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Having a head of shiny hair might not be high on your list of concerns, but for some, a well-coiffed style is important.

Certain conditions can have an impact on the health of our scalp and hair, so if you are concerned by sudden hair loss or any other scalp issues, it’s probably best to consult a medical professional to find the underlying problem.

There are also environmental, weather, and genetic conditions that will affect the quality and overall health of your hair and even the amount you have.

We can help to protect our hair by washing, drying, and combing it gently. Treat it nicely! If you have long hair, wear it down as much as you can, as ties can cause damage. Also, go easy on chemical dyes and intense heat treatment from curling irons, straighteners, or dryers. Try wearing a hat to save your hair from harsh weather conditions,

That said, the are also some foods that you can be enjoying that will certainly give your do a boost! A lot of it is making sure you get the right nutrients to keep your scalp healthy, and having a generally well-balanced and varied diet can help to ensure that.

Take a look at this list of nutrients that are essential to achieve the healthy hair you want!

1. Protein

Protein deficiency, as well as having all kinds of other disastrous health implications, will take its toll on the health of your hair. A lack of protein may cause your hair (and nails) to become weak and brittle. You may find that your hair is splitting and becoming lank. You might also notice some hair loss and slow growth. It is thought that in a deficiency situation, the body tries to preserve protein by shutting down less essential needs such as hair growth.

Pack the protein into your diet by eating tofu, quinoa, amaranth, beans, lentils, and a bunch of nuts and seeds.

2. Zinc

Zinc plays a very important role in the health of our hair and scalp. It is integral in hair tissue growth and repair and helps to keep hair follicles healthy and well oiled. Hair loss has been linked to zinc deficiency, but some research suggests that too much zinc can have the same effect. Thus, it is advised that you get your zinc intake from eating zinc-packed whole foods such as spinach, wheat germ, lentils, and pumpkin seeds.

3. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for all healthy cell growth in our bodies, and this is true for hair, too! Sebum is the oily substance that keeps our skin moisturized, our scalp healthy, and our hair shiny. Vitamin A is what keeps the gland that produces sebum in top shape. A deficiency in vitamin A can also lead to hair loss.

Get chomping on those sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, and kale for your hit of vitamin A.

4. Vitamin C

As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C may help to fight free radicals that can block the growth of your hair and even cause signs of aging. Vitamin C is also instrumental in the body’s ability to produce collagen. Collagen essentially helps to hold our body together and provides strength and structure. This is also true for our hair. Vitamin C also assists our bodies in absorbing iron which is important to hair health.

Check out these recipes that will give you a good boost of vitamin C: 10 Recipes Bursting with Vitamin C.

5. Iron

Without iron, our body cannot produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is essential in the restoration and growth of our cells, and these include the cells that manage our hair growth. It is thought that iron deficiency may be the cause of some hair loss, especially in women.

To get enough iron, make sure that you are eating enough dark leafy greens, whole grains, and legumes. You can also treat yourself to some dark chocolate, dried fruits, and blackstrap molasses!

This article of for informational purposes only and should not be used to treat potential medical conditions. If you have concerns over hair loss, consult a medical professional.

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