Get on a hair diet

Advice from the country’s leading trichologist Philip Kingsley

Whether you relax it, braid it or weave it, the unique styling needs of afro hair can really take its toll on our poor scalps, leading to dandruff, itchiness and in serious cases, thinning and hair loss. But according to leading hair doctor, Philip Kingsley, paying a little attention to what is going on beneath our prized barnets, is key to bagging the strong, healthy hair. ‘You can throw as much money as you want at your hair but the quest for healthy, shiny hair always begins with a healthy scalp,’ says Kingsley. So, have you been neglecting yours lately? Or do you simply need some pointers to improve your scalp care? In either case, here are our top tips with the help of hair guru Philip Kingsley!

The condition of your scalp can be improved vastly by making simple changes to your diet,’ says Kingsley. Why? Because as non-essential tissue, your mane will be one of the last places to receive nutrients from the food you eat and will be one of the first places to show the scars of less-than-saintly eating habits. When it comes to diet Kingsley suggests the following: ‘Hair is made of keratin, a form of protein. You need to eat plenty of protein- packed lean meats, fish, eggs and beans to give your follicles a boost. Upping your intake of Omega-3 fats – found in salmon, soya beans, flaxseed oil and walnuts – will moisturise the strand from within and increase your hair’s sheen,’ says Kingsley. If you’re tackling flakes, Kingsley recommends cutting out certain food groups. ‘Restricting dairy products for a few weeks can help greatly as dairy is known to exacerbate flaking and eczema, as are foods rich in salt, “bad fats”, alcohol and sugar.’

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