Hungry for hair growth? These 4 ingredients are key🔑

We’ve teamed up with award-winning nutritional therapist, Claudine J Thornhill, to explain exactly how to eat your way to longer, healthier hair. Plus, improve the condition of your skin and nails too.

Hungry for hair growth? These 4 ingredients are key🔑 

Are you up to speed with the specific foods and nutrients that are best for your hair and can even help it grow?

How about the ingredients that are super beneficial for skin and nails?

It’s really no big deal if you’re not sure. There’s fairly low awareness around the impact nutrition can have on hair, skin and nails - especially what you should consume more of to see significant changes.

So today, we’ll tell you everything you need to know!

If you’re not getting enough of 4 key nutrients, you’re missing out on one of the best possible ways to get healthier hair (not to mention skin and nails).

Top 4 nutrients for healthy hair, skin & nails

1. Collagen:

What is it?
On average, 30% of the protein found in our body at any one time is classified as collagen, making it the most abundant protein we produce naturally. It’s a fundamental building block and a vital component of hair, skin, blood vessels and the digestive tract.

There are 16 types of collagen but around 80-90% within the human body consist of types I, II and III. While all serve slightly different functions, we highly recommended consuming pure marine collagen for beauty benefits. This sustainable type 1 collagen is derived from fish and contains significantly higher levels of amino acids, glycine and proline than many other proteins. These all promote healthy tissue growth for hair, skin and nails. Recent studies from Europe and Japan have proven its effectiveness at reducing wrinkles. And it’s also been featured in research focused on the treatment of alopecia (Lassus A, Santalahti J, Sellmann 1994).

Collagen keeps the pores on your scalp moisturised, firm and close together. This allows your hair to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients, and contributes to an abundance of growth and thickness.

In terms of skin, it’s just as vital. Collagen plays a major role in strengthening skin, while also improving elasticity and hydration.

But here’s the bad news:

Collagen levels drop dramatically as we age, since the body increasingly struggles to absorb adequate amounts of the nutrients needed to make it. This is particularly true for women who’ve gone through the menopause.

Without topping-up your collagen supply, you’ll start to see the impact of this natural reduction; your hair might lose thickness and become dry or brittle. You’ll also notice more breakage and slower growth, caused by lower protein (known as Keratin) within the hair follicles and strands.

Skin typically loses its youthful glow, becoming thinner, duller and dryer with more visible wrinkles. By consuming more collagen, you’ll be able to reverse some of these changes in no time at all – sometimes as quickly as a few weeks.

What foods is it in?
- Fish (with the skin on!) is rich in the amino acids needed to produce collagen. Ever wondered why a fish’s skin is so smooth when you remove the scales? That’s because there’s such a high concentration of type I collagen.

- Tomatoes (especially sundried) Yes, the humble tomato is actually a secret beauty booster! These contain high levels of vitamin C (needed for collagen production), and the antioxidant lycopene, which is known to protect collagen breakdown.BerriesAgain, it’s the vitamin C in these that aid in collagen production needed to transform your skin. They also contain ellagic acid, which fights against UV damage according to research. 

- Berries: Again, it’s the vitamin C in these that aid in collagen production needed to transform your skin. They also contain ellagic acid, which fights against UV damage according to research. 

2. Vitamin C

What is it?
You’ve already seen vitamin C mentioned several times above but this nutrient definitely deserves its own section.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin found in many foods and also sold as a supplement. It’s needed by the body to produce and synthesise collagen, and acts as an antioxidant to combat free radicals (compounds that develop in your body due to environmental influences like air pollutants and UV exposure).

We need to consume foods containing vitamin C every day to maintain our levels. 

In fighting free radicals, vitamin C also protects hair follicles so your hair can grow freely and healthily.

We need vitamin C to help with various other bodily functions, including:
- Removing unwanted substances (known as Reactive Oxidative Species or ROS)
- Absorbing iron
- Boosting immune system
- Reducing inflammation

What foods is it in?
To prevent vitamin C deficiency, EU guidance currently states that the average healthy person needs 80mg per day (this figure is known as the Nutrient Reference Value or NRV).

