Ask Marilyn: My hair and nails are very dry and brittle – what can I do?

Q: My hair and nails are very dry and brittle and snap easily. Could an alternative remedy help?


A: You can think of your hair and nails as a barometer which can reflect the condition of your health in general. So if your hair and nails are under par, it’s possible that your diet, lifestyle and stress levels could do with some attention. Get a check up with your doctor as it can also be a sign of underactive thyroid. Essential fatty acids (found in oily fish, nuts and flaxseeds) play a part in keeping hair and nails strong and healthy, so boost your intake. Keep your iron levels up by eating plenty of greens, pulses and dried fruit. Snacking on nuts and seeds helps maintain high levels of fatty acids, zinc and protein – all important for healthy hair and nails – and you may also want to take a vitamin B complex supplement. Brittle nails can suggest a calcium or vitamin A deficiency, so try to eat at least six portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The herbs burdock and horsetail can help to condition and enhance nail and hair growth.

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