The Links between Nutrition and Hair Growth

At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we have helped thousands of men and women over the years with medications and treatments to help slow or stop their hair loss as well as with surgical hair transplantation procedures to help give them better overall coverage.  However, each and every one of them would no doubt have been happier if they had never started losing their hair in the first place.  That’s why Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis also spend a great deal of time and effort investigating ways to help prevent hair loss from occurring.  Although some forms of hair loss are unavoidable, and others require ongoing hair restoration therapies to fully address, we have found that some relatively simple measures, like maintaining proper nutrition, can help encourage hair growth and in some cases forestall or even prevent hair loss as well.

The Links between Nutrition and Hair Growth Every stand of hair is composed mostly of protein, and so it follows that hair needs an adequate supply of protein in order to grow.  Each hair follicle goes through a regular cycle of growth and shedding, which is why even the healthiest scalps generally lose between 50 and 100 hairs each day.  However, any significant physiological shock, like severe trauma, surgery, or even a crash diet that significantly restricts protein intake, can provoke an excessive number of follicles to enter the shedding phase all at once, a condition known as telogen effluvium.  Even the rapid loss of fifteen pounds can be sufficient to trigger widespread hair loss, so incorporating the best sources of protein like lean meat (chicken, fish, or pork) or quinoa, soy, whole grains, and various beans for vegetarians can be beneficial.  We have also found that the ingredients in some protein supplements, like certain work-out shakes, can potentially accelerate hair loss in patients suffering from genetic pattern baldness.  While some protein shakes can be beneficial, there is a greater number that may actively contribute to hair loss, so be sure to consult with our hair loss specialists before attempting to artificially supplement your protein intake.

Protein is not the only important ingredient to healthy hair, however, several different vitamins and minerals play important roles as well.  Iron is heavily involved in the production of the various proteins that make up hair, and helps cells carry oxygen vital to the hair follicles.  Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in salmon or walnuts, are commonly found in the cell membranes of the skin of your scalp and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.  Finally, small amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, and trace minerals like selenium, copper, and magnesium are also necessary to help keep your hair in good shape.  While various shampoos and topical treatments may be able to apply these nutrients directly to the hair, it is important to remember that the hair growth cycle begins in the follicle, deep under the scalp, and so the best source of nutrients is always a healthy, well-balanced diet.

If you fear that you may be starting to experience hair loss, or would like to learn more about the various hair restoration treatments that we can provide, please feel free to contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research or The Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss to schedule a consultation so that we might accurately diagnose and then treat your concerns.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.