This post has been updated from its original post date to include more information from experts.
Hair loss is a common but frustrating struggle that can leave a significant mark on your self-esteem, making it increasingly difficult to style the hair you have. Stemming from a number of causes, some preventable and some less so, thinning hair also has an array of potential treatments beginning with growth supplements and ending with stimulating products to be applied directly to the scalp.
If you’re suffering from hair loss and feel like you’ve tried every topical remedy, there’s one thing that can have a significant impact on your hair without spending a buck: your diet. We spoke with Dr. Dominic Burg, Chief Scientist, Hair Biologist, Microbiologist and Trichologist for evolis Professional, and Amy Neuzil, ND of ToHealthWithThat.com to get an idea of the best food to incorporate into your daily hair regrowth routine. hair, and that’s what he had to say.
While to appearances your hair is a marker of beauty, struggling with hair loss can also be an indicator that something is wrong with your internal health. Therefore, working towards a healthier body through your diet will naturally have a positive impact on your locks as well. “The condition of our hair is often the first thing to be affected when there is a nutritional imbalance, illness or stress. So if you suffer from thinning or loss of hair, brittle hair and nails or ‘dull skin, you need to take a holistic view of your health and nutrient intake,” says Burg. That being said, there are three particular nutrients you should prioritize in your foods to boost hair growth.
While there are a variety of nutrients that can help boost the strength of your hair, zinc, found in shellfish and red meat, is one of the most important for re-growing limp and frizzy locks. weak. Often found in animal protein, it is significantly more difficult for those on a plant-based diet to get enough zinc, and these diets actually require more of it.
“The difficult thing about these diets is that they contain a lot of foods that are rich in molecules called phytates, especially legumes, seeds, nuts, and grains. Phytates bind nutrients like zinc and prevent them from being absorbed, so those on vegetable-based diets need to increase their intake of these nutrients, sometimes requiring 150% of the intake from meat-based diets,” notes Burg. However, maintaining an adequate intake of zinc will aid in hair growth for stronger, longer lasting locks.
Vitamin D, found in foods such as fish, egg yolks and red meat, is essential for building hair strength, as it can help stimulate growth from the root to repair damage. Eating a balanced diet will help you get enough of this vitamin naturally, but if you’re following a plant-based diet, it may be worth including a supplement to fill the gap.
That being said, vitamin D can also be found in foods such as soy milk and mushrooms, stimulating hair growth and allowing stronger, healthier locks to develop. It should be noted that by eating any of these nutrients you cannot expect to see changes overnight, but you can see results in the shine and strength of your hair in just a few weeks with a more balanced and healthier diet.
Vitamin B is undeniably one of the best nutrients for stronger hair, but it’s also one of the hardest to get from a vegetarian or vegan diet (learn how to get more protein on a vegan diet!) . With that, foods such as tempeh, nutritional yeast, and nuts will be your best bet as sources of sufficient vitamin B, and when all else fails, consider incorporating a supplement into your routine after consulting a professional. of health.
“B vitamins help support energy production needed for hair growth as well as other important metabolic functions, for example, vitamin B6 helps replenish neurotransmitters affected by stress,” says Burg.
And finally, adding vitamin E to your daily diet is a great way to add volume to thinning hair. Nuts, in particular, are a vitamin E-rich food group, with almonds being a top choice to give you the thick, silky hair of your dreams.
In particular, eating nuts helps supply your body with healthy protein, vitamin E and fatty acids, according to Neuzil. “An ounce of roasted almonds gives you 5% of your daily biotin and also 37% of your vitamin E, which boosted hair growth by 34% in one study,” she reveals. Plus, “almonds are also a great source of other hair-good nutrients like zinc and essential fatty acids.” Because almonds tend to contain more biotin than other nuts, like peanuts and walnuts, they make a perfect snack for health (and beauty). You can add almonds to your oatmeal in the morning to boost your metabolism! After prioritizing these nutrients in your diet, Burg says you can expect to see changes in the speed of your hair growth within a few months with significantly reduced fallout to be expected as well.