via Web­MD

“Lath­er, rinse, repeat” may be stan­dard advice, but sham­poo and con­di­tion­er alone won’t give you the healthy hair you crave. For the most lux­u­ri­ous locks pos­si­ble, you’ll need to step out of the show­er, and into the kitchen.

“Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month, and the foun­da­tion of all of our new hair, skin, and nail growth is the nutri­ents we eat,” says Dawn Jack­son Blat­ner, RD, a Chica­go-based dietit­ian. “If you eat a healthy diet, you will grow stronger and health­i­er cells through­out your entire body — inside and out.”

If you were born with fine, thin hair, you’ll nev­er have rope-thick tress­es — no mat­ter what you eat — but a well-bal­anced diet that includes plen­ty of growth-pro­mot­ing pro­tein and iron can make a dif­fer­ence, say nutri­tion and hair experts.

And beware of dietary sup­ple­ments often mar­ket­ed to thick­en hair or make it grow faster. They may back­fire.

“Even though you can find beau­ty sup­ple­ments on the shelves of most stores, try to get the nutri­ents you need from foods when­ev­er pos­si­ble,” Para­di Mir­mi­rani, MD, a der­ma­tol­o­gist in Valle­jo, Calif., tells Web­MD. “In rare instances, excess sup­ple­men­ta­tion of cer­tain nutri­ents, such as vit­a­min A, has been linked to hair loss.”

Read on for the 10 top foods that should be the foun­da­tion of your healthy hair diet.

Healthy Hair Food No. 1: Salmon

When it comes to foods that pack a beau­ty punch, it’s hard to beat salmon. Loaded with omega-3 fat­ty acids, this high-qual­i­ty pro­tein source is also filled with vit­a­min B-12 and iron.

“Essen­tial omega-3 fat­ty acids are need­ed to sup­port scalp health,” says Andrea Gian­coli, MPH, RD, a dietit­ian in Los Ange­les and a spokes­woman for the Amer­i­can Dietet­ic Asso­ci­a­tion. “A defi­cien­cy can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giv­ing it a dull look.”

Veg­e­tar­i­an? Include one or two table­spoons of ground flaxseed in your dai­ly diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.

Healthy Hair Food No. 2: Dark Green Vegetables

Pop­eye the Sailor Man didn’t eat all that spinach for healthy hair, but he could have. Spinach, like broc­coli and Swiss chard, is an excel­lent source of vit­a­mins A and C, which your body needs to pro­duce sebum. The oily sub­stance, secret­ed by your hair fol­li­cles, is the body’s nat­ur­al hair con­di­tion­er.

Dark green veg­eta­bles also pro­vide iron and cal­ci­um.

Healthy Hair Food No. 3: Beans

Beans, beans, they’re good for your … hair?

Yes, it’s true. Legumes like kid­ney beans and lentils should be an impor­tant part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they pro­vide plen­ti­ful pro­tein to pro­mote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin defi­cien­cies can result in brit­tle hair.

Blat­ner, who is also a spokes­woman for the Amer­i­can Dietet­ic Asso­ci­a­tion, rec­om­mends three or more cups of lentils or beans each week.

Healthy Hair Food No. 4: Nuts

Do you go nuts for thick, shiny hair? You should.

Brazil nuts are one of nature’s best sources of sele­ni­um, an impor­tant min­er­al for the health of your scalp.

Wal­nuts con­tain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat­ty acid that may help con­di­tion your hair. They are also a ter­rif­ic source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc defi­cien­cy can lead to hair shed­ding, so make sure nuts are a reg­u­lar on your healthy hair menu.

Healthy Hair Food No. 5: Poultry

Chick­ens and turkeys may have feath­ers, but the high-qual­i­ty pro­tein they pro­vide will help give you the healthy hair you crave.

“With­out ade­quate pro­tein or with low-qual­i­ty pro­tein, one can expe­ri­ence weak brit­tle hair, while a pro­found pro­tein defi­cien­cy can result in loss of hair col­or,” Gian­coli tells Web­MD.

Poul­try also pro­vides iron with a high degree of bioavail­abil­i­ty, mean­ing your body can eas­i­ly reap its ben­e­fits.

Healthy Hair Food No. 6: Eggs

When it comes to healthy hair, it doesn’t mat­ter whether you like your eggs scram­bled, fried, or over easy. How­ev­er they’re served up, eggs are one of the best pro­tein sources you can find.

They also con­tain biotin and vit­a­min B-12, which are impor­tant beau­ty nutri­ents.

Healthy Hair Food No. 7: Whole Grains

Sink your teeth into hearty whole grains, includ­ing whole-wheat bread and for­ti­fied whole-grain break­fast cere­als, for a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron, and B vit­a­mins.

