One of my friends, who has dyed her beautiful, naturally curly hair several times in the past, recently wondered whether she had ruined her hair. It looked dried and frizzy on the ends, and it wasn’t growing well. She began taking better care of her hair, which included trying to get more protein and biotin in her diet to strengthen and nourish her hair.
It worked. Her short hair is growing out quickly now, and it looks glossy and healthy. Other people who turn to food for hair help might have the same results. If you’re interested, read through the following list of the 12 best foods for your hair. At the end, I’ll share some meal ideas that could help get you started.
Table of Contents
12 Fabulous Foods For Hair Growth
- Brazil Nuts
- Beans And Legumes
- Greek Yogurt
- Chia Seeds
- Cruciferous Vegetables
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. One cooked egg provides 13% of the daily recommendation for protein, as well as 5% of the daily recommendation for vitamin D, which stimulates hair growth. Eggs are also rich in vitamin A, several B vitamins, and minerals such as selenium and zinc.
Eggs are especially rich in one form of B vitamin, called biotin, which is significant for hair growth. Biotin, which is also known as vitamin B7, is found in the yolk of eggs. A whole, cooked egg provides around 10 mcg of biotin, or around a third of the daily recommendation for biotin.
Because of its unique nutrient profile, including its biotin and vitamin D content, raw eggs are sometimes used as a topical home treatment for hair growth. Many people suffering from hair loss also take supplements with an inositol/choline combination. Inositol is most often synthesized in the body, but choline can be found in eggs. One egg provides 27% of the daily recommendation for choline.
Spinach is a leafy-green superfood that’s packed with vitamins and minerals that impact overall body health. One cup of raw spinach provides 121% of the daily recommendation for vitamin K, which plays a role in regenerating and re-growing hair. It also contains 15% of the daily recommendation for folate, which promotes the development of healthy cells throughout the body. Spinach is surely one of the best folic-rich foods.
Spinach is also a good source of several B vitamins, vitamins C, E, and A, and minerals like manganese and magnesium. Magnesium is especially interesting because it’s needed for developing and maintaining healthy hair follicles. Vitamin A also helps keep hair follicles alive and healthy. One cup of spinach provides around 16% of the daily recommendation for vitamin A and around 6% for magnesium.
Brazil nuts are most well known for their high level of selenium. A one-ounce serving of Brazil nuts provides 988% of the daily recommendation for selenium. Selenium is important for hair because it provides antioxidant properties that help protect hair follicles. Selenium is also involved in processing proteins to help with hair growth and other body tissues.
Besides selenium, an ounce of Brazil nuts provides 8% of the daily recommendation for protein, as well as 15% for the B vitamin Thiamin. Thiamin helps prevent hair loss and could play a role in regrowing hair. Brazil nuts are also a good source of iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Salmon is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. One small salmon fillet provides around 44 grams of protein or around 88% of the daily recommendation for protein.
The omega-3 fatty acids are best known for supporting heart health and a flat belly, but they also have a role in healthy hair. These fatty acids have strong antioxidant properties that help protect hair follicles and prevent hair loss. They’re also interesting when it comes to hair regrowth. Some sources indicate that eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can restart hair growth.
The vitamin D found in salmon is interesting because it has a stimulatory effect on hair follicles. A small poached salmon fillet contains around 116% of the daily recommendation for vitamin D.
Vitamin B12 helps hair growth by promoting the production of red blood cells to carry nutrients to hair follicles. A small salmon fillet provides 315% of the daily recommendation for vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin.
Beans And Legumes
Beans and legumes are rich in protein and fiber. Protein is essential for hair growth because it provides the necessary building blocks. One cup of black beans provides around 84% of the daily recommendation for protein.
Beans are also relatively rich in B vitamins. A one-cup serving of black beans provides 146% of the daily recommendation for thiamin, as well as 29% for riboflavin, 24% for niacin, 35% for pantothenic acid, 43% for vitamin B6, and 215% for folate.
Beans also contain biotin. Soybeans provide the highest biotin content of all legumes, with around 64% of the daily recommendation for biotin in one serving. Soybeans, kidney beans, peas, and peanuts are also good sources of choline.
Greek yogurt contains high levels of protein, selenium, and other nutrients that support healthy hair. One seven-ounce serving of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt provides 34% of the daily recommendation for protein and 30% for selenium. Greek yogurt also contains biotin, and it provides 53% of the daily recommendation for vitamin B12.
