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Diet for Healthy Hair: The Ultimate Nutrition Guide

    Quick Summary: Diet & Hair Health

    Key Nutrients for Hair Health: A balanced diet is essential for maintaining strong, healthy hair. Enrich your meals with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamins A, C, E, B complex, zinc, and other minerals to achieve overall health and wellness.

    Diet Optimisation: Starting your day with a nutrient-rich breakfast, as well as choosing healthier snacks and iron-rich dinners can enhance hair strength and growth. Incorporate lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats into your meals to nourish your hair. 

    A Word on Natural Treatments: Alongside diet, natural treatments like scalp massages using beneficial oils and aloe vera can bolster hair strength and growth. 

    Key Takeaway: For radiant hair, focus on a nutrient-rich diet, incorporate easy natural treatments, and don’t hesitate to consult professionals for underlying issues.

    It’s a simple yet powerful formula: what you eat and how you care for your hair can make a big difference. Remember, vibrant hair is not just about the right shampoo; it’s about a lifestyle that values nutrition, care, and expert advice when needed.

    Understanding Hair: Cycle, Composition, and Loss

    Hair growth involves four phases:
    1) Anagen (growth phase)
    2) Catagen (transitional phase)
    3) Telogen (resting phase)
    4) Exogen (shedding phase)

    Hair is primarily made of keratin, emphasising protein’s importance in our diet. While genetics and hormonal imbalances are key factors in hair loss, addressing nutritional deficiencies can also play a significant role in promoting healthy hair growth. Proper nutrition not only supports hair through its growth cycles but also combats factors contributing to hair loss offering a holistic approach to hair health.1,2

    Research Highlights on Nutrients and Hair Health

    Recent research highlights the essential role of nutrients in both nurturing hair health and combating hair loss beyond just genetics. Here’s a simplified overview: 

    • Is it genetic?: Not all hair loss is due to genetics; sometimes, it’s about what we eat or the stress we’re under. Nutritional adjustments can make a real difference here, offering a boost where it’s needed most. 
    • Boosting Hair Growth Through Nutrition: A mix of certain nutrients, like proteins, vitamins, and minerals, works together to strengthen hair from the roots. This combination helps protect hair from everyday damage and stress.3 
    • Fighting Hair Loss Factors: Some nutrients specifically target and reduce factors that cause hair loss. Include omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins in your diet to extend the hair growth cycle (thus preventing loss), help soothe the scalp and prevent hair thinning.1,4 
    • Looking Ahead: The findings are promising, but more research is needed to fully understand how we can use nutrition to combat hair loss, especially for those who don’t respond to traditional treatments. 

    A Summary of Optimising Your Diet for Hair Health

    In a nutshell, to make sure your hair receives all the necessary nutrients to remain strong and healthy, incorporate a variety of nutrient-rich foods into your diet mentioned above, particularly:

    • Fruits and Vegetables: Being rich in vitamins and antioxidants, berries, oranges, and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale boost scalp health and hair strength.
    • Whole Grains: Quinoa, barley, and brown rice are packed with B vitamins, iron and zinc.
    • Lean Proteins: Include poultry, fish, and legumes in your meals for hair growth – these are essential building blocks as mentioned before.
    • Healthy Fats: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in avocados and nuts, are vital for hair hydration and shine.
    • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds are great sources of vitamin E and zinc, which can protect your hair from damage and support hair growth.2,3,7

    Essential Nutrients for Lustrous Hair

    For those looking to deep dive into specific nutrients, please see the table below2,3,5,6,7:

    NutrientEffect on HairSources
    ProteinThe building block of hairLean meats, fish, poultry, beans, legumes
    Omega-3 Fatty AcidsNourishes and hydrates the scalpFatty fish such as salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds
    IronSupports the hair growth cycleSpinach, lentils, red meat
    Vitamin AMoisturises the scalpSweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens
    Biotin (Vitamin B7)Supports keratin production, a key protein for hairEggs, almonds, cauliflower, cheese
    Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)Vital for new cell creation and hair growthLeafy greens, citrus fruits, beans, fortified cereals
    Vitamin CEnhances iron absorption and is vital for collagen productionCitrus fruits, kale, strawberries, bell pepper, tomatoes
    Vitamin EProtects hair from oxidative stressAlmonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados
    ZincEssential for hair tissue growthOysters, beef, pumpkin seeds
    SeleniumCombats oxidative stress on hair follicles, preventing hair lossBrazil nuts, seafood, meats
    SilicaStrengthens hair and increases thicknessBananas, leafy greens, rice, oats 

    A word of caution on over supplementation:

    It is crucial to approach nutritional supplements with caution. While amending your diet naturally is beneficial, excessive supplementation can lead to unintended consequences due to build up in the body. Vitamins and minerals are essential for hair health, but their overconsumption, especially through supplements, can sometimes do more harm than good. 

