Want to get luscious, frizz-free waves? When it comes to the health of your curls there are numerous factors that contribute to achieving strong, fabulous frizz controlled locks such as products, lifestyle and avoidance of chemical treatments. Taking a closer look at hair health, one of the most overlooked factors of healthy curls is diet. It’s important to know that what food we put into our bodies affects our outer appearance, and our most prominent feature, the hair. Stefanie Senior, a Registered Dietitian with a private practice in Toronto, tells us the most important food groups you should be chowing down on to take care of your curls.
Iron rich protein:
Hair is mostly made of protein. If your diet is low in this vital nutrient, your strands can look dull and break easily, causing split ends (which could make your curls look frizzier). Iron helps deliver oxygen to the hair shaft, keeping it healthy and strong. If your iron levels are too low, you may suffer from anemia, which can eventually lead to hair loss; this can, make wavy curly hair look less full and bouncy. The best sources of iron rich protein are animal sources, such as chicken, fish, beef, pork, and eggs. Senior suggests focusing on eating organic, lean sources of meat and fish that is low in mercury. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want to eat a variety of foods that have iron, like lentils, dark leafy greens, soy and kidney beans or iron fortified tofu or cereal. However, it’s also important to find plant sources of iron, sources rich with Vitamin C to help your body absorb it better. A good recommendation is to pair spinach and chick pea salad with peppers, oranges or cantaloupe to get the most out of your meal.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an integral part of your hair shaft’s structure, the cell membranes of your scalp, and the natural oils that coats your scalp and hair. Making sure you’re eating enough will help your hair stay strong and well-moisturized, which is incredibly important for curly hair, which is naturally drier than straight strands. Some of the best sources include fatty fish like salmon, char, trout, mackerel, herring, anchovies and sardines. Senior recommends trying to get two to three servings of fatty fish a week. Vegetarian sources of omega-3s include flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans, soy nuts, canola and soybean oil, and chia seeds.
Remember that eating a great diet is only part of the equation! You also need the right curly hair products to maximize your curls as well. Always consult your doctor or a registered dietitian when making changes to your diet or if you’re interested in trying new supplements.
Written By: Jillian Wood
Jillian Wood is an online editor and freelance writer in Toronto. She struggled with her curls when she was younger, but has since learned to embrace their beauty (with the right products, of course!).