It’s no secret that animal proteins can be a great source of nutrients for hair growth. So does the rise of plant-based diets mean an inevitable rise in hair loss? Not necessarily. A healthy body is essential for a healthy head of hair, so getting your health in order is a first priority. While an omnivore diet has many excellent sources for hair-growth nutrients, increasing your intake of plants can also benefit your scalp and strands. Read on for some of the reasons your hair may thank you for going veg.
The Pros of Plants
Eating more fruits and veggies can do wonders for your health. A diet rich in plants has been shown to reduce heart disease and obesity and can even reduce your ecological footprint! Some of our favorite plant perks are as follows:
- Blood Pressure: Diets rich in phytochemicals have been linked with reduced risk of hypertension, a condition which many studies suggest has a strong link to hair loss. This may be due to mutations in a gene known as fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5), which helps determine hair length in humans.
- Inflammation: Chronic inflammation is linked to a number of ailments—including hair loss. Leafy greens, nuts, and tomatoes are great foods for reducing your body’s inflammatory response by reducing inflammatory biomarkers.
- Cholesterol: Some studies have shown that high levels of cholesterol can increase presence of androgens like DHT at the hair follicle, which will increase your rate of hair loss.
- Blood Sugar: There is evidence that high blood sugar and increased insulin resistance may increase follicle sensitivity to DHT. Foods high in fiber and low in saturated fat and sodium can keep blood sugar levels low while reducing blood sugar and insulin resistance.
While eating more fruits and vegetables has many benefits to your hair and overall health, it is important to keep in mind the following precautions when considering any dietary changes:
- Speak with your doctor before overhauling your diet, especially if you have a chronic illness like diabetes or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Whenever possible, choose organic and sustainably-sourced ingredients that will minimize your exposure to environmental toxins.
- Drinking fruit and vegetable juices does not have the same effect
Tips for Refining Your Plant-Based Palate
Whether you’re going all-in on veganism or just making an effort to eat more vegetables, here are some tips that will help you make a smooth transition with a full head of hair to show for it:
- Prioritize Protein: A common concern when switching to a plant-based diet is how to ensure you get enough of this essential macronutrient; however, there are many delicious options for getting protein from plants, many of which are also rich in fiber and micronutrients.
- Grab the Whole Grains: Avoid processed grains, which are stripped of many essential nutrients. Whole grains are the best and healthiest because they have all three components (the endosperm, germ, and bran) as well as higher amounts of vitamins and proteins and fiber than their fortified counterparts.
- Avoid Processed Foods: Frozen and pre-packaged foods are often high in sodium and sugar. If you’re looking to save time on meal prep, you can prepare your own meals with whole foods and store them in the fridge or freezer.
- Don’t Go Cold Turkey: As with any lifelong change, it’s best to start slow. Start with basic substitutions in your favorite meat-based meals or swap your bacon and eggs for a refreshing breakfast smoothie.
- Supplements are your friend: No matter the diet, it can be tough to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to support healthy hair growth. We got you! Our Activating Serum is packed with scalp-soothing and hair-hydrating ingredients that bring the best of nature and science straight to your head. An oral collagen supplement can also be a great addition to any plant-based diet to ensure your strands get the support they need.