Your hair plays a vital role in defining your personality. Therefore, you must consume foods that contribute to hair strength, wash your hair with natural hair care products, and exercise.
Also, include more protein in your diet as the hair is mainly made of a protein called keratin, which is very stable, rich in cysteine, and not broken down quickly by enzymes. (1)
Do not be swayed by advertisements of products promising to transform dull and thin hair into thick and luxe hair overnight because it takes months and years of perseverance to get strong and healthy hair.
Factors that affect hair strength include hair thickness, styling and combing practices, humidity, and weather. For instance, the hair goes through tugging and pulling when being combed, which puts strain on the hair follicles. (2)
Your diet also contributes to the state of your hair. Foods that are beneficial to hair growth are fruits, veggies, pulses, grains, and fat, and not eating a nutritional diet will affect your hair quality and strength. (3)
The vitamins essential for your hair are A, B group, and C, and the minerals that can influence the condition of your hair are zinc, iron, copper, selenium, silicon, magnesium, and calcium. (3)(4)(5) A deficiency of these vitamins and minerals can play a part in the appearance of nonscarring alopecia on the scalp. (4)
Foods That Are Good for Hair Strength
Here are some foods that play a role in hair strengthening.
Spinach, or palak, is an excellent green leafy vegetable grown in India and is abundant in vitamin A, iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C. Consuming it can help you achieve a good crop of hair and keep it well hydrated and robust. (6)
How to consume:
- Consume spinach as a cooked vegetable in your meals.
- Grind spinach with water into a paste, and apply it to your head as a nourishing mask.
Tomatoes are another great vegetable for your hair as they are abundant in vitamin C, carotenoids, lycopene, beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene, which protect your hair from damage and the effects of aging.
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties and is needed to make the hair follicles strong and prevents them from breakage. (6)
How to consume:
You can use tomatoes in many ways; try having them as a salad, cook them as a vegetable, have it as a soup, and make jams and pickles with them.
3. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are popular among diet-conscious people because it is full of nutrients and rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, bioactive compounds, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. (7)
Some popular nuts with a rich nutrient profile are almonds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and pistachios, among others. (8) Seeds are a massive source of nutrition for the body and are blessed with fewer calories.
Some of the nutrients that can be found in them are vitamins C, B vitamins, and E, zinc, selenium, and more. One ounce or 28 grams of sunflower seeds provides almost 50% of your daily vitamin E needs. Flaxseeds and chia seeds are also rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. (5)
How to consume:
- Have them as breakfast muesli.
- Keep a bag of roasted nuts and seeds with you to snack on at the office or on the go.
- Add them to your salad or soup.
- Soak a spoonful of nuts in water overnight and have them after peeling the skins off in the morning.
Ginseng is the root of the plants belonging to the genus Panax. It is rich in bioactive components including saponins and ginsenosides.
Ginseng root hairs have a high amount of water-soluble vitamins such as thiamine and pantothenic acid; a total amount of 800 mg/100 g of water-soluble vitamins is found in dry ginseng.
Ginseng has been found to play a prominent role in making hair healthy and strong, and people experiencing hair loss can use ginseng tea to achieve great hair. (9)(2)
How to consume:
- Brew some ginseng tea and cool it down completely.
- Apply it to your scalp with your fingers and massage it well for 10 minutes.
- After 1 hour, wash it off with a natural shampoo and conditioner.
- Use this remedy at least twice a week.
Carrots are chock full of vitamins that are vital for hair growth and strength, including vitamins A and B, niacin, and biotin. Drinking carrot juice is beneficial for the body and the hair, too. (10)
Not consuming enough vitamin A can lead to a dry and itchy scalp. You can improve your hair thickness, quality, strength, and blood circulation to the hair follicles by consuming carrots. (11)
How to consume:
Carrots are a versatile veggie and can be made into a juice, soup, stir-fry, sweet dish, and more.
6. Black soybean
Black soybeans are a great source of protein and are rich in cysteine, which is essential for hair growth and prevention of hair fall and breakage.
They are also rich in lecithin, phytoestrogen, fatty acids, and anthocyanins, which have antioxidant and anticarcinogenic and are known to mimic estrogen effects.
Black soybeans are effective in treating hair loss by nourishing the roots of the hair through better blood circulation to the scalp. (12)
How to consume:
Use black soybean in a salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and olives, prepare it as a hummus dip, use it as a filling instead of potatoes, and have it as a lentil soup.
Lentils are a favorite part of many people’s meals and it’s justified because they are packed with nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, vitamins C and B, and biotin.
These nutrients are needed to grow hair and keep the RBCs in good health as they provide oxygen to the skin and scalp. (11)(3) They are also needed for hair strengthening.
How to consume:
- Have lentils as lentil soup or dal.
- Use lentils to make a salad with onions, bell peppers, and parsley.
- Stuff lentils inside a taco or paratha.
General Queries Related to Foods for Hair Strength
What should I include in my diet to help strengthen my hair?
Your diet should contain foods rich in complex carbs with low glycemic index and fiber-rich fruits and veggies to regulate the carb-lipid metabolism of the body. (3)
What causes weak hair roots?
A diet lacking in nutrients essential for the hair can lead to deficiencies, which can cause hair weakening and hair loss. (4)
Will eating chia seeds help in strengthening my hair?
Yes. You can have 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 140 kcal, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, 7 grams of unsaturated fat, and 18% RDA for calcium and minerals such as zinc and copper.
These seeds are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They are considered a complete protein, consisting of all nine essential amino acids required for strong hair and a healthy body. (13)
Consuming the right food can significantly impact your overall health and hair as several nutrients play roles in making your hair strong and nourished. (7) Incorporate the above food items into your diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest to see good results.
- Luqman MW, Ramzan MH, Javaid U, Ali R, Shoaib M, Luqman MA. To evaluate and compare changes in baseline strength of hairs after treating them with deionized water and hard water and its role in hair breakage. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6028999/. Published 2018.
- Tensile strength of scalp hair in women with hair loss – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/347382097/.
- Goluch-Koniuszy ZS. Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of Menopause. Przeglad menopauzalny = Menopause review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/. Published March 2016.
- Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: A Review. Dermatology and therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/. Published March 2019.
- (PDF) hair and food. – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328802583/.
- (PDF) Foods for healthy hair, skin and nails – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342697508/.
- Ros E. Health benefits of Nut Consumption. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/. Published July 2010.
- de Souza RGM, Schincaglia RM, Pimentel GD, Mota JF. Nuts and human health outcomes: A systematic review. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748761/. Published December 2, 2017.
- Choi BY. Hair-growth potential of ginseng and its major metabolites: A review on its molecular mechanisms. International journal of molecular sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163201/. Published September 11, 2018.
- (PDF) an analysis of health benefits of carrot – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/359863991/.
- Review on hair problem and its solution – researchgate.net. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342174156/.
- Sung H-Y, Kim KH. Hair growth promotion with black soybean extracts: Case series. Journal of pharmacopuncture. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8947969/. Published March 31, 2022.
- Chia seeds. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/. Published March 2, 2022.