|Symptom :||brittle hair|
Apart from many other possible causes, brittle hair may be a symptom of, or aggravated by, deficiency of certain nutrient(s). This could be a direct result of the lack of the nutrient, or indirectly, when the deficiency causes conditions such as hypothyroidism, which leads to symptoms that include dry brittle hair.
The important hair, skin and nail vitamins that may therefore be helpful in the treatment of dry hair are tabled below, together with corresponding foods for healthy hair.
If dry brittle hair is also accompanied by dry skin, brittle nails or other hair problems, it could be a sign of overall nutritional deficiency.
What nutrient deficiencies can lead to brittle hair :
|DIETARY ELEMENT | DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS | FOODS|
|Biotin | More on Biotin
Biotin is recognized as one of the major hair, skin and nail vitamins. It is often used in shampoos and other treatment for dry hair. A deficiency of biotin can lead to brittle nails and dry brittle hair.
Biotin-rich foods that may contribute to the efficacy of dry hair home remedies include · organ meats such as liver · carrots · romaine lettuce · swiss chard · tomatoes.
|Vitamin C | More on Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another of the hair, skin and nail vitamins that are important in treatment for dry hair or skin. A deficiency of vitamin C is often symptomized by dry, rough or scaly skin and dry brittle hair.
Dry hair home remedies should include high vitamin C foods for healthy hair, such as · guava · lychees / litchis · papayas · strawberries · vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard greens, bell peppers, turnip greens, spinach.
|Copper | More on Copper
Deficiency of copper may cause hypothyroidism (under-production of thyroid hormones) which can lead to dry brittle hair, hair loss, brittle nails, coarse dry pale skin, weight gain, intolerance to cold, fatigue, depression, irritability, poor memory, muscle or joint pain, constipation, decreased libido, heavy periods or menstrual irregularities.
Copper-rich foods that can help alleviate hypothyroidism, and dry brittle hair, include · cashew nuts · dried beans like soybeans, adzuki beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lentils, lima, navy beans · dried spirulina · crimini mushrooms · shiitake mushrooms · sesame seeds.
|Iron | More on Iron
Iron is important for oxygenation of body tissues, and a lack of iron can lead to symptoms such as brittle nails and dry brittle hair.
Foods rich in iron that may help prevent dry brittle hair include · animal liver · blackstrap molasses · beef · eggs (especially the yolk) · shiitake mushrooms · dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, turnip greens · green beans such as winged beans, string beans · dried beans like kidney beans, lentils · soybeans and soy products, especially tofu · rice bran and wheat bran.
|Iodine | More on Iodine
Iodine deficiency can contribute to hypothyroidism (under-production of thyroid hormones) which can lead to symptoms such as dry brittle hair, hair loss, brittle nails, coarse dry pale skin, intolerance to cold, fatigue or weakness, poor memory, depression, irritability, weight gain, muscle or joint pain, constipation, decreased libido, infertility, menstrual irregularities or heavy periods, and in more severe cases, hoarseness, decreased sense of taste and smell, mental impairment, skin thickening, and puffy face, hands or feet.
Foods high in iodine that help prevent hypothyroidism, and consequently dry brittle hair, include · salt-water fish · seafood and shellfish · seaweed like dulse, bladderwrack, kelp, nori · iodized table salt.
|Manganese | More on Manganese
Manganese is important for activating enzymes that enable the body to utilize key hair, skin and nail vitamins like vitamin C and biotin. Lack of this nutrient can therefore contribute to excessive bone loss and weak hair and nails.
Manganese rich foods for healthy hair that may be part of dry hair home remedies include · dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach) · avocados · pineapple · raspberries · nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts).
|Selenium | More on Selenium
Research indicates that selenium deficiency worsens the effect of iodine deficiency on thyroid function, leading to hypothyroidism with symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, irritability, depression, poor memory, weight gain, constipation, intolerance to cold, heavier or lighter menstruation than normal, coarse dry pale skin, dry brittle hair, hair loss, and brittle nails, and that selenium supplements may help protect against goiter.
Selenium-rich foods that alleviate iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism include · Brazil nuts (one of the most concentrated selenium food sources) · mushrooms (button, shiitake, reishi) · fish (cod, flounder, halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, smelts, red snapper, swordfish, tuna) · seafood (lobster, oyster, scallops, shellfish, shrimp).
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