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8 Foods That Strengthen Your Hair

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Aside from cleaning, conditioning, and using products to make your hair silky and shiny, your diet also plays a huge role in your hair's health. Here are some essential vitamins and minerals you'll need for strong tresses.

  • Seek out iron-rich foods: Foods filled with iron such as lentils, potatoes with skin, peanuts, sunflower seeds, tofu, molasses, flaxseed, oysters, beef, chicken, shrimp, and trout are necessary for strong hair.
  • Fish for zinc: Foods rich in zinc, such as walnuts, salmon, cashews, pecans, almonds, and oysters, can help prevent hair loss.
  • Enjoy your beans and biotin: Foods that contain biotin such as beans and eggs can prevent brittle hair.
  • Spread your selenium: Foods containing selenium like nuts and nut butters are necessary for a healthy scalp.
  • Get your vitamin B12 at breakfast: A diet that includes a health amount of vitamin B12 will promote healthy hair. Try to get at least 2.4 micrograms a day by including foods such as chicken, shellfish, yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs.
  • Love your carbs: Enjoying carbs such as whole grains and fruit are necessary every day. Low-carb diets can contribute to thinning hair.
  • Eat your veggies and vitamin A: Turn to foods filled with vitamin A such as cheese, eggs, carrots, spinach, as well as foods rich in vitamin C to produce sebum, your body's natural conditioner.
  • Got milk and calcium? Foods rich with calcium such as milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, sesame seeds, and spinach are needed for hair growth. They also contain protein, which prevents brittle hair.

— Additional reporting by Emily Bibb

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
Qasm2942667 Qasm2942667 5 years
@ i have a big problem with my hair,, im eating every thing but still losing my hair,, please someone help me \u00a0
fordhamgirl fordhamgirl 8 years
i've been getting compliments on my hair ever since i first grew it out of the horrific bowl cut my mother gave me as a child, but i guess i took its natural strength for granted and neglected it to the point of damage =[ but i've been paying extra attention to it lately by eating foods like this, watching how much heat i expose it to, going easy on the chems etc etc. results have been really good!
rysher rysher 8 years
I really wish I could take biotin, but I tried taking it last year and it made me break out all over my forehead! I stopped taking it, and my forehead is clear again. It's such a bummer, because my hair is really thin and brittle. Thanks for the food recommendations though!
acyl acyl 8 years
Wow I've never heard of biotin! Think I'm gonna go get some. I have really thick hair but it grows SO slowly! I also color but it def causes breakage. Good info!
audrina audrina 8 years
I have a mysterious problem with my hair. It has been falling out non-stop since November '07. I was on a very low fad diet a couple of months before and lost 25 - 30 pounds. I have been to a dermatologist and Gastro Dr. who have not been able to pin point why my hair keeps falling out. I have had my vitamins and minerals tested and all is fine. Other blood work has been done and still can't figure out why. Had my thyroid tested and came back fine. Does anyone know what I can do or what it is???? Im going crazy because I hardly have any hair left. HELP!!!!
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Minus the animal foods, I eat these everyday. No wonder my hair is so nice. ;)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I eat most of these foods everyday (religiously). I've been eating this way for the last several years. My hair is thick and healthy. My Mom loves my hair. She told me to "never" cut it. Never cut it? Does she expect me to grow my hair to the floor?? :)
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I eat a lot of ALL of these [except shrimp, I'm allergic]! I can attest to the biotin difference. My hair has always been very fine, and was usually quite brittle. I started taking biotin supplements a few months ago, and my hair is finally not stringy - and it's growing!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
I can attest to the food rich in biotin deal. I use to use shampoos and conditioners that were rich in Biotin - they were nice but a few months before I had gastric bypass surgery I met up with some women who had already had the surgery. They had lost there hair or their hair thinned out a lot post-op. They all told me to immediately start taking Biotin supplements orally. So not wanting to lose my hair or have it break off from malnutrition I started taking 500mcg daily. Instead of losing my hair I gained more volume and length. For the last two almost three years my hair has grown even more luscious, longer and faster than ever before. Apparently, my hair has it's own fan club (from my aunts and sister to my stylist to people at the support groups). Every one wants to know why my hair is so shiny and healthy and say that I cleaned up my diet, drink enough fluids, don't wash it daily or even weekly and oh yeah I take a multivitamin and a biotin supplement. Even my hairless sister is now taking a biotin supplement so that when her hair returns it grows in thicker and stronger than before. You do have to be careful with biotin though because too much biotin can affect kidney function and cause stones.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Good to know. I went through a phase where my hair was really dry and brittle and once I started eating more zinc and taking fish oil pills, it's been really shiny. Has anyone heard anything about taking biotin supplements? I've thought about taking them when I don't get enough biotin in my diet but if they don't do anything I'm not going to waste my money on them.
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