Both practices primarily put the experience of fine or thinning hair and hair loss down to something we are born with.
Modern practitioners cite genetics, Ayurveda, defines this as being characteristic of those born with a Pitta Dosha type. Both also acknowledge the influence of environment, lifestyle and diet. Trichologists state these factors create nutrient or vitamin deficiencies which impact hair, while Ayurveda advises that fire’s dominance of the Pitta Dosha means that this hair type (or hair Dosha, as we refer to it) is more susceptible to being left depleted when imbalances occur due to environmental, lifestyle and dietary influences.
The hair we are born with isn’t something we can easily control. There are, however, some aspects we can change – like our diet – that directly correlate with how our hair looks and feels. Below are five of the most effective ways both Ayurveda and modern nutrition advise will nourish, strengthen and restore healthy hair growth.
Protein helps your body produce keratin, a vital element in hair’s structure. Insufficient protein in your diet can therefore cause hair to thin or reduce in volume. Boost the protein content of your meals by including turkey, chicken, salmon or tuna in them, or – for vegetarians and vegans – tofu, lentils and chickpeas.
Low iron is one of the most common causes of hair thinning, and the busy lives we lead in our 20s, 30s and beyond appear to greatly affect iron levels. Revive hair from the inside out by enjoying iron-rich foods – chicken and turkey, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, plus baked potatoes, beans, lentils and cashew nuts.
Research has linked nutritionally caused hair loss to a proliferation of carbohydrate or white sugar in the diet. Avoiding overly refined ingredients and opting for whole foods – barley, oats, wheat and basmati rice – and natural sugars will help encourage healthy hair growth.
B vitamins are well known for the benefits they offer skin, hair and nails; helping create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles, while one B-vitamin (biontin) can directly aid hair loss. Keep your B-vitamin levels up by eating whole grains, eggs, yoghurt, spinach and flaxseeds.
Well-known for its skincare benefits, collagen aids blood circulation and increases the amino acids in your system, which can also reduce the risk of hair thinning. Enjoy omega-3-rich salmon and tuna, tofu, spinach and kale, carrots, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits to keep levels up.
A healthy diet will work even better with some healthy hair-care habits… read our ten tips for the simple, yet beneficial changes to daily life that care for fine or thinning hair.
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