The best foods and nutrition for your hair
How a healthy diet and healthy hair are connected
Good nutrition will benefit your whole body, including your hair, because healthy hair begins from the inside out. Issues on the inside, such as nutritional deficiencies, can often present themselves in the condition of your hair, in areas such as hair loss or brittle and weak hair. That’s why it’s important to consume a healthy diet full of vitamins and nutrients.
Why is a healthy diet important for hair growth?
Our hair is continuously growing. Studies have shown that proteins, vitamins and antioxidants help us to grow strong and healthy hair1 and our hair follicles are constantly creating new hairs from the nutrients in our body.1 Eating well will benefit our hair and some of the best things we can eat for great condition hair are shown below.
Eggs for protein and biotin
Hair is made up of protein so a lack of protein in your diet can make itself known through giving you brittle hair. Eggs are one of the richest natural sources of protein, with other protein-rich foods including meat, fish, flaxseed, and walnuts. Eggs, meats, nuts, seeds and whole grains also contain biotin which studies have shown is important for hair growth1 and contributes to the maintenance of normal hair and skin.
Fatty fish for hair growth
Fish oils are great for hair growth! A study by the Department of Medicine and the Jeju Research Center for Natural Medicine of Jeju National University in Korea has shown that fermented fish oil (FFO) containing omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA can have a positive effect on hair growth.2 Therefore healthy fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and herring are all excellent foods for hair and are a great source of protein! If you don’t eat fish, there are other foods rich in DHA and EPA, such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, algae and oils, so try to include these in your diet too.
Zinc should be part of a diet for healthy hair
Zinc contributes to the normal maintenance of hair and studies have suggested that zinc deficiencies can lead to hair loss.1 So it’s a good idea to get some zinc-containing foods in your diet too. Pumpkin seeds and kidney beans contain high levels of zinc, as does shellfish, particularly oysters, that have been collected from clean coastal ocean waters.
Dark leafy greens and spinach offer benefits for your hair
Spinach and dark leafy greens contain a variety of nutrients and minerals, such as iron and vitamin A. These vitamins and minerals can also benefit your hair.1 Iron is an essential mineral to keep your hair cells healthy, and a deficiency of iron has been shown in studies to be a contributing factor to hair loss.1
Foods high in vitamin D make your hair grow
Studies have also shown that Vitamin D may help to create new hair follicles3 as it has a role in the process of cell division, so may help improve hair growth. Foods containing high levels of vitamin D includefatty fish, mushrooms, beef liver and cheese.4
Vitamin C should be part of your diet for healthy hair
Vitamin C is also needed for healthy hair and hair growth1 as it contributes to normal collagen formation which is an important part of the hair structure.1 Fruits, in particular, are a great source of Vitamin C – try adding citrus fruits, guavas, strawberries and kiwi5 to your diet to reap the benefits of Vitamin C and enjoy healthy hair.
The benefits of avocado for your hair
Avocado is high in Vitamin E, which is another important vitamin for maintaining healthy hair. Vitamin E has been shown in studies to improve blood circulation and help the hair follicles work more efficiently to promote hair growth.6 If you are not fond of avocado, other foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, and green vegetables like broccoli and spinach.
Healthy hair through balanced nutrition, healthy foods and the right care
The link between a healthy diet and healthy hair is clear, but the right hair care is also important. When selecting a shampoo and conditioner, check the ingredients to make sure they are as natural as possible. Try to use less heat and let your hair dry naturally if possible, to avoid heat damage and treat yourself to a nightly scalp massage for an enjoyable, relaxing treat that will benefit your hair too! The right care, together with healthy and balanced nutrition will give you hair you’ll love.