Simple dietary changes can prevent distressing hair loss and thinning
Hair loss can be down to hormonal changes, a medical condition, stress or nutritional deficiencies.
Experts recommend people eat foods with antioxidant flavonoids to strengthen hair follicles, iron-rich foods to boost red blood cells, and protein- and silica-abundant foods to promote hair growth.
This colourful fruit provides the mineral silica, which is a component of connective tissue that helps to strengthen hair and promote its growth.
Key nutrients: Silica, vitamins A, B6, and C, folate.
How to eat: Have two medium-sized slices of mango as a snack or after a meal.
Foods derived from soy, such as edamame beans and tempeh, are thought to inhibit the formation of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
An imbalance of DHT is believed to contribute to hair loss.
Key nutrients: Iron, omega-3, vitamin B2, magnesium.
How to eat: Aim for at least one 75g (2½ oz) portion a week
Full of protein, eggs help to boost collagen production.
Collagen surrounds hair strands, but breaks down as people age, leaving them vulnerable to breaking.
Key nutrients: Vitamins A and D, carotenes, lutein, zinc, protein.
How to eat: Enjoy a boiled or poached egg four times a week.
Certain nutrients in kelp, such as iron and the amino acid L-lysine, directly affect hair growth.
Iron ensures healthy red blood cell production, while L-lysine facilitates iron absorption. A deficiency in both can impact hair loss.
Key nutrients: Iron, L-lysine, zinc, vitamins B2 and B5, folate, magnesium.
How to eat: Have 10g every day to reach your nutrient quota or try a kelp supplement.
Figs are a great source of iron, which is essential for healthy hair growth and shiny locks.
Other good sources include dried fruits and berries.
Key nutrients: Iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and E.
How to eat: Have two figs a day.
High in omega-3, these help nourish hair, which prevents it from drying out and becoming weak.
Key nutrients: Omega-3, vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium.
How to eat: Eat up to one tbsp a day, either as a snack or sprinkled over meals.
These protein-rich seeds provide zinc, which supports cellular reproduction and enhances immunity, leading to hair growth.
Key nutrients: Zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, protein.
How to eat: Eat up to one tbsp a day. Combine with flaxseeds for a nutritious mix.
Naturally high in collagen-boosting vitamin C, berries aid iron absorption.
Vitamin C boosts scalp circulation, while its antioxidant action protects follicles from free-radical damage.
Key nutrients: Vitamin C, potassium.
How to eat: Have a handful every day.
Creamy avocados supply vitamin E, which increases oxygen uptake and improves circulation to the scalp to promote healthy hair growth.
Key nutrients: Vitamin E, potassium, omega-9, B-vitamins, folic acid.
How to eat: Eat one medium avocado two-to-four times a week.
Greens such as Swiss chard, watercress, spinach and cabbage, promote the production of keratin, which is a hair protein that strengthens follicles.
Key nutrients: Vitamins A, C, and K, B vitamins, potassium, folate.
How to eat: Eat a 100g (3½ oz) portion of leafy greens every day in a salad or as part of a meal.