Man or woman ─ everyone wants a full head of hair. While salon treatments and expensive hair products help, the key to healthy locks is to start from the inside out. Good nutrition plays a key role, and healthy nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids keep hair in top condition. These are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that the body needs but does not produce on its own. People obtain plenty of omega 3s for hair health through certain foods and dietary supplements.
Omega 3 Foods
Feeding hair follicles with EFAs helps keep the scalp and hair in healthy condition. Foods high in omega 3 for hair health include wild-caught fish like salmon, tuna, or halibut, and three servings per week ensures adequate fatty acid consumption. Other great sources of essential fatty acids include ground flaxseed or walnuts.
Omega 3 Supplements
Fish oil supplements offer a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Most experts recommend at least 1,200 mg of supplemental fish oil per day. Make sure to find a pure product free of mercury and other harmful substances.
How Omega 3 Benefits Hair Health
Omega 3 fatty acids provide nourishment to hair follicles and help maintain shine. Research published in the January 2013 issue of Dermatologic Clinics determined that fatty acid deficiency can lead to hair loss and changes in hair color. Although many topical shampoos and other hair products contain omega 3 fatty acids, the body extracts the most nutrients when EFAs are taken internally.
Additional Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
In addition to taking omega 3 for hair, people may enjoy a few more benefits like a healthier heart. Thousands of clinical studies have determined that greater consumption of EPA and DHA boosts cardiovascular function. Essential fatty acids also play a key role in skin health by ensuring a robust skin cell membrane. The membrane allows nutrients to pass through and keeps harmful substances out. It also affects the ability of skin cells to hold water, which keeps them plump, soft, and wrinkle-free.