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The Best 8 Foods and drinks for Healthy Hair

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by Egyptian Doctor, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    Hit the gym and eat right, and you'll build muscle, burn fat—and have thick, great-looking hair.

    "Exercise increases the blood supply to your muscles as well as your hair, which stimulates growth," says Jim White, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "And the foods we eat for muscle also promote hair health."

    Just be sure you're eating balanced diet. "Your body has a priority system," says Amy Newburger, M.D., director of Dermatology Consultants of Westchester in Scarsdale, New York. "If it only has a limited number of nutrients, your body sends those nutrients to the cells essential for life. So your hair is one of the first type of cells to go."

    Keep your hair (and entire body) healthy by including these nutrients in your daily diet.


    You know you need adequate protein to build muscle—and you also need it for healthy hair because hair is made primarily of protein. Low-quality protein can lead to weak, brittle hair or a loss of hair color—but chances are, if you're trying to add or maintain muscle, you already eat enough.

    Good sources: Chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, low-fat dairy (cottage cheese, milk, yogurt)


    Low iron levels can lead to baldness, according to a Cleveland Clinic review. Researchers looked at 11 studies on the relationship between iron intake and hair loss, and concluded that treating iron deficiency may help regrow hair.

    Good sources: Lean red meat, turkey, egg yolks, dried beans, dried fruit, whole grains


    Shedding more often? You may need to increase your intake of zinc. Studies show this mineral can affect levels of androgens, hormones associated with hair loss.

    Good sources: Oysters, nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds), beans, beef, lamb

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    "Omega-3s are known to support scalp help—a deficiency can result in dry scalp and dull hair," White says. And no woman will want to run her fingers through that.

    Good sources: Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts


    In a 6-month pilot study, Taiwanese scientists found that lignans—disease-fighting compounds found in flaxseed—may help slow hair loss. Nine of the 10 men in the study reported modest to much improvement in the number of hairs shed daily.

    Good source: Flaxseed. Lignans are found in the flaxseed's shell, so buy ground whole seeds in your supermarket's health-food section. The men in the study consumed 1 1/2 tablespoons a day. Try adding flaxseed to oatmeal or smoothies.


    If you have dry hair—or just want to prevent straw-like strands—drink more. "Hair is one-quarter water," White says. He recommends the typical eight glasses a day. Bring a water bottle to work so you don't spend the entire day refilling your mug at the fountain.

    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, so a deficiency can make hair dry and weak. You likely take in enough C from your diet, as long as you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.

    Good sources: broccoli, leafy greens, green peppers, citrus fruit, strawberries


    A lack of adequate biotin can lead to brittle hair, but deficiencies are rare, White says. This vitamin will help you have thick hair as well as strong nails. (That may not sound important, but women like guys with nice hands.)

    Good sources: Brown rice, legumes, lentils, eggs, Swiss chard, nuts

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012

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