10 Foods Science Says Are Healthier for Your Hair

Did you know that it's scientifically proven that eating a variety of specific foods can help improve the health and appearance of your hair, while making it grow faster and longer? And in most cases, you can expect to begin seeing results in as little as two weeks.

Whether you're recovering from a bad haircut, want long mermaid locks for your wedding, or just want to improve the length or thickness of your hair, make sure to include more of the following foods in your diet.

1. Salmon

Fish and shellfish provide the omega-3 fatty acids, iron, selenium, and vitamins B and D that your hair needs to grow healthy, smooth, shiny, strong, hydrated, and thick. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are the best sources of this healthy fat, but shrimp and other fish and shellfish are also great options. Omega-3 can support healthy hair growth, so if you aren't getting enough fish in your diet, consider taking an omega-3 supplement.

2. Red Meat

Red meat contains iron and zinc, both of which are essential for hair growth because they can help hair follicles to grow. Red meat is also a great source of protein, which your hair also needs in order to grow. If you wanted an excuse to eat more steak and lean red meat, now you have it.

3. Lean Protein

Protein is the building block of life, and of your hair. Lean sources of protein, like chicken and turkey, will boost your hair strength, make your hair shinier, and promote cell growth and repair. Turkey is also a great source of iron, while chicken is packed with biotin.

4. Eggs

Eggs are packed with vitamins B and D, biotin, choline, iron, zinc, selenium, and protein, which your hair needs to grow healthy and strong. If you don't get enough eggs in your diet, you can always add them to a DIY hair mask for an alternative way to benefit from the egg whites and yolks.

5. Dark Leafy Greens

Eating more dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale, will pay off in unbeatable health benefits, weight loss, and hair growth. Spinach has vitamins A and C, iron, folate, beta-carotene, and other nutrients that can battle thin, brittle hair, leaving it soft, smooth, and shiny. It can also help produce sebum, which can prevent your hair from breaking off and leave you with healthier, more moisturized hair and scalp.

6. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is packed with protein, biotin, and calcium. It also has vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which can help with blood flow to the scalp. Eating more low-fat or nonfat yogurt or greek yogurt will help with hair growth and fight hair thinning and fallout.

7. Walnuts

Nuts like peanuts, pecans, almonds, and cashews will all benefit your health and hair, but walnuts are particularly effective with hair growth. They can strengthen the hair follicles, improve scalp health, and make your hair smoother and shinier. Nuts (and particularly walnuts) are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin E, and magnesium.

8. Kidney Beans

Iron is essential for hair growth, according to author and nutritionist, Rania Batayneh, and beans are a great source of protein and iron, making them the perfect side item or vegetarian option. Kidney beans are particularly beneficial because they are also packed with zinc and biotin. Beans and soy can also help the body make keratin, which can help build hair.

9. Soybeans or Lentils

Soybeans, quinoa, chickpeas, and lentils are a great source of protein, zinc, biotin, and iron. They make the perfect side dishes or they can be a great meat substitute for vegetarians.

10. Water

Water is the single most important thing for a healthy body and healthy hair growth. It is essential in carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells and is required if you want to grow healthy, shiny hair. Your hair is the last thing to receive nutrients from the body, so make sure to increase your water intake for maximum results.

Multivitamins and Supplements

Taking a daily multivitamin may help fill in whatever vitamins and nutrients your body may be lacking. Along with your daily multivitamin, you may also want to add the following supplements to your daily routine

  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Niacin (vitamin B3)
  • Biotin
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Folic Acid
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Omega-3

Hair growth supplements are supplements designed to give your body what it needs to allow your hair to grow. These commonly have a combination of the supplements listed above and can be really effective when you want to grow your hair quickly. (See also: The 5 Best Hair Growth Supplements)

Do you know of any other scientifically proven ingredients for hair growth? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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