Here are some vitamin C-rich foods you can enjoy:
- Oranges (66% of NRV per 100g)
- Strawberries (74% of NRV per 100g)
- Broccoli (111% of NRV per 100g)
- Kiwi (116% of NRV per 100g)
- Guava (285% of NRV per 100g)
- Bell peppers (160% of NRV per 100g)

3. Hyaluronic Acid

What is it?
Hyaluronic acid is actually produced naturally by your body just like collagen.It’s found in our skin, eyes and connective tissues, and is the stuff that keeps cells hydrated by holding onto 1000x its weight in water.

Beauty brands have well and truly woken up to the powers of hyaluronic acid and tripping over themselves to harness its insane moisture-binding abilities.

Think of this nutrient as your personal hydration assistant. It will keep your hair healthy and glossy, and your skin plumped, youthful and glowing.

Studies show that ingesting hyaluronic acid orally leads to improved skin appearance by softening wrinkles and increasing lustre.

Researchers also agree that hyaluronic acid and collagen are something of a power pairing – working synergistically to repair your hair strands, skin and nails while protecting the outer layers too.

If you suffer from dry hair and experience lots of breakage, or your skin has lost its mojo, don’t think twice before adding more of this ingredient to your diet.

What foods is it in?
- Soy: Don’t be shy when it comes to soy. It has a ton of health benefits, including helping the body make hyaluronic acid. Add tofu or edamame beans to salads, or use soy sauce, tamari or miso for dressings – whatever you choose just be sure to get plenty of soy.

- Citrus fruits: Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are great because they not only contain lots of vitamin C, but also naringenin, which inhibits the breakdown of hyaluronic acid in the body. Why not start the day with a freshly-squeezed OJ or add grapefruit to zing-up your morning yoghurt?

- Tuber vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, jicama, lotus root)These are perfect for producing hyaluronic acid in the body. Plus, as they’re mainly carbs, they’re a good alternative to staples like bread and rice. They also contain potassium, fibre and vitamins A, C and B6.

4. Biotin (Vitamin B7)

What is it?
Biotin is vital to many bodily functions and is also important for keratin production (remember that’s the primary protein found in hair, skin and nails!).

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, biotin is also used by the body to metabolise carbs, fats and amino acids.

Though intestinal bacteria can produce small amounts of biotin, you’re not able to synthesise it on your own – so that’s why adding extra into your daily diet is essential. 

Although rare, biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss and skin issues. Some evidence suggests that biotin can help prevent hair thinning, so if this is a problem for you, it’s worth making sure you consume a little extra.

But there’s another reason you’ll want to get your hands on biotin…

Healthier nails.

There is promising evidence that this nutrient improves fingernail strength and durability. Mani/pedi, here we come!

What foods is it in?
- Eggs: These are jam-packed with B vitamins, plus protein, iron and phosphorous. The yolk is an especially rich nutrient source. Be sure to always cook eggs fully to avoid the risk of Salmonella poisoning and also because raw egg whites can interfere with biotin absorption.

- Mushrooms: These nutritious fungi offer several health benefits, including ample biotin. In fact, their high biotin content protects them from parasites and predators in the wild.

- Avocados: Not that most of us need an excuse to enjoy an avocado, but just in case, you should know that they’re another top biotin provider. Which unfortunately still doesn’t change the fact that only 1 in like 25 are truly “perfectly ripe”…

Hold on, can’t I just take a supplement instead?

Yes, you absolutely can.

Supplements are an effective, easy and convenient way to boost your nutrient intake in the exact quantities you need. While supplements shouldn’t be taken as a substitute for a varied, healthy diet – they can be added to your daily menu for additional body benefits.

You’ll have the choice between taking select individual supplements or a supplement expertly blended with the precise nutrient formula you need e.g. to help your hair grow and your skin glow.

When deciding which type to go for, it’s really important to make sure high quality ingredients derived from reputable, certified suppliers are used.

Our Hair Boost Collagen Drink is a fantastic 5-Star rated option that includes all 4 of the nutrients mentioned above (plus much more). It's a delicious berry drink bursting with all the nutrients your body needs for healthier, longer hair and youthful, glowing skin.