When it comes to healthy hair, it’s not just what you put on your mane, but what you put inside your body, too! Using just shampoo and conditioner alone is not going to give you the truly healthy hair your crave.
For the most terrific tresses, 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 growth is the nutrients we eat.
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.
Try to get the nutrients you need from foods whenever possible, even though there are many beauty supplements out there.
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. A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and hair, giving it a dull look.
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.
Legumes like kidney beans and lentils are not only good for your digestive system, they’re also good for your hair and 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. It’s recommended that you should eat 3 cups or more per week.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp.