At VEGAMOUR, we believe in a holistic approach to hair wellness. It's not just about the products you use or how you style your hair (though those things are important) — healthy hair is also rooted in getting enough sleep and eating the right foods. Hair wellness starts from the inside out.
Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals not only supports a healthier you but also supports healthy hair growth. So what should you eat if you want to grow your hair? First, reduce ingredients that can set off a chain reaction and lead to hair loss, such as excess sugar. Too much sugar can hinder protein absorption. In turn, low protein can lead to hair thinning, cause hair loss and also interfere with the growth of long hair. Next, enrich your diet with foods that are chock-full of the vitamins and minerals needed for hair growth.
For the ultimate in hair health, here are 16 key foods to add to your diet:
Vegan Food for Hair Growth
Eating a vegan diet, even if it's just for a month, is an easy (and delicious) way to get all the nutrients necessary to encourage hair growth. Supplement your balanced diet (and your favorite hair products) with extra servings of these tasty vegan foods to help promote healthy hair growth.
Tiny and tasty, tangerines are the perfect afternoon snack. They're also a rich source of vitamin C and can help eliminate iron deficiency, which has been linked to hair loss. Vitamin C makes it easier for your body to absorb iron, which is essential for the health of your hair, skin and nails, and also promotes healthy hair growth.
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There's a reason our GRO Biotin Gummies are strawberry-flavored — they feature many of the same vitamins as this ultimate fruit to promote hair growth. Jam-packed with antioxidants that protect your hair from harsh free radicals, strawberries also include a hefty-dose of keratin-producing vitamin C.
Packed with healthy key nutrients, including iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, oatmeal contains silicon, which promotes hair growth. Try some oat milk in your coffee, or add a scoop of chia seeds to your overnight oats for an extra hair growth boost.
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Avocados are loaded with healthy fats, including omega-3s. They're also rich in biotin, which makes them one of the best foods to eat for hair growth. Additionally, the nutrients in avocados include potassium and magnesium, both essential components of a healthy diet that can prevent hair breakage and result in stronger, longer hair. Thanks, avocado toast.
As one of the most nutrient-rich foods, broccoli is high in healthy vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin B-9, iron and zinc. It also provides small amounts of biotin, a powerful preventative against hair loss. Try it stir-fried with a splash of tamari to add a dose of bonus soy protein.
Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A and beta-carotene, which promotes the health of your scalp and hair. In particular, beta-carotene stimulates your scalp to produce sebum at the base of your hair follicles, which helps hair grow shiny and soft. These tasty tubers are also one of the most potent vegetable sources of biotin — which is linked to reduced hair loss — and carotenoid antioxidants, which can help fight off free radicals. Don't like sweet potatoes? That's OK — carrots contain many of the same benefits.
Spinach and Other Leafy Greens
We all know the health benefits of including greens like spinach in your diet, but did you know they stimulate hair growth? Among other essential nutrients, spinach is high in iron, zinc and magnesium and can help promote the production of sebum for a healthier scalp and hair follicles.
Spinach is the hair-growth superstar of the leafy green world. However, other members of the family such as kale, dandelion and chard pack a similar nutritional punch.
Great in savory dishes, in a salad or added to a homemade juice for hair growth.
The star ingredient in a PB&J can provide a potent source of nutrients that promote hair growth. Peanut butter contains vitamin E, which has been shown to be a powerful weapon against hair loss. Two tablespoons (about a sandwich's worth of peanut butter) provides 10% of your daily vitamin E requirement. Talk about your perfect after-school snack.
Many seeds are nutritional superstars when it comes to helping your hair grow, including flax, chia and sesame seeds. Sprinkle your favorite seeds over the top of any grain bowl or salad to add hair growth power. Aside from making a delicious pudding or smoothie addition, chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, as well as calcium and phosphorous. Adding a scoop of chia seeds to a glass of water is an easy way to promote natural hair growth and hydration.
Delicious in a stir-fry, the humble shiitake is packed with zinc, which promotes healthier skin, and selenium, a potent antioxidant that helps the body combat free radicles. Because most of the foods containing selenium are sourced from animal protein, shiitakes are a great way for those of us who avoid meat to consume these essential nutrients.
A healthy source of protein and fiber, barley is particularly rich in vitamin E, which can help reduce hair loss. It's also a terrific source of iron and zinc. Both vitamins can help reduce hair loss and promote healthier skin. For serious hair growth bonus points, try adding sliced shiitakes and carrots to your next pot of mushroom barley soup.
Lentils are brimming with folic acid, which is linked to healthful hair development. They also contain high amounts of protein and iron, a vitamin that can be lacking in a healthy vegetarian diet. Try whipping up a batch of red lentil hummus or adding high fiber green lentils to your salad at lunch.
Other Non-Vegan Foods for Hair Growth
If you choose to incorporate animal products into your daily diet, here are a few foods that provide the vitamins and minerals that can aid with healthy hair growth:
Eggs, particularly the yolks, are a great source of B vitamins. Eggs are also a complete source of protein. One cooked egg provides a little over one-third of your daily biotin requirement — a vitamin key to promoting healthy hair and avoiding hair loss. Scramble up a couple of eggs with some leafy greens for a hair-friendly and delicious breakfast.
Related: Can the Keto Diet Cause Hair Loss?
Salmon and Other Fish
A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the best fish to eat to promote hair growth. Salmon eggs and fish both contain high amounts of biotin and protein, which help your hair grow strong and shiny. And in case you were wondering, yes, that smoked lox on your bagel totally counts.
Red meat is particularly high in protein. Plus it's a good source of vitamin B-12, which helps metabolize fatty and amino acids. Foods high in vitamin B-12 help support cell regeneration, whereas protein helps your body grow stronger hair. Adding a weekly steak to your meal rotation can boost nutritional support for your hair.
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Greek yogurt is one of the best foods for hair growth. Aside from providing a vegetarian source of protein, it's packed with healthy B vitamins, including vitamin B-5, which helps maintain healthy hair and skin, including the scalp. It also includes vitamin D, which is linked to the production of new hair follicles. Try adding a scoop on top of your oatmeal for an extra hair-health boost.
You Are What You Eat
The health of your hair is a reflection of how you care for yourself — be it grooming, hair cuts and your diet. If you want to grow your hair, take a look at what you're eating (or not eating) and see if you can make some adjustments like adding a daily biotin supplement to your routine, especially if you know you're not eating exactly as you should be. Your hair — and body — will thank you.
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