Healthy hair begins with a healthy diet

It's not just what you put on your tresses that counts, it's what you put in your body

The best way of combating a bad hair day is with a good lunch. Shampoo and conditioner alone won’t give you the healthy hair you crave, but salmon, carrots, nuts and beans should ensure great hair is always on the menu (although maybe not on the same plate).

If you were born with limp, flyaway hair, you’re never going to have thick, rope-like tresses, no matter what you eat, but a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of growth-promoting protein and iron can make a difference.

So, what should be on the menu for your perfect hair care lunch?Salmon packs a hearty beauty punch as it is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids to support your scalp and vitamin B12 and iron to promote a good half-inch of growth a month. If you’re vegetarian (or just don’t like salmon), a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in your daily diet will do the trick too.

Spinach, broccoli and other green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum, the oily substance that acts as the body’s natural hair conditioner.

While at the vegetable counter, you might also want to stock up on carrots. They’re a valuable source of vitamin A, which is essential for shiny, well-conditioned hair.

Beans of all shapes and sizes provide protein, iron, zinc and biotin for strong hair growth. And nuts, particularly Brazil nuts, are a tasty source of selenium, an important mineral for scalp health, and zinc, which helps to keep your hair where it should be (on your head) and not where it shouldn’t be (in the plughole).

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Eggs make a great hair mask, but they also work wonders when scrambled, fried or poached too. They contain protein, biotin and vitamin B12 – all vital beauty nutrients.

Oysters are well known for their reputed aphrodisiac qualities, but they can also help reinvigorate your passion for your hair with a powerful hit of zinc, an antioxidant also found in beef, lamb and wholegrains.

So, if you’re looking for the recipe for great hair, step out of the shower and into the kitchen. Just make sure you wrap yourself in a towel first.

Tips from the snips

Rene and Adrian Fuller, who run R&A Fuller in Horsforth, Leeds, (0113 281 8141) have decades of experience between them and have picked up too many awards to count. Here are their three top tips for keeping more mature hair in great condition.

1 Treat your hair and scalp as you do your skin; give it a facial and intensify the protein and moisture levels inside and out

2 Subtle colouring and softer styling can remove 10 years; introduce a few shades to lift your complexion and a softer hair cut can give you a face lift

3 Trust your stylist. Listen to their advice and invest in hair care; the right products can prolong the colour, condition and shape until your next visit.

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