NHP is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
You lookin' for the best food for hair growth? GOOD! Because...
Often when you think about how to grow thick, healthy hair, you’re told to grab tons of bottled hair care products that promise to make your hair grow faster than ever.
Yet, we often forget about eating the proper food nutrients for faster natural hair growth. And even though this list has some meats, we also put together a list of strictly vegetarian grub you can eat to boost length-retention, too.
Without a doubt proper nutrition is one of the most important things to consider when you need to nourish your scalp and hair for quickly stimulating growth.
Although you can’t change hair growth factors like genetics and aging, your diet is one thing you have complete control over.
Mastering your diet is super-important because eating foods that are missing proper nutrition can lead to unwanted hair loss.
And many hair growth oils come from these same hair growth foods.
On the other hand, eating a balanced diet with the best, most powerful nutrient-dense foods and even herbs for hair growth can help promote steady and thick incoming locks, especially if you’re experiencing hair loss due to poor nutrition.
Fortunately, finding a new food for hair growth or two is right at your fingertips. And today you'll learn how to build a proper hair growth diet.
When selecting a food for hair growth to add to your diet there are various nutrients to be on the lookout for because they encourage hair growth:
Join NHP-HIVE and get sent our info-packed, down-to-earth & sometimes funny NHP hair tutorials by email. SIGN UP HERE...
If you're short on time you'll need to BOOKMARK THIS list because it's a doozy!
Indepth and longer than a story told by somebody with bad breath who says alot of words that start with the letter "H"....
Let's get to the best foods for faster hair growth!
Lentils are an excellent food for hair growth because they’re super-rich in folic acid.
Folate is also known as folacin or vitamin B9, and these hair growth vitamins occur naturally in a variety of food sources -- especially in dark leafy greens like spinach and in certain meats, like beef and chicken liver.
Folic acid helps your body make red blood cells. Those red blood cells bring oxygen to your skin and scalp. The hair follicles rely on that oxygen to function properly, and without it, they have a much harder time producing keratin, which is the building block of hair.
A 1/2 cup of your butternut squash contains just a measly 85 calories and less than a gram of fat. So, it’s more than a great food for hair growth, it’s an amazing diet food.
And of course, this delicious food for hair growth is super nutritious, loaded with iron and beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A — an important vitamin for stronger strands and increased hair growth.
Pumpkin also is full of vitamins C and E that help repair cellular damage where needed, which is often the scalp. And healing the scalp is a key way to make hair grow faster.
Spinach is a powerful food for hair growth and a common ingredient in Organic alkalizing green juice superfood powders because it contains a variety of nutrients and minerals that boost your overall health as well as promote healthy hair growth.
In addition to spinach having high levels of magnesium and iron for hair growth, spinach can help your scalp produce sebum.
Salmon is a great food for hair growth because it’s JAM-PACKED with omega-3 fatty acids, which have a ton of health benefits besides hair growth. That's one reason so many hair growth products add omega-3 fats for hair growth.
Omega-3's are anti-inflammatory, and inflammation on the scalp is a hair growth killer because it causes major hair shedding. Some other plentiful sources of omega-3 fats include flax seeds, tasty walnuts, and chia seeds.
Omega-3 fats enable you to grow hair while keeping it shiny and full. Also, both male-pattern balding and female hair loss is often linked to insulin resistance. Fortunately, salmon helps the body process insulin more efficiently.
On top of that:
Salmon and other fatty fish are teeming with follicle-stimulating vitamin D. And according to a hair growth study about the role of the vitamin D receptor in hair follicle biology, vitamin D may also help stimulate hair follicles that have become dormant.
This is encouraging because we now see evidence to suggest that the vitamin D in this aquatic food for hair growth may help prevent thinning hair as well as bald spots.
Chickpeas are an amazing food for hair growth because they are high in folate, which helps your body's red blood cells function, much the same as lentils do.
You can make a delicious hummus or stove top fry them in olive oil and your favorite seasonings for a crunchy poppable snack.
