Greasy hair is directly related to the overproduction of sebum, the waxy substance designed to keep hair supple, soft, and waterproof.
Hormonal changes in puberty can cause greasy hair and dietary factors can lead to overactive sebaceous glands.
Eat nourishing healthy fats and up your intake of anti-inflammatory foods and foods with vitamins B2 and B6 and zinc, all of which help to balance the production of sebum.
Calming chamomile is well known for promoting relaxation and sleep and relieving the symptoms of stress, which in turn can help to control greasy hair as stress is linked to an overproduction of sebum. Caffeine-free and high in antioxidants, chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties that help to calm sebum production.
Key nutrients: Vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, zinc.
How to eat: Drink daily as a wind-down beverage.
Packed full of protein, zinc, and B vitamins, black-eyed peas contain many of the nutrients needed to regulate sebum production and keep the hair shaft healthy.
Key nutrients: Zinc, folate, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, protein.
How to eat: Add 3 heaped tbsp to salads or meals 2–3 times a week.
Barley has a low glycaemic index (GI) rating. Foods with a high GI rating are broken down quickly by the body, which leads to a spike in glucose levels and an overproduction of insulin, and excess insulin leads to a chain of reactions that increases sebum production. In contrast, low-GI foods take longer to digest, resulting in a steady rise in blood glucose and insulin levels.
Key nutrients: Vitamin B1, magnesium, selenium.
How to eat: Aim for an 85g (3oz) portion of barley a week. Add a handful to a salad or a soup.
This spice is packed with the antioxidant betacarotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body, as well as vitamins E and C, all of which help to condition and balance hair. Paprika is also one of the most concentrated sources of B vitamins, particularly sebum-regulating vitamins B2 and B6.
Key nutrients: Vitamins B2, B6, C, and E, betacarotene.
How to eat: Add 1 tbsp to cooking to flavour meals or to a smoothie.