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10 Foods To Eat For Healthier Hair

SPECIAL FROM Grandparents.com

From snipping it with scissors to dousing it with dye, you put your hair through a lot. And while it may seem tough, hair is actually extremely sensitive.

"Hair is a barometer of someone's health, especially women," says South Florida hair restoration physician Alan Bauman, M.D. "Small changes in nutrition can wreak havoc on a woman's head of hair." Crash diets and deficiencies in iron and protein can all contribute to hair loss or at least poor hair quality.

On the upside, however, there are certain foods you can incorporate into your diet for shiny, healthy hair and less shedding. These foods are rich in nutrients like vitamins A, B, and C, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and zinc — and they're delicious. You get to enjoy a great meal and prettier hair at the same time. Plus, it's easier and cheaper than a trip to the salon.

  • Wild salmon
    Salmon is protein rich and high in omega oils, says celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson. These nutrients are necessary for h
    Iain Bagwell via Getty Images
    Salmon is protein rich and high in omega oils, says celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson. These nutrients are necessary for healthy hair, scalp, and skin, which is why so many wellness experts and beauty pros recommend eating salmon in abundance. While wild salmon is generally more expensive than farmed, it's lower in contaminants and higher in these good-for-you nutrients, making it a worthwhile splurge.
  • Dark green vegetables
    "Eat dark green vegetables for vitamins A and C," says Bauman. Your body uses these vitamins to produce sebum, the oil that's
    Oliver Hoffmann via Getty Images
    "Eat dark green vegetables for vitamins A and C," says Bauman. Your body uses these vitamins to produce sebum, the oil that's secreted by your hair follicles to keep strands naturally hydrated, healthy, and shiny. Broccoli, spinach, and kale all fit the bill.
  • Nuts
    Nuts are the ideal snack to promote healthy hair growth. They contain fatty acids as well as zinc. (Zinc deficiency has been
    suprunvitaly via Getty Images
    Nuts are the ideal snack to promote healthy hair growth. They contain fatty acids as well as zinc. (Zinc deficiency has been linked to hair shedding.) Simpson recommends walnuts. "By adding these into your diet more often, you’re going to help feed the production of healthy hair overall," she says. Pecans, almonds, and cashews are also great options.
  • Meat
    "Since hair is made of protein, the more you eat it, the more it will grow and strengthen," says Simpson. "A lack of iron can
    ALLEKO via Getty Images
    "Since hair is made of protein, the more you eat it, the more it will grow and strengthen," says Simpson. "A lack of iron can also contribute to hair loss and weaker hair, so up your intake of lean meats like pork and grass-fed beef." Liver, which is extremely high in iron, is one of the best meats for your hair, says Bauman. If you're a vegetarian, eat dark leafy greens and be sure to get plenty of protein through beans and lentils.
  • Blueberries
    Studies show that free radicals from sun and pollution can be just as harmful to your hair as they are to your skin. Increase
    Tom Merton via Getty Images
    Studies show that free radicals from sun and pollution can be just as harmful to your hair as they are to your skin. Increase your antioxidant intake by eating more berries. Bauman calls blueberries in particular a "super hair food" because they are so high in vitamin C.
  • Eggs
    Eggs are rich in protein and the B vitamin biotin, which are both crucial for healthy hair growth, and eggs are one of Simpso
    Getty Images
    Eggs are rich in protein and the B vitamin biotin, which are both crucial for healthy hair growth, and eggs are one of Simpson's favorite breakfast foods. Biotin deficiency has been linked to hair thinning, and it's a common ingredient in hair growth supplements. However, it's easy to get sufficient biotin through a well-balanced diet. In addition to eggs, eat more nuts, sweet potatoes, oats, tomatoes, and carrots.
  • Beans and lentils
    Beans and lentils contain plenty of protein, iron, zinc and biotin, all of which are necessary for strong hair. Simpson stres
    Wiktory via Getty Images
    Beans and lentils contain plenty of protein, iron, zinc and biotin, all of which are necessary for strong hair. Simpson stresses that if you're a vegetarian, it's especially important to incorporate these foods into your diet.
  • Yogurt
    Calcium is present in hair follicles, and it's an important mineral for continuous hair growth. If you need more calcium in y
    Antonio Gravante via Getty Images
    Calcium is present in hair follicles, and it's an important mineral for continuous hair growth. If you need more calcium in your diet, Greek yogurt is Simpson's favorite source. Plus, yogurt is fantastic with other healthy-hair foods like blueberries and walnuts. Mix them all together for maximum results.
  • Oysters
    No one is suggesting you should eat oysters daily, but, like nuts, they are a great source of zinc. If you happen to love oys
    Thomas Barwick via Getty Images
    No one is suggesting you should eat oysters daily, but, like nuts, they are a great source of zinc. If you happen to love oysters, consider their hair-boosting benefits an added bonus.
  • Avocado
    If you have dry, brittle hair, eat more avocados. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which moisturize your hair from the i
    olgakr via Getty Images
    If you have dry, brittle hair, eat more avocados. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which moisturize your hair from the inside out. "A good tip in the morning would be to incorporate protein with something healthy like eggs and avocado," says Simpson.

    Bonus: Avocados also make an excellent hair mask. Mash one up and apply it to your scalp and strands. After 10 to 20 minutes, shampoo as usual. Your hair will be silky for days.
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