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How Your Diet and Lifestyle Affect Your Hair

Updated on November 26, 2015
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Hair damage, hair loss and thinning are issues that have long been troubling people, both men and women equally. Now, it has been proved that there are various reasons of hair loss, and of them, the most common ones are biological factors, unhealthy eating habits, stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, only to name a few. So if you are suffering from hair loss while none of your parents have, it is highly likely that the problem might not be in your genes. This calls for a check on our lifestyle, especially because hair loss and severe hair damage can lead to very brittle hair, and even early baldness in men. Although it would not be entirely true to say that women do not suffer from hair loss at all, the symptoms affecting them are majorly different than men. While men suffering from baldness typically notice their receding hairline, women are more likely to experience loss of hair in their 'part' line.

Prevent Hair Loss

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Lifestyle and hair loss - Can they be related?

Scientifically, the answer to the above question is yes. Your regular habits and almost everything that has been incorporated in your daily regimen affects the health of your hair, and in a broader sense, also affects your entire body in some way or the other. Also, in most cases, the effect is not noticed until very late. Here, we briefly highlight some aspects of your lifestyle which may be responsible for your hair loss or damage.

Primarily, we know that stress is one of the main reasons that has long been blamed for causing hair fall. Stress and anxiety do not just negatively harm your hair, but can also lead to a number of other physical and emotional disorders. Usually, this is associated with an increase in caffeine and nicotine, and although it may give the feeling of some instant relief, the effect, in fact, is just the opposite. Moreover, if a person showing these symptoms is left untreated, this may also eventually lead to severe issues.

Here it must be mentioned that stress itself does not lead to faster loss of hair, but instead causes the sufferer to indulge himself or herself in some other habits that do. For example, a very common scenario that you may noticed is that when people become stressed, they immediately tend to alter their eating habits. This will ultimately lead to poor or unhealthy diet, thus leading to a deficiency. Hair, like any other part of our body, requires a lot of nutrients for proper growth, and a deficiency will cause it to become relatively weaker.

Another important aspect in this regard is smoking. The reason behind it is quite simple to understand - cigarettes contain nicotine, and these are effectively known to increase the rush of adrenaline in your body, thereby registering an increased blood pressure. Not only is this responsible for a higher heart beat rate, it also causes some constriction that makes it difficult for the blood vessels to supply blood to the heart, clearly effecting the entire circulatory system in your body. In addition to this, smoke produces too much of carbon monoxide which makes it further difficult for the arteries to supply blood in the extremes of the body.

These are but just two of the numerous factors in your lifestyle that can affect the health and state of your hair. There are also other ones, some of which demand significant mention. And this is not because these are unheard of or something very recently discovered, but because these are common in our everyday life, and we unintentionally incorporate them in our lifestyle. These are:

· Excessive consumption of sugar and fat

· Lack of sleep

· Dehydration

· Caffeine, and

· Lack of exercise

Some of the factors mentioned above, such as stress and lack of exercise, and also others, like consumption of birth control pills and excessive dieting, can trigger hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance has been found to be one of the most common issues in women, and is usually associated with hair fall.

Stop hair loss with a healthy lifestyle

Hair is clearly very important, but aging, smoking, alcohol, poor diet, use of cosmetics can trigger an accelerated and unexpected loss of hair. Experts say it is absolutely normal for us to lose some hair every day, but this could sound scary if you lose a lot of hair every day. Fortunately, there are ways by which loss of hair can prevented, and these are not expensive at all. All you need to do is to take regular and proper care of your hair and start living a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle, of course, means having a good diet and staying away from factors that can prove harmful to your body.

Most health experts and dermatologists are of the opinion that hair loss can be effectively avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle. As is already known, our body needs vitamins and other helpful nutrients to keep functioning ideally, and hair is no different. There are some vitamins that are of immense importance to your hair, and therefore must be essentially included in your diet. Some very important ones are mentioned below:

· Vitamin A - Vitamin A, also known as beta carotene, is essential for the growth of you skin. Beta carotene consists of retinoids which stimulate the production of cells in the skin, thereby also increasing the number of hair cells. Fresh, leafy as well as colored vegetables are rich sources of tis vitamin, and examples include carrots and beet.

· Vitamin B - This is a group of amines that are known as B-complex. It includes a number of them, such as vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B5 that perform various useful functions when it comes to hair revitalization and regrowth. Take for example, vitamin B1. This is also called thiamine, and it acts as a stimulating agent for your hair follicles. Similarly, riboflavin, or vitamin B2 works to maintain the health of your hair that is abundantly present in plants and animals.

· Vitamin C - The main function it performs is to enhance the formation of collagen. Now, this is one of the most important substances that build up our body, and its importance can only be estimated knowing that it is found in all soft and hard parts of the body. Additionally, this vitamin provides strength and adds texture to the hair.

· Biotin - This is vitamin H, and it demands some special mention owing to the functions it performs. This is typically known as the vitamin that works for hair growth, and due to its many helpful characteristics, biotin is made use of in many cosmetic products in the industry. The functions include preventing breakage of hair, protecting it against dryness, enhancing the elasticity as well as improving overall hair growth.

In addition to these vitamins, our hair also requires a number of trace minerals that further help in their growth and upkeep. Compiled below is a short list of these minerals.

· Zinc - The scalp produces sebum, and zinc is essentially required for the process to take place. In fact, this mineral also helps in keeping the hair shaft healthy and strong. This clearly makes it a necessity for your hair, especially since many enzymes depend on it.

Copper - This is another trace mineral that is much needed, and this is because of the role it plays in the pigmentation of the hair, skin and eyes. Furthermore, the body needs copper for crosslinking the connective tissues. Deficiency of zinc will lead to gray hair.

Conclusion - Some lifestyle tips

If you have been dealing with damaged hair for quite some time, chances are you have visited stores which claim to sell products that can supposedly reduce the damage in a single wash and leave your hair all shining and attractive. However, most of these products do not work at all, and for those that do, the effect never lasts for long. The method of treatment, therefore, has to be something that is not just safe, but also promises results that you can look and appreciate. All this leads to one solution - a healthy lifestyle along with regular care of your hair.

Tip#1 - Eat healthy - Ensure that you have a nutrient-rich meal at least two times a day. Processed and canned foods do not usually contain much of these, and raw,uncooked or boiled food can do much good

Tip#2 - Proper hair care - Brushing, shampooing and trimming your hair are activities that not only keep it manageable, but also nourish your hair

Tip#3 - Hydrate - Your hair needs hydration as much as your body does, so drinking plenty of water will also keep your hair strands healthy. Dermatologists even suggest that drinking up to 12 glasses of water regularly will keep your hair healthy

Everyday exercise is also another way of keeping your body and hair healthy. Benefits of regualr exercise range from proper blood circulation to a healthy mind, and this also includes strong and healthy hair. Blood flows more freely in your scalp when you exercise, thereby successfully uncloggin pores and helping your skin breathe.

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