It is possible to have consistent healthy hair growth by simply changing the way you eat (7).
There are many foods that can help with hair growth, but that is not the only area of life to look at if you want to keep growing healthy hair.
Other factors that can easily contribute to hair loss are hormonal imbalances, low or insufficient amounts of key vitamins and minerals, malabsorption issues, and more (1), (2). Even if you eat a healthy balanced diet, factors like malabsorption can significantly affect your health and hair growth.
It is easy to remember what vitamins are crucial for hair growth. They are vitamins A, B, C, D, E. That is not where the list ends, but it is a great a place to start (8).
Hair growth can be more feasible if you keep a healthy diet and avoid foods that can strip your body of key minerals and vitamins that help promote a healthier head of hair. For example, foods with a high amount of added sugars can lead to a nutrient loss in many individuals (3).
Fun Fact: Contributors to hair loss include hormonal imbalances, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, or malabsorption issues. Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, and eating less added sugars can help prevent hair loss.
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Foods for Hair Growth
There are many foods to start adding to your diet if you want to grow healthy, longer hair.
Look at the foods below to see what top foods for hair growth are the most important. Remember that everyone processed food differently, and hormone levels can be a major contributor to what foods you need more or less of.
1. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are one of the most nutrient-dense nuts around. Even one or even a few brazil nuts a day gives your body the selenium it needs in a day (9), (30).
Selenium is a key nutrient necessary for proper hormonal functioning in the body, and it can help to promote healthier hair for that very reason (8).
Brazil nuts are an easy way to make sure you are getting enough selenium. Simply add them to your favorite smoothie, salad, or snack on even one to get more nutrients in your diet each day.
Fun Fact: Selenium is a key nutrient for proper hormone function. A small handful of Brazil nuts has nearly 1,000% of your recommended daily allowance of selenium.
All kinds of shellfish are an excellent way to maintain and grow a healthier head of hair.
That is because shellfish are high in niacin (10), as well as many essential omega 3 fatty acids (8), (11). The combination of these two nutrients helps to maintain those lovely locks (4). Niacin is an essential B vitamin that helps to promote hair growth (8).
Some shellfish also contain high amounts of biotin or vitamin B7, which is also essential for hair growth (2). Add in some oysters to your diet, either fresh or smoked, to get enhance shiny, flowing hair. Other shellfish include crab, lobster, clams, and more (12).
Fun Fact: Shellfish is extremely rich in niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, and biotin which are essential for healthy hair. Add oysters, crab, lobster, or clams to your diet to improve hair health.
3. Green Leafy Vegetables
There is a reason green leafy vegetables of all kinds are a key food to maintain good health overall. They are full of tons of essential vitamins and minerals that can promote more hair growth, too (2), (13).
Like shellfish, they are also high in niacin and much more. The main way to get more vitamin K1 in your diet is through green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K1 is a major contributor to hair health (2), (5).
Add some more collard greens, spinach, broccoli, kale, bok choy, dandelion greens, and more to your diet today to reap the many benefits.
Fun Fact: Green leafy vegetables are very high the hair supporting nutrients niacin and vitamin K1. Add a 2-3 servings of green leafy vegetables to your daily diet to improve hair health.
Eggs are high in tons of necessary vitamins and minerals, protein, and more. All nutrients in eggs can help to enhance more hair growth and maintain healthy locks (14).
Vitamin A and vitamin D are other critical vitamins for hair growth, and eggs contain a generous amount of both these nutrients (2). Whether they are scrambled, fried, poached, or in an omelet, it is hard to get sick of eggs.
Keep your protein and nutrients levels high by adding in more eggs to your diet. You only need one or two per serving to get all the nutrition you need for strong healthy hair.
Fun Fact: Eggs are very nutrient-dense, especially in the hair supporting nutrients vitamins A, D, and protein. Aim for a serving of one to two eggs per day to strengthen your hair.
Peanuts are high in many essential B vitamins that help to promote hair and skin health. These include folate, biotin, and niacin, which are the most essential to general health (15), (16).
They are also high in vitamin E, another essential vitamin for hair growth and health (15).
Add some peanuts to your diet to get the benefits. You do not need much, even just a small handful can do the trick.
