We all have that friend—the one with gorgeous hair that never seems to fall out of place. Hair envy is on the rise among friend groups everywhere—and for good reason! Few things set the tone for an awesome day or night like a good hair day. So what can you do to get that dream hair you covet every time you get together with your friends? Start with your diet!
Yes, ladies and gents, your diet affects hair growth more than you’d know. Why? Because proper nutrition is key to achieving optimal performance in every bodily function. More specifically, your hair requires certain nutrients to avoid breakage and grow strong and long. Fortunately, researchers have done the leg work to track down these nutrients and the common foods they can be found within. Check out the list below to align your nutritional habits with your goal of catching up with that friend’s level of hair awesomeness.
This powered-packed plant offers up vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, and omega fatty acids. Your hair LOVES these nutrients. That being said, you may not love raw spinach. If this is the case, no worries! You can use spinach in a variety of incredible dishes to make it a bit more appealing to your pallet. Check out Food Network’s guide to spinach dishes for recipes and advice.
Breakfast lovers rejoice! Oats are one of the best foods you can add to your diet to support hair growth. Why? They have almost every nutrient necessary to spark growth and maintain strength. Some of these include zinc, copper, B vitamins, and protein. The best news here is that oats are tasty, fast, and easy to prepare. Simply adding a little Stevia and cinnamon can make your morning with a sweet yet healthy treat. You can also add oats to smoothies and peanut butter spreads.
High levels of omega three fatty acids put salmon on the super food list when it comes to achieving a mane to be envied by all. This is because omegas support both scalp and hair shaft health to promote growth and decrease breakage. The hydrating capabilities of the omega fatty acids found in salmon also keep frizz to a minimum. Health.com lists 20 grilled and baked salmon recipes for first-time chefs and culinary enthusiasts alike.
Nutrients found in eggs can boost hair health in two ways – consumption and application. Whether you choose to eat or apply eggs on your mission to achieving the perfect hair, you’re spot on. Protein is the biggest reason for including eggs in your hair health regime as this nutrient provides the strength your hair needs to continue growing without breaking. Egg and olive oil hair masks are great for those of you who prefer to go the application route. All Women’s Talk provides an awesome recipe with detailed instructions.
5. Green Peas
Beta-carotene, vitamin C, and protein make peas a great food for your haircare plan. Like spinach, peas may or may not be your favorite side dish. Check out recipes for tastier peas options on AllRecipes.com.
A common hair loss theory is that those who seem to struggle the most are deficient in iron and protein. Red meat is perfect for providing these and other hair-happy nutrients. It’s been noted that beef keeps blood supply flowing to the scalp, combating hair loss and promoting growth.
7. Wheat Germ
As a great source of fiber, copper, and zinc, wheat germ arrives on our list of hair health super foods. If you’re like most of us, you’re probably wondering what wheat germ is and how you’re supposed to prepare it. That’s why I’ve found an awesome list of recipes and info to help you get started!
High amounts of vitamin A make carrots a fabulous friend for your hair. This vitamin produces a healthy, oily chemical on the scalp called sebum that keeps your scalp hydrated and protects it from the elements. For maximum effect, carrots should be consumed at least once a week. You can eat them raw as a snack with celery and a dipping sauce, or cook them up as a side dish to accompany proteins and grains at dinner.
9. Sunflower Seeds
This is one of the best foods to add to your diet for hair health. Nutrients like magnesium, protein, zinc, vitamin E, selenium, iron, potassium, copper, biotin, B vitamins, and calcium are the reason why. The best news here is that sunflower seeds serve as a tasty and healthy snack for any occasion. Whether you’re at the office, on the go, or checking out a local sporting event, sunflower seeds are a quick and easy snack to bring along.
A wide variety of nuts contain essential oils and vital nutrients that help keep your skin, hair, brain, and heart in good shape. Some of these include almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews. Like sunflower seeds, these are great snacks. You can also add them to dinner dishes, oatmeal, and salads to support overall health on a regular basis.
11. Sweet Potatoes
The beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes aids in the healthy growth of cells. Antioxidants and vitamin A also contribute to the hair health benefits of including sweet potatoes in your diet. This is because they combat the occurrence of hair shaft brittleness and even provide the added bonus of encouraging glowing, youthful skin. Sweet potatoes can be prepared in countless ways. Check out this list for ideas!
Keratin is a type of protein that is responsible for giving your hair its structure. This particular protein can be found in beans and lentils and promotes steady growth by strengthening the overall structure of hair strands. Implementing beans as a side in dinner dishes or adding them to your favorite stews and soups are both great ways to make sure you’re keeping up on your keratin consumption.
Avocado offers unique moisturizing benefits for hair strands and the scalp. Like eggs, you can both ingest and apply avocado for haircare benefits. Vitamin E, vitamin C, and B6 are ingested when you eat this super food. Application helps to keep your hair and scalp moist to promote growth. Avocados make a tasty addition to any dish. You can add them on top of protein dishes, or mix them into pastas for a delicious, creamy texture. Additional ideas include, sandwiches, salads, and more!
14. Aloe Vera Juice
By supporting scalp health, aloe vera juice helps you bring a little thickness back to thinning hair. This is because it helps keep the scalp ultra hydrated, which also minimizes dandruff.
The hair health benefits of kale are similar to those of spinach. If you’re looking to switch up your leafy green intake, kale is you answer. Calcium and vitamin C and K levels contribute to the growth of stronger hair. High water content also keeps your hair hydrated which helps to prevent breakage. Not sure where and how you can implement kale in your diet? Check out ideas for tasty and healthy kale recipes on Health.com.