After the excesses of Christmas, most of start the new year with well-intentioned goals aimed at improving our general nutrition and health. But what about nutrition for men’s hair? We want to share a few barber secrets about general nutrition for men but especially nutrition for men’s hair – how to eat well to create and maintain abundant hair.
First, a few general rules. Most of which, you might already know – but it’s always good to have a recap. The NHS Eatwell Guide defines the different types and proportions of foods men should ideally be eating. Advice includes getting a minimum five-a-day of fruit and veg, including wholegrains and more fish, poultry, beans and pulses, decreasing red meat and lowering fat, sugar and dairy.
What should i eat?
Nutritional needs vary depending on your size, age and activity levels so the chart below is for use as a general guide only. The chart shows the Reference Intakes (RI) or daily amounts recommended for an average, moderately active adult to achieve a healthy, balanced diet for maintaining weight.
Reference intakes (RI)
|Sugar (g) max||120|
|Fat (g) max||95|
|Saturates (g) max||30|
|Salt (g) max||6|
In our busy lives, measuring and weighing can be totally impractical. So it’s much easier to keep portion sizes in control by following this guide, which measures portion sizes against the size of your hand (unlucky if you have small hands!):
|Carbs like cereal/rice/pasta/potato (include 1 portion at each main meal and ensure it fills no more than ¼ of your plate)||Your clenched fist|
|Protein like meat/poultry/fish/tofu/pulses (aim to have a portion at each meal)||Palm of your hand|
|Cheese (as a snack or part of a meal)||2 of your thumbs|
|Nuts/seeds (as a snack or part of a meal)||1 of your cupped hands|
|Butter/spreads/nut butter (no more than 2 or 3 times a day)||The tip of your thumb|
|Savouries like popcorn/crisps (as a snack/treat)||2 of your cupped hands|
|Bakes like brownies/flapjacks (as an occasional treat)||2 of your fingers|
But what should you be eating if you specifically want to target nutrition for men’s hair, promoting growth and shine? Protein, healthy fats and vitamins are all key components.
Fat is good
Good, healthy sources of fat are first on the list for achieving thicker, shinier hair. A low fat diet can lead to a dry and/or inflamed scalp which can contribute to hair loss. Try including these four sources regularly in your diet:
1. Avocado for building collagen
Surprisingly, copper, a mineral found in avocado, is one of the best nutrients to fortify both hair and skin. Copper is essential for building up collagen and elastin in the skin that holds each hair follicle. It also helps to balance hormones so that hair grows strong. If you don’t like avocado on its own, try including it in a daily smoothie to mask the taste.
2. Pumpkin seeds for keratin
Zinc is another key mineral found in pumpkin seeds. It helps with cellular turnover, cell division and growth that all contribute to the formation of keratin, a key protein in your hair. Consequently, Zinc can also preserve hair colour and prevent dandruff. So add a handful of these wonder seeds to your meal or as a snack every day.
3. Almonds for biotin
Biotin, a B-vitamin, is being included in many new hair products. This is because Biotin helps hair grow and keeps the scalp healthy. As well as almonds, Look for biotin can be found in other nuts and eggs.
4. Chia seeds and oily fish for omega-3 fatty acids
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids— add them to smoothies or your morning porridge and you won’t even notice them. or make chia pudding. Flaxseed, walnuts and salmon are also good sources of omega-3.
Dial up your protein
Next, make sure you are hitting your RI of 55g of protein every day. Protein contributes to making keratin so is essential for healthy hair and skin. Lean chicken and fish are healthy sources and you can also include soybeans and edamame beans if you are working towards a more plant-based diet.
Iron supplies oxygen to your hair follicles and a deficiency can contribute to thinning hair.
Iron supplies oxygen to your hair follicles and a deficiency can contribute to thinning hair. Good iron sources include wholegrains, iron-fortified cereal, beef and dark meat chicken. Lentils and cashew nuts are good, plant-based sources of iron. When looking to increase your iron intake, make sure to eat vitamin-C rich foods at the same time, eg Swiss chard, tomatoes, strawberries or kiwi, because these will help your body to absorb the iron.
Vitamin C is great for hair growth and as a powerful antioxidant for protecting your skin from free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and ageing). Citrus fruits, berries, kiwis, red, yellow and green peppers are all excellent sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin A is linked to hair health because it is helps form sebum, the oily substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands which keeps hair and skin moisturised. Vitamin A also speeds up the rate of hair growth, encourages thicker hair and prevents hair follicles from regressing. Spinach and foods rich in beta-carotene are excellent sources of Vitamin A – for example, a medium sweet potato contains enough beta-carotene to provide more than four times your daily vitamin A needs.
Follow this nutritional advice and it won’t be just your hair that benefits; you should notice a positive change in your overall health, vitality and energy levels. Glowing from within may be a cliché but, essentially, it is true! Healthy on the outside always starts from healthy on the inside.
Men’s Grooming Ireland is an elite barbershop located in South Dublin. Our hand-picked, expert barbers are always available to consult on your hair, its health, the styles that will best suit your face and hair type and we offer a full range of high-quality barber services. MGI is the perfect salon for modern gentlemen who prefer a premium service in an elegant, masculine environment.
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Contact us today 01 288 28 70! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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