The 5 best foods for hair growth for naturally nourished hair

Feb 27, 2024

The 5 best foods for hair growth for naturally nourished hair

Nourishing from within: Top 5 foods for optimal hair growth


Have you ever considered that what's in your morning smoothie bowl could be the secret ingredient to gorgeous hair? When it comes to hair care, we often focus a bit too much on the latest shampoos, conditioners, and treatments. 

Optimal hair care certainly includes having the right hair products, but for those products to have the best chance of doing their job, it’s wise to nourish your hair from the inside out. That's right—the key to a healthier mane lies not only in your bathroom cabinet but also in your kitchen. 

Just like the rest of your body, your hair craves particular nutrients to grow strong and healthy. Certain foods pack a nutritional punch that can powerfully influence hair growth, strength, and shine. 

Below, we’ll explore the best foods for hair growth, spotlighting natural, nutrient-rich choices that can transform your hair health. After all, vibrant, luscious locks start with what you eat.

The overall benefits of a healthy diet on hair


When it comes to hair health, the plot is more complex than just genetics or the products you use. Your hair story is full of twists and turns, with stress, hormones, medical conditions, and, notably, nutrition all playing significant roles

That’s right––what you toss in your daily salad affects your overall health and can make the difference between your hair being a forgettable sidekick or possessing major Main Character Energy. 

According to a comprehensive study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, your hair's well-being is significantly influenced by what you consume. The study categorizes specific nutrients into groups based on their purpose—some address specific deficiencies or insufficiencies, others combat inflammation or oxidative stress, and some improve gut health, which is crucial in reducing inflammatory molecules that can affect hair health. Then, there are nutrients that minimize hormonal impacts on hair loss or tackle inflammation directly.

Helpful nutritional heroes range from essential vitamins such as A, C, and B to minerals including zinc and selenium, as well as compounds such as collagen and certain nourishing oils. Each component plays a unique role—some improve stress tolerance, while others focus on reducing inflammation. Antioxidants like vitamin E protect hair health at a cellular level, and some natural compounds help mitigate hormonal influences that can lead to hair loss.

While it’s still vital to pick and choose your hair care products carefully and ensure you stick to a routine that includes deep conditioning, heat protection, and cleansing, setting up your diet is a holistic approach to hair care that supports the hair growth process from root to tip. Including a wide range of fruits, veggies, protein, and healthy fats in whole foods can significantly influence the health and vitality of our hair.

5 food stars for faster, thicker hair growth


While dozens of foods contribute to next-level locks, focusing on a few shining stars to start adding to your cart today can make a hair-growth-centered diet more manageable. By adding the following 5 best foods for hair growth, you can power up your daily meals and snacks to enhance your hair's natural strength and beauty from within. 

Each of the following foods is carefully chosen based on their nutritional résumés. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids in these foods are primed and ready to help each hair follicle grow faster, thicker, shinier, and healthier.

Let's unveil these culinary heroes and explore how they can bring out the best in your tresses. These aren't just any foods—they're the crème de la crème of nutrition, packed with the power to fuel your hair's growth and vitality.

Salmon—the omega-3 superstar

Salmon isn't just a treat for your taste buds—it's a powerhouse for hair health, thanks to its rich content of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats, which the body cannot produce on its own, are crucial for maintaining scalp health. A deficiency in omega-3s can lead to a dry scalp and lifeless hair, as highlighted by the Trichological Society. Including salmon, rich in omega-3s, as part of a balanced diet incorporating a variety of these nutrients, can be a holistic approach to boosting the health and vitality of your hair.

Add grilled salmon to a pasta dish, flake it over a salad, fold it into an omelet, or boost your morning avocado toast with smoked salmon and a poached egg. Don’t forget to add some vibrant herbs and a twist of lemon. 

Spinach—the iron-packed powerhouse

Making sure you eat your greens goes beyond general health benefits (thanks, mom!). Dark green vegetables, especially spinach, are the true protagonists in this story. Spinach doesn't just add a pop of color to your plate—it's a powerhouse of nutrients essential for healthy hair. According to The Trichological Society, spinach is loaded with vitamins A and C, which are crucial for sebum production, the natural conditioner secreted by hair follicles. 

More sebum for your hair means more support and shine from the root to the tip, acting like a natural moisturizer to prevent breakage, frizz, and flyaways. What’s more, it helps shelter your locks from harmful UV rays, creating a barrier that seals in moisture. In fact, the structure of your hair depends on a healthy dose of sebum to remain strong and grow to new lengths.

