As you enter your 40’s, you may notice your hair becoming dry, brittle, or flat. You have roughly 120,000 hairs follicles on your scalp, which all need proper nourishment to grow. However, the hair isn’t a vital organ or tissue, so your body won’t always prioritize its nutritional needs. Furthermore, your body doesn’t absorb vitamins and minerals like it did in your 20’s. A nutritional imbalance will often show up first as hair loss.
Both deficiencies and excesses will contribute to age-related hair loss. A consistent nutritious diet supplemented with the right vitamins can provide your body with what it needs to produce strong, healthy hair. The foods and vitamins we ingest can promote both hair growth and hair loss. For this reason, it is important to avoid foods that will speed up the hair loss process. Good nutrition creates a healthy environment to build vigorous hair in your 40’s. Continue reading for the key nutrients and vitamins you should implement into your diet.
Nutritional Tips to Benefit Hair in Your 40’s
1. Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration supports healthy hair! Drinking an adequate amount of water helps your body regulate your circulatory system, which stimulates hair growth and keeps hair strong and shiny. As you age, your hair’s outer cuticle is prone to breakage, but increasing your water intake will nourish your follicles to promote hair growth. Additionally, a hydrated scalp reduces hair fall, which will result in fuller looking hair. A lack of water will leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. So, drink up… or consume hydrating foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and lettuce!
2. Eat These Foods
- Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach and kale, are filled with vitamin C, which helps protect and maintain the cell membranes of hair follicles. Leafy greens will help fight dryness by providing your hair with proper hydration.
- Lean Meats
Lean meat is an excellent source of protein, which is necessary for hair growth. Lean meats like chicken and turkey, have low saturated fats and will increase hair strength.
- Fatty Fish
Fatty fishes are high in omega-3’s and vitamin D, which boosts hair health by activating proteins in the body. Fatty fishes include salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are high in protein and zinc, and contribute to strong hair. Walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and biotin and Brazil nuts are high in selenium (a mineral known to prevent hair loss). Additionally, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds have high nutritional content. Sunflower seeds are a great source of biotin, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, and flax seeds contain omega-3 oils.
3. Take a Supplement
Supplementing your diet with essential vitamins will provide your hair follicles the necessary nutrients to build stronger and thicker hair. A fortifying multi-vitamin, like the one from Better Not Younger, provides you with several hair-strengthening nutrients at once.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is associated with improved blood circulation, initiating hair growth, and regeneration. Vitamin A also benefits scalp dryness by regulating the oil production in your sebaceous glands, ensuring your scalp has a proper amount of sebum.
- Vitamin B
B-vitamins manufacture red blood cells that deliver oxygen and nutrients to your scalp and hair follicles. These vitamins also control the secretion of excess oil from the scalp and the skin. A well-known vitamin B7, biotin, improves hair texture, increases breakage resistance, and hydrates the scalp.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C supports your body’s collagen production and iron absorption. Also, vitamin C helps distribute oxygen throughout your body.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D can stimulate old hair follicles and generate new ones.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E reduces the oxidative stress on your scalp by balancing your skin’s antioxidants. Vitamin E also increases blood circulation and spreads crucial follicle nutrients to your scalp.
Iodine helps prevent hair breakage and ensures a proper growth process.
An iron deficiency causes anemia, which contributes to hair loss for women.
Zinc has antioxidant properties that reduce the inflammatory response to dead cells, dirt, oil, and bacteria. Additionally, zinc helps to regulate keratinocyte activation. Keratinocytes are skin cells that generate keratin, a fibrous protein that binds skin cells and hair filaments.
4. Food Groups to Avoid
Sugar affects the inflammatory processes in the body and increases blood sugar levels, which encourages glands to produce more oil. Sugar also hinders your hair’s absorption of protein. Additionally, sugar can create an imbalance of hormones in your body.
- Fried Food
Deep fried food introduces more oil into your body, which overstimulates your oil glands. Fried food will clog your oil glands and slow hair growth.
Alcohol slows the levels of zinc production in your body. Additionally, alcohol dehydrates you, which will leave your hair dry and brittle.
- Salty Food
An excess consumption of salt can lead to body dehydration, which signals your body to produce more oil to fight the lack of water.
- Refined Carbs
Refined carbs are thought of as “simple” or “bad carbs”. Refined carbs, like white bread or pasta, overload our bodies with carb-processing work. This will make oil glands overproduce oil. Refined carbs will turn into sugar and lead to hair thinning.