A whole-grain snack can also be a great go-to food when your ener­gy is zapped halfway through the after­noon, and you’ve still got hours to go before din­ner.

Healthy Hair Food No. 8: Oysters

Oys­ters may be bet­ter known for their rep­u­ta­tion as an aphro­disi­ac, but they can also lead to healthy hair — and who doesn’t love that?

The key to their love and hair-boost­ing abil­i­ties is zinc — a pow­er­ful antiox­i­dant.

If oys­ters don’t make a reg­u­lar appear­ance on your din­ner plate, don’t despair. In addi­tion to get­ting it from whole grains and nuts, you can also get zinc from beef and lamb.

Healthy Hair Food No. 9: Low-Fat Dairy Products

Low-fat dairy prod­ucts like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of cal­ci­um, an impor­tant min­er­al for hair growth. They also con­tain whey and casein, two high-qual­i­ty pro­tein sources.

For some healthy hair foods “to-go,” try throw­ing a yogurt or cot­tage cheese cup in your bag when you head out in the morn­ing to snack on lat­er in the day. You can even boost their hair ben­e­fits by stir­ring in a cou­ple of table­spoons of ground flaxseeds or wal­nuts for omega-3 fat­ty acids and zinc.

Healthy Hair Food No. 10: Carrots

Car­rots are an excel­lent source of vit­a­min A, which pro­motes a healthy scalp along with good vision.

Since a healthy scalp is essen­tial for a shiny, well-con­di­tioned head of hair, you’d be wise to include car­rots in your diet as snacks or top­pings on your sal­ad.

The Big Picture: A Balanced Diet for Healthy Hair

When it comes to foods for healthy hair and beau­ty, vari­ety is the best way to go.

“An over­all bal­anced diet of lean pro­teins, fruits, and veg­eta­bles, whole grains, legumes, fat­ty fish like salmon and low-fat dairy will help keep hair healthy,” Gian­coli says.

If you’re tempt­ed to drop pounds fast with the lat­est fad diet, it could leave you with less-than-healthy hair — along with a growl­ing stom­ach. Low-calo­rie diets are often low in some of the most impor­tant nutri­ents for healthy hair, includ­ing omega-3 fat­ty acids, zinc, and vit­a­min A. In addi­tion to stunt­ing hair growth and lead­ing to dull­ness, super-low calo­rie plans may even cause hair loss.

“Crash diets can affect the hair cycle,” Mir­mi­rani tells Web­MD. “Los­ing a sig­nif­i­cant amount of weight in a short amount of time can affect that nor­mal hair rhythm. Two to three months lat­er, you might notice a sig­nif­i­cant increase in shed­ding. This is a tem­po­rary prob­lem that you recov­er from with a well-round­ed diet.”

Ladies, have you tried any of these foods? What foods do you eat that pro­duce healthy hair?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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29 Comments on "10 Foods for Healthy Hair"

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armaan

I am 14 years old my hairs starts turn­ing white what can I do

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[…] increase shine, a more mois­tur­ized scalp and hair growth. For more tips on essen­tial foods click here and find out which of your favorites made the […]

Harpreet

My hair start get­ting white I am 27 year old I real­ly upset so how I can stop it

SASI

i am 24 yr old my hair now itself get­ting white how i can pre­vent it

xcqgy.com

Greate arti­cle. Keep writ­ing such kind of infor­ma­tion on your site.
Im real­ly impressed by it.
Hi there, You’ve done a great job. I will cer­tain­ly digg it and in my opin­ion sug­gest to my friends.
I am con­fi­dent they will be ben­e­fit­ed from this web site.

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Manuel Verdell

A healthy diet involves con­sum­ing pri­mar­i­ly fruits, veg­eta­bles, and whole grains to sat­is­fy caloric require­ments, pro­vide the body with essen­tial nutri­ents, phy­to­chem­i­cals, and fibre, and pro­vide ade­quate water intake. A healthy diet sup­ports ener­gy needs and pro­vides for human nutri­tion with­out expo­sure to tox­i­c­i­ty or exces­sive weight gain from con­sum­ing exces­sive amounts.‘;”*

My online site http://healthmedicine.cobt

green star juicers
There are cer­tain­ly lots of details pre­fer that to con­sid­er. That is the excel­lent point out bring up. My spouse and i offer the ideas above since gen­er­al inspi­ra­tion nev­er­the­less evi­dent­ly there are ques­tions such as the 1 you bring up the place that the most impor­tant point is going to be work­ing in trust­wor­thy good reli­gion. We wear?big t know if best prac­tices get sur­faced close to things like in which, but I know that the task is obvi­ous­ly rec­og­nized as a good sport. The two chil­dren have the affect asso­ci­at­ed with just a moment’s enjoy­ment, through out his… Read more »
Beibe

Healthy habits breed healthy results. I notice when I eat well, my over­all health is improved and that includes my hair appear­ance. Thank you for this use­ful list.

thefabgirls

We are the internet’s new blog for African Amer­i­can tweens and teens, The Fab Girls. Female and Black=FAB! Vis­it us at http://www.thefabgirls.wordpress.com. Fol­low us on Twit­ter @thefabgirldaily!

