Hair Loss And Growth

10 Foods To Enjoy & Avoid For Healthy Hair

by Raychel Agramon, RN, MPM, November 09, 2020

10 Foods To Enjoy & Avoid For Healthy Hair

Nutrition plays an integral part in hair growth – as well as hair loss. If you want your mane to remain strong, long, and beautiful, then there are foods that you need to eat. Here are some of them:

5 Foods that Promote Hair Growth 

  • Eggs 
  • Eggs are rich in two nutrients that help promote hair growth. One is protein, which maintains normal bodily processes – hair growth being one of them. Without enough protein in your diet, your body will cut off nutrition to hair and other structures that are considered non-essential. Instead, the body will divert it to more important organs. When this happens, you may end up developing dry hair that's brittle and easy to fall.

    Eggs also contain biotin, which is necessary for the production of the protein keratin. It is said that biotin may help thicken hair – and promote further growth along the way. 

  • Spinach
  • Spinach is not only for Popeye, but it's also ideal for individuals who wish to have long, healthy locks. After all, it is rich in Vitamin A, providing as much as 54% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). This vitamin is beneficial for the hair, as it helps regulate the production of sebum, an oily substance that helps nourish hair.

    Spinach is also a good vegan source of iron, a mineral that helps deliver oxygen to various parts of the body. With that being said, it plays a vital role in the growth and repair of the different cells in the body – including that of hair.

  • Fatty Fish
  • Salmon, herring, and mackerel are marine sources rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Coupled with antioxidants, these fatty acids may help improve hair density, as well as minimize hair loss.

    According to a study, fatty fish oils may help jumpstart the hair’s growth phase, which could lead to longer locks in the process. 

    Fatty fish is also rich in cobalamin, which is also known as Vitamin B12. This nutrient helps make red blood cells that deliver oxygen and much-needed nutrients to various parts of the body, including the follicles. Without Vitamin B12, you stand to develop hair loss – even premature greying. 

    Apart from Vitamin B12, fatty fish is also rich in Vitamin B6. Also known as Pyridoxine, it provides the hair with access to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. As mentioned, protein is necessary for good hair. 

    Vitamin B6’s impact is so vital to hair growth that it became the topic of one Polish study. According to the researcher, treatment with Pyridoxine can help improve hair growth – even reduce shedding in women with alopecia. 

  • Berries
  • Berries are superfoods that are very beneficial to the hair. It is rich in many nutrients, the most notable of which is Vitamin C. A cup of strawberries contains a whopping amount of Vitamin C – 141% of the daily RDA, to be exact.

    As an antioxidant, ascorbic acid may help protect the hair from the damaging effects of free radicals.  Vitamin C is also vital for the production of collagen, a protein that keeps the hair strong and resistant to breakage. 

    Apart from Vitamin C, berries are also rich in manganese, a nutrient essential for normal bodily functions. Without enough amounts of this mineral, hair grows slower than usual. To make matters worse, the lack of manganese may also lead to hair discoloration. 

  • Avocadoes
  • Avocado is a great source of Vitamin E. In fact, eating a medium-sized avocado will give you 21% of Vitamin E's daily RDA. 

    Like Vitamin C, Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps neutralize damaging free radicals. Because of this action, Vitamin E has been used to increase the number of hairs, as was done in one study. 

    Avocados are also rich in folate, a nutrient essential for cell growth. Not only will this help you achieve longer hair, but folate may also help improve hair volume – and minimize graying too. 

    5 Foods that May Lead to Hair Loss

    While there are foods that can help your hair grow longer and faster, there are some that do the complete opposite. If you don’t want to lose your strands prematurely, then you need to avoid these 5 foods that may bring about hair loss:

  • Swordfish
  • Swordfish is a big fish that is often hunted for sport. Because of its size, it is often cooked in the form of steaks. 

    While swordfish meat is delicious and nutritious, it can take a toll on hair growth. After all, big fishes such as the swordfish contain higher amounts of mercury. Like free radicals, it can damage the cells, leading to hair loss, among many other distressing symptoms. 

  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol, without a doubt, has many harmful effects on the body. For one, consuming alcohol can lead to a decrease in the absorption of key nutrients, including protein, zinc, iron, and copper. 

    As mentioned, protein and iron are both important for hair growth. The same can be said with zinc, which may help prevent hair brittleness and shedding.

    Copper also plays a role in hair health, as it helps boost collagen and elastin in the scalp. These proteins are necessary to strengthen your strands. 

    Since alcohol affects the absorption of these key nutrients, liquor intake can eventually pave the way for premature hair loss.

  • Sugary Foods
  • Whenever you find yourself clamoring for candies and chocolate, don’t. While they can satisfy your cravings, they may precipitate hair loss.

    Sugary foods easily spike your blood sugar, which can lead to the release of the hormone insulin. Incidentally, this action also leads to the release of androgens. These hormones shrink the hair follicles, which lead to hairs that are shorter and more prone to shedding.  

  • Starchy Foods
  • Starchy foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes, and cereals are good sources of carbohydrates. While they help provide you with the energy you need, eating too much of these can affect your hair.

    Like sugary foods, starchy sources can increase blood sugar levels rather quickly. As mentioned, this leads to the release of androgen, a hormone that can hinder proper hair growth. 

  • Fast Food
  • Fast food is cheap and easily accessible, which explains its popularity amongst the masses. Apart from clogging your arteries, these greasy fares lead to an oily scalp as well. Not only will the oil clog the pores, but it may also restrict blood flow. In the end, this could lead to miniaturization of the hair follicles.