If you are over 40, you may notice small changes in your hair and scalp. Maybe your scalp is drier than ever and your hair doesn’t want to grow past your shoulders without breaking and thinning. Or maybe you have the opposite problem and your oil and sebum production has gone into overdrive. Hormones and just aging can change our skin and hair, but this doesn’t have to be a negative. With the right products and – most importantly – a good diet rich in healthy fats and proteins, you can get shiny, voluminous and healthy looking hair.
Start with your plate. According to dr. Rebecca Hilton, a dermatologist at J-Beauty, here are the best foods for the health of your scalp and hair over 40. These picks are delicious, nutritious, and considered healthy hair helpers.
Avocados are a rich source of biotin, a water-soluble vitamin important for healthy hair and nails, Dr. Hilton. “It helps strengthen hair and prevent breakage,” said Dr. Hilton. “Avocados are also a good source of healthy fats, which help keep the scalp hydrated.”
Nuts and seeds
“Nuts and seeds are a good source of zinc, a mineral important for healthy skin and hair,” said Dr. Hilton. “Zinc helps protect the scalp from damage and keeps hair follicles healthy. Nuts and seeds are also a good source of vitamin E, which helps protect hair from damage and keep it shiny and healthy.”
The next time you want to bake or fry a potato, reach for a sweet potato to add extra vitamins and nutrients to your diet. “Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, a plant pigment that is converted to vitamin A in the body,” said Dr. Hilton. “Vitamin A is important for healthy skin and hair. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep the digestive system healthy and regular.”
Green leafy vegetables
“Leafy green vegetables are a good source of folate, a water-soluble vitamin important for healthy hair growth,” said Dr. Hilton. “Folic acid helps prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. Green leafy vegetables are also a good source of vitamins A, C and E, which are important for healthy skin and hair.”
Like nuts and seeds, oysters are a good source of zinc. “Zinc helps protect the scalp from damage and keeps hair follicles healthy,” recalls Dr. Hilton remind us. “Oysters are also a good source of iron, a mineral important for healthy hair growth.”
Don’t worry: dessert is also on your healthy-hair menu. “Dark chocolate is a good source of copper,” said Dr. Hilton. “Copper helps promote hair growth and prevent hair loss. Dark chocolate is also a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is important for healthy skin and hair.”
Last but not least, consider a breakfast of greek yogurt with berries and nuts to really improve the health of your scalp and hair. “Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium,” said Dr. Hilton. “Proteins are essential for healthy hair growth. Calcium is important for healthy skin and nails. Greek yogurt is also a good source of probiotics, which are live bacteria that help keep the digestive system healthy.”
A good shampoo and serum are nice, but your best hair days start with a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet.