Trying to grow your hair requires patience — but with the right consistent habits, it can be a rewarding process. What so many of us forget to consider is that growth isn’t just about mixing the right concoction of hair products. Since hair is literally an extension of our bodies, it’s important to regularly eat the right foods for hair growth. (And also: remember to take your Nutrafol!) Combined with a healthy lifestyle, you can actually eat and drink your way to more lustrous hair.
Of course, there isn’t a magic diet or shake you can enjoy that will transform you into Rapunzel in two weeks. However, you can sprinkle different foods into your diet that will contribute to healthier hair that grows much more consistently. Ahead, you’ll find 11 foods to eat for healthier hair.
Salmon is rich in fatty acids (omega-3s) which help to promote the anagen, the growth phase of the hair cycle. Omega-3s also help to give hair a healthy, natural shine. Since the key to consistent hair growth is to retain length by fighting breakage and by nourishing your scalp so that hair can grow out of it, switching out a couple meals for salmon is a smart move. Opt for wild-caught salmon, which is higher in omega-3s and lower in toxins, pesticides, and antibiotics.
Recipe/Snack Ideas: Baked salmon, honey dijon salmon, teriyaki glazed salmon
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is packed with protein to strengthen hair, but it also has vitamin D. A deficiency in vitamin D is associated with weakness of the hair and hair thinning. Additionally, vitamin D reduces stress-related hair damage and supports a healthy growth cycleGreek yogurt also contains vitamin B5, which helps replete nutrients decreased by stress.
Recipe/Snack Ideas: Yogurt bowl, greek yogurt chicken with parmesan cheese
Lentils are a vegan and vegetarian favorite as they’re very much like beans and have plant-based protein. They also provide folic acid, which supports energy production for healthy hair metabolism. Other foods that are rich in folic acid are beans and grain products.
Recipe/Snack Ideas: Lentil soup, spinach salad with lentils
Eggs are probably one of the most common foods on the list so you likely already have them in your refrigerator. Eggs have loads of protein, a key building block of healthy hair. Simply incorporating eggs into your everyday menu is an easy way to support a hair growth routine that includes visits with a dermatologist and using a natural hair growth supplement like Nutrafol.
Recipe/Snack Ideas: Egg salad, boiled egg, eggs Benedict
Oh, yes! Avocados have become so popular over the years, so I’m sure you just cracked a smile upon finding out that you’re contributing to your hair health every time you eat one. Avocados have natural vitamin E, which is clinically shown to promote healthy hair growth by supporting healthy antioxidant balance. Protecting hair from damaging oxidants is key to maintaining a healthy hair growth cycle.
Recipe/Snack Ideas: Avocado toast, guacamole
6. Brussels Sprouts or Broccoli
Mom was right all along: eat your green veggies! Dark green vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts are healthy for you and will even assist in making your mane grow faster. These green vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane. This sulfur containing complex helps to support healthy liver function. When the liver functions well, it is able to remove heavy metals like mercury from the body and recycle/create sex/thyroid hormones essential for a healthy hair growth cycle.
Recipe/Snack Ideas: Steamed Brussels sproutsraw broccoli dipped in hummus
7. Citrus Fruits
All fruits are nutritious, but citrus fruits treat your body to vitamin C, a potent antioxidant and necessary cofactor to create collagen. This antioxidant helps to fight hair follicle damaging free radicals, while collagen synthesis is key for creating the protein structure that makes up the hair shaft. (Fun fact: Yellow bell peppers are also a great source for vitamin C. They have even more vitamin C than oranges.)
Recipe/Snack Ideas: Citrus fruit smoothie, fruit salad, vegetable stir fry with lemon
8. Lean Poultry
Lean poultry provides a ton of protein, but you knew that already, right? Incorporate more into your weekly diet along with the other protein recommendations on this list to achieve maximum hair growth over time.
Recipe/Snack Ideas: One-pan baked chicken and potatoes, roasted chicken
Cinnamon stimulates the scalp and promotes hair growth. Drop a little into your protein shakes. You could also simply rub a little cinnamon oil directly onto your scalp.
Recipe/Snack Ideas: Cinnamon apples, apple-cinnamon oatmeal, cinnamon protein balls
By Marquaysa Battle
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Melissa Anzelone, ND