7 Foods for Amazing Hair Growth (Reduce Hair Fall & Thinning) - hair buddha
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7 Foods for Amazing Hair Growth (Reduce Hair Fall & Thinning)

Food for Healthy Hair Growth

 

Have you ever wondered why trees shed leaves before winter? Shedding leaves helps trees to conserve water and energy to survive.

Why am I telling you this?

Well that is what our bodies do if our diet is not right. They shed hair first because hair is non-essential part of your body – meaning it’s not necessary for your survival.

To save body’s resources, nutrients will be taken from less important areas such as hair and nails to feed the more important parts, such as brain, heart, and other organs.

As a result, your hair will grow weaker and thinner over time.

The good news is that if you start eating fresh, healthy foods, your body will have enough resources (nutrients); and thus your hair will get the required vitamin and minerals for it to grow strong and healthy.

So what do you eat for healthy hair? Here’s a list of 7 superfoods to nourish your hair from within.

(Don’t forget to read bonus tips at the bottom of the page)

7 Foods for Amazing Hair Growth (Reduce Hair Loss)

1. Cucumbercucumber

 

Who would have thought that a simple and inexpensive vegetable like cucumber can help grow thick hair?

But it’s true.

Cucumber is chock-full of phytonutrients that not only protect hair from damage and thinning, but also propel hair growth.

Cucumbers also contain generous amounts of silica. And silica is a vital mineral for the health of your hair. (Silica is also beneficial for the health of your bones and nails.)

Even from the ayurvedic point of view, cucumbers are great for your hair. It reduces excess body heat or pitta dosha. As we saw here, high pitta dosha is damaging to hair follicles, thereby causing hair loss.

Tip: Silica is present in the skin of the cucumber, so don’t peel it off.

2. Flaxseedsflax seeds for hair growth

Flaxseeds are another superfoods for your hair.

They are the richest vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids called ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid).

These essential fatty acids work as a natural hair conditioner and add lustre and flexibility to hair – so you will have less breakage.

They also nourish your hair follicles and moisturise your scalp skin. Dry, flaky scalp is often attributed to lack of omega-3 in the diet.

Flaxseeds contain several B vitamins, and minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium and selenium.  All help keep hair strong, healthy and, most importantly, you will find far less hairs in the shower.

Did you know Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant.

Here’s how to eat flax seeds

You may also like: How to make all Natural Hair Styling Gel with Flaxseeds

3. ChickenSONY DSC

 

Chick chick chicken…is amazing for hair.

Chicken contains a special type of amino acid called ‘cysteine’ which is essential for healthy hair growth.

Why is cysteine important for hair?

As you know, our hair is composed of protein called keratin.

And the keratin itself is built largely by cysteine. Cysteine molecules are joined together in a strong bond, which gives your hair its structure and strength.

So by eating foods rich in cysteine, you can help make your hair stronger. Cysteine also promotes faster hair growth as well as improves the overall health of hair as well as nails.

If you are a vegetarian, there are more sources of cysteine: onion, garlic, dairy, sprouted lentils, wheat germ and oats.

Just for fun: Did you know chickens don’t pee.  It’s just mixed into the poop.

4. CarrotCarrots for Healthy Hair

Carrots are well-known to be good for eye health, but carrots also keep your hair in tip-top condition.

Carrots are greats source of beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene has many amazing benefits for your hair.

Firstly, it protects your hair follicles from getting damaged due to UV-rays or pollutants or effects of stress.

Secondly, it helps in the formation of sebum or your hair’s natural oils.

These natural oils will give you soft, shiny, bouncy hair without any need of external conditioner or serum.

In addition, a cupful of carrot is an excellent source of biotin, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, B6 and fiber.

Other high-beta-carotene foods: The orange and yellow coloured vegetables like sweet potato, papaya, pumpkin, mango, spinach and cantaloupe.

5. Mung Beansmung-beans

When I was growing up, mung beans were a breakfast staple in my house. So my love for this bean is very special.