We will def­i­nite­ly be shar­ing this info with our read­ers; it is nev­er too ear­ly to take diet into con­sid­er­a­tion and how it can improve not just your health but oth­er things! Thanks for shar­ing.

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[…] 10 Foods for Healthy Hair 13 Nutri­ents That Pro­mote Hair Growth […]

ebenvios

I don’t even know how I end­ed up right here, but I thought this pub­lish was good. I don’t recog­nise who you’re but def­i­nite­ly you are going to a famous blog­ger in the event you are not already. Cheers!

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It’s real­ly a nice and use­ful piece of infor­ma­tion. I am glad that you sim­ply shared this use­ful infor­ma­tion with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for shar­ing.

June

Good arti­cle. I don’t real­ly like salmon so I don’t eat a lot of it, but I love hal­ibut and mahi mahi. 

While I like shell­fish, oys­ters haven’t made the cut (hehe­he). Mus­sels, scal­lops, octo­pus, and shrimps are a reg­u­lar part of our diet.

Michi

I could def­i­nite­ly get more salmon in my diet. But every­thing else I con­sume on a dai­ly basis. *pats self on back*

Le Le

I just real­ized how well I eat. I con­sume all of these on a reg­u­lar basis except the nuts and oys­ters.

Luvs

This is by far one of the best arti­cles on “how to grow healthy hair”. Many peo­ple focus too much on hair prod­uct (which I feel is impor­tant as well), how­ev­er many fail to notice that what we eat has an affect.

kamille

I could not agree more.

E

I soooooo agree with #2. Since juic­ing, I’ve noticed a major change in my hair. I’m known for mak­ing “green mon­sters,” and I also add spir­uli­na pow­der to it. This not only pro­vides many vit­a­mins and min­er­als, but it’s also great pro­tein. My hair, skin, and nails have all had pos­i­tive changes since adding more greens to my diet.

mykel-carli
I want­ed to add that if you are backed up, it doesn’t mat­ter how healthy you eat, your hair will not enjoy much of the nutri­ents flow­ing through your blood. I’m a per­son­al tes­ti­mo­ny to this. I lit­er­al­ly have hair that is dry, frizzy and does not take mois­ture AT ALL when I’m backed up and I eat fair­ly healthy. One BM and I see curls spring­ing out of nowhere. It’s seri­ous busi­ness. Any­one that suf­fers from chron­ic con­sti­pa­tion and has prob­lems with their hair hold­ing mois­ture and just being healthy over­all will hope­ful­ly turn their focus from try­ing to… Read more »
Sheena

I could­nt get pass the pic­ture at the beg­gin­ing of the post! Geesh! Her hair is Gorg!

Josie Lynn

one ques­tion i have is are there oth­er foods that have some of the ben­e­fi­cial prop­er­ties of nuts because I am high­ly aller­gic and while I would love healthy hair I do not want so at the expense of the rest of my body lol

Natural Kinky Curly Marie!

Take your sup­ple­ments. The Alpha-linolenic acid in nuts is also in flaxseed oil, canola, soy, per­il­la oil.

Cat

In addi­tion to the foods, water, water, and more water!

renee

This list is great. 

That 2nd to the last para­graph about how los­ing weight can stunt hair growth or down­right cause hair loss is very real. who wants to lose weight with a bunch of bald spots in their hair? I’ve found that its not just less food. in a lot of ways you have to replace the high­ly manufactured/fatty food with the nat­ur­al food.

nappy headed black girl

I did a list on my site that’s almost iden­ti­cal to this one. I’d like to add drink­ing plen­ty of water.

Alyson and Lang

Added info: For vit­a­mins that pro­mote healthy hair (and you): Look up MSM (methyl­sul­fonyl­methane) for hair and nail strength, tocotrienols (vari­eties of Vit­a­min E bot Alpha and Gam­ma) for hair thick­ness, and PABA (para-aminoben­zoic acid) that some use to re-pig­ment hair.

hyspin

That is so iron­ic I just start­ed the pills just this week. I looked at the over­all ben­e­fits and am won­der­ing if it can be applied top­i­cal­ly via in a infused oil. I am also look­ing into Biotin as well and just learned that Biotin is vit­a­min B7/ Vit­a­min H, I actu­al­ly nev­er real­ized that. I heard break­outs are a side effect so I am also look­ing into see­ing it can be also infused in oil for top­i­cal appli­ca­tion, rather than oral.

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