7 Best Foods That Promote Healthy Hair
There is more to having and maintaining healthy hair than just shampoos and conditioners. What you eat on a daily basis can be affecting your hair, both negatively and positively.
Just like the rest of our bodies, our hair requires certain nutrients and vitamins in order to grow and stay strong. While you can get some of these nutrients from supplements and topical shampoos, food is a great, clean source of these building blocks for healthy hair.
You may be incorporating a lot of these foods into your diet already, but you also may not realize which foods you’re eating may have a negative impact on your hair health.
Let’s take a look at a few different foods that you can eat to help keep your hair shiny, strong and luxurious, and a few foods you should try to cut back on that could have a negative affect on your hair health.
7 Foods that Promote Healthy Hair
Eggs are a great source of vitamins and protein, which are essential to hair growth. Vitamin B7, or Biotin, found in eggs, is important for the synthesis of healthy skin, hair, and nails. A lack of biotin in the body can lead to flakiness in the scalp and possible hair loss.
Keep in mind, just eating egg whites will not be as beneficial for your hair as consuming the entire egg. So make sure you’re including the yolks when you eat your eggs if you’re looking to gain the most vitamins you can to help your hair.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, which are essential to hair health. Our bodies can’t produce enough omega-3 fatty acids on their own, so by eating healthy foods containing these nutrients, we can ensure that we’re getting enough to help keep our hair follicles strong. Avocados are also a great source of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help promote hair growth.
Avocados are an easy and healthy way to give your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to promote strong, beautiful hair.
Fish can be a great source of protein and vitamins that can help keep your hair healthy, but not all fish are created equal. If you’re looking to promote strong and healthy hair, you’ll want to stick with more fatty fish like salmon, sardines, higher end tuna, and herring. These types of fatty fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin D, which can help with hair health.
You’ll want to stay away from fish with a high mercury content, as these types of fish could have the opposite affect on your hair. These include swordfish, cheaper tuna (like ahi tuna), marlin, king mackerel and shark. High concentrations of mercury can actually lead to hair loss.
Nuts and Peanut Butter
Peanuts and peanut butter are a great source of biotin as well as antioxidants that can help promote healthy hair growth. In addition to that, they are loaded with protein which can be very filling if you’re looking for a vegan alternative to other foods in your diet.
If peanuts aren’t your thing, but you’re a fan of other nuts, there are other options. Walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds are all a great source of zinc. Zinc deficiencies can lead to hair loss/shedding, so these nuts are a great way to ensure that you’re getting enough zinc in your diet. Walnuts themselves also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which helps keep your hair strong and beautiful.
While grapes don’t have the same protein and vitamins that some of the other items on this list have, they are loaded with antioxidants which can help reduce cellular damage. They can also help prevent DHT production, which is a main cause of hair loss.
Plain Greek Yogurt
Low-fat dairy products, like plain Greek yogurt, are a great source of calcium and protein both of which are an important part of hair growth. Yogurt is also full of probiotics, the good bacteria your body needs, which can help your body to absorb certain nutrients. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can help ensure that your body is absorbing everything it needs to in order to keep your hair healthy and strong.
Dark Green Vegetables
We know they aren’t everyone’s favorite foods to eat, but there are a lot of vegetables out there that you can eat to help keep your hair healthy. Spinach and Kale are both examples of vegetables that are loaded with vitamins A and C, which help produce sebum which is an oily substance created by hair follicles that can act as a natural hair conditioner.
Foods like Brussels sprouts and broccoli are rich in folate which can encourage cell division in your hair. Thin, or weak, hair, can be a sign of low folate levels in your body, and these foods can help bring those levels up.
We understand that not all of these foods are everyone’s favorites, but eating healthy can not only help you feel better, give you more energy, and keep you healthy, but they can also promote good hair growth.
So if your diet isn’t the greatest, and you find yourself suffering from thin, brittle, or weak hair, you may want to consider changing up what you’re eating in order to help prolong the life of your hair.
Foods That Can Be Bad For Your Hair
While the foods above will help your body promote good, healthy, hair, there are also foods out there that most of us are eating on a regular basis, that can have the opposite effect, and negatively affect our hair.
Here are just a few foods you should avoid if you’re trying to keep your hair healthy.
Sugar is one of the bodies greatest enemies. While most people are aware that sugar can lead to diseases like diabetes and heart disease, you may not know that it can actually affect hair growth.
For women, especially those who suffer from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), when you ingest sugar, it causes your body to produce insulin, the insulin then causes your brain to release luteinizing hormone (LH) which in turn stimulates the ovaries and causes increased androgens to be released. Androgens can cause hair follicles to shrink, which can speed up the rate at which hair loss occurs.
Insulin resistance, which is what occurs in type 2 Diabetes also appears to worsen hair loss. When too much insulin is being produced and glucose is not being taken up by the cells, our blood sugar levels rise. This creates higher cortisol levels and free radicals. These conditions precipitate inflammation and oxidative stress which damage the follicles.
We all know that the best way to try and stave off a hangover is to make sure that we are drinking plenty of water while consuming alcohol. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which means that it speeds up the process of dehydration. As your body becomes more and more dehydrated, it causes you to feel worse and worse the next day. And you may not realize, but it’s also dehydrating your hair.
Drinking too much alcohol, while not making sure you are properly hydrated, can dry out your hair making it more brittle. And while moderate drinking probably won’t cause your hair to fall out, excessive alcohol consumption could lead to more noticeable hair loss. Not to mention it’s bad for the rest of your body as well.
I know, first sugar and now greasy foods, but there’s a reason why doctors and nutritionists continue to push healthy diets on us, it’s because they are the best way for us to make sure our body gets the nutrients and vitamins it needs in order to thrive.
Greasy foods are loaded with saturated fats and hydrogenated oils which can clog your arteries. If you picture a can of Crisco sitting on your counter versus a jar of olive oil you would see that one is solid and and white and the other is a fluid see-through liquid. Fats are essential for our brain and nerves but they also make up the shell of every cell in our body. We actually need fats and cholesterol to synthesize healthy skin and hair cells but your cells are softer and suppler when constructed from the good fats rather than the “bad” fats.
As you can see, there are a number of foods out there that you can incorporate into your diet in order to promote healthy and strong hair growth, but just switching up your diet may not solve all of your problems.
Hair loss isn’t always caused by a lack of vitamins or proteins, and in fact, in most cases hair loss is due to genetics more than anything.
By talking with one of our hair transplant specialists at our office in San Antonio, Texas, we can help you determine what the cause of your hair loss may be and how to best treat it in order to restore that incredible head of hair you had when you were younger.
Contact us today to setup a consultation to discuss your hair loss treatment options!