Top 14 Foods for Healthy Hair

The secret to strong, shiny strands isn’t an expensive shampoo or fancy salon treatment, it’s all about your diet. Eating a variety of healthy foods will give you the mane you’ve always dreamed of.

1. Nuts

Walnuts, cashews and pecans are a great source of zinc, an important mineral which can slow hair loss and thinning.

Selenium is also found in walnuts. This important mineral is vital for the health of your scalp, and it therefore decreases the likelihood of you getting dandruff.

A small handful of a selection of these nuts is a great addition to your daily diet.

2. Eggs

Eggs are rich in biotin, a B vitamin essential for hair growth and overall scalp health. Our bodies make their own biotin in the intestines, and it is plentiful in many common foods, deficiency is very rare. But in those few cases in which people are very ill and don’t have use of their intestines, biotin deficiency causes hair loss. Biotin is important for hair health, but you don’t need to take supplements. Just eat a balanced diet that includes some high-biotin foods: eggs, peanuts, almonds, wheat bran, salmon, avocados, and low-fat cheese.

3. Halibut

Foods rich with magnesium help with hair growth. A lack of magnesium can cause hair loss. Halibut (and other types of fish) are rich in the mineral.

4. Salmon

Besides being rich in protein and vitamin D (both are key to strong hair) the omega-3 fatty acids found in this tasty cold-water fish are the true superstar. Your body can’t make those fatty acids, which your body needs to grow hair. About 3% of the hair shaft is make up of these fatty acids. Omega-3s are also found in cell membranes in the skin of your scalp, and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated.

5. Pork Tenderloin

Tasty pork tenderloin is rich in B vitamins — folate, B6, and B12. These vitamins are involved in the creation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to all body cells, including those of the scalp, follicles, and growing hair. Without enough B vitamins, the cells can starve, causing shedding, slow growth, or weak hair, which is prone to breaking. Not a fan of pork? Wild salmon (fresh or canned), shellfish, beans, chicken, oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter, fat-free and low-fat dairy foods, and fortified whole-grain cereals are also good sources of B vitamins.

6. Spinach

Iron deficiency is the second cause of hair loss, and the easiest to treat, according to Dr. Mickey Barber, of the age management institute Cenegics Carolinas.

Spinach is rich in minerals and vitamins – iron, beta carotene, folate and vitamin C – which keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.

7. Greek Yogurt

A lot of at-home hair mask recipes have Greek yogurt in them for a reason. The perennial health food favorite Greek yogurt can also help with your hair — low-fat versions have vitamin B5 and vitamin D which are linked to hair and follicle health.

8. Sunflower Seeds

Just a few little seeds can supply you with an abundance of vitamin E, which will enhance blood flow to the scalp and promote faster hair growth.

9. Bok Choy

Dermatologists treating hair loss look at your ferritin levels, which detect if your body has a good level of iron and the health of your hair, explains women’s hair restoration expert Lucinda Ellery. Help get those ferritin levels up by eating bok choy, which is rich in iron.

10. Avocados

Due to their high concentration of essential fatty acids naturally found in skin cells (which help to keep your skin smooth and supple), avocados are an age-old beauty secret. When topically applied to the hair and scalp, they have the added ability to stimulate collagen and elastin production. Mix a little avocado with sour cream (which contains lactic acid to help exfoliate dead skin and clean up buildup on the scalp) and apply to your hair and scalp for about ten minutes before washing it off.

11. Sweet Potatoes

This veggie’s got beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. That vitamin A promotes hair health at the cellular level.

12. Dairy

The low-fat varieties can feed your hair without you piling on the extra pounds. Foods such as cottage cheese and yoghurt are cheap and convenient ways to get important protein types (casein and whey) into your hair to feed it and keep it strong.

13. Carrots

Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A. When it comes to your hair, vitamin A helps produce scalp-sustaining oils.

14. Whole Grains

Whole grain food options contain the nutrients important for hair, these being zinc, B vitamins and iron. Zinc is used to regulate hormones that can have a direct affect on the thickness and growth of your hair. Having enough zinc in your diet will make sure your hair is protected.