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5 Foods for Healthy Hair!

When it comes to healthy hair, it’s not just the shampoo and conditioner you use that can make a difference. What you eat can have an impact as well. Find out what foods Dr. Weil recommends for healthy hair!

Whole foods rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and biotin may help promote a healthy scalp and hair. Add these foods to your grocery cart - think of them as ingredients in a healthy hair recipe!

  1. Dark leafy greens. Kale, Swiss chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens are good sources of vitamins A and C, which the body needs to produce the oily substance sebum, a natural conditioner for your hair.
  2. Salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids, of which wild-caught salmon is an excellent source, are important to a healthy scalp. Salmon (choose wild Alaskan salmon) is also a good source of protein. If you don't like the taste of fish, try a high-quality fish oil supplement.
  3. Beans and legumes. They are a good source of protein which helps promote hair growth, as well as iron, biotin and zinc. (Biotin deficiencies can occasionally result in brittle hair.)
  4. Nuts. Specific varieties of nuts contain vitamins and minerals that can help promote the health of your scalp. Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium (limit yourself to no more than two Brazil nuts per day). Walnuts provide the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, which may help condition your hair, as well as zinc, which can minimize hair shredding. Cashews, almonds and pecans are other hair-healthy choices. Aim for raw varieties as often as you can, or lightly toast yourself if an added crunch is needed.
  5. Eggs. A good source of protein, which helps prevent dry, weak and brittle hair. Choose organic, omega-3 fortified eggs from cage-free hens.

3 Ways To Minimize Dandruff

If you have an itchy scalp, it could be a sign of dandruff. Address the issue naturally – see what Dr. Weil suggests!

Dandruff - flakes of dry skin on the scalp - can be bothersome and embarrassing. Caused by eczema or seborrhea, it is often linked to climate and genetic factors, not poor grooming habits (as many people think). There are simple measures you can take to treat dandruff:

  1. Use a gentle, non-drying shampoo or a tar shampoo daily or every other day until the dandruff goes away, then only twice a week.
  2. To restore moisture to your skin and hair, supplement your diet with evening primrose oil, which provides an essential fatty acid called GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). This compound is hard to come by in the diet, and promotes the healthy growth of skin and hair. Try doses of 500 mg twice a day; after six to eight weeks, when you start to see improvement, cut the dose in half.
  3. Eat freshly ground flaxseed and find a source of fish oils in the form of sardines, wild Alaskan salmon or supplement capsules. These sources of omega-3 fatty acids should help to reduce flaking.

If your dandruff is persistent, I recommend a visit to your dermatologist to be sure that the problem is not due to an underlying scalp disease other than eczema or seborrhea, or to a skin infection.