Inside Out

I have said it before and I will say it again - This year I want to go back to basics and try to live in a more wholesome and celebratory way. I feel tired of reading about faddy diets and listening to everyone claiming they have this allergy or that intolerance. Being in this business I know that good hydration and a varied, balanced diet is essential to grow healthy, luscious hair as well.

Most of us have about 120,000 hairs on our scalp and these are made up of very fast growing cells – in fact, hair cells are the second fastest growing cells in out bodies, (slower only than intestinal cells). This vigorous growth must be sustained and supported.

The only problem is that since our hair is not a vital tissue or organ it is not - and will never be - prioritised in terms of the nutrition and hydration sent its way. As a result, nutritional shortcomings and dehydration often lead to hair loss or depletion in hair health.

I personally believe that the vast proliferation of fruit and vegetable heavy diets in recent years has led many people to believe that their bodies won’t be compromised by a diet that doesn't contain sufficient proteins, carbohydrates and calories. This isn't right. Yes, vegetables and fruit are hugely important, but nutritionists remind us constantly that happy, healthy bodies (and hair cells), need protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, vitamins, minerals and good hydration to work well.

Trichologists (hair and scalp specialists), advise that to enhance hair health we should try to eat protein for breakfast and lunch, as well as a portion of complex carbohydrates such as potato, sourdough bread, oats, brown rice, pasta or whatever.

Water is equally essential to the health and vitality of all our bodily cells, delivering essential nutrients and removing waste. Put simply, a dehydrated body can’t function properly. Those who don't drink enough water on a long-term basis will compromise the health of their hair follicles and cells, which won’t be able to grow sufficient hair to replace that which is shed naturally.

Hair loss caused by dehydration is easily fixed by making a conscious effort to drink more water. Note that the best water for hair health is natural spring or mineral, and that in a cooler climate like ours, doctors advise consuming at least 1.2 litres of water a day. Prepare to drink up!