Healthy diet, healthy hair
Who doesn't get jealous when they see Kate Middleton's glossy mane? OK, the Duchess of Cambridge has access to the best hairdressers in the business, but it's so shiny and healthy looking that there must be more to her lovely locks than a decent cut?
In fact, according to experts, there is. People who eat a healthy diet are more likely to have better hair, which is good news for those who have boosted their vegetable intake in a bid to lose weight.
Ladies who are deficient in some nutrients, such as vitamin A, certain B vitamins, vitamin C, copper, iron and zinc, are more likely to find that their hair breaks and grows slowly.
Get your vitamins
Increasing fruit and vegetable intake and reducing consumption of fatty foods is a key part of most people's weight loss efforts. As well as boosting hair health, this can help your skin and your general wellbeing.
When it comes to hair, the first vitamin to consider is A, as this promotes healthy cell growth throughout the body. If you don't have sufficient levels of vitamin A, you could experience hair loss and dandruff build-up. To avoid this, make sure you consume leafy greens, as well as red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables. You can also help your vitamin A levels by consuming liver, fish oils and eggs.
Meanwhile, the trusty vitamin C, reputed to ward off colds, also plays a key role in hair health, ensuring sufficient levels of collagen are produced. This holds the tissues in the hair together. Tasty fruits, like berries and melons, as well as citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables and tomatoes, are good sources.
Zinc, Protein and Iron
The mineral zinc also plays a role in cell reproduction and tissue growth and repair, as well as helping maintain oil-secreting glands that are attached to hair follicles. Good sources include meat, fish and eggs, while nuts, seeds, and legumes could also help increase levels.
"A balanced diet is what is required … Your hair is made up of all sorts of things – but it relies very heavily on protein and iron," explained Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of The Institute of Trichologists, recently.
She advised that protein and iron should be complimented by some carbohydrates – perhaps potatoes, which are also a good source of vitamin C, to ensure you can absorb the other nutrients.
Stress and diet
Stress can often have a big impact on your health and body, with some people losing hair when they become overly anxious.
Ann Finnemore, a hypnotherapist and stress manager, who is the owner of Getting You There, said people can turn to highly processed foods particularly sugary foods when they are stressed.
But she advised that healthy eating can reduce people's stress levels, while lessening the impact the condition has on the body.
"When in a state of high anxiety or panic, a move to a healthier diet is best, as it will help provide the nutrients required by the body, and will help make the person more resilient to the physical effects of their stress," said Ms Finnemore.
So, while you may be embarking on the diet in a bid to slim down and fit into your skinny jeans or to get the perfect beach body, you could also find that your new and improved diet has extra benefits, leaving you with hair that even Kate herself would envy.
Have you noticed that your diet has benefits other than weight loss?