Did you know your hormones may be the reason you’re losing hair or can’t grow ‘new hair’? Testosterone is the culprit. If your body has too much of it, you may have an excessive level of DHT, a sex hormone that not only helps your body’s masculinity but may also cause hair loss. Women also have small amounts of testosterone, but when they get too high, cause the same issues.
When DHT levels are too high, it stops the necessary nutrients from reaching the hair follicles. If your hair follicles don’t get what they need, they stop shrink and eventually stop growing. You won’t grow new hair, and the hair loss eventually leads to thinning hair or even baldness.
Men and women experience hair loss differently, but they are both just as traumatic. Men lose hair that causes baldness. It may start slowly but eventually gets so widespread that you have large bald spots. Women experience hair thinning in certain spots, especially along the hairline and temples. When the hair thins enough, it can show up as bald spots, which is traumatic for women.
We aren’t talking about traditional hair loss, as most people lose up to 100 hairs a day naturally. But, if you find that you’re losing more than that or you see thinning/bald spots, you can prevent hair loss due to DHT several ways, including what you eat. Certain foods in your diet can block excessive DHT, allowing your hair to grow healthy and strong.
What Nutrients Help Hair Grow?
Certain nutrients when consumed in the right quantities help block DHT, allowing new hair growth and/or slowing down hair loss. They include:
- Vitamin C – Helps your body absorb iron, which it needs to prevent hair loss
- Iron – Many women with hair loss have an iron deficiency
- Flavonoids – Helps promote hair growth
- Protein – Both men and women need adequate protein to ensure it gets to the hair follicles and not used up by other organs
- Biotin – This form of Vitamin B, works directly with the keratin levels in your hair and nails, which helps it grow
- Lycopene – Acts as a natural DHT blocker
- Zinc – Works as a natural DHT blocker when taken with iron, magnesium, and copper
Each of these nutrients helps block DHT and/or help your hair grow healthy and strong. Your body uses each of these nutrients for other organs as well, so including these foods in your diet helps your overall health, as well as your hair health.
Foods That Block DHT
So now that you know what nutrients your body needs, how do you get them?
Fortunately, it’s simple with natural foods you likely eat every day. Incorporating some or all of the following foods in your daily diet may help inhibit hair loss, and/or promote healthy hair growth.
- Walnuts – Rich in protein, Vitamin E, and natural anti-inflammatory nutrients, walnuts are a great addition to your salads, or as a quick pick-me-up snack in the middle of the day. Not only do they help with your hair loss, but they also help keep you full, which may stop you from overeating unhealthy foods.
- Almonds – Like walnuts, almonds have plenty of protein, but they are also a great source of biotin. Almonds help strengthen your hair follicles as well as smooth them out with their Vitamin E content. Eat a handful of almonds as a snack, add them to your oatmeal, or cut them in slivers and add them to your salmon or green beans at dinner.
- Eggs – Also rich in protein, eggs bind to biotin, which is your hair’s most important vitamin. Cooked eggs offer the best DHT blockers, but you can eat them in any form, whether scrambled, as an omelet, or hard boiled.
- Blueberries – Sweet blueberries are a delicious treat that helps promote healthy hair growth and/or stop hair loss. Filled with Vitamin C, blueberries help stimulate blood circulation to the scalp, which helps stimulate hair growth. The flavonoids in blueberries help increase blood flow too, but they also help move your body from the hair follicle’s resting phase to the active phase faster. Blueberries are great in smoothies, on top of yogurt, or as a snack (mix with walnuts for bonus points).
- Avocados – The powerhouse ‘hair vitamin’, avocados provide protein, magnesium, copper, and iron. The antioxidants in avocados promote strong hair and help unclog your scalp’s pores for better hair growth. Enjoy avocados in smoothies, on your tacos, or even slice it up and add it to your salads or sandwiches.
- Pumpkin seeds – Not just a treat to eat at Halloween time, pumpkin seeds help hair growth with its Omega-3 fatty acids by opening up hair follicles and promoting new hair growth. They are also a great source of iron, which female bodies need for hair growth. Pumpkin seeds are a great snack on their own or make your own trail mix with walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds for the ultimate DHT blocker snack.
- Tomatoes – You’ve likely heard tomatoes are high in lycopene which is great for many things including blocking excessive DHT. The antioxidants in tomatoes also help repair damaged hair follicles, encouraging more growth and less hair loss. Tomatoes are great on salads and sandwiches.
How many of these foods do you already include in your diet? If you aren’t eating enough of them, try adding a few at a time. Play with the different ways you can fit them in so it doesn’t feel like a chore and rather something you begin to enjoy. With regular consumption of these vital nutrients, you may help block your body’s production of excessive DHT and lower your risk of male or female pattern hair loss.