Which Food Is Good For Hair


Which Food Is Good For Hair? Healthy hair is always interesting. If you want to naturally enhance the appearance and feel of your hair, you need to pay attention to what you put into it on a regular basis. Taking good care of your hair is important. You wouldn’t use a hand the size of a house to paint a beautiful picture, so why would you treat your head any differently? Use these foods and herbs to liven up your locks!

 Healthy Hair

A healthy diet can help your hair stay strong and shiny. What you eat can also keep you from losing your locks. If you’re not getting certain nutrients from food, you might see the effects in your hair.

Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s, play a key role in the health of your skin, hair, and nails. You should eat some of these foods, which are rich in omega-3, every day:

  • Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other fatty fish
  • Flaxseed oil, Flaxseeds, chia seeds, canola oil
  • Walnuts 
  • Soy beans, tofu and cruciferous
  • Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts)

Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are also important to your hair. Vegetarians and vegans often don’t get enough of them.

Foods with B6 include bananas, potatoes (both white and sweet), and spinach. Major sources of B12 include meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.

You can get folic acid with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and tomatoes. Whole-grain and fortified-grain products, beans, and lentils also have it.

Protein is also critical for keeping your hair healthy, but many people don’t get enough. Lean meats like fish and chicken, eggs, and soy products are good sources. Eat one serving every day.

Because trace minerals like iron, magnesiumzinc, and biotin also affect hair, it’s a good idea to take a daily multivitamin.

Nutrients For Healthy Hair

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a major role in hair production and may also help create new hair follicles . Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to sun rays. It is also available in salmon, cod liver oil, mushrooms, and certain fortified foods.

  • Vitamin E

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that protect against oxidative stress. In one study, patients with alopecia (patchy hair loss) experienced a 34.5% increase in hair growth after vitamin E supplementation. Avocado, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, broccoli, wheat germ, and hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E.

  • Iron

Foods with iron are essential for supporting healthy hair growth. Iron helps red blood cells to carry oxygen to body cells. Iron-deficiency anemia is a particularly common cause of hair loss in many women. Dietary sources of iron include clams, oysters, eggs, lentils, red meat, and spinach.

  • Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports collagen production in the body, which is involved in the structural makeup of your hair. Oranges, guava, blackcurrants, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, blueberries, sweet pepper, kiwi, tangerines, and sweet potato are rich vitamin C sources.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids play a major role in hair growth. They also keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Fatty fish like salmon, trout, herring, sardines, and mackerel, as well as flaxseeds, avocado, chia seeds, oats, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Biotin

Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that supports hair growth. Dietary sources of biotin include liver, egg yolk, yeast, and whole grains.

  • Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral that helps in hair growth and repair. Zinc deficiency can lead to a dry, flaky scalp. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that excess zinc intake (>40 mg per day) may cause hair loss. Whole grains, oysters, spinach, fortified cereals, lentils, eggs, and pumpkin seeds are rich sources of zinc.

  • Niacin

This B-vitamin may also play a role in hair growth. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it supports moisture balance for a healthy scalp. Dietary sources of this vitamin include eggs, nuts, mushrooms, tuna, and beef.

What are the best foods for hair growth?

By eating nutrient-rich foods that are scientifically proven to help your hair—and avoiding those that only do harm—you can influence your hair’s thickness, its growth or shedding, how shiny it is, and even its likelihood of graying.

Compare this list of the best foods for hair growth with what you usually have in your pantry, and use it to inform your next grocery shopping trip. And don’t forget to pair some protein with these fruits and veggies, too! “When you don’t get enough protein, hair growth ‘rests,'” WebMD explains. “Since it stops and older hairs fall out, you can have hair loss.” Grilled chicken is a great option for both lean protein and B vitamins, making it the perfect complement to these hair growth-promoting foods.



Almond butter

almond butter jar with spoon

Almond butter contains a wide variety of nutrients—including protein, healthy fats, and certain vitamins—that have all been linked to hair health. It’s the vitamin E content in the nuts that researchers say is particularly good for keeping your locks thick and lustrous. One small eight-month trial published in the journal Tropical Life Sciences Research found participants who supplemented daily with 100 milligrams of vitamin E saw an increase in hair growth by as much as 34%.

Just a tablespoon of almond butter provides nearly 3.87 milligrams of Vitamin E. The recommended daily Vitamin E allowance is 15 milligrams, so almond butter will put you well on your way, especially if you eat more than one tablespoon.

