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Choosing Between the Best and Worst Foods For Healthy Hair

Choosing Between the Best and Worst Foods For Healthy Hair
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 8 min read

If you have been battling baldness and are trying desperately to hold on strong, full-head of hair, in addition to seeking medical help for your hair loss, you can also alter your diet. Each hair follicle is a miniature body organ, so it only makes sense the nutrients your body receives has an impact on how well each organ is able to do its job. When it comes to growing and keeping healthy hair, the things you are eating can play a huge role in your success. Here are some of the worst and best foods for helping grow healthy hair.

The Best Foods

1. Almond Butter. A single tablespoon of almond butter can give your body almost four milligrams of Vitamin E, which is fabulous knowing the recommended daily intake is just 15 milligrams. Vitamin E is good for keeping hair lustrous and thick, but it can also increase your hair growth. If you aren’t of a fan of almond butter, you can opt for munching on plain almonds to increase your dose of Vitamin E.

2. Tangerines. Vitamin C, which tangerines are loaded with, makes it easier for your body to absorb iron. Studies have linked iron deficiencies to those who experience problems with hair loss, so including more red meats or leafy green vegetables in diet will only be effective if you increase your Vitamin C as well.

3. Salmon. This flavorful fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids that you could include in your diet. The omega-3s are known for being anti-inflammatory, which could prove beneficial is your hair is shedding due to an inflammation of the scalp or internal area. Omega-3s, which can also be found in chia seeds, walnuts, or flax seeds, also helps to keep hair shiny and full. Salmon is full of Vitamin D, which helps keep hair follicles stimulated, preventing them from becoming dormant. Dormant hair follicles are the cause of thinning and bald spots.

4. Spinach. This leafy green vegetable contains high levels of iron and magnesium, as well as other nutrients crucial for hair growth. Spinach can help the sebum production of your hair, which helps to keep your hair and scalp moisturized.

5. Eggs. Taken sunny side up or scrambled, eggs are full of biotin, a compound known for helping strengthen hair and nails. Eggs are also a source of Vitamin D, so you can keep your shine. The sunshine vitamin can also help spur the development of new hair follicles. These benefits could help keep your hair’s thickness even as you age.

6. Lentils. Lentils are a type of bean full of folic acid. This is the compound that helps produce healthy red blood cells, and it is the red blood cells that carry oxygen to the different parts of the body. Your hair follicles need oxygen, just like the other body organs, if they are going to operate at full efficiency.

7. Oysters. This seafood dish isn’t just for those who love to live on the edge a little. Oysters are rich with zinc, a mineral known to help reduce hair loss when nutritional deficiencies were an underlying cause of the crisis.

The Worst Foods

1. Swordfish. Some studies are showing that bodies with high levels of mercury are more susceptible to issues of thinning and baldness. A general rule of thumb is that the larger the is, the higher the levels of mercury it will contain. A safe bet would be to stay away from fish like swordfish, some tuna, and mackerel.

2. Sugar. Many people realize the damaging effects of sugar addiction on their nervous system, their skin, and even their weight, but sugar can affect a healthy head of hair as well. Sugar makes it difficult for your body to absorb iron, and hair desperately needs iron to develop strong, healthy strands. Start reading labels to see just how much sugar you are consuming, and remember that sugar goes by a lot of different names on a food label.

3. Starchy White Foods. This is along the same lines of why you should avoid sugar. Anything like cakes, breads, pastries, spaghetti, biscuits, or crackers is converted into sugar within the body. Too much sugar keeps the real nutrition from reaching your hair, which can leave it thin and vulnerable. Whole wheat selections are better for you.

4. Alcohol. If you can’t live without a little nightcap here or there or relaxing glass of wine, do so in moderation. Alcohol can dehydrate you, which turns your hair more brittle. It also slows the levels of zinc in your body. As mentioned, zinc is a vital part of healthy hair growth.


If you really want to combat your hair loss with everything you got, try changing out your diet. Replace the worst foods with some of the best foods and see what a difference it can make.


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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.