Dr Filip Koidis RD, BSc(Hons.), Ph.D.c., Specialised Nutritionist & Clinical Dietitian and Owner & Founder of W1Nutritionist, gives us his advice on growing hair longer and stronger in time for the winter months with the help of essential vitamins…
Hair & Nutrition
Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle play a vital role in improving and/or maintaining hair health. The first step is to ensure that protein requirements are met (protein deficiency is very uncommon in the developed countries) and that a diet composed of essential vitamins and minerals is consumed daily so deficiencies are avoided.
Omega 3 & 6
Overall there is limited scientific evidence on the effects of specific nutrients/foods on hair growth and strength. Limited studies suggest that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids [ found in oily fish, vegetable oils, nuts and green leafy veg] and omega-6 [ poultry, flaxseeds, hemp, eggs] could positively affect hair growth.
Some early studies have shown that women with recurrent hair loss have low vitamin D levels when compared to healthy women. Given that vitamin D deficiency is very common in the UK, adopting techniques to improve your vitamin D levels [daily direct sunlight exposure to the naked skin, supplementation with vitamin D3 and diet fortification] will be beneficial for your hair health.
Iron and B12
When aiming to optimise hair health, iron studies are recommended as anaemia caused either directly by low iron levels or pernicious anaemia (low vitamin B12) could affect hair growth and strength.
The role of the essential amino acid, l-lysine in hair loss also appears to be important. Clinical studies in women with increased hair shedding, showed that a significant proportion responded positively to l-lysine and iron therapy.
Poor thyroid function [both hypo and hyperthyroidism] have been associated with hair loss due to the hormonal imbalance caused by the poorly functioning thyroid gland. When hair loss is persistent, consulting a clinician and aiming to re-establish good thyroid function is essential.
For more information on Dr Filip Koidis’ work, please visit www.w1nutritionist.co.uk