Prevent Hair Loss and Graying with Diet and Supplements, with Videos by Doctors
Can you prevent gray hair? Can you prevent hair loss?
Do you want to prevent gray hair? Did you know that you might be able to prevent hair loss?Just about everyone appreciates a healthy head of hair. In fact, Americans spend millions every year on products in an effort to enhance their manes. Of course, not everyone can boast a glorious crown. Some of the underlying factors for thinning hair are related to genetics, but not all of them are. For many people, changing their diets can result in healthier, thicker hair, and some supplements can even slow the graying process. Read on to discover how you might be able to prevent hair loss and prevent gray hair with diet and supplements!
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Protein: Protein is the chief building block of hair. In fact, hair is about 90% protein. Experiments done with gelatin supplements, a form of protein, revealed that subjects had a 45% increase in the thickness of hair strands in only 8-10 weeks.
Vitamin A: This vitamin is essential for healthy skin and hair, but too much can actually cause hair loss. You need 2,500 IU per day, either from a supplement of through diet.
Sulfur: Sulfur is part of the collagen in hair.
Biotin: Biotin is part of the B complex, and it prevents hair loss and can even help prevent graying. It helps the body use fatty acids that are essential for hair growth. Biotin occurs naturally in milk, eggs, yeast, and organ meats, but it’s difficult to get enough from diet alone. For this reason, many dermatologists recommend biotin supplements. 2 mg a day is recommended. For those who have already experienced hair loss, 3 mg of daily biotin is recommended.
Calcium: Calcium is also important for healthy hair and can be found in milk, cheese, butter, and other dairy products. Calcium can also be taken in the form of supplements or in soft calcium chews.
Vitamin E: This vitamin is needed for hair growth, and since it appears to have anti-aging properties, it can also help prevent gray hair – or at least slow down the process of graying hair. Vitamin E increases circulation and helps get oxygen to the hair follicles. Natural sources for vitamin E include spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, eggs, and wheat germ. Vitamin E supplements are also available in easy-to-swallow gel caps.
Pantothenic acid: This is a very important element for the scalp and the hair follicles. Animal studies reveal that a deficiency in pantothenic acid can cause premature graying and the destruction of hair follicles, so it follows that it could help prevent gray hair. Sources include egg yolks, potatoes, milk, whole grains, and organ meats. As a supplement, take 100 mg three times a day.
Zinc: This important mineral has been shown to restore hair growth in animals and in humans. When subjects had a severe zinc deficiency, they tended to lose their hair. When proper amounts of zinc were added to their diets, hair growth returned. Zinc can also slow the graying process. Natural sources include wheat germ, yeast, oysters, shrimp, and egg yolks. Zinc is also a popular over-the-counter dietary supplement. take 50-100 mg a day, but no more.
Copper: Along with zinc, make sure you’re getting enough copper. It works with zinc to maintain healthy hair.
Methysulfonyl-methane: Also called MSM, this substance is essential for the production of keratin – the major component of hair protein. 700 mg a day is the recommended dose.
Choline: Choline is another B vitamin that’s important in the prevention of hair loss. Natural sources include wheat germ, egg yolks, yeast, and liver.
Fatty acids: Healthy fatty acids like flax seed oil and fish oil are essential for hair elasticity. These fatty acids prevent hair from becoming dry and brittle, thereby reducing breakage of the hair strands. These can be found in fatty fish, soy, canola oil, and walnuts, in addition to flax seed.
Coenzyme Q10: CoQ10 helps improve circulation and increases the amount of oxygen delivered to tissues. This includes the scalp. Take 60 mg a day in supplement form.
Inositol: This is a substance that helps transfer nutrients to cells. It nourishes the brain and hair and prevents fats from collecting in the liver. Inositol can be taken as a supplement.
Green tea extract: This has polyphenols that inhibit hair loss. The tea can be drunk or the extract can be taken as a supplement.
Saw palmetto extract: This supplement is especially important for male baldness. It inhibits testosterone from converting to DHT, so it's especially important for males who want to slow or prevent hair loss.
Grape seed extract: This is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage, including the hair follicles.
Iron: Many doctors believe that women often shed hair due to anemia – a lack of iron-rich blood. Iron is often part of a multi-vitamin and mineral. Natural sources include beef, broccoli, and brewer’s yeast.
Vitamin B12: This vitamin is one that hair has to have. It’s found in animal products like meats, poultry, and eggs. Vegans are especially at risk for B12 deficiencies. You need a sufficient amount of the vitamin to help prevent hair loss.
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Healthy Diet = Healthy Hair?
A healthy diet can help ensure a healthy head of hair, provided genetics aren't stacked against you. Be sure to get a good daily dose of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Include a wide range of fruits, colorful veggies, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products. Take dietary supplements if you need to. Even if genetics aren't on your side where hair is concerned, eating a great diet will benefit you in lots of other ways.