Many people want thick tresses or long, lustrous locks, but unfortunately, genetics and lifestyle choices often derail these goals. Moisturizing shampoos and strand-smoothing styling products may help improve hair’s appearance, but surface treatments can only do so much.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get the hair we want no matter how often we deep condition or schedule regular trims. Genetics can leave hair frizzy or brittle, thin or fine, but, remarkably, so can lifestyle choices. Luckily, lifestyle is something we can control — and doing so may help us get the hair we want. Incorporating foods like nuts and seeds, berries, spinach, fish and meat can help improve the health of hair. Read on to learn more about how and why these 6 foods can help promote healthier, shinier and fuller hair.
The satisfying crunch of nuts and seeds makes them a popular snack, but did you know these foods can help transform your tresses? They’re packed with hair growth-promoting vitamin E, zinc and essential fatty acids. Enjoy these savory snacks straight from the package, or add them to yogurt, brownies or your favorite recipes. For a mix of nutrients, be sure to incorporate a variety of nuts and seeds into your diet.
Berries are often praised for their immunity-boosting vitamin C, but this nutrient also helps protect hair from dietary damage and environmental pathogens. Vitamin C works behind the scenes to enhance collagen production and stabilize iron levels, two factors that play a role in hair health. Snack on fresh or frozen berries, including strawberries and blueberries to stand the best chance of getting those long locks.
Spinach gives Popeye his signature muscles, but it also promotes scalp health thanks to sebum-boosting vitamin A. This helps keep your scalp moisturized, which may reduce itch-inducing flakes that trigger hair loss. Spinach also contains plenty of vitamin C and iron, two other nutrients that support healthy hair. To up your spinach intake, drizzle dressing over spinach leaves for a nutrient-rich salad, or add spinach to sandwiches or pasta recipes.
Fats often get a bad rap, but hair needs them to thrive. We aren’t talking about fats from hydrogenated oils or fried foods, though. Hair needs healthy fats like the ones found in fish, including salmon, shrimp and herring. The omega-3 fatty acids in these fish have been linked to hair growth in women with thinning hair. They also make hair look healthier and shinier.
The protein in fish and red meat may also help strengthen hair, which may result in less breakage and hair loss. Though it's important to keep in mind that veggies have plenty of protein, too, so these aren't the only sources. If you’re a vegetarian, add some protein-packed beans or tofu to your diet or get healthy fats from avocados.
Before buying another miracle product, try changing your diet first. You may just find that incorporating the right foods helps improve your hair’s texture and resilience and that you get healthier from eating good foods in the process.