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15 Foods That Keep Your Hair Strong, Healthy, & Luscious

 It can happen to anyone – you wake up in the morning to find that your pillow is covered in hair. It falls into your food while you’re making it, it clogs your drain, your comb looks like a plush toy, and scratching your head makes it even worse. The reality is that at some point in our lives, we're likely to start experiencing some degree of hair loss, and this can be for reasons ranging from malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, to genetic factors. 
 

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that it's your diet that has the biggest impact on your hair’s strength. Here are 15 foods that will help strengthen your hair and combat hair loss from the root up. If you’re already experiencing hair loss, add these foods to your diet immediately.

 
foods, hair, health
In many cases, especially when it comes to women, a vitamin deficiency of some kind is usually to blame for hair loss, and that's why it's important to ensure that you have a nutritious diet. A blood test can let you know if you’re suffering from low levels of iron, proteins, vitamin D, or others.
The aforementioned deficiencies are particularly well-known hair loss causes, but preventing them from arising is as easy as eating spinach. The vegetable is an excellent source of iron, and is also packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. All of these are fantastic for preventing hair loss. 
foods, hair, health
Have you ever noticed that every Greek statue has a healthy head of hair? It may be an artistic choice, but it may also be associated with the protein-rich yogurt that Greeks have been making and consuming since 500 BC. Greek yogurt is also rich in vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), a nutrient that improves blood flow throughout the body, as well as the scalp, which is vital for a healthy head of hair.
3. Salmon
foods, hair, health
The human body is capable of amazing things, such as converting sunlight into vitamin D, which strengthens the bones. One thing our body cannot do is produce Omega-3 fatty acids – powerful anti-inflammatories that combat hair loss. One of the best sources of Omega-3 is certain types of fish, such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon.
In addition, Omega-3 helps stave off other illnesses, and keeps your hair nice and healthy. One cause of hair loss in women is insulin resistance, and salmon is one of the only foods that aids the processing of insulin in the body.
Not only does it smell and taste good, cinnamon improves blood flow throughout the body, including the scalp, thus aiding in the delivery of much-needed oxygen to the roots. Sprinkle some of this miraculous spice on your toast or add it to your coffee in the morning and keep your hair healthy.
5. Oats
foods, hair, health
Oats are rich in iron, zinc, fiber, Omega-3, and unsaturated fats. All of these are beneficial to your hair, making it lush, shiny, and healthy. Oats are highly recommended for breakfast, and you can combine them with cinnamon to double the benefits.
foods, hair, health
Vitamin C makes hair more durable and less fragile. In a study held in the U.S., researchers tested the effects of a supplement containing vitamin C on women with thin hair. They discovered that the supplement helped to accelerate hair growth in these women. While most of us consider citrus fruits to be the best sources of vitamin C, a single guava contains an amount of vitamin C that's four to five times higher of that in any citrus fruit. This makes it the fruit of choice for people who suffer from hair loss. 
 
7. Eggs
foods, hair, health
Eggs are packed with vitamin B7 (biotin), which boosts hair growth and strengthens your nails. Vitamin B7 deficiency can lead to excessive hair loss, so make sure to include eggs in your diet if you value your hair. Other sources of biotin are almonds, avocado, and salmon. Eggs also help with weight loss, and are essential for anyone who’s on a diet (which can lead to hair loss due to a lack of necessary nutrients).
8. Lentils
foods, hair, health
Lentils are filled with proteins, iron, zinc, and biotin, as well as copious amounts of folic acid. Your body needs folic acid to maintain the health of your red blood cells. The red blood cells are couriers of oxygen in the body, which is also needed to maintain healthy skin and scalp. For men, folic acid is also necessary to maintain a high sperm count. 
9. Liver
foods, hair, health
As previously mentioned, iron deficiency can lead to hair-loss and is more common in women. While spinach is a great source of iron, just like soy and lentils, liver is even more beneficial to the maintenance and health of your hair. Iron-rich organs such as liver provide our body with healthy amounts of this mineral, so consider including it in your weekly diet.
10. Lean Meat
foods, hair, health
Have you noticed that if you don’t consume enough protein, your muscles become weaker and smaller? The same is true for your hair. If you do not have enough protein in your diet, your hair goes “on strike”. Shed hair is replaced at a slower rate, thus leading to accelerated hair loss. To get good proteins from meat, go for leaner options, such as chicken. It's also a good idea to eat meat that you've cooked yourself, rather than opting for a pre-cooked option.
11. Barley
foods, hair, health
Barley is an excellent source of vitamin E - an antioxidant that absorbs harmful UV rays. Vitamin E also helps repair sun damage to the scalp, which may cause hair-loss and thinning. In an eight-month-long study, it was found that people who used a vitamin E supplement enjoyed a 34% increase in hair growth.
12. Nuts and Seeds
foods, hair, health
In several studies into male pattern baldness, a correlation was found between a lack of tocotrienols and beta-sitosterols, and hair thinning. Beta-sitosterols are abundant in pistachios, as well as in walnuts and other fatty nuts. In addition, fatty nuts contain elastin, which gives hair elasticity, and prevents it from breaking.
13. Bok Choy
foods, hair, health
Physicians often look at the state of a patient’s hair to determine how much ferritin and iron is in their blood. In many cases, dermatologists will advise their patients to add the iron-rich bok choy to their diet.
14. Orange Fruits and Vegetables
foods, hair, health
Beta-carotene protects the skin from excessive dryness and your hair from thinning, by causing your scalp to produce more sebum, which is necessary in keeping the hairs healthy and shiny. Generally any orange-colored vegetable is a good source of beta-carotene. Carrots, pumpkins, mangoes and muskmelons all contain beta-carotene, and are recommended for people with weak and thinning hair.
15. Shiitake Mushrooms
foods, hair, health
Whether your hair is thinning or not, gray hair can make it look thinner. Copper is necessary for maintaining your natural hair color, even if you’re not ginger. In 2012, a study found that people who consumed lower levels of copper turned gray earlier in their lives. The best solution is to consume the copper-rich shiitake mushrooms.

Please note that if you’ve started a diet and you’re suddenly suffering from hair loss, or if you’re at an age where hair-loss is natural, you can add these foods to your diet and keep your full head of hair.
Cover image courtesy of Depositphotos
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