Does A Healthy Body Really Equal Long, Healthy Hair?

exercise natural-hair

We often talk about hair as a fiber and how it can be handled and maintained to be able to achieve long hair. Less often, you will hear people talk about the contribution of exercise and clean eating makes to stronger, longer hair. Do you need to be a gym bunny to make your hair progress?

There are several reasons why the proponents of whole body health would advocate for its inclusion in the quest for longer hair and these can be equally challenged by those who believe that longer hair is more about caring for the fiber. Here is the debate with the case for whole body health against that for long hair being about the fiber:
General Wellbeing
Beyond hair, being healthy is beneficial to you and may impact how long and how well you live.
Let me be honest, the case for whole body health cannot logically be argued against.

Hair Growth Rate
While you might not be able to change your hair growth rate, it is possible that the vitamins and minerals present when a healthy diet is followed, are able to allow you maximise your natural hair growth rate.
The Case of the Unicorns: We are all likely to know that girl who does not eat well, hardly exercises and yet is able to grow her hair very easily. Essentially as long as you are eating enough food and there is protein in your diet, your hair is highly likely to grow as normal.

Blood Circulation
Regular exercise may improve blood circulation and allow the vitamins and minerals discussed previously to travel to the scalp where they are needed.
As blood is constantly flowing though our bodies, even without exercise, we should be able to transport the vitamins and minerals from the diet to wherever they are needed.

Understanding Hair
A regular exercise routine may encourage you to understand and maintain your hair well as the regular sweating and washing will require you to develop the necessary skills to protect the hair from breakage.
The visible part of hair is dead. We cannot adjust it with diet or exercise. In order to gain length, we need to protect this visible part of hair from breakage and therefore understanding how to care for the fiber is important.

Stress, Exercise and Hair
Some people experience more hair loss or breakage during periods of high stress. Regular exercise is known to have a positive impact on blood pressure and mood which could help manage stress.
While the role of stress having a physiological impact such as hair loss is increasingly being studied by scientists, it is also possible that during periods of high stress, hair does take a backseat. The lack of care to the fiber may then result in breakage.
Eating Disorders
Although it is common to talk about a poor diet and exercise routine leading to weight gain, it is well documented that eating disorders such as anorexia and the lack of nutrition can lead to severe hair loss.
It is definitely true that eating disorders can result in malnutrition and therefore lead to hair loss. However, the case is less clear for a person who has an unhealthy diet e.g excessive sugar/fat or low intake of fruits/vegetables. In general, significant hair loss or low growth is not normally seen except for malnutrition and this points us in the direction once more that as long as food is eaten and there is protein in the diet, hair will grow.

Conclusion
In my view, whole body health is hugely important but less for hair reasons and more for your quality of life. It has a role in hair growth but maintaining hair length is really about understanding your hair’s capabilities as a fiber. I would not trade one for the other though, whole body health matters and if you are on a quest for long hair then knowledge of the fiber matters.

What is your view?

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