Prevent Early Hair Loss by Taking these Protein Diets

By Urbanaveed
9 Min Read

Nutritionists recommend multiple strategies to prevent hair loss. Medicine, natural remedies, and nutrition are some of them. Hair loss in women can be affected by hormonal changes, pregnancy situations, genetics, and nutritional deficiencies. Women face hormonal changes more intensely than men. Thus, they have to face hair loss scenarios more often than men. A healthy and balanced diet can prevent women from early hair loss. Speaking of nutrition, many dietary elements directly impact hair health. Iron, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, zinc, etc. are integral nutrients for hair. Among these nutrients, we will keep our focus on the importance of proteins for keeping our hair strong and lustrous. Also which foods contain necessary protein.

Why Protein is Essential to Prevent Hair Loss?

Protein plays both structural and functional roles in our body. It makes up more than half of a dry cell’s weight. It is significant for maintaining healthy and tensile hair. In the context of hair health, protein serves more in the structural retention and protection of hair. Protein is the key element in the composition of hair supplements and products.

Some shampoos contain keratolytic agents that break down keratin to remove dead scalp cells. Most dandruff shampoos are best example of this. Dandruff shampoos work by breaking off keratin bonds of scalp cells to remove excess, dead cells. Read the working of dandruff shampoos to understand the keratolytic activities.

The following explanation of the structural and functional role of proteins highlights their importance.

Formation of Keratin

Hair is made of keratin. Keratin is a fibrous protein that makes the outer layer of hair cells. Cuticle (the outer layer of hair) is made up of overlapping keratin scales to provide structural support and protection to the underlying hair structure. The protein content present in our diet provides the necessary amino acids for the formation of keratin. Like other proteins, keratin is made of amino acids with cysteine being an important one. Cysteine is an amino acid that contains a sulfur-containing thiol (-SH) group in its side chain. When two molecules of cysteine come close together to form an intact molecule of keratin, they undergo oxidation. This process directs the formation of disulfide bonds (-S-S-) between cysteine molecules.

Role of Disulfide Bonds

Disulfide bonds provide the necessary sites for the cross-linking within the keratin structure. They create bridges between different parts of the protein chain. These bridges act as ‘molecular staples’ that keep the overall integrity of keratin. As a result, a strong and elastic protein is formed that imparts strength and elasticity to hairs. The elastic and resilient configuration of keratin makes hair flexible and resistant to external stress factors. This cross-linking of keratin molecules by disulfide bonds has a principal role in the development of stretchable and robust hair. Hair supplements or products recommended for hair loss often contain keratin to provide life to dreary hair growth.

Disulfide bonds in keratin structure makes the hair strong and tensile.
Disulfide bonds act as keystone in cross-linking the keratin structure.

Protein’s Role in Hair Cell Growth

The repair and growth of hair cells depend upon many proteins including various growth factors, keratin, elastin, melanin, etc. A diet rich in proteins provides amino acids for the synthesis of these pivotal proteins. Cell proliferation is entirely dependent upon proteins. Any process taking place in the human body requires enzymes to catalyze it. Enzymes are globular proteins that are synthesized from the amino acid content we consume in our diet. Before a cell divides, it has to undergo a process called DNA replication. Nuclear material has to divide first than cytoplasmic content. Before this division, a cell has to replicate its DNA for the progeny cells. DNA polymerase is an enzyme whose function is crucial for this process.

DNA polymerase makes the complementary strands of the existing DNA strands by taking them as template strands. Being an enzyme, it requires amino acids for its synthesis and development. Amino acids present in the active site of DNA polymerase help in catalyzing the reaction by forming phosphodiester bonds between nucleotides to make an intact strand of DNA. For general information, the function of DNA polymerase in cell growth is to facilitate the addition of incoming nucleotides to the growing complementary strand of DNA.

protein facilitates cell growth of hair cells and  prevent hair loss
DNA Polymerase, an enzyme, performs a central function in cell growth process. Cell growth prevents the early hair loss and maintains the tenacity of hairs.

You can notice the importance of proteins for the typical process of cell growth or proliferation. Besides growth, amino acids served from the diet play a decisive role in the formation of new proteins that are momentous for hair cells’ uprightness. Lacking these basic growth mechanisms for hair soundness can lead to early hair loss problems.

Foods Rich in Proteins for the Prevention of Early Hair Loss

An optimized diet is comprised of a balanced nutrient content having one or more nutrients in slightly higher amounts. Iron, zinc, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids, all are essential for the standard growth and development of hair cells. A single food cannot contain all of them in the required amounts. Furthermore, there’s a possibility that despite taking routine protein diet, your body cannot absorb that protein. Thus, one has to consume different types of foods to sustain all essential nutrients in the body. Following is a list of foods that are wholesome for preventing hair loss and maintaining the healthy conformation of hair.
I have enlisted the foods in a way of provides essential nutrients for preventing hair loss. The purpose of such indexing is to make it simple and comprehensible for readers.

  1. Eggs: Good source of high-quality protein and also contain biotin.
  2. Lean Meats: An excellent source of protein, iron and zinc.
  3. Fish: Great source of protein and omega 3-fatty acids. Both are healthy for hair health. Omega 3 fatty acids are very significant in sustaining hair and scalp and providing strength to it.
  4. Dairy Products: Milk and yogurt contain high-quality proteins with calcium and vitamin D. These minerals also have an impact on maintaining the integrity of hair. Besides preventing hair loss, vitamin D has many other miscellaneous roles in amplifying emotional well being.
  5. Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds like almonds, and walnuts are healthy for hair health and play a momentous role in preventing hair loss. They are a rich source of high-quality protein with vitamin E. Vitamin E has great benefits for preserving the integrity and vibrancy of hair. Often hair products contain vitamin E for its magical effects on hair conservation.
  6. Poultry Products: Chicken and turkey serves as the main source of protein for non-vegetarians. They provide protein along with iron and zinc. All of these are primary for preventing hair loss.
  7. Chia seeds: Chia seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein along with zinc and iron, and thrice of them play a key role in hair loss prevention.
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Student of BSc MLT at NUMS, and Content Writer in Health, Medicine, and Wellness. Finding soothe in writing and spreading knowledge.
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