7 Food Remedies for Greasy Hair
Having problems with greasy hair that needs constant washing? Try a new approach: use functional foods as a natural remedy for greasy hair!This page of HealWithFood.org's Guide to Combatting Greasy Hair presents 7 foods that can help you maintain clean-looking hair and reduce sebum (oil) production on the scalp.
If you are interested in more general information about preventing greasy hair through dietary modification, visit this Guide's diet section. For recipes of delicious dishes that can keep your hair looking fresh for longer, visit the recipe section.
#1: Sunflower Seeds
If your goal it to have lustrous locks that stay clean and fresh, be sure to include sunflower seeds in your diet. These slightly nutty-tasting seeds are an excellent natural remedy for greasy hair as they are cram-full of nutrients that contribute to healthy, fresh-looking hair. They pack vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), a stellar nutrient combo for regulating sebum production. A mere cup of sunflower seeds provides 31% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin B6. In addition to B complex vitamins, sunflower seeds are a good source of zinc, which also known to have sebum-regulating properties. When incorporating sunflower seeds into your diet, moderation should be key because these seeds, like most other seeds, are relatively high in calories and fat.
Barley is one of the best grains you can eat if your hair gets oily easily as it has the lowest Glycemic Index (GI) rating of all common grains. Carbs that have a high Glycemic Index (GI) rating are quickly broken down by the body and cause a rapid, large rise in blood glucose levels, which in turn generally triggers the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin. In contrast, low-GI carbs, which take much longer to digest, cause only a small, slow rise in the blood glucose and insulin levels. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy, but excess insulin in the bloodstream can lead to a sharp increase in circulating androgen, which in turn can increase sebum on the skin surface. Whole grain (hulled) barley, the most nutrient-rich type, is still relatively difficult to find in regular supermarkets, but you can often find it in health food stores. It is also readily available through online suppliers (see where to buy organic barley online).
Eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is a superb way to start a day off right. Oats are packed with B vitamins and zinc, the key micronutrients for preventing oily hair. Before eating oats, soak them for several hours — this allows enzymes to break down and neutralize phytic acid. Phytic acid, present in untreated oats and other grains, can block the absorption of important nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, and iron.
#4: Crimini Mushrooms
Great news for mushroom aficionados: Crimini (also spelled cremini) mushrooms are a great low-calorie source of B vitamins and a particularly good source of vitamin B2 which is known to combat greasy hair by regulating sebum production. In addition, these delicious mushrooms with a delightful earthy flavor contain a substantial amount of zinc. Crimini mushrooms can be served raw or cooked. When serving them raw, you may want to sprinkle them with a little lemon juice to prevent them from turning dark brown.
Whole almonds can be eaten as a snack, and ground almonds can be used in baking to create a rich, moist texture in cakes and biscuits. But the use of almonds is not limited to purely culinary pursuits: almonds offer many health benefits as well, and one of their greatest qualities is their potential to help prevent greasy hair. Almonds are a concentrated source of vitamin B2, with half a cup of whole almonds providing more than 40 percent of the daily reference intake for this sebum regulating vitamin. Almonds also contain a fair amount of vitamin B6. In addition, almonds are a great source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), healthful fats that the body cannot synthesize and that must be obtained through diet.
#6: Paprika Powder
The slew of vitamins and minerals in paprika powder is so comprehensive that a few spoonfuls a day will provide you with more hair health promoting nutrients than many vitamin pills. Paprika is packed with beta-carotene and vitamin E. It is also one of most vitamin C rich spices. Further, it is one of the most concentrated sources of B vitamins, particularly of vitamin B2 and vitamin B6 (a mere tablespoon of paprika powder provides 14% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin B6). Evidence suggests that a sufficient intake of the vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can help combat greasy hair by regulating sebum production. Furthermore, vitamin B6 helps control sugar cravings (diets high in sugary foods can make hair more oily) and promotes proper absorption of zinc in the intestines.
For further information on oily hair and nutrition, see: