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11 Foods That Stimulate Hair Growth

With countless blogs and resources telling us what not to eat, we are happy to bring you a list of foods you should be eating to stimulate hair growth. Hair strands are made of protein cells called keratin, which can be nourished with the natural vitamins and minerals found in food. Read on for 11 foods you can feel good about piling on your plate!

Veggies

  1. Carrots
    Remember Bugs Bunny and his fluffy grey coat? Perhaps there’s a link between eating all those carrots and having a healthy coat of hair. It’s just a theory, but studies show that hair cells are heavily dependent on the scalp glands to produce sebum oil, a natural moisturizer. The Vitamin A found in carrots helps secrete sebum oil from scalp glands, leaving hair silky smooth.
  2. Spinach + Dark Leafy Greens
    Iron deficiency can cause all sorts of physical reactions, one of which is hair thinning. The iron found in spinach and dark leafy greens is vital to helping red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to hair roots. Not only will a plateful of leafy greens and spinach load you up with iron and keep hair strands strong, but you’ll also get folate, and Vitamins A and C, all of which stimulate hair growth.
  3. Sweet Peppers
    Sweet bell peppers are loaded with flavor and add the perfect dose of sweet zest to a refreshing salad or sandwich. The pièce de résistance of these tasty veggies is that they’re chock-full of Vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and strengthens hair strands.
  4. Sweet Potatoes
    Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which is a compound that converts to Vitamin A. As we’ve discovered with carrots and spinach, our hair loves Vitamin A. Another fun fact about Vitamin A? It can actually activate thicker hair strands to grow and prevent follicles from regression. Eat sweet potatoes with a side of spinach, and you’ve got a hair growth smorgasbord.

Fruits

  1. Citrus Fruits
    Our bodies need Vitamin C to absorb iron, so it’s no surprise that citrus fruits are an excellent choice. Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen, which helps strengthen the capillaries that bind to hair shafts. Squeeze a lime or lemon into your water or snack on orange slices to add a dash of zest and kickstart natural hair growth.
  2. Berries
    Citrus fruits aren’t the only way to get your Vitamin C. Berries are a great source of antioxidants that fight free radicals and stimulate hair growth. Our bodies produce collagen from Vitamin C, which helps strengthen hair and prevent breakage. Snack on a cup of strawberries for 100% of your daily Vitamin C intake. Berry sweet, indeed!
  3. Avocados
    Is it a fruit? Is it a veggie? Well, avocados are in fact a large botanical berry. Not only are they a delicious, healthy fat, but they’re an excellent source of Vitamin E. In fact, one medium-sized avocado supplies 21% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that combats oxidative stress that can lead to hair loss. Not only does Vitamin E neutralize free radicals that perpetuate oxidative stress, but it protects the scalp from damaged hair follicles. Avocados may be the mean, green, hair growing machine you’ve been looking for.

Protein

  1. Eggs
    It’s no secret that eggs are a go-to for protein, but they’re also rich in biotin, which helps to thicken and stimulate hair growth.
  2. Seafood + Fatty Fish
    Salmon, mackerel, and herring are great options for fatty fish filled with hair growth nutrients. The MVP in fatty fish is the omega-3 fatty acids, which combat hair thinning. That means that with a helping of salmon, you’re preserving your hair follicles and promoting growth. Throw in some freshly squeezed lemon juice, and you’re in for a super-sized dose of hair growth. Shrimp and oysters also help stimulate hair growth naturally due to their high levels of zinc, which support the hair cycle of growth and repair.
  3. Seeds + Nuts
    Vegetarians and vegans can still get a sufficient dose of protein and Omega-3 Fatty acids by swapping fatty fish for flaxseeds or chia seeds. Seeds and nuts provide protein and hair-healthy B vitamins, not to mention more of that Vitamin E that we love!
  4. Beans + Soybeans
    Protein isn’t just essential for building muscle, it’s imperative for hair growth. Beans contain all the hair-health vitamins and minerals including zinc, iron, biotin, and folate. Soybeans also contain spermidine, a compound that helps promote hair growth. Edamame, anyone?

There you have it! It’s easy to see how food affects our health and wellness, but it can also have a tremendous influence on our hair health. Incorporate these tasty foods into your diet for a botanical, natural way to stimulate hair growth.

By
Kathy Watson

Over her 10-year career as a journalist, Kathy has worked as a columnist and reporter for both print magazines and digital publications. She started as a beat reporter for her college newspaper covering biosciences and general science. Kathy holds a B.A. in political science. Reviewed by Collective Laboratories' Medical Advisory Board

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