower. The lactic acid found in sour cream exfoliates dead skin and clears residue on the scalp while nutrients in avocado expedite the growth of new hair and lengthen exiting ones. Develop this into a regular pre-shower hair mask routine and you will be well on your way to gorgeous hair.
Keep in mind that the most important thing for those seeking longer hair is to be patient and maintain focus on their diet. As is the case with everything else in life, one must be perseverant to achieve the desired results.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, January 26th, 2014.
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