What to Eat for Thicker, Vibrant Hair

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The voluminous and bouncy hair on models sometimes seems like a dream sometimes. But most ads do go over the top with editing; still, it can make some of us wonder how they achieve that kind of hair volume: bouncy, full, shiny and strong.

There are many ways and treatments to achieve voluminous hair, but it all starts with what we put in our bodies. Just like how plants thrive in healthy soil, you have to make sure that your body is getting the proper nutrients it needs to produce a healthy mane.

A big part of boosting your hair volume is the food that you eat. There are particular kinds of nutrients that are crucial to supplying hair with everything it needs to look healthy, shiny, and lustrous.

To boost hair volume, the food you eat should contain the following nutrients.

1. Iron

Iron deficiency is one of the major causes of hair loss. The main purpose of iron is to provide or deliver oxygen to the hemoglobin of the red blood cells all over the body so cells can properly produce energy and do their jobs.

When iron levels are low, the body will feel weak and that’s when fatigue sets in.

When it comes to hair, the follicle and root feed on the nutrients in the blood. So when the iron levels are below a certain point, anemia sets in which then affects hair growth and leads to hair fall.

Iron in food can be found in meat, seafood, and poultry, similarly, it can be found in plants like beans and spinach. Bread rich in grains can also provide you with iron.

You can refer to the table below to learn about the recommended dietary intake for Iron:

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 0.27 mg* 0.27 mg*
7–12 months 11 mg 11 mg
1–3 years 7 mg 7 mg
4–8 years 10 mg 10 mg
9–13 years 8 mg 8 mg
14–18 years 11 mg 15 mg 27 mg 10 mg
19–50 years 8 mg 18 mg 27 mg 9 mg
51+ years 8 mg 8 mg

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid helps with the body’s absorption of iron so aside from eating iron-rich food, you also need to ingest vitamin C to help your body absorb iron.

Humans can’t synthesize vitamin C, so it’s best to eat food rich in natural vitamin C or take dietary supplements.

It’s also an antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants in the body like vitamin E.

Good sources of vitamin C include leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.

3. Protein

Any time your body is growing or repairing itself, it needs protein. This also means that it’s an essential nutrient that your hair needs to repair damages caused by the environment or heat.

The body needs protein every day to create and repair cells. Aside from muscles, hair tissues also consist and are made up of proteins.

Protein helps our body fight infection, carry vitamins and minerals to the entire body, build muscles, clot blood, and keep body fluids in balance.

Food rich in protein includes meat, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, nuts, seeds, legumes and low-fat dairy products.

4. Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that our bodies can’t make on their own. Studies have shown that having two 4-ounce servings of seafood every week could reduce the risk of stroke and heart-related issues.

When it comes to hair, omega-3s can be found in the cells that line the scalp. This provides the oils that keep your hair hydrated.

Food recommendations include salmon, mackerel, sardines, and plant sources like pumpkin seeds and avocado.

5. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a nutrient that has a hand in improving immune function, vision, and reproduction among other things.

It’s crucial for the maintenance and normal functioning of the heart, lungs and other organs. When it comes to hair, it’s needed to make sebum, an oily substance created by the sebaceous glands. What sebum does is provide a natural conditioner for our hair.

Without sebum, we’ll experience itching and dandruff.

Food rich in vitamin A includes orange or yellow color vegetables like squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

6. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and also a vitamin that dissolves in fat. It’s an antioxidant that helps our body recover and helps neutralize free radicals.

Free radicals accelerate oxidation that weakens and breaks down cells, which in turn accelerates aging. What vitamin E does is protect the body against oxidative damage.

When it comes to hair, vitamin E protects it against environmental stressors like sun damage or heat.

There are vitamin E capsules that you can take, but when it comes to food, you can find it in nuts, broccoli, kiwi, mango, and tomatoes.

7. Biotin

Biotin is a kind of vitamin B complex that helps the body convert food into energy. It keeps your skin, liver, hair, and nervous system functioning properly.

Most people with biotin deficiency show symptoms of hair loss, so make sure that you’re incorporating biotin into your diet.

You can find biotin in egg yolks, nuts, bananas, mushrooms, and organ meats like liver or kidney.

vibrant hair
Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

Why your hair has no volume

Aside from eating right, you also have to figure out why your hair has no volume in the first place. Why is your hair flat or thin?

Here are some explanations as to why your hair doesn’t have volume.

Bad styling

Bad hair can be a result of not knowing how to style your hair properly. For example, if you’re using a regular hair straightener, ensure that you don’t iron the roots of your hair since your hair will look flat using that method.

You can add more volume by teasing the roots of the hair below the surface and then setting it with hairspray.

Hair is too thin or fine

For most people, it’s genetics. Some people are born with fine hair or thin hair. Fine hair is when you have very fine hair strands. Thin hair, on the other hand,  is when you have little hair that can potentially make it appear like you have bald patches.

You can either tease your hair as you style them or get clip-on extensions as you can buy these everywhere now and they’re very handy when you’re on-th-go.

It’s greasy

Grease and oil weigh down your hair and make it look flat. As you go about your day, the combination of dirt, humidity and natural sebum produced by your hair will accumulate and will start to make your hair feel heavy and sticky.

If you’re on the go, it’s best to pack some dry shampoo. You can easily spray it on your hair wherever you care and have it absorb any excess oil.

A good diet will always help in making sure that your hair has all the nutrients and components it needs to shine. Make sure that these food items are always part of your diet. Proper nutrition will not only improve the volume of your hair but the overall health of your mane as well.

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