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How often do we hear that creating a healthy hair regimen is the key to having healthy natural hair? Yes, having a healthy hair regimen is important but healthy hair truly starts from the inside out. Let’s go a little deeper to understand exactly how what we eat contributes to hair growth and health.

Hair receives nourishment from the foods we eat. At the very bottom of each hair follicle (a tube-like passage for the hair shaft) is the hair bulb. The papilla is a small blood vessel that feeds the bulb. Through the papilla, the supply of nourishment reaches the root and the bulb of the hair shaft.

The scalp and hair receive nourishment from the bloodstream. It is vital that the circulation of the blood in the body is not restricted or impaired. A good balanced diet, exercise, and plenty of water will promote the beneficial properties of the blood and enhance the circulatory system that brings the necessary nutrients to the hair and scalp. – Milady Standard Natural Hair Care and Braiding pg. 144

Okay, I hope that wasn’t information overload! But now that you understand how hair receives nourishment from the foods we eat, here’s a list 5 groups of foods that will help promote strong, healthy hair.

1.  Salmon, tuna, halibut offer omega 3 fatty acids that add luster and elasticity to the hair and scalp. These types of fish are high in protein, vitamin B12, and iron for hair shaft strength.

2. Kale, collards, and seaweed/kelp and spinach are excellent sources of iron, calcium, vitamins A and C. These vegetables help produce our natural scalp oil or sebum.

3. Beans or legumes are vital to healthy hair because beans are an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc, and biotin.

4. Pumpkin seeds and flax seeds contain zinc and vitamin E, which improves body cells with oxygen and increases circulation to the scalp.

5. Strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, blackberries, and grapes offer an excellent source of antioxidants which help stop the destruction of healthy cell tissues.

Remember the quality of your hair and skin is a reflection of good or poor physical health.

Is your diet affecting the health of your hair? If so, let’s talk about it. Leave a comment below.

Nicole Patrick, founder of thenaturalcole.com is an online hair care resource for women of color with natural hair. To learn more visit thenaturalcole.com or contact her at cole@thenaturalcole.com.

Foods for Healthy Natural Hair was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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