6 Food Items For Strong, Healthy Hair

By Richa Arora +2 more

Our hair needs to be fulfilled with a complete and healthy diet to grow and nourish well. So here are some tips to get that lustrous shine.

Nutritional deficiency in the diet affects both hair structure and hair growth, which may lead to hair loss conditions such as acute or chronic telogen effluvium, Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) and alopecia areata. Thus, a healthy and balanced diet with the right nutrients including protein, vitamins, essential fats and minerals is important to strengthen your hair and can improve your hair growth and can help your hair stay shiny.  Following are some foods habits that fight hair loss and support thick, healthy hair: 

Women with healthy hair

1. Eat foods rich in healthy fats

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats and play a vital role in replenishing and strengthening hair. They promote hair growth and keep them shiny. They also provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Fish like salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel are full of omega-3 fatty acids. Some nuts (such as almonds, walnuts), seeds (such as flaxseeds and chia seeds) and oil (such as Flaxseed oil, canola oil, Olive oil) are super rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Additionally, some vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower) are also a rich source of essential fatty acids. One should add these foods to their diet and consume them on a regular basis.

  • Omega-3 rich foods like salmon are great for protecting your body from disease while also bringing more shine to your natural hair, making it one of the best foods for hair growth. Note that your body doesn’t make omega-3 fatty acids on its own hence we can only get this nutrient from our food.

2. Consume an adequate amount of iron

Iron is an important mineral for hair and deficiency of Iron is a major cause of hair loss. People who do not eat enough iron-rich foods may have low ferritin levels, which are very essential for hair growth. If your diet allows it, try to eat beef (especially organ meats like liver) and shellfish. If you are vegetarian, you can also have iron from fortified cereal, grains, soybeans and lentils. Also include dark green leafy vegetables like spinach in your diet, as they are loaded with a good source of iron.

  • Hair loss caused by iron deficiency can cause emotional stress but the good news is that this kind of hair loss is typically temporary. When the underlying deficiency is treated, your hair loss will stop and you will slowly regain your original coverage. In this case, food for hair growth would be any of the iron rich foods mentioned above.

3. Have citrus fruits and berries 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that strengthens hair follicles and prevents breakage. It plays a vital role in iron absorption. So, patients with hair loss associated with iron deficiency should include vitamin C rich food in their diet. Thus, include citrus fruits such as guava, melons, etc. in your diet to get your daily dose of vitamin C. Berries also have antioxidant properties that can help protect hair follicles against damage from harmful molecules. Thus to keep that scalp and hair protected, it is recommended to consume Vitamin C.

4. Eat foods rich in Protein

Protein is the building block of hair and its deficiency produces weak and brittle hair which may lead to hair loss. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you have enough protein in your diet. Eggs are one of the richest natural sources of protein. Chicken, turkey, lean red meat, shrimp, and salmon are also good sources of protein. Soy products, greek yoghurt, legumes (kidney beans and lentils) also provide good dietary protein, which promotes hair growth.

5. Eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals

Vitamins (such as A, B6, B12, folic acid and E) and minerals (such as magnesium, zinc and biotin) play a crucial role in the development of normal hair follicles. Such micronutrients strengthen hair follicles, protect against dry and dull hair, prevent hair breakage, keep hair moisturized, as well as help with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth. Spinach is a good source of vitamin A, beta carotene and folates. Other vegetables such as carrots, potatoes (both white and sweet) are a good source of vitamin A and B6. Red and yellow bell peppers are a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. You can also include Fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals in your diet which contain zinc, iron and vitamin B. Meat, poultry, fish and dairy products are good sources of vitamin B12. Food that provides you zinc includes oysters, whole grain, nuts, beef and lamb.

6. Hydrate yourself well

Water is important for good health and potentially for good hair. It also improves food digestion. Try to drink an ample amount of water during the day.

While there are many products to help with scalp moisturization like creams and conditioners, one of the best ways to support hair health is through internal hydration. Drinking enough water every day can help to avoid common problems like itchy scalp, brittle hair and some kinds of hair loss. Dry, unmoisturized hair tends to cause split-ends and breakage. Apart from the hair benefits of drinking enough water, proper hydration also leads to many other health benefits.


In order to determine the best foods for hair growth and hair health, it is important to know which vitamins and nutrients are important for the hair growth process. Ensuring a healthy and varied diet, which includes sources of antioxidants, iron, vitamins and minerals, can make hair strong, shiny and promote growth. Ensure you make the right dietary changes for your healthy hair.

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The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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