There are a variety of reasons someone might experience hair loss or thinning hair. Some of those factors, like age or genetics, are beyond your control. But, here’s the good news: There are things that are in your control when it comes to healthy hair growth. One of the main factors is eating a well-balanced diet that’s rich in nutrients, such as specific hair-healthy nutrients.

In fact, eating foods that are power-packed with vitamins and minerals can help fight unnecessary hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

A Healthy Hair Diet? It’s for real….

Certain nutrients are especially effective when it comes to maintaining healthy hair and encouraging hair growth. Here are some of those powerhouses and which foods are good sources of each nutrient:

Omega Fatty Acids:

Omega fatty acids help improve hair density and lessen hair loss.1 One way they do this is by inhibiting unnecessary immune responses in the body. You see, omegas can change the fatty acid composition of cells that are involved in immune responses that can lead to irritation — including irritation on the scalp. And an irritated scalp is not a friendly environment for hair growth. By helping regulate irritation that may affect the scalp, omegas can encourage hair growth.2,3

Foods to eat:
Eggs: A high-quality protein, eggs are rich in omega’s and biotin.
Walnuts: Filled with omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts also provide iron and zinc.
Salmon: Along with being rich in protein, salmon is a potent source of omega-3’s.

Zinc:

zinc deficiency | JuvetressStudies show a link between hair loss and low concentrations of zinc in the bloodstream.4 Adding zinc to your diet may help slow hair loss and stimulate hair growth and recovery.

Foods to Eat:

Shellfish: Oysters are the most zinc-rich food you can eat. But, you can also find zinc in shrimp and lobster, along with omega fatty acids and vitamin E.

Iron:

An iron deficiency is often associated with hair loss.5 Iron is essential to red blood cell production. And hair follicles need red blood cells to form healthy hair.

Foods to eat:

Kidney Beans: One cup of kidney beans provides 87 percent of your RDV of iron, and they’re also a good source of zinc.
Broccoli: Not only does it contain 1 milligram of iron (you need 8 per day), but it’s rich in Vitamin C which helps your body absorb iron better.

Biotin:

A biotin deficiency can sometimes lead to hair loss.6 Biotin is a member of the B-complex vitamin family. It encourages healthy hair by helping manufacture protein. This boosts hair’s thickness, and helps reduce the chances of breakage.

Foods to eat:
Almonds: Also high in vitamin E, almonds are a good source of biotin and are a vegetarian-friendly protein.

Protein:

Hair strands are built out of proteins called “keratins.” That’s why a protein-rich diet is a must for maintaining healthy keratin levels in hair. If your hair lacks enough protein, it may be dry, brittle, and prone to falling out. And without enough protein, your hair can’t replace the strands that are naturally shed each day.

Foods to eat:
Lean Proteins: Turkey, chicken, and grass-fed beef are all dense sources of protein, along with iron.
Lentils: A great source of protein, lentils also contain iron, zinc, and biotin.

Vitamin A:

An antioxidant that fights damage from free radicals, vitamin A may help prevent hair loss.7 It also promotes oil production to keep healthy hair strands moisturized.

Foods to eat:
Sweet Potatoes: Besides providing an incredible 377 percent of your RDV of vitamin A. This stimulates oil production, helping to keep hair moisturized.
Spinach: One cup of these leafy greens provide 56 percent of the recommended daily value (RDV) of vitamin A. Spinach is also a good source of iron and zinc.

Vitamin B5:

Also known as pantothenic acid, B5 is responsible for proper hair growth. It helps with hair follicle cell division, which involves new cells pushing forth, making hair longer. It also moisturizes hair and may provide anti-inflammatory benefits.8

Foods to eat:
Avocados: Rich in vitamin B5, avocados also contain healthy fats that help nourish the hair.
Sun dried tomatoes: Sun dried tomatoes contain B5, as well as vitamins A & C.

Vitamin C:

 

Another antioxidant, vitamin C helps combat signs of hair aging. It also stimulates blood circulation to the scalp, which may boost hair follicle growth.9 Vitamin C also helps the body absorb minerals, like iron. This nutrient is necessary for reducing hair loss.10

Foods to eat:
Strawberries: They’re not just a sweet summer treat. Strawberries are strong in the vitamin C department.
Bok Choy: With high levels of both vitamin C and vitamin A, bok choy is a great antioxidant source.

Vitamin E:

Tocotrienols are antioxidants found in the vitamin E family. Research suggests they may help reduce oxidative stress on the scalp that could lead to hair loss.11 Vitamin E also helps promote blood circulation, ensuring nutrients reach hair follicle cells.

Foods to eat:
Oats: Oats are chock full of vitamin E tocotrienols and iron.
Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E.

Feed Your Hair

On the hunt for a head full of healthy hair? Well-formulated hair products can be very effective in achieving this, but remember, shining, gorgeous locks stem from the inside out. So, make sure your diet contains plenty of nutrient-rich foods like mentioned above.

For more hair health tips, keep reading:

6 Golden Rules for Healthy Hair

Sources:
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25573272
2. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3137880/
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24371385/
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929555/
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929555/
10. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/manage/ptc-20266647
11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819075/