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Omega 3 rich food

The goal of having strong, healthy, thick hair is quite common. Unfortunately, many people experience hair thinning and hair loss as they get older. One day, you might have a full head of hair, and the next, you’ll notice receding temples and less shiny locks.

There are lots of potential solutions out there for thin hair and receding temples, with one of them being a change in diet. In particular, incorporating certain foods is said to help restore your locks. But is there any truth in that?

Is There a Link Between Diet and Hair?

Yes! Many studies have been done to show the link between diet and hair, with specific nutritional deficiencies impacting hair growth and structure. [1] If you are deficient in any of the vitamins or minerals essential to hair growth, you may experience hair loss, and including those nutrients in your diet could reverse that. On the other hand, if you get all the necessary nutrition in your current diet, a diet change won’t impact your hair.

The Best Food for Hair Growth

If you’re worried that your diet isn’t optimal for healthy hair, there are some foods you should start consuming more of as part of a balanced diet. These are the foods that help hair growth the most.


One incredible food for hair growth is salmon. Salmon is a fatty fish and rich in essential hair-boosting nutrients, including protein, vitamin D, omega-3, and vitamin B-12. Protein is important, as the amino acids contained in protein build keratin, which is an essential component of hair growth. The vitamin D contained in salmon is particularly effective for hair, too, as this vitamin helps your hair go through all the regular hair growth cycles.


Are you experiencing dry, brittle hair? Spinach is the answer. This dark, leafy green contains Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and folate. All of these nutrients work hard to keep both your scalp and locks healthy and moisturized. Many other leafy greens are good for hair growth, too, such as kale, broccoli, and watercress.

Greek Yoghurt 

Greek yoghurt is rich in vitamin B5 and protein – both contributors to healthy hair and scalp. It’s easy to include in your diet, and you can even put other great foods for hair growth into Greek yoghurt, such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.


Protein is essential for healthy hair, and chicken is a great source of protein. Chicken breast is especially good, as it’s low fat and very versatile. If you’re a vegetarian, you can even find meat-free chicken that contains a lot of protein to use as a substitute.


Yes – your morning bowl of cereal can help you grow healthier hair! Cereal is one of the best foods for hair growth because many of the brands fortify their cereals with vitamin D and iron, which are essential for healthy locks. Some iron-rich UK cereals include:

  • Rice Krispies
  • Cornflakes
  • Bran Flakes
  • Special K
  • Muesli

For Vitamin D-rich cereal, try the following:

  • Coco Pops
  • Frosties
  • Crunchy Nut Cornflakes

Pumpkin Seeds

The lowering of stress is important to avoid hair loss, as stress can lead to telogen effluvium (shock hair loss). That’s where pumpkin seeds come into play. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, a mineral that effectively reduces the amount of stress in your body. When 15-20% of people in developed countries have a magnesium deficiency, [2] pumpkin seeds are worth adding to everyone’s diet. There’s also a lot of evidence to show that pumpkin seed oil can help stimulate hair growth, so that’s worth looking into, too.


Eggs are very rich in both protein and biotin – two essential nutrients that help with hair. They also contain vitamins B and D, which contribute to healthy locks. By incorporating more eggs in your diet, you ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need to prevent hair loss.


If you want to improve hair and your scalp’s health, avocados are the way to go. Avocados are packed full of healthy fats, vitamin E, and vitamin D. Vitamin E is especially good for healing the scalp, as it contains plenty of antioxidants. The best part is that avocado is delicious and versatile – you can simply place some slices on toast or mash it up to make a tasty guacamole! Plus, it’s 100% plant-based, making it perfect for a vegan diet.


Oysters aren’t for everyone, but if you enjoy this seafood, it’s worth incorporating into your diet. This counts as a best food for hair growth, thanks to its high zinc levels. A zinc deficiency can quickly lead to hair loss, so eating more oysters will ensure you avoid this.


Your scalp and hair follicles need regular blood flow to stimulate hair growth, and that’s where cinnamon comes in handy. This warming spice can improve circulation, so sprinkle some on your cereal or throw a stick in your next sauce to enjoy its hair-boosting properties.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are, without a doubt, a great food for hair growth thanks to their supply of protein and vitamin E (both essential for healthy hair follicles). Luckily, sunflower seeds are very easy to incorporate into your diet. Scatter some over your cereal or oatmeal, or even grab a small handful when you’re on the go.

Sweet Potatoes

If you’re looking for foods for hair growth and shine, sweet potatoes are a good option. This tasty, carb-packed food contains beta-carotene, which helps promote shiny, luscious locks. You’ll enjoy more moisturized, hydrated strands if you incorporate this orange vegetable into your diet. As a bonus, it’s delicious!

The Nutrients that Promote Healthy Hair

A lot of the foods listed above have particular nutrients in common. These are the nutrients that are known for stimulating hair growth the most.

  • Biotin
  • Vitamin A, C, D, E
  • B Vitamins
  • Protein
  • Iron

If you’re looking at a food for hair growth, it should work great if it has any of the above nutrients. It’s especially important to take note of the nutrition you’re getting if you’re following a restrictive diet, such as the vegan or keto diet. This may lead to certain nutritional deficiencies, so it’s crucial to incorporate nutrient-rich foods whenever you can. You may even benefit from taking vitamin supplements.

Foods that Could Contribute to Hair Loss

On the other hand, there are also foods that shouldn’t be included in a diet for healthy hair. Here are the foods that may contribute to hair loss.


Alcohol may be fun at parties, but it has a lot of ill effects (more than just giving you nausea and a headache the next day). In terms of hair, alcohol can leave your strands dry and brittle thanks to its dehydrating effect. Plus, alcohol intake can lower your zinc levels – a mineral that’s important for healthy hair.


You’ve probably heard that sugar is unhealthy for you, but you might not have considered that it can negatively impact your hair! It’s true. Sugar can restrict blood circulation, meaning your hair follicles don’t get the blood flow they need for healthy hair growth. To avoid this, keep your sugar intake to a minimum, always checking the labels on prepackaged foods.

Greasy Foods

Greasy foods might be delicious (and often go hand in hand with alcohol), but they are not good for your scalp or hair. Too much greasy food can clog your pores and follicles, which can, in turn, lead to the prevention of hair growth. While a burger or pizza from time to time won’t hurt, avoid making greasy food a large part of your diet.

Greasy food and hair loss

Additional Ways to Promote Hair Growth

Avoiding a hair loss diet might not be enough. You will only really benefit from adding certain hair growth foods and nutrients if you already have a deficiency – if not, you likely won’t see much of a difference. If that’s the case for you, there are some other ways to promote hair growth that could be more effective.

Hair Loss Medications

Hair loss medications like minoxidil and finasteride can be effective for reversing hair loss, especially in male pattern baldness.

Low-Level Laser Therapy 

Low-level laser therapy has shown to be somewhat effective at stimulating hair growth. You can get devices for home use or visit a clinic that offers laser therapy services.

Hair Transplants

A hair transplant is a type of surgery that uses grafts to restore healthy hair follicles to the scalp. It’s a more invasive solution than other methods here, but it is undoubtedly the most effective way of regrowing hair.

Eat Right for Healthier Hair

You now know what foods help hair growth. By incorporating more of the best food for hair – such as salmon, pumpkin seeds, and avocados – and avoiding the bad stuff – such as sugar and alcohol – you are more likely to enjoy a full head of thick, luscious locks.

Food to promote healthy hair


  1. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use
  2. Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis
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