Don’t like almond butter? Regular almonds will help, too. According to the NIH, almonds are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E. An ounce of dry roasted almonds provides one-third of your DV for fat-soluble vitamin E.

“While research doesn’t directly show that biotin helps hair grow, it does show that a lack of biotin can cause hair loss,” Sammi Haber Brondo, MS, RD, CDN, said to Byrdie. “With that in mind, it definitely can’t hurt to add a handful of almonds to your afternoon snack. These nuts are also rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps nourish both the hair and scalp.”




The benefits of tangerines affect your hair in a big way. Their vitamin C content makes it easier for your body to absorb iron, which is found in foods like red meat and spinach. Iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss, according to a study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of it. And vitamin C-rich foods will only help your body absorb that iron even more.



Broiled salmon

Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of health benefits.

“Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. They can help if you have inflammation that’s causing hair shedding,” dermatologist Dr. Carolyn Jacob told EatThis.com when speaking about the best foods to prevent hair loss. Some other great sources of omega-3s include walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds.

In addition to helping you stay fit and disease-free, omega-3’s enable you to grow hair and keep it shiny and full. According to nutritionist Dr. Joseph Debé, CD, CDN, both male-pattern balding and female hair loss is often associated with insulin resistance. Salmon is one food that helps the body process insulin more efficiently.

Plus, salmon and other fatty fish are teeming with follicle-stimulating vitamin D. Per a study printed in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, vitamin D may also help stimulate hair follicles that have become dormant. In other words, there’s evidence to suggest the nutrient may help prevent thinning hair and even bald spots.



Baby spinach colander

Spinach contains a variety of nutrients and minerals that can benefit your hair, as well as your overall health.

“It’s important to make sure you don’t have a lack of something in your diet that could be leading to hair loss,” Dr. Jacob told EatThis.com. “We check protein levels, iron, iron storage, vitamin D, and a number of other labs to make sure you don’t have deficiencies.”

In addition to having a high iron and magnesium content, spinach can help your hair produce sebum, too.



bacon eggs and vegetables scrambled in bowl

“Eggs are chock full of protein and essential nutrients that contribute to hair health, such as choline and vitamins A, D, and B12,” Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN, wrote for Good Housekeeping. “Two specific carotenoids found in eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin, also play a role in maintaining cellular health, especially of eyes, skin, and hair.”

Plus, eggs are packed with 10 micrograms of a B vitamin called biotin, which may help hair grow and strengthen nails. Other good sources of biotin include almonds, avocados, and salmon.

Plus, eggs are a great source of vitamin D (11% of your DV per egg) to help your hair grow strong and shiny. According to a study that was published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, the sunshine vitamin can help create new hair follicles, aka little pores where new hair can grow. This, in turn, may improve the thickness of your hair or reduce the amount of hair you lose as you age.


Greek yogurt

Bowl of greek yogurt

Ever notice what sits atop nearly every ancient Greek statue? A mop of thick, full, wavy hair. An artistic choice? Perhaps. But maybe it’s due to the thick, protein-rich yogurt that Greeks and other cultures have been eating for hundreds of years. Greek yogurt contains vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid), and B vitamins can help you maintain healthy skin and hair.



oatmeal cinnamon

Oats are rich in iron, fiber, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which stimulate hair growth, making it thick and healthy.

Want to up the hair-boosting power of that morning bowl of oatmeal? Add some chia seeds. “This nutritional powerhouse is considered a complete protein, containing 20% more protein than soybeans, and can help promote beautiful and luscious locks,” Sassos wrote for Good Housekeeping.



Sliced guava

Guavas, like tangerines, are high in vitamin C. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, a vitamin C supplement was found to promote “significant hair growth in women with temporary hair thinning.” Although we often think of oranges as the best source of vitamin C, one guava packs four to five times as much.



red lentils

Lentils are rich in folic acid, which can help your body make red blood cells. Those red blood cells bring oxygen to your organs, including your skin and scalp.



grilled oysters

If you find your hair thinning or falling out completely, it could be because you’re not getting enough zinc in your diet. Thankfully, research has shown that hair loss related to zinc deficiency can be reversed simply by eating more of the all-important nutrient. According to a review in the journal Dermatology Research and Practice, 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight was sufficient to induce hair growth in patients with alopecia.

