Right around the time my daughter hit the 6-month mark, I freaked in the shower when clumps of hair came into my hands while shampooing. Then I remembered a mom in my postnatal yoga class complaining about gobs of her hair falling out months after giving birth. Losing hair after pregnancy is pretty
crappy common, but if you didn't just have a baby and you're concerned that too many strands are ending up in your hairbrush, eating some of these nutrient-rich foods may help prevent thinning hair.
- Tofu: This soy-based food is a healthy source of iron, with a one-cup serving offering 6.8 mg. If you're concerned about an iron deficiency, which is known to cause hair loss, make sure you're getting 18 mg of iron a day.
- Cottage cheese: Dairy products are great sources of protein, especially since they contain whey and casein. If you're not a fan of the consistency of cottage cheese, snack on yogurt instead.
- Oysters: These shellfish are another source of iron. A three-ounce serving contains 6.6 mg. People might eat oysters to inspire love, but they'll also inspire your hair to grow. Besides the iron, oysters are also high in the antioxidant zinc.
- Flaxseeds: Another great source of iron, flaxseeds also contain omega-3s, which support scalp health and can encourage hair growth. One tablespoon of whole flaxseeds contain 2.3 grams of omega-3s, while one tablespoon of flaxseed oil offers 7.2 grams.
To see what other foods you can add to your diet to encourage a thick, lustrous mane keep reading.
- Eggs: Vitamin B12 maintains a healthy nervous system, but it's also good for your hair. A woman needs 2.4 micrograms a day, and two scrambled eggs offer one microgram.
- Salmon: This fish is a great source of omega-3s and vitamin D, nutrients that have been linked to preventing hair loss in chemotherapy patients. Salmon is also a great source of vitamin B12 and iron.
- Garbanzo beans: Getting your fill of folate is not only necessary when you're pregnant or trying to conceive, but it can also benefit your hair. Eating half a cup of chickpeas offers 80 micrograms. They're also high in protein, which is essential to hair growth.
- Swiss Chard: Head to the farmers market and pick up this colorful leafy green. It's an excellent source of biotin, a water soluble B vitamin. Those with a biotin deficiency often complain of brittle hair, so if swiss chard doesn't float your boat, go for spinach or broccoli.
- Brazil nuts: Selenium is an important mineral when it comes to hair health, and if you don't eat seafood, brazil nuts are a wonderful source.
Aside from a balanced diet including these healthy nutrients, some prescription drugs can cause hair loss, so consult your doctor if you have any concerns. Stress is also a factor, so if you're losing more than you think is normal, destress with some yoga, a massage, a jog, or a hot bath. Your hairstyle can also contribute to losing hair, so limit the tight ponytails, braids, and buns, and let your hair down.