In honour of World Health Day, we want to unpack the science behind how nutrition supports the hair growth cycle and how MONPURE solutions can feed your scalp and follicles with the nutrients they need to prosper. The mantra ‘you are what you eat’ certainly rings true when it comes to nutrition and its effect on hair and scalp health. Your diet plays a significant role when it comes to hair health, scalp health and even hair growth. Vitamins, minerals and overall nutrition from food and the right formulas are essential contributors to hair follicle health, the hair growth cycle and cell turnover, with a nutrient-deficient diet having significant links to hair loss and overall diminished hair health.
If you’re not getting certain nutrients from your diet, including essential fatty acids, proteins and specific vitamins, you might start seeing the effect in your hair. Read more to discover the expert guide on your hair and nutrition, and how to decode your diet to harness the healthiest hair growth possible.
Why is Nutrition Important?
Hair cells are the second fastest-dividing cells in the human body (the first being intestinal cells). Each individual has roughly 120,000 hairs on their scalp, all of which require nourishment and fuel to grow and proliferate. As hair follicles are among the most metabolically active cells in the body, hair growth is significantly impacted by calorie and protein malnutrition, as well as micronutrient deficiency.
Research suggests that nutritional deficiencies can impact the hair’s structure and growth, and can develop in telogen effluvium, a form of sudden onset hair loss that usually resolves itself over time, and even androgenic alopecia, a form of gradual and regressive hair thinning. Studies suggest that deficiencies in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins B12, Vitamin C, among others, are associated with hair loss. MONPURE’s active, nutrient-rich ingredients, including peptides, ascorbic acid and stearic acid, deliver the perfect dose of nutrition to starving scalps and follicles.
About 90% of the hair structure consists of a hardened protein called keratin. When the body’s protein stores are low, synthesis and generation of this essential building-block slows, hair growth stagnates and it grows weaker. Another essential form of protein that supports hair growth and health is collagen. Collagen is the primary component of the dermis, which is the connective tissue layer that contains hair follicles. Collagen plays a role repairing the dermis and the skin on the scalp at the base of the hair follicle, and it impacts age-related hair growth.
The digestive system breaks down proteins into amino acids that then get diverted into the liver to produce more protein build-blocks in the forms your body requires, including the keratin structures and collagen in your hair. One of the amino acid components of keratin is called Cystine, which is arguably the most vital for hair growth. It establishes the disulphide bonds in hair that hold the protein structures of the hair shaft together.
Lean meats and fish like chicken, turkey or tuna are great sources of protein that support healthy hair growth. Eggs are another vital source of protein, biotin, zinc, selenium and other hair-healthy nutrients. Many plant-based foods are also incredibly rich in protein - such as tofu, lentils, beans, Greek yoghurt or nuts.
Your hair can also reap the benefits of proteins with powerful active ingredients called ‘peptides’. Peptides are amino acids that are the building blocks of certain proteins needed by the scalp and hair. Peptides are highly effective due to their small molecular size, allowing them to easily penetrate the hair follicle and deliver powerful benefits. Peptides prevent breakage by increasing moisture retention, restore the inner bonding of the hair and enhance cuticle health. Peptides contribute to hair growth, while also increasing the elasticity of individual hairs.
The MONPURE range features two innovative peptide active ingredients, vegan keratin and vegan silk peptides.
Vegan keratin is an essential active ingredient that reinforces the structural integrity of damaged hair. Keratin is the protein naturally found in hair, forming the building-blocks of its structure. Vegan keratin is a moisturising humectant that conditions and hydrates the scalp, while also holding anti-irritant benefits. This vegan alternative also protects, strengthens and repairs fragile strands, as well as boosting shine, smoothness and elasticity.
Vegan silk peptides are a powerhouse protein that fortifies hair from the root. They deliver a protective barrier to the hair and scalp, shielding it against harmful environmental irritants and stressors. They cultivate a stronger, healthier and more resilient scalp and hair environment, while improving the hair’s smoothness and shine, leaving it silky to the touch.
Indulge in the benefits of vegan silk peptides with the Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo, Strengthening Essence-Conditioner and Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask, all of which are formulated with a high percentage of the groundbreaking active ingredient.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are a group of nutrients that play an important role in several body functions, including scalp and hair health. The main types of omega-3s are: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These nutrients are found in the cell membranes of the scalp skin, and in the natural sebum the scalp produces to keep the hair hydrated.
