If you're someone with fine hair, you know how frustrating it can be trying to make your hair look voluminous and thick. Although most people turn to products in an attempt to improve their tresses, you may also want to start paying attention to your diet, as certain foods can strengthen fine hair from the inside out. Just as what you eat plays a role in the health of your skin, it can also affect the appearance of your hair.
"The foods we eat play a huge role in the health of your hair," says celebrity hair stylist Katsumi Kasai over email. "If you want to improve the health of your hair, it really starts in the kitchen. Think of your hair as an extension of your internal health. Filling your plate with lots of sugar and greasy food is going to have the same unhealthy result for your hair as it does to your body, while a diet filled with healthy dark greens, lean meats, and fish is going to build your hair health from the inside out."
Although it's true that some people are born with thicker hair than others, you don't have to be doomed to flat, fine hair forever just because of genetics. If you want to strengthen your fine hair, try incorporating these 11 foods into your diet.
"Like so many dark green leafy vegetables, spinach is full of amazing nutrients," says Kasai. "It has tons of vitamin A, plus iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C. These work together for a healthy scalp and length. They keep your hair moisturized so it doesn't break."
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is filled with protein, the building block of healthy hair. "Greek yogurt also has an ingredient that helps with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth," says Kasai. "It’s called vitamin B5, and it may even help against hair thinning and loss."
"Fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids," says Kasai. "Your body can't make these healthy fats, so you have to get them from food or supplements." One study from Dermatologic Clinics found that hair follicles can be impaired from a lack of fatty acids. "Your body needs them to grow hair and to keep it shiny and full," says Kasai.
"Biotin is a very important B vitamin essential for hair growth, and eggs are a really great source," says holistic health coach Annie Lawless over email. In addition to biotin, eggs also contain vitamin A, vitamin E, and lecithin, all of which strengthen hair and protect it from UV rays as well as hair loss.
"Zinc is a mineral involved in hair growth that keeps the oil glands around the hair follicles healthy," says Lawless. "When we are low in zinc, we can experience hair loss, inability to grow hair at a normal rate, and a flaky scalp. Oysters are a very rich source of zinc, so enjoy these tasty treats regularly as an appetizer."
"Iron deficiency is a leading cause of hair thinning in women, and not all iron is created equal," says Lawless. "Supplements and plant based sources are more difficult to absorb than animal sources, and the richest of all of these is beef." Stick with grass fed, organic meats to keep toxins, hormones, and antibiotics out of your body.
7. Bell Peppers
"Peppers are fabulous source of Vitamin C, which prevents hair from having a brittle texture and breaking," says Lawless. A study from the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology showed that Vitamin C promotes significant hair growth in women with temporary hair thinning. "Vitamin C is essential for iron absorption, so having peppers or another vitamin C-rich food with your steak is a double win," says Lawless.
Like peppers, guava is packed with vitamin C. "One cup of guava has 377 milligrams of vitamin C," says Kasai. "That's more than four times the minimum daily recommended amount."
Flaxseed contains iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein, all which contribute to strong hair. Sprinkle it on your yogurt, add it to smoothies, or toss it in a salad for extra nutrients.
Not only are beans a good source of protein, but they also contain iron, B vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc. Healthy options include black beans, kidney beans, white beans, and more.
Avocados do much more than provide a healthy addition to toast. The fruit is high in fatty acids, the B vitamins, and vitamin E, which can help repair damage to the scalp, according to LIVESTRONG. It also helps to moisturize hair.
In general, the healthier your diet, the healthier and stronger your hair will be.
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