protein and hair growth: How protein helps with hair growth
We breakdown how protein and hair growth work. Learn how hair grows and what role protein plays in the hair growth process.
Beautiful, long, healthy hair requires adequate hair care, healthy habits and a healthy diet. Though hair loss can be caused by multiple factors, one major aspect to consider is a lack of sufficient protein in your diet. A good amount of high quality proteins from animal, marine or vegetable sources can aid in the development of healthy hair.
Hair is primarily composed of a key structural component called keratin (a protein). When you eat protein, it is broken down into amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Your body transports the amino acids through your blood vessel, supplying your body – especially your scalp – with the nutrients it needs. By eating an adequate amount of protein, the broken down amino acids are transferred to your scalps blood vessels, where nutrients are supplied to help build, strengthen and repair keratin.
AMOUNT OF PROTEIN NEEDED FOR HEALTHY HAIR GROWTH
If your body doesn’t receive enough protein, it begins to ration the protein it has stored, which could potentially end up reducing your hair growth, due to the scalp being a non-essential tissue. With the reduction of protein/essential amino acids that are transferred to your scalp, your hair becomes older, more tired, weak and brittle. If you continued to deprive your body of protein, within 2 – 3 months, you will start to see signs of hair loss (sometime called telogen effluvium).
To avoid extreme cases of protein deficiency, it’s recommended that both men and women eat close to half their body weight in protein. An example of this is, a person weighting 133lb should eat around 60g – 80g of protein.
BEST PROTEIN SOURCES FOR HEALTHY HAIR GROWTH
Sources like salmon, shrimp, oyster, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, an essential acid your body cannot produce. Omega 3’s can’t be produced by our body, so it’s vital to get adequate amounts from fatty fish sources. Omega-3 acids help nourish and lubricate hair follicles which aids with increases hair elasticity. It also helps re-start hair growth, increases hair volume and thickness, reduces dryness in the scalp, and improves blood flow circulation.
Sources like beef, dark meat poultry, egg yokes, legumes and some seafoods are rich in protein and iron. Iron is an important mineral required for healthy hair growth. It assists your body with making red blood cells and aids with the production hemoglobin. Iron also aids with giving your hair, nails, and skin a healthy grow by activating B vitamins.
Sources like beef liver, eggs, fortified dairy products and some seafoods are rich in vitamins and protein. Vitamins play a key role in the production of healthy hair shafts. Vitamins B, C, D, and E all aid with nourishing your hair follicles, cell metabolization, and blood circulation to promote healthy, long, shiny, strong hair.