Some women seem to be naturally gifted with thick lustrous hair and strong nails, and it can be really frustrating trying to grow them when they just peel and break. But did you know that there are certain factors (within your control) that play an important role in determining the strength and health of your hair and nails?
Your fingernails and your hair are both made of the same keratinized threads, or
protein building blocks, so it’s no wonder that your diet should play such an important role in ensuring their health.
Diet: Like any other part of your body, your hair and nails need to receive the right nutrients to support optimal strength and health. Protein plays an important role in the building and maintenance of most of the cells in your body, including your hair and nails. Because hair and nails are constantly growing and breaking off it makes sense that you need a steady supply of building materials (protein) with which to rebuild them.
Zinc and iron are also important in the production of keratin (the material with which nails and hair are formed), as are other nutrients including vitamin B’s, C, E, sulphur and silica.
Vitamin A on the other hand is one that you don’t want to have too much of as high levels of vitamin A can actually cause hair loss!
Stress: When it comes to the hair on your head, shedding it is actually normal. Unlike some of our four legged friends though, we continuously shed our hair at an even quantity throughout the year. On average we tend to shed about 80 strands of hair per day. However when we are stressed our body is flooded with a stress hormone called ‘cortisol’, and with continued stress the levels of cortisol can become depleted due to an overproduction. This drop in cortisol levels can actually increase daily hair loss from 80 strands up to 300 strands a day!
How to fix this? Try some regular relaxation techniques such as meditation.
Love: There are loads of ‘special treatments’ out there and you can end up spending a fortune trying to find the magic number that works for you. One thing you can do every now and then to help give your hair more lustre and strength is massage in a little warm coconut oil into damp hair and then leave for half an hour before shampooing it out. Coconut oil is the best source of medium chain fatty acids, or MCFAs, and when applied it actually coats your hair on a microscopic level, helping prevent breakage and protecting the hair from water and sun damage.