Hair Food

A healthy diet grows healthier hair.

Hair Food
Hair growth is affected by many factors, including genetics, age, medications, diseases, and yes, your diet. Like your nails, hair requires a nutrient-rich supply of blood to its follicles. A very low-calorie diet could slow its growth and even cause hair loss. But don't be alarmed by occasional fallout--most of us lose 50 to 100 strands a day. (However, if your hair loss seems excessive, consult a dermatologist.)

For the healthiest hair (and body) possible, you should eat a well-balanced diet that includes:

• fatty acids (found in flaxseed oil and cold-water fish like salmon);

• zinc and copper (found in fish, shellfish, meat, and poultry);

• B vitamins (found in eggs, dairy, meat, and whole grains);

• selenium (found in cruciferous vegetables).

Also, keep your hair expectations in check. Typically, healthy hair grows only a half-inch each month, and growth slows with age. In addition, each strand of hair has a life cycle--the length of time it takes to reach maturity, fall out, and be replaced by a new hair--which varies from person to person. If your hair's average life cycle is only two years, it's doubtful that you'll ever have waist-length hair, which would take about six years to grow from a short hair cut.

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