The Building Blocks of Healthy Hair

At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we are not merely interested in treating hair loss after it has already begun.  We are also on the forefront of research into preventing hair loss and helping the body hang onto the hair it already has.  While Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis use several effective hair loss prevention treatments at The Griffin Center, a great deal can also be accomplished with simple nutrition.  Experts agree that a healthy diet with the right mix of protein, iron, and other nutrients can help improve the health, look, and feel of your hair.

hair loss preventionProtein
Every strand of hair is primarily composed of protein, and so it naturally requires a steady supply of protein from the body in order to grow.  At any given time, about 90% of the hair on the head is in a growing phase, which, for each individual hair, can last from 2 to 3 years.  At the end of that time, hairs enter a resting phase that lasts about 3 months before they are shed and replaced by new hair.  However, if the hair fails to get enough protein to maintain active growth, a disproportionate number of hairs may go into the resting phase.  Ultimately these same hairs are then all shed at the same time, resulting in a condition called telogen effluvium and the appearance of sudden, major hair loss.  Fortunately, this condition can be easily remedied by returning to a protein rich diet, as the follicles have not been damaged but only prematurely pushed into a resting, dormant phase.

Iron and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Iron is one of the chief nutrients involved in the production of the various proteins that make up your hair, and is especially important because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles.  An abnormally low level of iron in the blood can result in iron-deficient anemia, a condition that has been linked to hair loss.  Likewise, omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in the cell membranes of the skin of your scalp and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated, are absolutely essential to the development of healthy, growing hair.  Since the body does not naturally produce them on its own, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon or walnuts, are an important part of any diet.

Other Nutrients
Some studies have suggested that vitamin D may play a role in the hair growth cycle, although research is still underway to determine exactly how that works.  Additionally, vitamin C is critical for circulation to the scalp and supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles, so too little vitamin C can lead to hair breakage.  Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid €” an ingredient you’ll often see on hair care product labels) has also been shown to play a role in the growth of hair.  Finally, zinc and biotin are assumed to help with hair growth because people with metabolic disorders lacking them can have thin or brittle hair and nails, and saw palmetto, a plant rich in fatty acids and phytosterols best known for its use in decreasing the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, is also believed to have some effectiveness in promoting hair growth.

If you have questions about hair loss causes and treatments offered by The Griffin Center, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.