We all know that food is fuel, largely influencing our health and wellbeing, but what role does it play in hair health and growth? If you’re battling stagnant strands, you might consider eating the best foods for hair growth.
Forget the complete 180 on your diet and lifestyle. Instead, add these nutrient-rich yummies to your diet for a delicious, healthy growth boost.
Great hair is only a few meals away! Here’s what you’ll need to stock up on during your next trip to the market.
What Are The Best Foods For Hair Growth?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but can it also keep a bad hair day away? Following the USDA guidelines, aiming for a daily intake of 5-13 servings of fruits and veggies is a great start.
But if you’re focused on hair growth, you’ll need to allocate those servings for specific food choices that’ll optimize your scalp health to grow luxurious locks.
Where do you start?
There are plenty of delicious foods to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. Chances are, you already have a few essential foods in your fridge or pantry. The key is to eat foods rich in vital hair-growth nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, D, and E and amino acids, iron, zinc, and omegas.
Eat a cocktail of nutrient-packed foods to fill your belly with goodness and your hair with body!
Here’s an overview of the best foods for hair growth that would make Rapunzel jealous.
Let’s break down each of these food items to uncover precisely what makes them optimal for hair growth.
A bountiful breakfast gives your metabolism a jump start and your body vital energy. But what can your beloved avocado toast topped with poached eggs do for your hair?
Eggs contain protein and biotin, essential nutrients for hair growth. But, more critically, protein malnutrition can cause hair loss and thinning because hair follicles feed on amino acids (organic compounds that formulate proteins).
What role does biotin play? You’ve seen it slapped on tons of beauty labels as a growth serum, but why?
Biotin is necessary for producing the hair-specific protein called keratin. However, its effectiveness as a hair growth nutrient lacks clinical support.
That said, people with biotin deficiency can improve hair health and growth with vitamin and dietary supplementation to rectify the deficiency. Because of this, biotin is glorified as a hair-growth snake oil of sorts.
But if you aren’t biotin deficient, focus on whipping up eggs in the morning for a protein boost with a side of biotin, zinc, and selenium.
2. Fatty Fish
If you’re a sucker for slow-cooked salmon, you’re in luck. Fatty fish work as a vital source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are equally satisfying to your hair as to your appetite.
For hair to thrive, dermal papilla cells need to mingle with cells inside the hair follicles. Omega fatty acids activate the connection between cells to increase the length of hair fibers and send hair into the anagen (growth phase) of the hair growth cycle.
Don’t love salmon? Try other fatty fish like mackerel, halibut, and herring, which all boast a hearty serving size of omega fatty acids. Swap your chicken dinner with fatty fish a few times a week and let your follicles go to work.
Berries might be small and sweet, but they are nutrient powerhouses packed with vitamin C, a rockstar antioxidant. These healthy compounds support hair growth by protecting your hair follicles from free radicals.
Do antioxidant supplements work?
One study found that plant foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, maybe safer and healthier than isolated nutrient supplements. This is because the high dose of supplements can disrupt your body’s balance. No, thank you.
We’ll stick to the blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, oh my! Ready for a supercharged hit of antioxidants? Load up on açaí berries, a nutrient powerhouse loaded with antioxidants and omegas 3, 6, and 9? It’s no wonder they’re a superfood!
4. Greek Yogurt
Dreaming of Greece? Yeah, us too. Greek yogurt, that is!
Greek yogurt is another protein-packed essential for healthy hair. With probiotics that help improve the health of your gut and keep your body in balance, Greek yogurt also has vitamin B5, a nutrient known as pantothenic acid that helps promote healthy hair – you might even find it on the list of ingredients in your favorite hair care products.
Want to double down on the hair growth foods? Add a handful of mixed berries to your Greek yogurt for a hair-healthy snack your follicles will love.
The greener, the better! Add spinach to your salads, mix it in with your smoothies, or sauté it with dinner – however you take your spinach, it’s doing wonders for your hair. Spinach is bursting with nutrients that promote hair growth, including vitamins A and C, iron, and folate.
You’ve likely seen hair growth products promoting retinoids in the ingredients, and that’s because retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives that balance the retinoid acid level in your epithelial tissues like skin and hair.
Next time you order a salad, swap the romaine for spinach. Or, add a handful to your smoothie if you’re like me and aren’t a fan of the grainy texture.
6. Sweet Potatoes
This delicious vegetable is sweet in more ways than one. Sweet potatoes contain a nutrient called beta-carotene. Beta-huh?
Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, a pigment that gives veggies and fruits bright colors. But it does far more than coloring. Once inside the body, beta carotene converts into vitamin A (retinol), that hair growth essential nutrient we love to love!
Next time you grab a comfort meal on the go, swap out regular fries with sweet potato fries. These savory alternatives are just as good (if not better), and simple changes like this can lead to thicker, healthier, and more beautiful hair.
For healthier incorporation, bake sweet potatoes as a dinner side.
Avocado lovers, rejoice! Whether you slather it on toast, mix it into zesty guac, or add it to your salad or eggs, avocados are a dynamic hair growth food.
Remember how healthy fats like omegas promote cellular connection and send hair into the growth phase? They also contain loads of the hair-healthy antioxidant vitamin C, which protects the skin and scalp from stress and toxins. In addition to promoting hair growth, avocados kick dandruff and dry scalp to the curb.
