The Best Foods For Healthy Hair

Sunday, September 15, 2013

There's more to healthy hair than treating it with care and using the right products; seeing as it's grown from inside the body, it makes sense that what you eat and the vitamins and minerals your body absorbs will have a huge impact too. I recently wrote a post about some of the things I'd found out on my quest to grow longer hair; while I touched on vitamins in that post I thought it would be useful to make a list of some of the top foods for hair growth, and give examples of the types of foods you can include in your diet that are high in these vitamins. I can't say I'll be following my own advice on all of these (it will be a cold day in hell when I serve myself a bowl full of liver!) but here are some of the best food sources for different vitamins and minerals that are useful for growing healthier hair.

Yellow/Orange Foods- High in Beta Carotene/ Vitamin A
Examples: apricots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots
If it's naturally an orange or yellow food it will be high in beta-carotene, which is important for growth development- including bones, skin and hair. Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body which is essential for healthy hair, and encourages growth in thinning hair (a diet lacking in this vitamin can result in hair loss or thinning hair). On top of this it also fights damaging free radicals that can occur because of chemicals and pollution, and contains anti-oxidants that will improve the oils on the scalp. Now we're coming up to halloween pumpkins should be in no short supply, maybe this year try eating one rather than just scooping out the insides and carving a face into it!

Lean Meats- High in Protein and Iron
Examples: poultry, lean red (unprocessed) meat 
Because the hair is made of protein, it seems obvious that a lack of protein in the body will result in hair growth problems including hair loss. An efficient amount of protein will result in stronger, healthier hair that grows sufficiently. Iron will help increase circulation in the scalp which then fuels hair growth, foods that are high in iron include liver, apricots and raisins. Try adding some mini dried fruit snack bags into your handbag- a healthy snack on the go and the raisins and dried apricots might to help improve your hair too!

Fish- High In Omega 3, 6 and 9
Examples: salmon, tuna, prawns
The different omega groups essentially do different things to the hair. Omega 3 increases hair elasticity meaning it's less likely to break, and nourishes hair follicles. Amazingly it can even help re-start hair growth, as well as increase hair strength, and prevent (or reverse) hair loss. Omega 3 is also great for improving scalp circulation; scalp health is important for the growth of healthy hair as good circulation of the scalp means better blood flow to the hair follicles, which in turn leads to healthier hair. Finally, Omega 9 controls water loss in hair, as well as making it softer and more pliable leading to less breakage and susceptibility to damage. Aside from tuna I'm very funny about fish (I'm actually scared of live ones so I find the whole idea of eating them extremely unappetising) but I'm quite good at taking a daily omega tablet.

Nuts- High in Selenium
Examples: almonds, walnuts, coconut 
Another mineral that's good for the scalp (and therefore encourages healthy hair growth) is the trace mineral selenium. Not only can you get the benefits by eating foods containing selenium, it's also added to anti dandruff products and works topically too. The easiest way to apply selenium to the scalp, is by applying coconut oil a few hours before washing your hair.

Whole Grains- High in B Vitamins
Brown bread/pasta/rice
B vitamins are essential for the health of the nervous system, including maintaing red blood cells which carry oxygen. This is extremely important for the health of hair, as without oxygen hair is unable to sustain growth. Vitamin B deficiencies usually present themselves as hair that is brittle, weak and has stunted growth. Not good!

Dark Green Vegetables- High in Folate/Folic Acid
Examples: spinach, broccoli, kale, romaine lettuce
Finally, one of the more common vitamins associated with hair growth, folic acid (the synthetic version of folate) also known as pre-natal vitamins. Folic acid tablets are widely available (and should be taken by all women of child bearing age anyway) but folate can also be found in leafy green veggies. Folic acid/folate helps your body break down and use proteins and is beneficial for all of the structures and tissues in your body including the hair- it can actually stimulate hair growth.

Did you know any of these foods were good for healthy hair growth?
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  1. I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! :)

  2. I always notice my hair grows faster when I eat a balanced diet. This is a really well written guide xx


    1. Thank you :) Yeah I think it really does make all the difference, no point spending a fortune on hair products when you're hair is unable to grow through an unhealthy diet x

  3. I know about most of these but this is such a great post!

  4. Very informative post! I need to remember this!

    1. Thank you! Hope it works well for you x

  5. I did not know these tips, but they do make good sense. Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync. :)

    1. Thanks! I didn't know some of these either until I looked into it, but it definitely does make sense and something I'll try and be more mindful of now :) x

  6. I used to use omega 3 fish tablets but I hate the after taste

    1. I used to take cod liver oil and hated the aftertaste, I find that I don't get it so much with the specific omega 3 tablets I'm taking at the moment. If you take them with food its less noticeable too x

  7. Great post very information I even bookmarked it really great information here loved it <3 nice blog now following you, follow back if you like :) x

  8. Great post that's a bit different, really helpful as I'm desperately trying to grow my hair again and trying to use less heat on it so this will give me direction in a health way too, thankyou xx

    Kayleigh | Kayleighsbeautyfix

  9. It's the first time I come into your blog, I like it very much!I follow you now on GFC, if you like my blog follow me back, it'd be a pleasure for me! xoxo