Everyone has their preferences when it comes to hair. Some crave long, soft and straight locks while others strive for the effortless curls and shine. And still, there are those us who want it all. Daily we aim for the perfect “I woke up like this look” when in reality it takes us about two hours trying to style our hair just right. Products and treatments have come a long way and are remarkably effective when it comes to encouraging hair growth and repair. Hair supplements also often times contain unique blends of plant extracts and other essential nutrients to provide your scalp with everything it needs to grow thicker, healthier hair.
However, what many don’t realize is that their diet also drastically affects the health of their hair and that by eating certain foods the hair you want is much closer within your reach.
The great thing about eating foods for healthy hair is that other parts of your body also receive the benefits. The surprising thing about our hair is that our skin and nails use many of the same nutrients, so by adding a few hair healthy foods to your grocery list, you’ll soon find your overall health increasing, and your body looking more fresh and youthful in no time! To help you get started, we’ve created a list of the top 15 super foods to add to your diet to keep your hair looking healthy and vibrant!
Here’s even more motivation to start adding papaya to your smoothies! Not only is Papaya one of the few fruits that are available year-round, but they’re also extremely rich in hair strengthening and growing nutrients. The large amount of Vitamin A found in Papayas assists in the production of sebum. Sebum is the oil the pores on your scalp produce to protect and moisturize your hair. When your scalp has too little amounts of sebum dandruff and breakage is a result. Papayas also contain significant amounts of Vitamin C which help produce collagen, an important part of hair growth! Collagen works to fight off free radicals that can affect the health and thickness of your hair. By adding more collagen producing vitamins to your diet, you hair will look healthier and fuller in no time! Papayas are also a main ingredient in many hair masks and conditioners and can be applied directly to hair to give it extra shine and moisture!
Salmon works wonders for hair in so many ways! Most importantly is contains a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind of fat!). Omega 3 is essential to keep the body functioning; however our bodies are unable to produce it on their own causing us to need to get it through foods such as salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids promote hair growth, reduce hair loss and lubricate hair follicles, adding elasticity and brightness to hair as well as reducing breakage. It’s recommended to eat food high in Omega 3, such as Salmon, at least twice a week to get the full benefits. However, there is good news for the non-seafood lovers! Omega 3 is available for purchase in capsules, which can be taken orally and have been proven to aid in healthy hair growth. Aside from Omega 3, Salmon is also rich in protein and biotin which are also essential for healthy hair growth!
In the world of healthy hair, eggs are considered a super food like no other! Eggs contain large amounts of protein and biotin which play an important part in maintaining the health of our hair. Biotin is great because it helps strengthen hair and is also beneficial in nail growth. Protein, on the other hand, is what hair is formed of, and protein in the diet is required for it to grow. Not enough protein can cause your body to use some of the supply saved up for your hair, leaving it feeling dry and brittle and eventually stop from growing altogether.
The great thing about Beets is that they can be prepared in numerous different ways. Roasted, blended, chopped, and even juiced. It’s incredibly easy to incorporate Beets as a part of your weekly diet, meaning healthy hair is just around the corner! Beets contain Vitamin C, Iron, and Carotenoids, which when, consumed the Carotenoids help maintain the glossy texture, quality and thickness of hair. Beets also have numerous other benefits and are essential for healthy nerve and muscle function. When regularly consumed Beets can even aid in the prevention/management of diabetes and anemia! Recently the benefits of beets have become more publicized, and some hair stylists are even using raw beets as a natural temporary hair dye. They are also becoming a trending ingredient in numerous hair masks and treatments.
Avocados have long been deemed a superfruit in the health industry, and the benefits of Avocados are endless when it comes to keeping your hair healthy. Avocados contain vitamins A, B, E, and D along with omega-9 fatty acids which keep the skin and hair healthy. Together Vitamins B and E work to strengthen hair and repair scalp damage, which is crucial for healthy hair! A damaged scalp can slow and prevent hair growth, eventually leading to more breakage and split ends. Applying avocado directly onto hair also derives numerous benefits and it is becoming a favorite ingredient in more and more conditioners.
6) Pumpkin Seeds
Rich in Vitamins A and K, as well as calcium, eating pumpkin seeds is one of the easiest ways to stimulate hair growth and prevent premature balding. One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost half the daily recommended amount of magnesium, and can drastically increase your fiber intake as well. The fatty acids in pumpkin seeds are associated with a healthy amount of scalp oils and help decrease breakage while the magnesium encourages growth and stimulates the cells. Zinc is also found in pumpkin seeds and plays an important part in strengthening hair follicles and balancing hormone levels, both of which are crucial when it comes to healthy hair. Aside from hair health pumpkins seeds are also known to help with bone and tooth formation, digestive health, and sleep.
If you want healthy hair, then yogurt may be your new best friend. The amounts of Vitamin B and D found in yogurt contribute to the proper nourishment of the hair follicle and are directly linked to hair health. When combined these vitamins give the hair flexibility, strength, and shine preventing it from damage. Much like avocados yogurt is also know to be applied directly to hair as a mask to lock in moisture. When choosing a yogurt search for natural, healthy options, rather than those loaded with sugar and processed flavors. Eating too much sugar can cause blood levels to spike and levels of androgen to raise which can result in the shrinking of hair follicles.
Known for promoting hair thickness and growth carrots have been deemed a super food for healthy hair. The vitamin C and E found in carrots help improve blood circulation in your scalp and prevent premature graying. Carrots are also a promoter of healthy sebum production, and work to keep hair conditioned and increase thickness. Including carrots in your diet can have health effects that extend to more than just your hair, though! Carrots are also known for their high amounts of Vitamin A, which is great for eyesight as well. Juicing raw carrots is an excellent way to enjoy all these vitamins in their freshest form!
Tomatoes are bursting with vitamins and minerals that are good for your health and especially for your hair. The Vitamin A, C, K, B1, B2, B3, Iron, Magnesium and a handful of other vitamins and minerals found in Tomatoes help to protect your hair’s DNA from being damaged and increase the effectiveness of other vitamins and antioxidants. These vitamins also contribute to the prevention of scalp odor and help boost your hair’s natural shine. Apply tomato juice directly to your hair can also be used to get rid of odors and can even cure itchy scalp and dandruff. Swimmers can also benefit from soaking their hair in tomato juice as it helps to reduce chlorine damage and staining.
Not only are they great for your heart, but the high levels of Biotin found in almonds are ideal for making your hair grow thicker and much faster. Almonds also pack a ton of Vitamin E and Magnesium, which is essential for hair growth. Magnesium helps the body function properly and encourage the growth of hair while a lack of it has been directly linked to hair loss. Almond oil is also very beneficial for hair and can be applied directly to it as a moisturizing treatment and heat protectant.
Oysters might be seen as a delicacy to most, however to hair, they’re known as a necessity. The amount of zinc Oysters contain is crucial in the production of healthy and balanced hair. Oysters are also loaded with Selenium, which works as an antioxidant and rids your body of harmful effects the environment may produce (the sun, the wind, chlorine, etc.). By protecting your body from potential harm it allows it to maintain it’s proper functions such as hair growth. Both Zinc and Selenium together create a healthy immune system and help to protect against hair loss. Other foods such as crab, liver and lean cuts of beef also provide significant amounts of zinc that can help your body regulate the production of androgens, a hormone associated with hair loss.
Like eggs, lentils are a fantastic source of protein. Keratin, a form of protein that hair is built of, is what keeps it healthy and growing. If there is not enough protein in your diet, your hair will grow at a much slower rate and become more susceptible to breakage. Because hair is a fast growing tissue, it is important to have enough protein at all times to aid in the speed of growth. An adequate amount of protein is also important in colder months to prevent dry scalp and retain your hair’s natural moisture. Lentils also contain other essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, which is crucial when it comes to the growth of healthy hair.
13) Yellow Peppers
With over five times the amount of Vitamin C than oranges, yellow peppers are known to aid in the strengthening of the hair shaft and follicles. Stronger hair follicles mean less breakage and more growth! The Vitamin C found in yellow peppers is also used to form collagen, which holds our hair follicles and skin together and prevents splitting in hair. Because yellow peppers have a very faint taste, they can be added to a variety of dishes including soups, omelets, and sauces!
Aside from their rich color blueberries are also rich in antioxidants and have impressive levels of Vitamin C. While the antioxidants in blueberries protect the scalp, the Vitamin C boosts the production of collagen, increases blood circulation, and works to prevent hair loss by fighting free radicals in the body. Eating blueberries more often can help to produce healthy, strong hair follicles and promote hair growth. Blueberries also have numerous other amazing effects on the body such as contributing to a healthy weight and immune system, aiding in digestion, and improving cardiovascular health! Try throwing them in a smoothie for a delicious and hair healthy morning breakfast.
15) Sweet potatoes
Sweet Potatoes are an all-around superfood! They keep you fuller longer, are packed with healthy carbs and are loaded with the nutrient, beta-carotene. Once consumed the body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which is known to keep your scalp healthy and dandruff free. Beta-carotene also helps regulate cell production, and protects skin from the sun, including the skin on your scalp. Aside from protecting your skin, it also works to keep your skin and scalp moisturized and hair shiny. A deficiency in Beta-Carotene can lead to dandruff, leaving your hair feeling dull and lifeless. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of protein and vitamin E, which also work to support hair health! With replenished and protected cells your hair will be sure to grow faster!