How Important is Protein for Hair Growth?
Protein is one of the essential nutrients that is a must for the normal growth and functioning of the body. It is the structural component of the cells and is needed for a healthy body. Protein is made up of amino acids. It is estimated that a person needs an average of about 1.4 to 2.5 ounces of protein per day. But this may vary according to the height, weight and age of the person. Similarly, those who do a lot of physical work require extra amounts of protein. If your immune system is weak or if you are suffering from any disease you will need more proteins. This is because the extra protein is used by the body to repair the damaged tissues and cells and build new ones.
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Protein is essential for the hair also. If you include enough amounts of protein in your daily diet, your hair will grow strong and healthy. About 80% of the hair is made up of keratin. Keratin is nothing but protein, which is composed of two amino acids and polypeptide chains.
According to dermatologists at American Academy of Dermatology, deficiency of protein is among the major reasons for hair loss and thinning of hair. So you must have protein rich foods daily to prevent hair loss and thinning of the hair.
Role of Proteins and Amino Acids in your Hair Growth:
Human hair is mainly made up of proteins and these proteins are made of amino acids. About 20 amino acids are involved in the synthesis of proteins that are essential for human beings. Out of these 20 amino acids, 11 are produced by the body, while the other 9 cannot be processed by the body. You have to get these nine amino acids through proper diet that supplies you with these amino acids. It is important that you get these 9 amino acids, especially if you want your hair to grow thick and strong.
These amino acids are known as the essential amino acids. The names of these nine essential amino acids are Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, Valine, Threonine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Histidine and Lysine Leucine. These essential amino acids are very important for the proper growth of the hair. If your body lacks in any of these nine amino acids, the follicles of the hair will be affected. It will not be able to produce hair fiber and this result in hair loss and thinning of hair. In extreme cases it may also lead to baldness. So, you must always make it a point to include foods rich in these essential amino acids in your daily diet. According to studies made, an adult woman needs to take at least 5 ounces of protein daily. If you do exercise daily for more than 30 minutes, then you have to increase the protein intake.
Natural sources of Protein for Hair:
You must consume protein rich food in order to keep up the protein level in the body. Having the essential proteins helps in increasing hair growth and to prevent thinning of hair. You get the right protein for your hair and the body from plant sources as well as animal sources. Some of the protein rich foods are meat, fish, poultry, dairy products and eggs. These are the animal sources of protein. They are called Complete Proteins as you get all the 9 essential proteins from them. An egg contains all the 20 proteins and provides you with 6 gms of protein. Plants that supply you with adequate amounts of protein are legumes, seeds, nuts, grains and vegetables.
Synthetic Proteins for Hair:
Other than the natural sources of proteins, you get a number of hair products in the market that are rich in protein and stimulate hair growth. Protein supplements are also available in the market to help your get healthy hair that grows fast. So, by consuming protein rich food or by applying hair products that are rich in protein topically, you can have thick hair that is strong and healthy. Other than benefiting the hair growth, the protein rich foods you consume is also good for your health and prevent various diseases and other health problems.
Protein Treatments for Hair:
Protein treatment is the method of making protein available to the hair by topical application. You get protein packs for the hair, which help in strengthening the hair. Use it every 4 to 6 weeks and you will get positive results. You can also make protein treatments at home, which is less costly and effective.
Coconut oil: – Take one cup of virgin coconut oil or organic coconut milk, and mix with 1 tablespoon honey and 2 to 3 tablespoon of virgin olive oil. Apply this mixture well on your hair and cover it with a plastic cap. Wash your hair after 30 minutes.
Egg mask: – Take two eggs and beat them well. Apply this on your scalp and hair and cover with a plastic cap. Wait for 20 minutes and then wash off with water and mild shampoo, followed by conditioning.
Mayo and avocado mask: – Mash half of an avocado and mix it with 2 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Apply this pack well on your hair and cover with a plastic cap. Leave it for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash off with water and mild shampoo. Also condition your hair.
Protein treatment is good for your hair and repairs damages done to the hair. However, too much of it is not good for the hair. It will leave the hair looking stiff. So you must take care to keep your hair moisturized properly.
Cautions while taking proteins for hair:
Before you change your diet or start taking protein supplements you have to take the advice of a medical professional or a dermatologist to ensure that no harm will be done. According to the studies made by American Heart Association, diet that is high in proteins can affect the health of certain people. In addition to consuming protein rich foods, you also have to get a good sleep of 6 to 8 hours, do regular workouts and get rid of physical and mental stress in order to increase the hair growth.