So the next time a server asks if you’d like to add avocado to your salad, burger, or sandwich, the answer is yes!
Convenient and delicious, nuts make for the perfect grab-and-go snack. Whether you’re commuting to work, out for a long hike, or rushing to a meeting, nuts are a quick and easy hair growth snack.
They’re salty, nutty, and packed with essential hair growth nutrients.
Nuts have a plethora of nutrients like zinc, healthy fats, and vitamin B. More importantly, nutrient malnutrition is one of the leading causes of hair loss because it deprives the follicles of the nutrients needed to grow new, healthy hair strands.
Bottom line: nuts are always a good idea to have on hand. Plus, with such a wide variety of nuts, you can switch things up to keep your palette engaged, and your follicles nourished.
Now, let’s circle back to the delicacies of the sea.
Treating yourself to a fancy shrimp cocktail just got even better! Shrimp is yet another fantastic source of protein, B vitamins, zinc, Vitamin D, and iron, all of which promote hair growth. Like your favorite fatty fish filets, shrimp provides an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids that can support the health and development of your locks.
Want to eat a plate of the best foods for hair growth? Get ready for it…
A baked sweet potato
Spinach salad topped with mixed berries and seeds.
They may be tiny, but they sure are mighty when it comes to foods to prevent hair loss. Seeds are similar to many of the aforementioned foods good for hair growth thanks to hair-healthy nutrients like selenium, vitamin E, and zinc.
Selenium is a dandruff killer that produces thyroid hormones that regulate the hair growth cycle. Vitamin E restores the scalp’s pH levels and locks in moisture required to produce oils that grow hair. And zinc helps follicles absorb essential nutrients and regenerate cells. But too much zinc can have the opposite effect and disrupt mineral absorption.
Is there a sweet spot? You bet! Aim for 8 milligrams of zinc a day or about ¼ cup of seeds.
Whether you opt for sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, sesame seeds, or chia seeds, add these small hair growth soldiers into your daily diet. Seeds are easily added into pretty much any dish for a bit of extra flavor and crunch that deliver more than just a healthy meal, but a healthy head of hair.
As you can see, diet plays a prominent role in follicular nourishment and scalp health. As you start making dietary changes, keep these tips in mind.
Common Diet Mistakes For Hair Growth
We’ve all got a sweet tooth, but consuming too much sugar can prevent your hair from reaching its full potential.
Excess sugar prevents your body from absorbing protein, which we’ve discussed is essential for your hair to thrive. Next time a sugar craving kicks in, reach for that handful of berries instead of sugary treats. Trust us, that cookie is not worth giving up gorgeous hair. But sustainable changes require a bit of moderation. So if you grab the cookies, cook some hair growth foods for dinner like salmon or shrimp.
You’ll want to steer clear of overly processed foods, starchy refined grains, and limit alcohol consumption.
If you find yourself tempted to have just one more drink, switch to water to prioritize your strands. Growing your hair isn’t a linear task, and it requires hitting it from multiple angles. Start by integrating these foods for hair growth, then work on tweaking your sugar intake and halving your drinks for the week.
Small steps lead to healthy strands! What else can you do?
Other Ways To Protect Your Hair
We know what you should put into your body for hair growth, but what about topical choices?
You’ll want to start by finding the best hair care products to nourish and condition your scalp. We talk a lot about the scalp here at Daniel Alain, and for a good reason.
Think of your strands as flowers and your scalp as furtive soil. Your scalp cannot grow healthy strands if it’s in an unhealthy state.
How can you create a healthy, thriving scalp? With treatments and products that prioritize scalp health.
INTACT Anti Hair Shedding Treatment is the first and only hair product strategically made to improve hair retention at the root, control hair shedding, and provide healthier-looking hair. While the results will speak for themselves, the best part is that Intact is free of sulfates, phthalates, and parabens. Instead, you’ll find nutrient-rich compounds that nourish the scalp, feed the follicles, and promote hair growth.
How does it work? INTACT's patented PiliLock® Sevilla Orange Complex is scientifically created to grip your hair at the root during high shedding activities like brushing, washing, and styling. INTACT stimulates muscles in the follicles to constrict around hair and lock it in place.
INTACT preserves hair strands by protecting hair during the most rigorous activities, effectively reducing shedding up to 77%.
Hydrating your body from head to toe is an essential key to life! Start from the top-down with Intact’s unique hydration complex. A hydrating blend of water-soluble emollients and humectants infuse your hair and scalp with a douse of much-needed moisture.
Naturally-derived GMO-free corn sugar, vitamin B5, and coconut fatty acids work together to deliver a shiny, smooth finish to your hair.
New morning routine: massage the scalp with Intact, wash, condition, and style your hair. Whip up a flavorful hair growth breakfast with eggs, Greek yogurt, and berries, and let the growth nutrients go to work as you get on with your day.
Nourish Your Hair and Watch It Grow!
With some minor tweaks to your daily dietary choices, eating foods for hair growth, and using nourishing products like Intact, you’re sure to notice a difference in both the strength and length of your hair. We hope this guide gave you helpful insights into the essential dietary tips and nutrition for hair growth.