As we begin the New Year it is time to change the way we think regarding “healthy” hair. No longer are the days of disregarding your diet as a factor in the condition of your hair, for we now know they are one in the same. Our hair requires the same nutrients needed for a healthy body. Providing your system with the minerals and vitamins it needs can directly affect how much hair you shed per day. Yes Ladies you heard correct, a poor diet can cause unnecessary shedding, leaving you with a less than voluminous crown.

Every strand of your hair is composed mainly of over lapping flat cells surrounded by keratin, the basis of durability and structure. These protein fibers, like your nails need protein to grow. There are three stages of hair growth, anagen, catagen and telogen. About 85-90% of the time our hair is in the anagen phase which is known as the growth phase. The interval in which our strands remain in the growth phase is boiled down to genetics or our predetermined length.  On average the anagen phase lasts between 2-6 years which means even the shortest anagen phase of two years is twelve inches reaching bra strap while the anagen phase of six years can extend well and beyond for others, but if your diet is lacking protein this can actually shift your predetermined phase, stunting growth.

When your body is not properly nourished the anagen phase can be cut short, literally pushing your strands towards the catagen phase or known as the transitional phase. In the catagen phase the hair follicle begins to deteriorate causing shrinkage. Leading the papilla located at the base of the hair follicle to loosen and detach, depleting our strands from blood supply, the source of nourishment for our hair. Now that our papilla is detached and decreased in size, this in return causes the hair shaft to be pushed upward inducing the strand into the final phase, the telogen.

Known as the resting phase, the telegon is the last stage of hair growth in which the follicle is in a coma state lying dormant for one to fourth months until the precedence strand is pushed out or shedded.

The average scalp holds about 150,000 strands and we lose 50-100 strands daily but starving your body of its basic nutrients can drastically increase the amount of hair you shed by causing the hair to premature shed, jump starting the process of the catagen phase therefore, never seeing the true potential of your hair growth due to stunted growth, gives you a false sense of your actual predetermined length.

Stay tuned later this week for Part 2 as I break down the power foods that contain protein, iron, copper, magnesium, Vitamin E, D, C, beta carotene, folate, biotin and zinc which prevents premature shedding.