by Kristin Dahl
Kristin Dahl is a Los Angeles based nutritionist, herbalist, and women’s wellness educator whose teachings emanate from her extensive education in holistic healing, Ayurveda, herbal medicine, plant-based cooking, and functional nutrition. Her book, The Art of Wellness, co-written with Olympic Gold Medalist Stephanie Rice, has gained global attention for its integrative guidance on health and wellness. Kristin’s approach merges the practical and spiritual, educating and empowering individuals to take preventative steps and make lasting change. Visit her websites: dahlhousenutrition.
As women, most of us place quite a bit of importance on our hair, whether consciously or unconsciously. Historically, hair has been symbolic of strength and vitality, of power and seduction. It’s often linked to spirituality and intuition and is considered very important in certain traditions such as Kundalini yoga and Native American culture. Hair is also an important indicator of femininity, and its health is often tied to a woman’s self-esteem.
Beautiful, healthy hair is a sign of overall good health and is generally one of the first things we notice when meeting someone new and when developing new physical attractions.
What we eat literally creates the building blocks of who we are, from the inside out. Our diet has an enormous impact on the health of every part of our body, from our internal organs to our skin, nails, and hair. A balanced diet is absolutely essential to healthy hair.
Maintaining healthy hair is an essential aspect of self-love + a sustainable self-care practice that supports long-term well-being. The key to holistic hair care is multifold: a nutrient-rich diet, plenty of water, sunshine & nourishing herbs are the best places to begin.
Nourishment for your Locks
Focus on the following foods to give your hair a healthy boost.
Aim to drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of H2O daily. If this is your goal, you’ll surely be hydrated (as most of us don’t end up hitting that daily target!) Carry a large water bottle with you whenever possible - when traveling or on the go - and try your best to drink out of glass water bottles. Avoid plastic water bottles as most contain BPAs that disrupt hormones and endocrine function.
One of the building blocks of our hair, and deficiencies can lead to weak, brittle hair.
Best sources: bone broth, lean organic, grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, nuts & seeds, legumes such as kidney beans and lentils, spirulina, and chlorella.
Rich in zinc, iron, B vitamins, and biotin, which is well known for its role in promoting strong and healthy hair, skin and nails.
Best sources: oats, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, millet, and quinoa.
EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids)
Bring moisture to the scalp and hair from the inside. They help to support healthy oil production and lubricate the hair shaft to promote growth.
Best sources: wild-caught fatty fish (such as salmon, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel), raw nuts like walnuts, and seeds such as flax and chia. You can also take DHA and EPA supplements daily.
Loaded with vitamins (A, D & E) and healthy fats, ghee is clarified butter and is amazing for the hair, skin, digestion, reducing inflammation, and even strong bones and teeth. It can be taken internally with meals or snacks (like ghee, dates, and walnuts) or used on the hair and scalp as a deep conditioning mask.
Best sources: you can make your own but there are many great companies such as Ancient Organics and 4th & Heart. Look for pasture-raised and organic options.
Low levels are related to low red blood cell counts, which can result in hair loss. Low Iron is also associated with a lack of oxygen and nutrients being transported to the hair follicles, which inhibits the growth and strength of hair.
Best sources: spinach and other dark leafy greens, nettle leaf, nuts & seeds, blackstrap molasses, spirulina, and organic grass-fed beef & lamb.
Required for the growth of cells, and the production of sebum on the scalp which keeps hair healthy and not too dry.
Best sources: carrots, cod liver oil, sweet potato, butter, eggs, spinach, leafy greens, pumpkin.
Essential for body tissue, assisting with hair, skin, and nails. Individuals who hope to increase hair growth may benefit from taking a biotin supplement. It is a B complex vitamin and has been shown to also assist with hair loss and brittle nails.
Best sources: eggs, almonds, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet potato, and spinach.
Required for the absorption of iron in the body and other benefits such as collagen production and strengthening the immune system.
Best sources: red peppers, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, papayas, citrus fruits including limes, lemons, and oranges.
Can maintain pH and oil levels as well as improve blood circulation, all of which promotes growth while preventing follicles from clogging and becoming damaged.
Best sources: avocado, extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts and seeds including almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
An amazing antioxidant that is important to include in the diet for many reasons. Its anti-inflammatory properties can promote a healthy scalp, and it encourages hair growth by assisting in the conversion[synthesis] of proteins.
Best sources: Brazil nuts, seafood, chicken, eggs, and legumes.
Essential for skin health and supports the skin on our scalp, which supports hair follicle health. Zinc also prevents excess shedding of the hair.
Best sources: chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and dark chocolate.
An Ayurvedic herb which increases circulation on the scalp and promotes the health of hair follicles. One of the herbs included in Elanveda’s Healthy Hair formula.
High in minerals essential for healthy hair growth. Specifically, high in calcium, silica, and sulfur which can boost collagen production.
Use: Drink nettle leaf as an infusion daily for 30 days and watch your hair transform!
One of the highest natural vitamin C sources, which supports collagen production and skin health. Another one of the main ingredients in Elanveda’s Healthy Hair formula.