One way to boost your zinc intake is to load up on oysters. Just six of the shelled seafood will give you 30 milligrams of zinc, which is double the DV of the nutrient! Some other foods high in zinc include meat and beans.



liver and onions

As we mentioned, iron deficiency can lead to hair loss, most notably in women. Iron is plentiful in our ol’ friend spinach (and other dark leafy greens), soybeans, lentils, fortified grains, and pasta. Liver may sound much less appetizing, but if you like pâté, your hair will benefit. Organ meats like liver have iron in abundance.




Oxidative stress has been linked to hair loss and unhealthy scalps per an International Journal of Cosmetic Science review, so to keep your scalp and hair happy, it’s important to load up on antioxidants, which counteract oxidative stress. And blueberries are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin B and proanthocyanidins.



cooked barley in wooden bowl

Like almond butter, barley is rich in vitamin E. It can help with hair growth, so eating foods high in this nutrient is always a good idea if you’re looking to add more foods for hair growth to your diet.



cracked walnuts on wooden table

According to a review published in the journal Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, deficiency of the polyunsaturated essential fatty acids linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) can cause hair changes including loss of scalp hair and eyebrows, as well as a lightening of hair. To prevent any of that from happening to you or your hair, eat foods packed with linolenic and alpha-linolenic acids, such as walnuts.



Baby carrots

When converted to vitamin A, beta-carotene protects against dry, dull hair and stimulates the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid called sebum. So where do you find this elixir of the locks? Orange-colored fruits and vegetables are your best bet, so look for carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and mangoes.


Rather than promoting hair growth, these foods contain certain nutrients or ingredients that can damage hair or discourage its growth. If you want healthy hair, avoid these foods that cause hair loss.

1. Swordfish

High levels of mercury may be linked to hair loss, and swordfish are higher in mercury than some other seafood options. The overarching rule (but there are exceptions) is that the bigger the fish is in nature, the higher levels of mercury it has in it. Steer clear of fish like swordfish, mackerel, and even some tuna.

2. Sugar

Speeding up hair loss is yet another reason why sugar hurts your health. It’s really pretty basic: Protein is super important for your hair, and sugar hinders the absorption of it. Steer clear of added sugar and surprising foods that have sugar.

3. Starchy, refined grains

This one goes hand-in-hand with sugar, because white bread, cakes, pastries, white pasta, and other refined, over-processed starches are converted into sugar, which causes your hair to thin. So step away from the croissant, and stick with whole wheat whenever possible.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol slows the levels of zinc in your body, and zinc is a necessary mineral for healthy hair and growth. Drinking alcohol also dehydrates you, which can make your hair more brittle. If you decide to ease up on the booze, your skin and hair will thank you.

What is the effect of nutritional deficiency on hair?

Many people want strong and healthy hair, especially as they grow older.

However, how fast it grows and how healthy it is depend on many factors including age, overall health, genetics, environmental exposure, medications, and diet.

Although you can’t change some factors like age and genetics, one factor you likely have more control over is your diet.

Vitamins and minerals from food play an important role in the hair follicle growth cycle and in cellular turnover.

Consuming a diet lacking the right nutrients can lead to hair loss.

Studies suggest deficiencies in vitamins B12 and D, biotin, riboflavin, iron, and other nutrients are associated with hair loss

Eating a balanced diet that is rich in these vitamins and minerals may help promote hair growth, especially if you’re experiencing hair loss due to poor nutrition.

While more research is needed to understand the connection between micronutrients and hair loss, it’s a good idea to ensure you’re getting enough of these 13 foods rich in nutrients that support hair growth.

Other Factors That Affect Hair Growth

A few other factors that may affect hair growth include aging, stress, thyroid issues, childbirth, menopause, genes, chronic illness, and malnutrition.

The saying “You are what you eat” couldn’t be more true for hair. If you eat healthy and nutrient-rich foods, your hair will be beautiful and strong. In fact, in many cases, hair loss is caused due to some nutrient deficiency that can be remedied easily. The best foods for hair growth are eggs, leafy greens, avocado, berries, fish, legumes, nuts, oysters, seeds, sweet potatoes, tropical fruits, whole grains, chicken, yogurt, and beans. All of these foods contain vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients that are essential for healthy hair growth. You should stay away from alcohol and sugary foods to keep your hair looking luscious.

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