Top Foods for Healthy Hair

Healthy hair shampoo is not enough for healthy hair.

Shampoo and Conditioner Alone Won't Give You Healthy Hair

Hair that is shiny and healthy makes us look and feel great. But shampoo and conditioner alone is not enough to get those terrific tresses. The best shampoo for healthy hair is appropriate for your hair type; is it normal, dry, or oily? Choose a product that matches your hair type. But, the real key to a healthy head of hair lies in the foods you eat. Good nutrition is the foundation for a healthy body, including a great head of hair.

This slideshow contains recommendations for the top 10 foods to give you the luxurious locks you desire.

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and iron.

Healthy Hair Food No. 1: Salmon

Wondering how to get healthy hair? Eating for healthy hair includes getting enough protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is a great source of protein, and full of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for scalp health. Lack of omega-3s can lead to a dry scalp and dull hair. Vegetarians or vegans can get plant-based omega-3 fats from one to two tablespoons of ground flaxseed.

Dark green vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins A and C.

Healthy Hair Food No. 2: Dark Green Vegetables

Vitamins for healthy hair? Yes! Spinach and other dark green vegetables such as kale are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, which are needed to produce an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is secreted by hair follicles and can act as a natural hair conditioner. Healthy hair diets should include dark green vegetables for a variety of reasons.

Beans are a great source of protein, iron, zinc, and biotin.

Healthy Hair Food No. 3: Beans

Legumes such as beans and lentils are great sources of protein, iron, zinc, and biotin. Though rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair. Legumes are healthy food for skin and hair.

A diet for healthy hair should include some nuts.

Healthy Hair Food No. 4: Nuts

Tips for healthy hair include eating more nuts. Zinc deficiencies can lead to hair shedding. Nuts are great sources of zinc. Walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds all provide zinc for healthy hair. Walnuts also contain alpha-linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, which may act as natural hair conditioners. Brazil nuts also contain selenium, a mineral that can help maintain a healthy scalp.

How to keep hair healthy? Eat more protein!

Healthy Hair Food No. 5: Poultry

Wondering how to have healthy hair? Eat more protein! Inadequate protein in the diet can cause weak or brittle hair, and protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color. Get the high quality protein you need from poultry, such as chicken or turkey.

Eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find.

Healthy Hair Food No. 6: Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein, biotin, and vitamin B-12, which are all important nutrients for healthy hair. Eggs may be one of the best foods for healthy hair.

Whole grains are often fortified with vitamins for healthy hair.

Healthy Hair Food No. 7: Whole Grains

Healthy whole grains can help you get healthy hair. Whole-wheat bread and fortified whole grain cereals can provide your hair and body with zinc, iron, and B vitamins. If you're wondering how to keep your hair healthy, eat more whole grains.

How to make healthy hair? Eat more zinc-rich oysters.

Healthy Hair Food No. 8: Oysters

If you wonder how to make your hair healthy, look no further than oysters and zinc. Oysters are known as aphrodisiacs, but they are also great for your hair, due to their zinc content. Zinc is a powerful antioxidant, which can help renew and repair your cells from damage. Not in love with oysters? Zinc can also be found in whole grains, nuts, beef, and lamb. Eat more of these foods for healthy hair growth.

Low-fat dairy products including milk, yogurt and cottage cheese are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth.

Healthy Hair Food No. 9: Low-Fat Dairy Products

Get healthy sexy hair by eating more calcium-rich dairy. Calcium is an important mineral for hair growth, and can be found in low-fat dairy products such as skim milk and yogurt. These products also contain whey and casein, which are sources of protein. Throw some ground flax seeds or walnuts on your yogurt to add omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. Healthy hair growth comes when you eat the right foods.

Eat vitamin A-rich carrots in addition to using healthy hair products.

Healthy Hair Food No. 10: Carrots

How to grow long healthy hair? Reach for foods rich in vitamin A. Carrots are known for keeping vision healthy, but they are also an excellent source of vitamin A, which is needed for a healthy scalp.

Supplements probably will not give you long healthy hair.

Beware of Dietary Supplements

Do healthy hair supplements work? Be wary of dietary supplements that claim they will thicken hair or make It grow faster. If you're wondering how to make healthy hair, remember you can get all the nutrients you need for healthy hair from a balanced diet. Sometimes, supplements can be too much of a good thing. In rare cases, excesses of certain nutrients such as vitamin A have been linked to hair loss.

Fad diets and crash diets may eliminate may necessary foods for healthy skin and hair.

Beware of Diet Fads

Fad diets may leave you with fewer pounds – and less hair. Low calorie diets may be low in nutrients that are essential for healthy hair growth including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin A. Crash dieting can also affect the normal cycle of hair growth causing an increase in hair shedding. If you want to know what to eat for healthy hair, return to a healthy and balanced diet. That usually will reverse the problem.

Eat foods that support the growth of long healthy hair.

Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair

A healthy head of hair comes from a healthy and balanced diet. Eat a wide variety of foods including lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Sources:

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

  1. iStockPhoto
  2. iStockPhoto
  3. iStockPhoto
  4. iStockPhoto
  5. iStockPhoto
  6. BigStockPhoto
  7. iStockPhoto
  8. iStockPhoto
  9. iStockPhoto
  10. iStockPhoto
  11. iStockPhoto
  12. iStockPhoto
  13. BigStockPhoto
  14. iStockPhoto

REFERENCES:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "Nutrition Basics."
  • National Center for Biotechnology Information: "Nutritional Factors and Hair Loss."
  • Nutrients: “The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.”
  • The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Human Skin Condition and Its Associations with Nutrient Concentrations in Serum and Diet.”
  • EatRight.org: “How to Get Your Kids to Eat Dark Leafy Greens.”
  • Dermatology Practical & Conceptual: “Diet and Hair Loss: Effects of Nutrient Deficiency and Supplement Use.”
  • NIH Office of Dietary Supplements: “Omega-3 Fatty Acids.”
  • EatRight.org: “How to Get Your Kids to Eat Dark Leafy Greens.”
  • The Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: “Legumes,” "Nuts."
  • Menopause Review: “Nutrition of Women with Hair Loss Problem During the Period of Menopause.”
  • Indian Journal of Dermatology: “Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know?”
  • GirlsHealth.gov: “Hair Care.”
WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information