Three reasons why you should be eating pumpkins for healthier hair

Ah, pumpkins. They only really get celebrated in October (and that’s mostly because some long-ago genius discovered they looked great with a scary face carved into them). Chances are, you haven’t even tried pumpkin- and btw, pumpkin spiced lattes don’t count- or it’s not one of the veggies on your weekly shopping list, even if you have. But actually, pumpkins are pretty nice when they’re cooked properly- and, it turns out, they reap a fair few health benefits, too, including for your hair. Read on to learn why it’s time to give pumpkins a chance this October and beyond…

1.       Promoting hair growth

We instantly love anything that can help our hair to grow a good bit faster, so pumpkins already get a big tick from us just for this aspect. Because it is rich in minerals, such as potassium- which is known to maintain hair health and promote regrowth- and zinc- which helps maintain collagen, a natural amino acid that is essential to hair growth- eating a diet rich in pumpkin is pretty much the equivalent of a hair-hug. It also contains folate, an important B vitamin that stimulates hair growth by improving blood circulation.

2.       As a DIY hair treatment

Okay, fair enough, what food product hasn’t been used in a DIY hair treatment these days? But pumpkin hair masks and oils have actual proven hair benefits, rather than just rumours. The strong point of a hair treatment with a pumpkin base is that it offers deep conditioning effects, so if you suffer from dry, brittle hair with easy-snap ends, regular application of a pumpkin hair treatment can help hydrate, smoothen and condition hair.

To make your own DIY pumpkin hair mask, take two cups of chopped or cooked pumpkin, and add one teaspoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon of honey, and one tablespoon of yogurt. Next puree the ingredients together with a food processor or blender. Finally, add coconut oil or honey to the mixture to make it smooth, then apply to your hair and leave on for fifteen minutes before washing off.

3.       To prevent premature greying of hair

Although we personally are big fans of the natural grey look, we know that not everyone is, and so you may be interested to know that regular pumpkin consumption in your diet can help prevent premature greying of hair in the long run. This is mainly due to the presence of antioxidants and other antioxidantal compounds in the veggies, which fight with the free radicals of our body and prevents them from causing oxidative damage (which leads to hair loss) to our body cells.

Feeling motivated to give pumpkins a try? We’ve found this tempting pumpkin and bacon soup recipe on BBC Good Food- we might just have to try this ourselves. Purely for research purposes, of course…

Laura Shallcross