African Americans are often thought of as having beautiful hair, but their hair can be incredibly high maintenance. It is quite fragile and it tends to break and become frizzy very easily. It also tends to grow little more slowly than the hair of people from other ethnicities.
Because of these problems, combined with the kinds of hairstyle that are so fashionable amongst African-American women these days, more and more women of African-American descent are starting to suffer from serious hair loss. The popular grooming techniques cause a lot of damage to your hair and pulling the hair back when styling it can also be problematic.
Which Foods Support African American Hair Growth?
The good news is that there are foods that you can eat which will help you to enjoy more rapid hair growth, and ensure that your hair grows in thicker and stronger too.
Perhaps the most valuable food for hair growth is protein. One of the essential components for hair growth is keratin, which is itself a form of protein. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet then you will end up suffering from weak, thinning hair as well as weak nails.
The recommended daily intake of protein for an average adult who is not incredibly active is between 10 and 35 percent of their daily calorie allowance. People who are very active will need more protein to support muscle growth and repair. You can get protein from a range of sources, but dairy products, meat, soy, legumes and seafood are perhaps the best choices.
Iron is another important nutrient. If your body is low on iron then you will end up suffering from a number of noticeable side-effects, including low energy levels and general ill health. Your blood cells use iron to transport oxygen to various cells and tissues in your body, and if you are deficient in iron then this will manifest itself in the health of your hair.
Again, women are at greater risk here – especially if they are of the right age to be menstruating. Those who have heavy periods will likely lose a lot of iron each month, and will need to be proactive about replacing it. Lean beef, lamb, lentils, beans and poultry are all good choices. If you are considering taking an actual iron supplement, however, it is important that you talk to your doctor first because not all women need to take these.
Contrary to popular belief, fat is not a dangerous thing. In fact, the human body needs a certain amount of fat in order to produce hormones, and to keep up supplies of certain fat-soluble vitamins. Eating too little fat – something that many people do – can be very bad for you.
Healthy fats can be useful for preventing hair loss, and may also promote the healthy growth of your hair. The important fats are omega-6 fatty acids, and these can be found in salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring. You can also get a good supply of healthy fats from things like flax seeds, which are useful for promoting satiety as well as for delivering healthy fats.
The B Vitamins
Another useful set of nutrients for hair growth is the Vitamin B complex. Vitamin B plays an important role in the production of red blood cells, and this helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles and to your scalp. People who are deficient in Vitamin B are more likely to suffer from thinning hair and will find that their hair is brittle and also grows very slowly.
Vitamin B can be found in bananas, oatmeal, soy milk, beets and whole grain cereals.
Hair Grows Slowly
It is important to note that hair growth is very slow. Most people find that their hair grows about a quarter of an inch every six weeks, so even if you change your diet it could take a long time to see results. The best thing that you can do is simply be patient and stick to a healthy lifestyle for all the right reasons. If you eat right and drink lots of water you should find that your body responds by feeling better and having more energy.
Over time, your nails and skin will start to look healthier and stronger and then eventually you will see the same results in your hair too. Remember, however, that the results will last only as long as your healthy lifestyle lasts, so it is important that you eat right and drink plenty of water in the long term.
Positive lifestyle changes can go a long way towards giving you great looking, healthy and strong hair, and will impact on the rest of your life in a lot of good ways as well.