What Foods to Eat for Healthy Hair


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

Walk down any vitamin aisle of pharmacy or health-food store, and you'll be sure to find an array of vitamins advertised for your hair—most of them in tasty gummy form. You probably get tons of targeted ads for them on your social media too. Now, I'm not knocking gummy vitamins or the beautiful celebrities who promote them. I actually take them myself because they taste good, and I like a daily routine. To each their own!

But, if you don't have extra money to spend on hair vitamins, don't fret. All the nutrients you need for healthy hair are found in nature, and you can even plant a lot of these foods in your own home garden. But if all else fails, I know you can also find them for a pretty fair price at your local grocery store.

The healthier you are, the healthier your hair is. And that goes beyond a daily supplement. These essential foods are packed with vitamins that will encourage strong, healthy hair growth. And they will also help your body feel good too. It's a win-win.

Note: Many of these sources recommend salmon for Omega-3. While it's true that salmon is packed with good nutrients, If you are a vegetarian like me, that's not an option. If you eat eggs, look for cartons that say the chickens were fed with flax seed. Those eggs will have Omega-3 and complete protein. If you are a vegan or just don't eat eggs, you can also go straight to the source and buy flax seed to sprinkle on all of your salads, quinoa bowls, smoothies, etc. Or try this flax milk by Malibu Mylk! I was surprised to find it's super tasty and great for cereal.

The Great-Hair Diet: What to Eat for Stronger, Healthier Hair

“'The most important thing for hair health, above all, is a balanced diet,' says Patricia Farris, a dermatologist and clinical associate professor at Tulane University School of Medicine. She pins lustrous hair on a steady diet of 'protein sources, like lean meats, beans, and Greek yogurt.' High ORAC-value foods (that means foods that are very high in antioxidants) also aid the cause. This includes expected things, such as berries and dark chocolate, and unexpected things, such as oregano and cloves, which you can dump in and on anything."

—Rebecca Harrington, Allure

A Beauty Nutritionist Gives Her Top Nutrients for Healthy Hair

"Frances Phillips is a registered nutritional therapist, specializing in skin and beauty related issues. Her passion for beauty nutrition was inspired by her own skin struggles, which she experienced while working as a model. Now, she offers private nutrition consultations and freelance writes, both with the goal of helping others get to the root of their beauty woes."

—Well + Good

Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair

"Have dry hair that's lost its shine? Sweet potatoes are filled with a good-for-you antioxidant called beta carotene. Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin A. That helps protect against dry, dull hair. It also encourages the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid called sebum that keeps hair from drying out. You can also find beta carotene in other orange vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and mangoes."

—Radiance by WebMD

The 14 Best Foods for Hair Growth

"Your hair grows around 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) per month, and 6 inches (15 cm) per year. How fast it grows depends on factors like age, health, genetics and diet. Although you can’t change factors like age and genetics, diet is one thing you have control over. In fact, consuming a diet lacking the right nutrients can lead to hair loss. On the other hand, eating a balanced diet with the right nutrients can help promote hair growth, especially if you’re experiencing hair loss due to poor nutrition."

— Ryan Raman, MS, RD, Healthline

Follow Hayley Hyer @hayhyer

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