Gut health is important for healthy hair, too, because many important nutrients (including biotin) are synthesized there. Yogurt helps build a healthy gut microbiome by providing probiotics, or helpful bacteria.
Some people also use yogurt as a home remedy to soften and rejuvenate damaged hair.
Like yogurt, asparagus contributes to a healthy microbiome. However, it doesn’t provide probiotics. Rather, it provides fiber that creates a perfect environment for healthy bacteria to grow in. As it does this, it increases the ability of the body to get more nutrients from food, so hair can be nourished.
The nutrient profile of asparagus contributes to scalp health, too. Asparagus is rich in vitamins C and A, which have antioxidant properties that help protect hair follicles. A cup of raw asparagus provides 8% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C and 6% for vitamin A. It’s also rich in thiamin, folate, vitamin K, and minerals like iron, selenium, and zinc.
Chia seeds are a wonder food, packed with minerals, proteins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. While the high-fiber content contributes to hair health by helping create a healthy gut, the omega-3 fatty acids protect hair follicles and encourage hair growth. An ounce of chia seeds provides 28% of the daily recommendation for fiber.
This serving size also contains 10% of the daily recommendation for protein, 39% for thiamin, 28% for magnesium, 13% for selenium, and 11% for zinc.
Chia seeds are also rich in phosphorus, which could also contribute to hair growth. An ounce of chia seeds contains 26% of the daily recommendation for phosphorus.
Cruciferous vegetables include all the vegetables in the cabbage family, ranging from broccoli and cauliflower to bok choy and kohlrabi. These foods are high in fiber and rich in several vitamins and minerals that could promote hair health.
For example, broccoli is extremely rich in vitamins C and K, and it’s a good source of folate, thiamin, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
Cruciferous vegetables also contain a substance called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is important for hair health mostly because of its strong antioxidant properties, which could help protect hair follicles. Some research also shows that sulforaphane can boost hair growth by increasing the production of testosterone.
Avocados are often used as hair masks to help nourish and hydrate the scalp. However, their interesting nutrient profile can also nourish the hair from the inside out.
Avocados are rich in folate, which helps nourish hair follicles by helping the development of red blood cells. One avocado provides around 30% of the daily recommendation for folate, as well as 8% for thiamin and 17% for vitamin C.
Avocados also contain healthy fats which nourish the sebum in the hair follicles. This healthy fat, called oleic acid, is the same type of fat found in olive oil. Avocados also supply fiber, which helps build a healthy gut microbiome. One avocado provides 36% of the daily recommendation for fiber.
Avocados are rich in minerals that support healthy hair, too. These include potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.
Oatmeal supports the development of healthy hair by providing prebiotic fiber that increases gut health. Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber found in oatmeal that is known to promote a healthy heart, but it also helps repair tissues, and it stimulates cellular growth. Some sources indicate it can help coat the hair shaft to protect it.
The nutrients found in oatmeal include several of the B vitamins. They work together to make hair less brittle, thicker, and stronger. One cup of plain, cooked oatmeal provides 13% of the daily recommendation for thiamin, and it’s also a good source for riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate.
Oatmeal also provides vitamins A and K, along with minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
Like most legumes, peanuts are rich in protein and fiber. An ounce of peanuts provides 15% of the daily recommendation for protein and 9% for fiber, which contributes to hair health by supporting a healthy gut microbiome. The healthy fats in peanuts help nourish the scalp, too.
Peanuts also contain biotin, thiamin, folate, and several other B vitamins. One ounce of peanuts provides around 17% of the daily recommendation for folate. It also contains phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, and zinc, and it’s a good source of choline.
Three Fast Meal Ideas To Try Immediately
Now that you’ve read through the list of the 12 best foods for your hair, let’s chat about some fast meal ideas that you can try immediately to start nourishing and rejuvenating your hair from the inside out.
Meal idea #1: Salmon And Asparagus
Serve a small baked salmon fillet with a side of steamed asparagus. Salmon provides omega-3 fatty acids to nourish hair from the inside out, along with protein and vitamin D, while asparagus is loaded with vitamins A and C to help protect hair follicles.
Meal idea #2: Chili With Avocado Slices
Make a quick homemade chili by mixing canned red beans with canned tomatoes and green chilies. Serve them with avocado slices. This meal combination promotes healthy hair because of the biotin and B vitamins found in the beans, as well as the healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in the avocado slices.
Meal idea #3: Quiche
Make a quiche using eggs and spinach. The eggs provide significant amounts of biotin, choline, and protein for hair growth. Spinach provides several vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin A, to help protect hair follicles.