Fun Fact: Peanuts are especially rich in folate, biotin, and niacin which are essential for hair health. Add a small handful of peanuts to your daily diet.
6. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a powerful seasoning for hair growth because it is extremely high in vitamin B12 as well as biotin (17).
It is a great seasoning for anyone, but especially helpful for vegan and vegetarians (18) who do not get these key nutrients, which are largely present in meat (17).
There is great news, too. Nutritional yeast makes an amazing cheese alternative if you want to skip the dairy. It has a cheesy flavor but contains absolutely no dairy. It goes well on many dishes for this reason.
Fun Fact: Nutritional yeast is very rich in biotin and vitamin B12. Sprinkle some onto popcorn or pasta dishes for a “cheesy” flavor and boost in hair health.
7. Lentils and Beans
Lentils are an excellent option for those who do not eat meat. Vegan and vegetarians can benefit from these tremendously. They are both an excellent source of protein as well as essential vitamins and minerals (6), (19).
You can get essential B vitamins like vitamins B6, thiamin, and folate, as well as iron, and more from these sources (6). All these vitamins are crucial for hair growth and maintenance (2).
Lentils and beans can even help to reduce the increase of many common chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and more (6), (19).
Fun Fact: Lentils and beans are very high in vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, and iron. These essential nutrients are known to nourish hair health.
8. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are full of essential vitamins and minerals that can also help with hair loss, like B vitamins, zinc, selenium, and more (20).
They are also full of omega 3 essential fatty acids that can not only help with hair but with skin health, too. Many types of fatty fish help to promote hair growth and maintain healthy hair (20).
Add some salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and tuna to your diet more often to get the many health benefits. Switch up the types when you can get the most health benefits.
Fun Fact: Fatty fish is essential for reducing hair loss because it is full of omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc, and selenium. Add fatty fish to your diet at least twice a week.
Spirulina is great for hair growth because it is naturally high in the essential amino acid lysine (21), (22).
Lysine is typically in animal-based foods, but it is also plentiful in this form of algae that normally comes in powder form (23), (25).
Eating more foods high in lysine helps the body promote more collagen, which is necessary for hair growth (24). Spirulina is also a healing food that can help prevent many chronic diseases. You can easily add this deep green powder to smoothies, juices, and more.
Fun Fact: Spirulina is high in lysine, an essential amino acid that is needed to make collagen. Collagen is essential for strengthening hair health.
10. Lean Meat
Lean meat can be a strong food to add for hair growth for many reasons. It is high in many essential nutrients, and most importantly, it is high in zinc, selenium, and all nine essential amino acids like lysine (25).
The healthiest lean meat is grass-fed and in the form of beef liver, lamb, chicken, or beef. Try to always opt for grass-fed when you can to avoid unnecessary additives, antibiotics, and hormones.
If you want to add a bit more flavor to your meat without frying it, invest in an air-fryer instead. These new popular appliances bake your food, but they have the crunch as if it were fried.
Fun Fact: Lean meat is especially rich in protein, essential amino acids, zinc, and selenium which all contribute to hair health. Three ounces is a perfect serving to reap the health benefits.
Flaxseed is extremely healthy for your diet overall. One reason they can help with hair growth is that they are high in essential omega 3 fatty acids (26).
They are also high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats and nutrients help to restore the health of the scalp, making it easier to grow more hair (2).
Flaxseed can also help to restore hormone levels (26), (27), which is necessary to avoid hair loss. Add some flaxseeds to your oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, or even desserts for a nutritious boost.
Fun Fact: Flaxseeds are nutrient-rich and full of healthy fats. Healthy fats help improve scalp health, which helps hair grow adequately.
If you keep a healthy balanced diet, you should have no issue growing a healthy, shiny head of hair. There are many foods that can help to promote more hair growth.
Just remember that food is not always the only factor with hair growth and loss. Pay careful attention to your lifestyle habits, exercise, and hormonal balance, too (28), (29).
If you have frequent hair loss and diet and lifestyle change is not helping, speak with your healthcare professional about your options.
Seeing what nutrients you are deficient in or if you have any condition causing that reaction can help to put you on the right track to better health.