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Blog , Health and Wellness

Hair Nutrition

Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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healthy foods for hair surrounding blocks that spell out "hair food"

Hair’s the truth…

There are many myths about hair. Among them is that balding is inherited solely from the mother’s side, that hair can turn gray overnight, and that oils and ointments can make hair grow faster. Per Almanac, each is untrue. For those on a hair growth journey, it’s important to stick to the facts. While genetics and other factors play a large part in hair growth and development, hair nutrition also takes a prominent role.

What is hair nutrition? Let’s comb through the facts…

Hair nutrition refers to eating a balanced diet to promote hair health and growth. A healthy diet can help one’s hair to be strong, bouncy, thick, and shiny. While not all hair loss is preventable, eating right may help reduce hair loss in some individuals.

You’re probably “dyeing” to know…

Hair growth is most prolific from age 15 to 30 and generally slows or changes at about age 40. Since nutrition and hair health are related, building a menu rich in the following nutrients is helpful to maintaining healthy hair:  

  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • B Vitamins
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids
  • Omega-6 essential fatty acids
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • And more…

Let’s not split ends…

Since what we eat matters for our hair, here are some examples of foods that are widely known to promote healthy hair:  

  • Healthy nuts such as almonds and walnuts – Almonds and other healthy nuts contain nutrients like vitamin B, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, fatty acids, and more – all of which are beneficial for hair. Walnuts specifically contain an excellent source of plant omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Spinach and other leafy greens – Spinach and other leafy greens are lauded for being iron-rich and chock full of vitamins A and C. Prevention explains, “While vitamin C deficiency is rare in our current society, it’s essential for collagen synthesis and cross-linking of keratin fibers, which occurs in hair fiber production.”
  • Eggs – Eggs scream protein, biotin, and vitamin D – all of which are excellent for hair. Pete and Gerry’s explains that the yolk is loaded with healthy fats, which help replenish moisture and make hair strands look sleek and shiny.
  • Beans – We’ve all heard, “Beans, beans, their good for your heart…” But did you know that they are also good for your hair? They are a great source of iron, protein, zinc, selenium, and folate. Plus, they are packed with fiber which is good for the gut.
  • Salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines – These fish boost hair health by providing nutrition to the body in the forms of protein, vitamin D, omega-3 fats, and more. Omega-3 fats are not produced by the body, so they must be acquired from food or supplements. One study performed by the National Library of Medicine addressed female pattern hair loss. Women who took omega 3&6 and antioxidants reported a reduction in hair loss.

Brushing up on the facts: Sound nutrition is essential

Other nourishing foods such as berries, avocados, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, seeds, soybeans, meat, and oysters also may positively influence hair health. Likewise, a deficiency in nutrients can be harmful to hair health, reducing hair quality, rate of growth, and sometimes causing hair loss. Not all hair loss can be prevented. However, a significant number of people can slow hair loss or improve hair health through nutrition. So, if you’re looking to improve hair health, including boosting the fullness and texture of your hair, eat for good hair health. For more information on hair nutrition, visit our sister article entitled How to improve hair health. 

Disclosure: This article is purely informational and is not intended as a medical resource. For hair or scalp related issues, seek advice from a medical professional.

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