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Healthy hair

Recording artist Robin Thicke's healthy, lustrous hair.
Recording artist Robin Thicke's healthy, lustrous hair.
AP photo/Jeff Christensen, file

Limited amounts of stress and a proper diet is important for all aspects of the human body, including healthy hair. Hair is a bundle of fibers that begin in hair follicles. They are made up of cells called trichocytes. These cells contain filaments of keratin, which wrap around the nucleus of the cell and form chains of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. The main amino acid found in the hair is cysteine, which is a type of sulfur. Other amino acids present in the hair are serine, glutamic acid, threanine, glycine, leucine, valine, arginine, aspartic acid, alanine, proline, isoleucine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, histidine, and methionine.

The same substance that gives color to skin gives hair its color. This substance is called melanin, which is a pigment made up of melanocytes. Melanocytes are protein cells that group together in melanosomes. It is this group of melanosomes that determine hair color.

There are many wonderful vitamin and amino acid supplements on the market today that can help boost hair health. Healthy eating also helps generate healthy, shiny hair. Some foods that promote healthy hair growth and strength include salmon and whole grains, which contain vitamin B12, iron, and antioxidants; green leafy vegetables such as spinach for iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C; legumes for iron, biotin, and zinc; nuts for selenium, antioxidants, and zinc; poultry for protein; and eggs for vitamin B12 and biotin. That lustrous shine comes from carrots, which contain vitamin A.

Healthy hair results from eliminating stressors as well as conforming to a healthy diet pattern. Peaceful, quiet meals with just the right balance of nutrition, or healthy eating, are the key to hair health and well-being.




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