    healthy diet for healthy hair

    Hungry? 5 Tips to Incorporate Hair-Healthy Foods into Your Lifestyle

    1. Start Your Day Right: Kick off with a nutrient-rich breakfast. For a plant-based option, try oatmeal made with almond milk, topped with pumpkin seeds and fresh berries. Alternatively, eggs served with sautéed spinach can offer a protein and iron boost for those who include animal products in their diets.
    1. Healthy Snacking: Nuts and seeds are excellent midday snacks for everyone, providing essential vitamins E and zinc, both of which are crucial for hair health.
    1. Diverse Meals: Aim to include a wide array of colourful fruits and vegetables in every meal. This variety ensures you’re getting a comprehensive range of nutrients beneficial for strong and healthy hair.
    1. Omega-3 Boost: Whether you prefer fish or plant sources (like ground flaxseeds and chia seeds added to smoothies or yoghourts), ensuring adequate omega-3 intake is crucial for maintaining a healthy scalp and lustrous locks.
    1. Iron-Rich Dinners: Focus on iron-rich ingredients in your evening meals. Lentil curry or a fresh spinach salad are fantastic vegan-friendly options, while those who consume meat might opt for dishes featuring lean proteins such as chicken or fish, accompanied by iron-packed vegetables.

    In summary, incorporating these dietary habits not only supports your hair’s nutritional needs but also promotes overall health and well-being. Whether you follow a plant-based diet or include animal products, the essence lies in diversity and balance.

    By carefully selecting a variety of nutrient-dense foods, you provide your hair with the vital support it needs to thrive.

    A Simple Recipe for Healthy Hair:

    Main Ingredient: Grilled salmon, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein

    Mix With: Avocado for healthy fats and vitamin E, alongside spinach, cherry tomatoes, and walnuts for additional nutrients.

    Dressing: A simple vinaigrette made with lemon juice and olive oil to enhance flavour and add extra nourishment.

    A Plant-Based Alternative Recipe for Healthy Hair:

    plant based diet for healthy hair

    Main Ingredient: Tofu or tempeh marinated in flaxseed oil (a good source of omega-3), lemon juice, and spices of your choice, grilled until golden.

    Serve With: The same nutritious salad base of spinach, cherry tomatoes, and walnuts for a complete meal.

    Dressing: Use the same lemon and olive oil vinaigrette to dress the salad, ensuring a flavourful and healthful meal that supports hair vitality.

    Gradually adding these foods to your diet is a delightful way to feed your hair from the inside out, ensuring it gets the nourishment it needs to stay healthy and vibrant.

    Natural Treatments for Hair Health

    Scalp massages with oils like coconut, rosemary and topical aloe vera can stimulate hair growth and support scalp health.
    Regularly incorporating these treatments alongside a balanced diet can significantly benefit hair quality.

    Beyond Diet: Addressing Non-Dietary Hair Concerns

    Nutrition plays a vital role in hair health, yet not all hair issues stem from dietary factors.

    Some conditions, such as androgenetic alopecia or scalp infections, require professional evaluation and treatment.
    For individuals experiencing significant hair loss, discussing treatment options with a healthcare provider becomes essential.
    Beneficial options may include medications such as Minoxidil, Finasteride, or surgical options such as hair transplant surgery.
    You can start by initiating this conversation with your GP, who can diagnose your condition and recommend appropriate treatments or refer you to specialists such as dermatologists, trichologists, or hair transplant surgeons like our team.
    This approach ensures you receive comprehensive care tailored to your specific hair health needs.

    Conclusion: A Balanced Diet for Beautiful Hair

    A well-rounded diet is the cornerstone of healthy hair. By incorporating dietary changes, you nourish your hair from within, laying a strong foundation for its growth and vitality.

    Before integrating any supplements into your regimen, consulting with a healthcare professional is paramount to ensure a balance of nutrients and avoid over supplementation.

    Your healthcare professional can provide personalised advice, ensuring that any additional nutrient intake supports your overall health without surpassing safe levels.


    1. Rajput, R. (2022). Influence of nutrition, food supplements and lifestyle in hair disorders. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 13(6), 721. Available at:
    1. Almohanna, H. M., Ahmed, A. A., Tsatalis, J. P. and Tosti, A. (2019) ‘The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: A review’, Dermatology and Therapy, 9(1), pp. 51-70. Available at:   
    1. Guo, E. L. and Katta, R. (2017) ‘Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use’, Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, 7(1), pp. 1-10. Available at:  
    1. Natarelli, N., Gahoonia, N., & Sivamani, R. K. (2023). Integrative and Mechanistic Approach to the Hair Growth Cycle and Hair Loss. Journal of clinical medicine, 12(3), 893. Available at:  
    2. Araújo, L. A., Addor, F., & Campos, P. M. (2016). Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia, 91(3), 331–335. Available at: 
    1. Overview – Vitamins and minerals [Internet]. NHS choices. NHS; [cited 2024 Feb 23]. Available from: 
    1. Eating a balanced diet [Internet]. NHS choices. NHS; [cited 2024 Feb 23]. Available from: 

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