winters

Important Foods, Vitamins & Minerals for Healthy Hair in Winter

A balanced diet is essential to having good hair. There has to be a correct mix of vitamins and minerals, which change seasonally to ensure that hair remain healthy all year. Winter is probably the most damaging part of the year for hair, which is why to keep them lustrous, strong and shiny one must keep a list of food that have provide vitamins and minerals necessary for hair in the winter.

The following is a list of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good hair as well a list of food that should be consumed during winter to keep the hair in good shape.

Protein

Hair are made up of proteins, which is why it is crucial to ensure that a generous part of the diet comprises of proteins. In the absence of protein hair will become brittle, dry and weak. Chicken, fish, turkey, dairy products and eggs are superb sources of protein. In the winter legumes and nuts should also be consumed. Along with proteins, they contain healthy oils.

Iron

The composition of hair also contains a good amount of iron and its absence or shortage causes anaemia, which is a major cause of hair loss. The hair follicle and roots are supplied by a nutrient rich blood supply. The decrease in serum ferritin, iron in the blood level initiates shedding of hair. Iron is available in high content in animal products such as red meat, chicken and fish. Vegetarian sources of iron are lentils, spinach, broccoli, kale and salad greens.

Vitamin C

To give iron a boost in absorption, Vitamin C is very important. Moreover, Vitamin C is also an antioxidant commonly used by the body. It helps in the making collagen which strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shaft. It can be found richly in strawberries, blueberries, oranges, sweet potatoes, kiwi fruits, broccoli, papaya, blackcurrants and guava.

Omega-3

Our body does not have the ability to make Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is found in the scalp and they provide oil to keep the hair and scalp hydrated. Food containing Omega-3 includes salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel. Vegetarian options are avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

Vitamin A

Sebum, the oily substance our hair create through sebaceous glands to provide a natural conditioner for the scalp is made through Vitamin A. Its absence causes itchy scalp and dry hair. Animal products as well as orange and yellow coloured vegetables contains Vitamin A like carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.

Zinc & Selenium

Zinc & Selenium are essential to the protection of the scalp. A dry and flaky scalp is resulted in absence of these minerals. Its good food sources are oysters, beef, eggs fortified cereals, wholegrains and nuts.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E plays a crucial in providing protection from the Sun. It can be acquired from nuts, which should be a good part of the winter diet.

Biotin

The absence of biotin results in brittle hair leading to hair loss. It is a water-soluble Vitamin B and can be found in wholegrains, liver, egg yolk, soy flour and yeast.

“It is important to take benefit from different foods, especially seasonal foods all year round. Hair reflect what you eat, so maintaining a healthy diet to keep strong and healthy hair is essential. Keeping the right mix of proteins and vitamins is the key to surviving the winter,” said Skin Dermatologist Specialist Dr. Shumaila Khan in a recent interview.

Dr. Shumaila, who is a renowned skin specialist based in Islamabad, emphasized that to keep the body and hair hydrated since winter causes a lot of dryness and brittleness to the hair.

Here are the ways to avoid the nuisance of dry skin in winters

Winters may bring rosy glowing cheeks to some people, but for the masses it means dry skin, especially to face, hands and feet. The problem is even worse for some people, who feel an uncomfortable tightening and cracking on the skin all over their body; and in extreme cases eczema, where the skin becomes red and inflamed.

Do these problems sound familiar? Well, here are Top 7 tips to give your save your skin from the winter atrocities.

1 – Listen to a Specialist
Going to the local drug store and asking the pharmacist for an ointment is perhaps not the best course of action. For good advice always get an opinion from an aesthetician or dermatologist. Investment in a specialist will save your skin from damage. It isn’t necessary that they will recommend an expensive remedy, in fact more than often they will give you the best advice aesthetically and monetarily.

2 – Moisturize with Caution
Moisturizers change with seasons. They also change with skin conditions. For the winter try to find an oil-based moisturizer rather than a water-based since it will lay an extra layer of protective cover on the skin. However, be wary when choosing oil-based moisturizers or lotions as it should not clog the pores. Avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose oil and almond oil are good types of moisturizers.

3 – Sunscreen is for winters too
Sunscreen wasn’t invented for the summers alone. Sun in the winter can do a great deal of damage as well. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen if they are getting a lot of exposure. If the time in the Sun more than expected it is advisable to re-apply after a while.

4 – Hands can be delicate
Remember that despite the strenuous amounts of hard work they accomplish, skin on the hands is much thinner than other parts of the body. Moreover, it has fewer oil glands as well. This leads to itchiness and cracking in cold and dry weather. Gloves can do the trick, but so can a generous application of lotion.

5 – Wet Gloves and Socks are the worst
It is highly advisable to avoid wet gloves and socks as contrary to popular ideology, the act of wet clothing, especially socks, can irritate the skin and cause itching, cracking, sores and even cause eczema to come up.

6 – Launch the Humidifier
Central heating systems that drive hot dry air also dry up the skin. Humidifiers bring back the moisture in the air; thus helping the skin to remain healthy in bad weather.

7 – Hydration & avoid hot baths
Drink water to hydrate yourself and your skin. It is important to keep the body hydrated since it will brighten up the skin and keep its oils intact. Hot baths benefit the skin is also another misconception.

“In the winter, firstly check the water used for showering. Never take shower under extremely hot water. It is pleasurable to take a hot shower, but avoid this entirely. Skin’s outer lipid function or the outer layer of the skin can get badly harmed. Instead, use luke warm water for showering,” said Skin Dermatologist Specialist Dr. Shumaila Khan. Dr. Shumaila Khan, who happens to be a renowned Dermatologist in Islamabad, has been a frontrunner in consultations about the skin, hair and nails.