Many different edible seeds make good hair growth foods because they deliver a massive amount of nutrients with relatively few calories. Among these powerful nutrients that promote hair growth are vitamin E, vitamin B, zinc and selenium.
For example, just one measly ounce of delicious sunflower seeds gives your body almost 50% of your daily vitamin E needs, along with a wide spectrum of growth-boosting B vitamins.
On top of that:
Other delicious seeds like chia seeds and flaxseeds are packed with scalp-health boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
A 1-ounce serving of flaxseeds gives you more than 6,500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids. That’s more omega-3 fatty acids than half a fillet of salmon.
In order to get the widest variety of hair growth nutrients, it’s best to eat a mixture of seeds on a regular basis for a wide spectrum food for hair growth.
Spirulina is a little-know, yet powerful food for faster hair growth. Why?
Because spirulina is high in protein and hair growth promoting copper, and ever-important magnesium too. This greenish-blue marine algae grows naturally in oceans and salty lakes in subtropical climates.
It’s often added to the more popular green powder health drinks because of its whole body health effects. Spirulina is also a great food for hair growth that can be mix with celery juice for its growth-boosting benefits.
Girrrrrrl…. I love my “skrimps”, you can tell me nothin’ bout no skrimp, lol.
OK, seriously though….
Shrimp are a very popular (and super-delicious) shellfish that also makes for a great food for hair growth because it’s rich with tons of nutrients that have the potential to promote thicker hair growth.
For example, shrimp are a great source of protein, B-vitamins, zinc, iron and vitamin D. A 100-gram serving of shrimp gives your body 38% of your daily vitamin D needs.
This is an important hair growth fact because clinical studies have linked the deficiency of vitamin D3 to excess hair fall.
Despite being low in fat, shrimp also provides your body with a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to improved rates of natural hair growth.
Who knew that doggone rabbit food would be great for hair growth?
Actually, carrots are far from simple pet food. They are amazing for our overall health and when the beta-carotene they are packed with is converted to vitamin A this helps protect against dull hair and stimulates the glands in your scalp to make a naturally protective oil called sebum.
So where do you find this beta-carotene hair growth elixir of luscious locks?
Orange-colored fruits and vegetables are your best bet: Butternut squash, Sweet potatoes, orang bell peppers, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and mangoes.
Watermelon is an amazing food for hair growth because it’s packed with Vitamin C, which helps your body to utilize hair growth boosting nutrients like non-heme iron – this ensures that enough iron is in your red blood cells to assist in carrying oxygen to your scalp and hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth.
Collagen is also needed for healthy hair growth and watermelon helps promote collagen formation.
Another important nutrient that’s just pouring out of watermelon is citrulline, which converts in your body into arginine, an amino acid that's essential for optimum health and helps promote blood circulation in the scalp. Arginine and is therefore good for promoting thicker and faster hair growth.
See NEOCELL Super Collagen hair growth supplements HERE.
Join NHP-HIVE and get sent our info-packed, down-to-earth & sometimes funny NHP hair tutorials by email. SIGN UP HERE...
Nuts (not to be confused with seeds) are tasty, convenient and contain a variety of nutrients that encourage healthy hair growth.
For example, an ounce of almonds give you up to 35% of your daily vitamin E needs.
What’s more, nuts are a top food for hair growth because they provide a wide variety of B-vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids. A deficiency in any of these nutrients has been directly linked to as a cause of excess hair loss and breakage.
According to a published clinical journal review, deficiency of the polyunsaturated essential fatty acids linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) can cause hair changes including unnatural loss of hair and eyebrows. To stop that from happening to you or your hair, eat foods for hair growth such as walnuts that are loaded with linolenic and alpha-linolenic acids.
Nuts are also well-known to carry a wide spectrum of other health and wellness benefits besides hair growth, including reduced inflammation and a lower risk of heart disease. So grab a handful of almonds to keep your hair growth and health.
It only makes sense that since many nuts are great foods for hair growth that organic peanut butter would also make a top-notch food for hair growth.
Peanuts are a significant source of biotin, known to both stimulate hair growth and fight against hair loss. Peanut butter has a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and a unique profile of antioxidants. Peanuts are also very satiating which makes them a great vegan food for hair growth if you're vegetarian or vegan.
