Many of us spend a fortune on expensive hair products for healthier tresses. However, the truth is, beautiful hair starts with our diets. Healthy hair is nourished hair – and that means supplying our bodies with the nutrients they need. For shiny, strong and slinky locks, check out these top hair foods to add to your shopping list.
Healthy hair food 1: Whole grains
Many whole grains – including brown rice and oats – are rich in b vitamins, including biotin (B7), which can help alleviate alopecia and brittle hair. Healthy whole grains such as raw oats are also a good source of silica, which can help reduce hair breakage, and zinc; an important hair mineral which, in its deficiency, can lead to hair loss. For healthy, strong hair, try to eat a variety of whole grains – opting for grains that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Healthy hair food 2: Nuts
Nuts are high in protein and zinc, and are great for promoting strong and slinky hair. Good nuts to add to your diet include walnuts, which are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and biotin, and Brazil nuts, which are high in selenium. Selenium is not only good for promoting a healthy skin and scalp, but the mineral can also help prevent hair loss. Nuts are best eaten sparingly due to their high calorie content, however regularly snacking on a variety of nuts can have great health benefits.
Healthy hair food 3: Seeds
As with nuts all seeds are good for our health, yet different seed varieties also have their own individual properties for healthy hair. Sunflower seeds are a great source of biotin, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, and flax seeds are a great vegetarian source of omega-3 oils, which can help promote a healthy, nourished scalp and head of hair. Quinoa – which is generally used as a grain – is also a great seed for hair due to the high quality protein it contains.
Healthy hair food 4: Oily fish
If you’re longing for strong, shiny hair, try adding oily fish – such as salmon, trout and sardines to your regular diet. Oily fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for healthy skin and keeping your scalp in good condition. Not only that, oily fish is also loaded with protein, which is essential for hair growth and strength, and iron, which can alleviate hair loss. To boost your body’s absorption of iron, try eating your oily fish sprinkled with vitamin C-rich lemon juice.
Healthy hair food 5: Oysters and shellfish
While oysters may not make a regular appearance on most of our dinner tables, they are actually a great source of many essential hair nutrients. Oysters are not only the richest natural source of zinc, but they are also an excellent source of selenium, iron and protein. Shellfish are also high in these minerals, as well as being a good source of vitamin B12, a rare nutrient which is important for healthy hair growth.
Healthy hair food 6: Yogurt
Yoghurt is rich in calcium – an essential mineral for healthy hair growth – and is also a great source of protein. One of the best things about yogurt, however, is that it can double up as a hair mask as well as a health food. For those suffering from an itchy scalp or dandruff, try applying some yoghurt straight to your scalp and hair and massaging in. Leave on for 10 minutes for a soothing hair and scalp treatment.
Healthy hair food 7: Avocado
Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, fatty acids and vitamin E, all of which can help promote nourished, supple and strong hair. The healthy fruit is also surprisingly high in protein and rich in B vitamins. To keep hair smooth and shiny, make avocados a part of your hair care routine as well as your regular diet by mashing one up and applying directly to your hair as a moisturising, nourishing treatment.
Healthy hair food 8: Eggs
For those suffering from lacklustre locks or hair loss, eggs may provide the perfect solution. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for hair growth, as well as being rich in biotin. Eggs are also a good source of vitamin B12; a lack of which can lead to pernicious anaemia and hair loss. As with the above foods, eggs are also good as an external treatment for hair. For a protein-rich treatment, apply a beaten egg to hair, leave for 10 minutes, then rinse off with cool water.