We obtain far more sunlight in the summer, and although we may expose our hair to the sun a lot more and dry it out if not covered, the one good thing that we do benefit from in the summertime, it that valuable sunshine vitamin – vitamin D. Add our dose of protein in our eating plan and our locks can look and feel great. So with some tender loving care, and a top up of that lacking sunshine vitamin, we can grow lustrous, shining hair in the winter too.
For hair to grow at its best, it needs protein, iron, zinc, vitamins D, B, E, C and A. It sounds like a lot, but with a healthy eating regime, it should all be attainable. Those on diets to lose weight may be lacking those essentials. The hair may even start to lose its sheen and lack that lustre, it may seem weak and brittle, and may even start to thin and fall out a lot more.
Each individual hair has an average life that varies between three and five years, the average growth rate is about 1.27cm (half an inch) a month. Therefore, if the hair was left a year, it would be about 15.24 cm (six inches) in length.
Those who have significantly long hair, that reaches down the centre of backs and beyond, either have exceptionally fast growing hair, long living hair, or a combination of both.
A human hair consists mainly of a protein called keratin, it also contains some minerals found in the rest of the body. The only real actual living part of the hair is its root, the dermal papilla that lies close below the surface of the scalp. This dermal papilla is made of cells that are fed by the bloodstream. Each hair strand is made up of three layers; the outer layer, the cuticle, is the protective layer that has overlapping scales that would resemble a Christmas tree or a tiled roof. When in a healthy state, these scales lay flat and reflect the light which makes the hair have a healthy sheen. If these cuticles are damaged or broken, be it physically or chemically, the hair will appear dull, tangle or break easily.
The cortex layer is made up of fibre like cells that give hair it’s strength and elasticity. It contains melanin that gives it it’s natural colour. It is here that any chemical permanent colour, perming and straightening takes place.
The most inner layer is the medulla and consists of soft keratin. It is the most fragile and may serve as the pith of the hair. Some believe that the actual function is that it carries nutrients to the cortex and cuticle. Poor eating habits and lack of exercise, which promotes good blood circulation, can soon reflect in the state of the hair, even minor ill health can make the hair look dull, dry and tangled with more hair loss.
So if you want to maximise its potential, step up with some caring assistance that can aid and make all the difference for long and/or glossy hair.

Dietary requirements
Protein is important for hair growth. Include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and nuts in your diet. Protein in meat aids growth, helps repair and strengthen hair follicles. A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) sirloin steak can provide a great 29 grams of protein.
Eggs contain biotin, zinc selenium and other hair healthy nutrients.
Nuts are a good source of protein; 28 grams (an ounce) of almonds can provide 37% of daily vitamin E needs, with added in vitamin B and essential fatty acids, all required for healthy scalp full of hair.
Beans can be a good source of plant based protein. Soybeans may promote hair growth.
Vitamin D is as we said, found from our sunshine, but we can get it from other sources like tuna, salmon swordfish, sardines, cod liver oil or beef liver. It is also found in egg yolk, fortified cereals, dairy and plant milks fortified with vitamin D.
Milk and milk products like cream, yoghurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese and quark, are a form of protein and lipids in it work to strengthen hair, the calcium promotes hair growth and can help prevent hair loss. Milk also has vitamin A, vitamin B6, biotin and potassium to help keep it soft and shiny.
Biotin, also called B7, helps maintain the body’s major systems – it is crucial for metabolism regulation and function of the nervous system. It helps the body use enzymes and carry nutrients through the body. It helps regulate blood sugars in some people with diabetes and it is essential for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Vitamin A helps the skin and glands produce sebum, an oily substance that helps moisturise the scalp and keep it healthy. One cup of spinach can provide 54% of daily vitamin A required, and it is also good for plant based iron. Iron helps the red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel the metabolism for growth and repair.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene. The body converts this compound into vitamin A.
Oily fish like salmon and mackerel, are an excellent source of omega 3 and omega 6, along with antioxidants.
Avocados are full of good fats and a good source of Vitamin E that can promote hair growth. One avocado can provide 21% of daily vitamin E needs.
Vitamin C for the hair helps with the necessary property within the vitamin that creates the protein of its well-known name, collagen. Lack of vitamin C can result in dry hair, split ends and or even hair loss.
Watch what you eat. Don’t lose out on all those nutrients if you want beautiful hair.

Love and Sparkles
Samsara x

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