Easter weekend is about spending time with family and friends, of course, and enjoying the extra few days off work, but upfront and centre, if we’re all honest with ourselves, it’s really about the opportunity to eat chocolate round the clock.
According to a previous study, 80 million Easter eggs are sold annually in the UK, and while we always encourage mindful eating and heathy habits, there might actually be a benefit of chocolate eating that we’ve overlooked… its impact on our hair.
Yep, you read that right, eating chocolate – and particularly chocolate containing a cocoa percentage of 70 percent or higher – can help you on your quest for more luscious locks. And dark chocolate is the healthiest for your hair, as it has a higher concentration of antioxidants and nutrients.
Milk and white chocolate taste sweeter due to the added sugar, milk and cocoa butter, which dilute the cocoa bean and lessen its medicinal qualities, plus too much sugar can have an undesirable effect on promoting hair growth and getting rid of dandruff or dullness.
We spoke to hair expert Nicole Petty at Milk + Blush, who revealed the secret benefits eating chocolate has on your mane.
‘Rather than eating it all in one go, consider making a hair mask out of your leftover Easter chocolate by mixing it with coconut oil, yoghurt or green tea and applying it to your locks to nourish your scalp, fix brittle ends and fight dullness,’ Nicole advises, before moving on to explain to us exactly how our Easter indulgence will leave us with healthier hair…
3 ways eating chocolate helps your hair
Hair growth and volume
Chocolate is made from the cacao bean and turned into cocoa powder once cleaned and roasted, before it’s used to make the eggs and bars we know. Cocoa powder contains vitamin A, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
According to a study, micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals play an important role in hair follicle development and immune cell function.
Vitamin A is beneficial as it promotes an efficient supply of blood to your scalp, allowing oxygen to reach the root of your hair cells, stimulating hair growth.
Meanwhile, zinc and iron deficiencies are common for women with hair loss; by eating chocolate, your body can produce more haemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells), which carries oxygen for the growth and repair of cells.
Plus, we need magnesium to help our bodies create protein and prevent calcium build-up on our scalp, which can cause hair loss. And the presence of copper peptides plays a vital role in the formation of the hair shaft, as it strengthens the existing hair and promotes collagen production – thickening it and adding more volume to your locks.
Due to its zinc content, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, eating chocolate is a great way to combat dandruff and scalp irritation.
That’s because zinc helps the scalp control the amount of bacteria growing on it and reduces the amount of sebum (skin oil) produced by normalising the production of oil, which, if excessive, can cause dandruff. So, eating foods containing it will help relieve a dry and itchy scalp.
However, ensure you don’t overdo it with your sugar consumption, as this can cause insulin spikes and increase sebum production, which will make it harder for the zinc consumption to make an impact and likely result in a dry and flaky scalp.
What you eat impacts your hair – so eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential.
Nourish your hair follicles from the inside out by eating chocolate, as its zinc, iron and copper properties work together to carry oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle and create the hair structure.
Adding these three nutrients to your hair through an occasional chocolate treat definitely won’t harm you if you’re after a healthy, shiny mane.