Life & Beauty Weekly: Hair & Beauty

By Karyn D. Collins for Life & Beauty Weekly


Is your hair limp, splitting or just plain blah? You might need some healthy-hair tips—and you can start by trading pizza and ice cream for fish and veggies.

“What you eat is very important for healthy hair,” says Samara Felesky-Hunt, a Calgary-based registered dietician who is frequently featured on Global TV, CTV and Breakfast Television. “A nutrient-dense diet provides your hair with the nutrition it needs and keeps it healthy. A diet with the wrong fats, proteins and carbohydrates stresses the body and your hair.” Felesky-Hunt says a high-sugar diet damages protein fibres and increases the circulation of free radicals, which affects nutrients getting to your hair. In addition, fried foods, when heated at high temperatures, produce dangerous fats that are damaging to cells.

Jeffrey Altenburg, owner of London, Ontario-based salon Shampoo Planet and host of Star TV’s hit show Look-A-Like can tell at a glance whether someone hasn’t been eating right. “The hair looks noticeably dull,” says Altenburg. “It lacks shine and looks frazzled. Also the scalp skin looks unhealthy.” When clients complain of shedding or brittle hair, “the first thing I always ask is if they’ve been on any unusual cleanses lately or if they’re eating a good balanced diet and drinking lots of water,” says Altenburg.  “Because let’s face it. We are what we eat. Anything topical is not going to be effective if what’s going on inside the body isn’t healthy.”

So what should you be eating to maintain healthy hair? Felesky-Hunt recommends planning your meals around foods that are rich in these ingredients:

  • Omega 3 fats: Walnuts, salmon, flaxseed oil and greens plump up your hair. These healthy oils hydrate hair and prevent it from getting brittle.
  • Vitamin E: Almonds, sunflower seeds and hemp hearts are stuffed with vitamin E. They act as antioxidants and protect the hair from UV light and environmental factors that can generate cell damage and free radicals.
  • B vitamins: These vitamins are necessary to build healthy hair and promote growth. Whole grains, bananas and legumes are loaded with vitamin Bs. Biotin found in corn and soy improves the quality and texture of hair. Protein is needed for repair of cells and to assist in growth. Lean proteins such as fish, chicken, lean meats, eggs and legumes are good choices.
  • Iron, copper and zinc: These minerals help hair grow and stay strong while keeping it from becoming breakable and brittle.

More healthy-hair tips: Limit your intake of sugar, deep-fried and processed foods, as well as salty smoked meats to keep both your hair and body functioning at their best. “Eating well is the best thing you can do for healthy hair,” says Felesky-Hunt. “Having beautiful hair starts with making your cells healthy. Unless your hair is getting the nutrients from good food that it needs, it just won’t look its best.”

Karyn D. Collins is a freelance writer who specialises in fashion and entertainment. Her articles have appeared in numerous newspapers, as well as in Jet, 40-74, Inside Jersey and New Jersey Monthly magazines. She is a frequent contributor to Life & Beauty Weekly.

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