But that's not all. Spinach also brings iron to the table, a mineral pivotal for hair health. Iron is crucial in carrying oxygen to hair follicles, supporting hair growth and repair. It is essential to have an adequate supply of oxygen for cell growth and repair, especially for the cells that make up hair follicles. This oxygen supply ensures that the hair follicles can function and grow properly. 

Besides oxygen, blood flow to the scalp chauffers vital nutrients to the hair follicles, supporting their health and promoting hair growth. Poor levels of iron can reduce the supply of oxygen to the hair follicles, leading to hair loss or slowing hair growth.

So, sneaking a handful of spinach into your green smoothie does more than just please your mom—it's a strategic move for giving your hair the care it deserves from the inside out. With every sip, you're feeding your hair the nutrients it needs to maintain strength, shine, and resilience.​

Toss some baby spinach into salads, smoothies, soups, or sandwiches, or sautee a bunch with some garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar for a tasty side to your dinner.

Eggs—biotin and protein duo

Eggs, often hailed as a breakfast staple, are a powerhouse of nutrition for your hair, with biotin and protein taking center stage. Each egg is a compact package of protein, biotin, and vitamin B-12—crucial elements for hair beauty and health, as highlighted by The Trichological Society. 

Biotin is essential for producing a crucial hair protein called keratin (included in the Lauren Ashtyn Repair Mask), while protein is the building block of your locks. Protein, the building block of hair, gives your strands their structure and strength. Biotin, part of the vitamin B complex, is essential in hair growth and overall scalp health. It aids in producing keratin, a protein that forms the basis of hair. 

Meanwhile, vitamin B-12 helps form red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles, which are vital for hair growth. In short, eggs aren't just a versatile culinary ingredient—they're your hair’s bestie, boosting strength, shine, and vitality.

Eggs are easy to incorporate into your daily meals. Meal prep a half-dozen boiled eggs to top avocado toast, turn into creamy egg salad, or slice on top of salads. Poach them for breakfast (who doesn’t love a luscious eggs benny!), or scramble them up with spinach for a hair-loving breakfast.

Berries—vitamin C gems

Bursting with flavor and vitamin C, berries are like tiny, tangy guardians for your hair. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects hair follicles from damage and also plays a crucial role in collagen production and iron absorption, elevating berries to superstar status in your hair growth diet.

Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries pack a punch with their vitamin C content, making them crucial for your mane's well-being. As The Trichological Society points out, the antioxidants in these vibrant fruits play a vital role in protecting hair follicles from damage. They are like little warriors guarding against environmental stressors that can weaken hair. 

Vitamin C is also essential in producing collagen, a protein that strengthens hair and gives it structure. Including a mix of berries in your daily smoothie is more than a sensory delight—it's a strategic move for robust, resilient hair. These tiny fruits, bursting with nutrients, work tirelessly behind the scenes to maintain your hair's health and vitality, helping it stay strong, shiny, and full of life.

Add berries to salads, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. Heat your favs on the stovetop with some omega-rich chia seeds and let cool for a healthy, nutrient-packed homemade jam your hair will love.

Sweet potatoes—a beta-carotene haven

Glowing with a warm orange hue, sweet potatoes are a treasure trove of beta-carotene. Your body converts this nutrient into vitamin A, a key player in maintaining a healthy scalp and kickstarting hair growth. It's nature's way of blending health with taste in a delicious package.

Vitamin A not only aids in maintaining normal growth but also acts as a guardian for your overall health, including your hair. Beta-carotene's role in hair care is like a nourishing elixir, promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails. Regularly including sweet potatoes in your diet could be your secret weapon for achieving that glamorous, healthy mane. They're not just satisfying your hunger but fueling your hair's journey to stardom with every scrumptious bite.

Mashed, steamed, or baked, sweet potatoes are delicious in sweet and savory dishes. Top them with berries, yogurt, and a splash of maple syrup for breakfast, or bake and slice to fill with your favorite taco fixings such as beans, grilled chicken, and avocado.

Your best hair days are ahead

By weaving these nutrient-rich foods into your daily meals, you'll build a foundation for nourished, healthy hair that sets you up to get the most out of your hair care products. 

Each bite gives your hair the building blocks it needs to create the strength, shine, and growth it needs to take you into your dream hair era. Start planning your next nutrient-packed grocery shop now—your hair will thank you.