A healthy diet grows healthier hair.

August 15, 2008

Hair growth is affected by many factors, including genetics, age,medications, diseases, and yes, your diet. Like your nails, hairrequires a nutrient-rich supply of blood to its follicles. A verylow-calorie diet could slow its growth and even cause hair loss.But don't be alarmed by occasional fallout--most of us lose 50 to100 strands a day. (However, if your hair loss seems excessive,consult a dermatologist.)

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

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

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

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

• selenium (found in cruciferous vegetables).

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

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