A major bonus to the sheer YUMMINESS of Greek yogurt is that this creamy food for hair growth contains powerful growth-boosting nutrients like vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid), B vitamins are well-known to help you maintain healthy hair, skin and nails. In fact, biotin is one type of B vitamin. The “B” in vitamin B might as well stand for “beauty”, because that’s what it helps boost.
Wanna know more about the benefits of Greek yogurt for growing longer hair? Read an in-depth article about Greek yogurt for hair growth.
What food for hair growth tastes great with greek yogurt? Berries! Berries are a great vegan food for hair growth loaded with beneficial vitamins and natural chemical compounds that may promote hair growth.
This includes vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants can help your body (including your hair follicles) actively fight against cellular and structural damage from harmful molecules called free radicals.
For example, 1 cup of strawberries is jam-packed (“jam-packed”.... Get it? lol) with 141% of your daily vitamin C needs.
Cool part is… Your body uses vitamin C to produce hair growth boosting collagen, an important protein that helps strengthen your hair and works to prevent it from breaking or becoming brittle.
Avocados are not only creamy and delicious, but because they are soooooo dang nutritious and a great source of healthy fats they make one of the best foods for hair growth on the planet.
They are also an excellent source of vitamin E, which helps promote hair growth.
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps lay the smack down on oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals.
In one study, people with hair loss experienced 34.5% more hair growth after taking a vitamin E hair boosting supplement for 8 months.
Vitamin E also protects areas of the skin, like the scalp, from oxidative stress and damage. Damaged skin on the scalp can result in poor hair quality and fewer hair follicles.
Another hair growth boost comes because avocados are a healthy source of essential fatty acids. Important because these fats cannot be produced by the body, yet, they are essential building blocks of your hair and scalp cells. A deficiency in essential fatty acids has been linked to hair loss.
Sweet peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, which may aid hair growth.
In fact, one yellow pepper provides nearly 5.5 times as much vitamin C as an orange (30).
Vitamin C helps promote collagen production, which can help strengthen your hair strands. It’s also a strong antioxidant, which can protect hair strands against oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defense system. This oxidative stress has been linked to the graying of hair as well as excess hair loss.
What’s more, sweet peppers are also an excellent source of vitamin A.
This vitamin may help speed up hair growth while stimulating the production of sebum, which helps keep hair healthy.
Looking for a vegetarian or vegan source of omega-3s? Chia seeds are full of them, not to mention fiber and antioxidants.
This nutritional powerhouse is considered a complete protein, containing 20% more protein than soy beans, and can help promote beautiful and luscious locks. These tiny, shelf-stable seeds can be added to cereal, smoothies, puddings, and even as a heart-healthy boost in baked goods.
Swapping out white refined carbohydrates for 100% whole grains can help you amp up the fiber, zinc, iron, and B vitamins in your diet to support healthy hair. Buckwheat, considered a whole grain, is a nutritious gluten-free seed and its benefits are endless. It even goes farther than being a great food for hair growth.
Buckwheat is filled with key antioxidants and fiber, which can help you fill up faster. Use it as a swap for oatmeal at breakfast or rice in stir-frys, and try buckwheat-based Udon when making ramen or other noodle dishes.
Flax seeds are full of polyunsaturated fatty acids that can help nourish your scalp and prevent dryness. Sprinkle ground flax seeds on your yogurt, add some to your smoothie, or create your own flax egg to substitute a real egg in any baked goods recipes.
Add one tablespoon ground flax seeds to three tablespoons water and let sit for about five minutes to thicken; this is a vegan one-to-one swap for a regular egg.
Sweet potatoes are a great food for hair growth because it's such a packed source of beta-carotene. The body converts this compound into vitamin A, which is linked to good hair health.
A medium sweet potato (about 114 grams) contains enough beta-carotene to provide more than four times your daily vitamin A needs.
Research has shown that vitamin A promotes the production of sebum, which helps keep hair healthy.
