It’s what’s on the inside that counts – and this is definitely the case when it comes to gorgeous, healthy-looking hair. Products can promise you all kinds of results, but if you want really beautiful locks, it’s time to look at your diet. News flash: it’s not only what’s on your bathroom shelf that matters! Read on to find out the top foods for healthy hair, and eat your way to a fabulous-looking mane now.
10 Foods for healthy hair
1. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids just happen to make up around 3% of the actual hair shaft, so stocking up on them can help keep your scalp hydrated, and, in turn, promote shiny, healthier-looking tresses. Fatty fish are one of the best sources for omega-3, so try adding salmon, sardines or mackerel to your diet on a regular basis. For veggie-friendly foods for healthy hair, avocado, and nuts and seeds are brilliant sources of this nutrient, too.
2. Zinc and selenium
Zinc and selenium are two minerals that are essential for maintaining healthy hair and skin, as they can help keep the hair follicle strong and help prevent breakage. If you’re seeing a lot of split ends and/or hair loss, these are the two minerals to top up on. Eggs are a great source, and oysters are packed with zinc, too.
3. Carrots and sweet potatoes
While we can’t confirm that carrots actually help you see in the dark, we can tell you that orange-coloured foods rich in beta-Carotene are also good sources of vitamin A, which your body needs to produce sebum. This is the naturally oily substance made by your sebaceous glands that will help prevent an itchy scalp or flaking.
If you’re like us and love any excuse to munch away on a handful of nuts, now you’ve got the perfect reason! Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which are known to help protect your skin from sun damage, but they’re also packed full of healthy proteins and selenium, both of which promote better overall scalp health.
There’s a reason why these power-packed little blue fruits are at the top of virtually every superfood list you see, and it’s because blueberries are jam-packed (pun totally intended) with vitamin C, which happens to be great for your hair, as well as helping to ward away the dreaded lurgies. Vitamin C helps boost collagen production that’s essential for strong and healthier-looking hair!
6. Red meat
Iron goes hand in hand with vitamin C, as the vitamin helps you absorb it better. And when it comes to foods for healthy hair, red meat happens to be one of the best sources of this mineral. Iron can help promote the strengthening of the hair follicle and root, and iron deficiency or anaemia can be one of the indirect causes of hair loss.
7. Spinach and leafy greens
Need a top up of iron but don’t eat meat? Take your cue from Popeye and stock up on spinach. Leafy greens are a great source of iron too, so make them a part of your diet now. As well as spinach, try broccoli, kale and salad greens.
As mentioned before, nuts of all kinds are great for your hair, but almonds are one of the best. Why? Because they’re super rich in biotin. You may have spied this vitamin on the ingredients list of some of your favourite hair products, and it’s for good reason: everyone’s cottoning on to its hair-strengthening benefits. But rather than applying it from the outside, getting it into your diet is much more effective.
9. Whole grains and brown rice
Ah, the much-maligned carbs! Carbohydrates are absolutely essential as they provide all the cells in your body with energy to function healthily, including to help grow long, luscious locks. But remember to go for complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole grains over processed white flours or sugary foods.
Want to help your hair grow longer and stronger? Add a daily scoop of natural or Greek yoghurt to your diet. As well as being great for your health generally, it’s rich in vitamin K – which helps your hair stay healthy.