Studies have shown that eating fatty fish, like salmon, herring and mackerel twice a week will ensure a healthy dose of omega-3s. These essential fatty acids can help prevent dry scalp, and have even been shown to promote hair density and growth in various studies.
One of MONPURE’s hero ingredients, stearic acid, is a rich source of healthy fatty acids. It is a moisturising agent that works to eliminate excess oil, sweat and build-up on the scalp without stripping away natural oils. It also functions as a protective conditioner that leaves the hair feeling soft, light and lustrous. Discover it in the Clarifying Scalp Scrub.
Castor oil is another nutrient-rich natural oil containing fatty acids. It is made up of ricinoleic acid, omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, and Vitamin E which provide conditioning and nutrients to the follicle. Castor oil improves blood circulation to the scalp and helps treat dandruff, reduce split ends and breakage. Discover it in the Ultralight Healthy Hair Oil and Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum.
Iron produces haemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen to various tissues and organs. When iron levels are low, it becomes harder to transport oxygen to important cells, such as the cells that stimulate hair growth. Iron is also an essential component in an enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase that helps stimulate follicles, so low stores of this crucial enzyme can stall new growth and lead to fallout.
An iron deficiency is the world’s most common nutritional deficiency and is a well-known cause of hair loss. Specifically, iron deficiency is linked to a diffuse and rapid onset form of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Introducing iron-rich foods into your diet such as red meat, legumes (kidney beans, chickpeas, edamame beans), nuts, dried fruit, spinach and dark chocolate can effectively counteract a deficiency.
Luckily, hair loss as the result of an iron deficiency is almost always recoverable. Studies have shown that the reversal of an iron deficiency has led to restoration of hair growth.
By adjusting your diet or introducing supplements to restore your iron supply, it’s almost always possible to regrow your hair to its maximum potential.
It is important to feed your follicles with essential nutrients to cultivate the regrowth. Coupled with boosting your nutritional intake and ensuring you are including hair-healthy foods in your diet, the Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask works like food to the scalp. It delivers essential nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids to cultivate the ultimate environment for hair growth.
The Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum is also packed with vital nutrients that stimulate the follicles and minimise hair loss. Hero ingredient, pumpkin seed extract, is abundant in vital nutrients: phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, Vitamins E, Vitamin A, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and precious essential fatty acids (EFAs), all of which are essential contributors to healthy and thriving hair.
Also referred to as ascorbic acid, the form of Vitamin C found naturally in food, this essential nutrient holds a myriad of benefits for scalp and hair health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and natural collagen booster. It also helps the body absorb iron, helps fight bacteria and ward off dandruff on the scalp. Vitamin C also alleviates dry and itchy scalps due to its antimicrobial properties.
Vitamin-C-rich foods to incorporate into your diet include citrus fruits, bell peppers, kale, strawberries, thyme and parsley - all of which pack a strong Vitamin C punch. For example, 1 cup of strawberries provides an impressive 113% of your daily Vitamin C needs.
MONPURE’s Vitamin C protects the scalp and hair against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. It also contributes to collagen production and fights off microbes on the scalp to protect the microbiome. Discover it in the Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo, Strengthening Essence-Conditioner, Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum and Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for the creation of DNA and red blood cell formation. It is metabolised in the skin by keratinocytes, which are skin cells that process keratin.
Studies have shown that Vitamin B12 promotes healthy hair growth by assisting in the production of oxygen-rich red blood cells, which feed hair follicles and allow them to prosper. Because the human body doesn’t produce Vitamin B12 naturally, it’s important to get this nutrient from your diet. Vitamin B12 can be found in animal-based foods such as fish, poultry, meat, dairy and eggs, as well as plant-based alternatives, such as beans and oatmeal.
B Complex Vitamins
One of MONPURE’s star hydrating ingredients, Pro Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of the 8 B vitamins. It is a deeply penetrating moisturising agent perfect for dry and flaky scalps. It promotes skin cell regeneration, wound healing and works as a hydrating anti-inflammatory for irritated scalps. Its moisturising properties prevent hair damage and split ends, improve sheen and strengthen hair from the root. Discover it in the Strengthening Essence-Conditioner and Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum.
It can be easy to overlook one of the most important aspects of keeping your hair and scalp healthy, that is, feeding them with sufficient nutrition from the inside out. Just like the rest of your body requires a healthy diet, eating well and delivering key nutrients through your routine ensures that your hair is getting what it needs to promote growth, prevent dryness and combat imbalance. Strong, healthy and shiny hair is not only something that makes you feel and look beautiful, it’s also a tell-tale sign of a well-nourished environment.