You can slather on all of the masks, conditioning treatments, oils, and serums that you want, but for truly healthy hair, you have to give it the nutrients that it needs from the inside.
Not that those treatments are bad! They can help moisturize and repair damaged strands, but you may need to use them less if your hair is getting the nutrition that it craves.
By the time a strand of hair pokes out of your scalp, it’s already dead. The living, growing part of the hair is underneath the skin where blood vessels carry nutrients to it that help it grow.
Here are some foods that contain components that are vital to strong, healthy hair:
Sorry folks, you’ll never be able to get away from it: spinach is good for you. It’s a nutritional powerhouse that contains vitamin A, niacin, biotin, and folate, all of which are good for your hair.
Of course, if you don’t want to eat lots of spinach, you can also try a hair vitamin supplement containing a formula designed for optimal hair growth and health, like Hair La Vie’s Hair Vitamins.
Vitamin A is important for healthy hair, skin, and sebaceous glands, which produce sebum, the oily substance that keeps hair moisturized.
A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to hair loss, though levels this low are rare in the United States because of a diet that provides enough vitamin A to stay healthy (like eating spinach!)
Some of the B vitamins are particularly beneficial to hair growth. Vitamin B3, also called niacin, is one of them, and spinach is packed with it. Because it improves blood circulation, vitamin B3 supports the growth of healthy hair, among numerous other benefits to your overall health.
Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is probably already on your radar if you’re looking into hair supplements. While more research still needs to be done, there has been some evidence that biotin can help grow stronger nails and regrow hair.
You might know it as vitamin B9 or folic acid, but whatever you call it, folate is important for overall health and energy, like other B vitamins. Folate is essential for your cells to be able to divide, and hair is the second-fastest growing tissue in your body!
Spinach is an inexpensive, easy way to get lots of important vitamins and minerals and can support your overall health. Try it in salads, sautéed, in soups, or throw a handful into your smoothie (you won’t even be able to taste it).
Fortified or Enriched Cereals and Grains
You may be watching your carb intake, but don’t let that make you miss out on the vitamins and minerals that are added to enriched flour products (bagels, bread, pasta) and fortified cold cereals. Those nutrients are added because they’re important!
Folate is joined by pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B12 in support of your quest for healthier hair. They’re important to many functions in your body, like converting food into energy and the growth and development of your cells, which includes the growth of your hair!
For the healthiest options, choose whole-grain, low-sugar varieties so that you also get a dose of fiber and protein.
Nuts, Seeds, Beans, and Peas
Not only are nuts, seeds, and legumes an excellent source of healthy, plant-based protein and good-for-you fats, but they also provide us with folate, thiamin, biotin, pantothenic acid, and niacin, all of which are healthy hair go-tos.
Nuts and seeds, especially flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, contain omega 3 fatty acids, which can help reduce hair loss and improve hair density, as well as providing an essential fatty acid that our body can’t make on its own.
Just like nuts and seeds, salmon is a great source of omega-3s. It also has vitamin A, which is important for a healthy scalp that produces enough sebum. Though most of us associate sebum with oily, greasy hair that needs to be washed, don’t forget that you need a certain amount of sebum in order to keep your hair naturally soft and moisturized. Oil is not necessarily the enemy!
Meat not only has a lot of protein, but it also contains several of the vitamins that have been mentioned in the foods above, like thiamin, biotin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, and vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is a special case, because the best food sources of it are various types of meat. If you’re a vegetarian, you want to make sure that you’re supplementing your diet with vitamin B12, not only for your hair, but for your overall health.
The Choice Is Yours
Eating a variety of foods is key to making sure that you get enough of the nutrients that you need for healthy hair. If you’re looking for the easiest, fastest solution to getting enough of the vitamins found in the foods listed above, you might want to opt for a supplement.
Hair La Vie’s Revitalizing Hair Blend is a great, natural supplement that provides vitamins and ingredients that support healthy, strong hair that you’ll love.