What’s more, vitamin A could also speed up the rate of hair growth and encourage the growth of thicker hair, all while preventing other hair follicles from regressing.
Asparagus might make you pee stink a bit but it’s a good food for hair growth. You willing to take the tradeoff?
The B vitamin folate in asparagus is plentiful, same goes for avocados, broccoli and Florida oranges. As we talked about earlier, folate is responsible for gene synthesis and red blood cell formation. Folate also plays a large part in breaking down protein, therefore providing the building blocks of hair follicles.
If you happen to suffer from thinning hair or hair that’s falling out completely, it could be caused by a lack of zinc in your diet. The good new is, research has shown that hair loss related to zinc deficiency can be reversed simply by eating more of the all-important hair growth nutrient.
According to clinical hair growth studies, 5 mgs per kilogram of body weight was enough to induce hair growth in patients who suffered from alopecia.
One way to boost your zinc intake is to load up on oysters, an excellent food for hair growth. Just 6 oysters will give you 30 whopping mgs of zinc, which is 2X the daily requirement of this hair-growing nutrient! Some other foods high in zinc include beans and beef.
As I mentioned earlier, iron deficiency can lead to serious hair loss, most notably in women.
Organ meats like liver are a great food for hair growth because of the abundance of iron. If you’re anything like me though, you think that liver tastes like crap (sorry, not sorry).
Good news is…. Iron is also plentiful in Popeye's favorite food, spinach.
Even though he was bald, lol.
But hey, if you like liver and foods like pâté, your hair will benefit. So eat up, and you can have all the liver, I’ll pass.
Eggs are a well-known food for hair growth because they’re packed with 8+ mcg of a B vitamin called biotin, which may help hair grow and strengthen fingernails. Other plentiful sources of biotin include avocados, almonds and salmon.
Whether scrambled or boiled, eggs are also a rich source of vitamin D, a vitamin that’s known to help your hair grow strong and shiny. According to a study that was published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, vitamin D can help create new hair follicles which can help improve the thickness of your hair or reduce the amount of hair you lose as you age.
Like other plant-based foods that are great for boosting hair growth, grapes contain polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant properties, which may help reduce cellular damage.
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins found in grapes help to prevent DHT production which is a main factor in male pattern balding and excess female hair fall. Oligomeric proanthocyanidins in grapes also stimulate hair follicle growth.
Eating about a cup of grapes per day can work wonders at protecting your tissues from inflammation.
This is a tropical, super juicy fruit for growing hair because it brims with vitamin C. Guava nutrients help protect your hair from breaking by fighting against cellular oxidation.
One cup of guava has 377 milligrams of vitamin C. That's 4 times more than the minimum daily recommended amount. And guava is absolutely, scrumptiously delicious making your new hair growth journey sweeter than ever!
Science makes it very clear that getting too little iron can surely lead to unnatural hair loss. But if you find that you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet you can find this important nutrient in fortified cereal, grains, and pastas.
Hey sis, heyyy!
I'm Melissa Lee...
Co-founder of NHP. You'd de wise to...
TAKE DELIVERY of NHP Tutorials in your inbox for FREE!
Get EXPERT HAIR HELP at your fingertips weekly!
Let's keep in touch - sign up quickly by clicking RIGHT HERE...
The foods that you choose to eat tend to have a major effect on the health of your hair and its growth potential.
When your hair and scalp lack the infusion of the right growth-promoting nutrients like vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin growth nutrients, protein and essential fatty acids, the deficiency can easily slow down hair growth and even cause hair loss.
Causing you to think that you simply don’t have the genetics to grow long hair, when that’s not the case at all. It’s failing nutrition.
Fortunately, correcting nutrient deficiencies is very doable when finding the proper foods for hair growth and eating them consistently. The proper diet changes may quickly help treat hair loss, boost length retention and quicken your rate of hair growth.
If you think you’re lacking any of these hair growth nutrients, try adding some of the above foods for hair growth to your dinner plate ASAP (and consistently). And Hey! Grab my FREE Exotic Hair Growth Ingredients Guide, too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.