Whole foods rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and biotin may help promote a healthy scalp and hair. Add these foods to your grocery cart – think of them as ingredients in a healthy hair recipe!
1 Dark leafy greens. Kale, Swiss chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens are good sources of vitamins A and C, which the body needs to produce the oily substance sebum, a natural conditioner for your hair.
2 Salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids, of which wild-caught salmon is an excellent source, are important to a healthy scalp. Salmon is also a good source of protein. If you don’t like the taste of fish, try a high-quality fish oil supplement.
3 Beans and legumes. They are a good source of protein which helps promote hair growth, as well as iron, biotin and zinc. (Biotin deficiencies can occasionally result in brittle hair.)
4 Nuts. Specific varieties of nuts contain vitamins and minerals that can help promote the health of your scalp. Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium (limit yourself to no more than two Brazil nuts per day). Walnuts provide the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, which may help condition your hair, as well as zinc, which can minimize hair shredding. Cashews, almonds and pecans are other hair-healthy choices. Aim for raw varieties as often as you can, or lightly toast yourself if an added crunch is needed.
5 Eggs. A good source of protein, which helps prevent dry, weak and brittle hair. Choose organic, omega-3 fortified eggs from cage-free hens.
More information on hair loss or thinning
When hair starts thinning, which is common at menopause, then what can happen is that when progesterone levels fall as a result of lack of ovulation, the body responds by increasing its production of the adrenal cortical steroid androstenedione. This is an alternative precursor for the production of other adrenal cortical hormones and it conveys some androgenic (male-like-properties) – in this case male pattern hair loss.
If this is what is causing your hair loss, then when progesterone levels are raised by supplementation the androstenedione level will gradually fall, and normal hair growth can eventually resume. Since hair growth is slow, it may take 4-6 months for the effects to become apparent.