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Can a poor diet have an affect on overall hair health?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Like your skin, your hair can be a reflection of your overall health. If you're not eating a healthy diet or you're not managing your stress levels, your hair may show it. For the sake of your hair and your overall health, eat a variety of foods rich in vitamins and nutrients and drink plenty of water. If your hair is still unhealthy or you have symptoms such as hair loss, speak to your doctor to rule out underlying health problems such as diabetes or thyroid disease.
A diet deficient in certain vitamins and minerals may slow hair growth and decrease the health of hair. Specifically, it's important to get enough vitamins A, C, and E to maintain a healthy scalp. Foods that contain these are fish liver oil, dairy, leafy greens, and citrus fruits. Other vitamins like biotin, vitamins B5, B6 and B12 help prevent hair loss and benefit your hair grain. You can find these in whole grains, brewer's yeast, egg yolk, and vegetables.

Yes, and a healthy diet can help improve your tresses. Some tips: 

    • Eat lean protein. Hair, which is made mostly of keratin, needs protein to grow. Low-fat, heart-healthy, skinless poultry breasts are particularly good sources because they're also rich in iron and zinc (deficiencies in either trigger hair loss). 
    • Vary your veggies. Add peas, carrots, cauliflower, and soybeans to salads and sides. All are good sources of vitamin B6, biotin, and folate, which help slow hair loss and encourage growth.
    • Sip a little caffeine. It helps decrease a follicle-damaging hormone known as DHT (a friendlier way of saying dihydrotestosterone). It comes from testosterone, the hormone that makes men and women want to get friendly with each other. The easiest place to get your supply: tea or coffee.

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            Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.