hair-healthy-hair-care-tips.jpgGetting and maintaining stunning hair takes more than oil sheen and trips to the salon. What you eat and how you handle stress are just as important. Here are five hair-friendly moves you can start today that will set you on your way to a healthy mane.

1. Know Your ABCs
Vitamin A
Hair Connection: Boosts shine and protects nourishing oils of the scalp. If diet lacks it, you’ll see: hair loss (more than 100 strands on the floor is cause for alarm), dry scalp and dandruff. Reliable sources: Beta carotene in sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots.

Vitamin B
Hair Connection:
There are 11 B-complex vitamins and all are vital for increasing blood supply to the scalp for nourishment and hair growth. If diet lacks it, you’ll see: dull, brittle, lackluster hair. Reliable sources: walnuts, spinach, oysters and salmon.

Vitamin C
Hair Connection:
Overall it boosts your immune system and is critical for a healthy scalp. If diet lacks it, you’ll see: dry scalp, breakage, easily tangled tresses. Reliable sources: oranges, blueberries, broccoli.

2. Exercise
A run on the treadmill does more than tone the thighs. It improves the blood flow to the scalp and speeds the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles.

3. Stress Less
According to nutritionist Lisa Drayer, author of “The Beauty Diet” (McGraw Hill), stress can cause hairs to stop growing and shift into what is called the resting phase. Two or three months later those resting hairs hit the floor. Take a time out to sleep or meditate to keep stress from going straight to the hairs on your head.

4. Diet Sensibly

Crash dieting puts your system in a nutritional downward spiral. The result: a nutritionally deficient head of hair.

Loading the player...

5. Iron it out

Even if you’re not anemic, lacking intake of this crucial mineral can have devastating affect on your lovely locks. “Black women are twice as likely as Caucasian women to be iron deficient,” says Durham, North Carolina based family practitioner, Nicole Price, MD. The likely cause of the disparity: diet differences and gynecological issues that cause excessive bleeding such as fibroids, she adds.

Hair Rx: Get 18 milligrams of iron in your diet daily. If you’re over 50, eight milligrams will do.