Mung beans are literally the multivitamin for hair. It contains plenty of hair nourishing nutrients such as: protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc.

Zinc is essential for formation of hair. Therefore people with zinc deficiency produce fine and weak hair. Count zinc in most essential mineral for hair list.

Mung beans are also a rich source of folate – which is an essential nutrient for regeneration of cells (including hair cells). Lack of folate is linked to premature greying of hair.

How to eat: you can sprout them and add them to your stir-fries. Or soak them overnight and make mung soup.

6. Almondsalmonds prevent grey hair

Almonds not only taste delicious; they also add shine and health to your hair.

Almonds contain tons of vitamin E. This vitamin is naturally found in the skin and helps to reduce oxidative stress and support the scalp tissue, thus giving your hair a strong base to grow.

Almonds also contain good amounts of biotin. Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about biotin, which is touted as the important vitamin for healthy hair growth.

Besides, if you think you are greying too early then eat almonds. They contain catalase, a special enzyme that aids to keep our hair colour pigment intact.

How to eat almonds:

Soak them overnight, throw away the water, rinse and eat. This helps to remove the unwanted anti-nutrients that can cause indigestion or hamper nutrition absorption.

Buying Tip: Always buy organic almonds, which are free form pesticides.

7. Amlaindian gooseberry to prevent grey hair

Amla is amazing. It has been used to grow, thick beautiful hair for centuries.

Whether you eat it or put its juice on your hair, amla will not disappoint you.

The powerful antioxidants and vitamin C in amla rejuvenate hair follicles and reduce hair loss. Amla may also be able to stimulate dormant hair follicles and increase the overall thickness and density of your hair.

Buying tip: You can get fresh amla when in season, or you can purchase amla powder, which is said to be equally beneficial, year around (Buy Here).

You may also enjoy: Amla the Superfood for Hair

Bonus Tips on What to Eat for Healthy Hair

Eat Vegetables (Absolutely Essential)

I can’t stress enough on how important it is to eat fresh vegetables (not frozen) with every meal.

All vegetables are an outstanding source of antioxidants — which protect your hair from damage and falling out.

Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself and see the difference in your hair, health and well-being.

Learn to Cook

If you don’t know cooking, teach yourself by taking a class or learning from friends and family.

When you cook your own food, you have control over what goes into it. You can prepare a balanced diet and keep yourself and your family healthy and full of energy.

To start with, you can also take help from a nutritionist. Someone who lives in your city may be able to help you better as she/he knows what grows locally and changes seasonally.

Follow 80:20 Rule for Eating

I am not saying you totally give up the fries and candies and become a monk. You can follow the 80/20 rule, so eat fresh and healthy 80% of the time and indulge 20% (not the other way).

In general, a diverse diet of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, beans, legumes, dairy, (and some fish and meat) is the key to healthier hair.

Don’t Lose Weight too Quickly

A sudden weight loss can cause shock to your body and trigger a hair loss condition called as telogen effluvium (TE).

If you are losing weight by starving, you are depriving your body of essential nutrition, leading to mineral and vitamin deficiency.

Like I said before, seek help from nutritionist or physical trainer if you are unsure on how to lose weight, don’t try to figure it out on your own.

Cut Down on Sugar and Refined Carbs

Sugar is empty calories, so it provides no nutritional benefits. Not just that, it actually uses up nutrients in the body to process and digest itself.

Refined carbs such as white bread, naan, pasta have a similar effect as sugar.

Replace refined carbs with whole grains, and sugar with healthier alternatives such as jaggery (gur).

 Don’t Skip Healthy Fats

If you have dry, brittle hair, or a dry or flaky scalp, it’s a sign that you are low in essential fatty acids.

All fat is not bad. Fried foods, refined oils, hydrogenated oils are examples of bad fats.

But ghee, butter, coconut, nuts (cashew, walnut), seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin), avocados and fish are some examples of good fats.

Check for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Again, hair loss or prematurely greying could be due to low vitamin B12. The deficiency is more common in vegans or vegetarians, as b12 is mostly found in animal products such as dairy, eggs, meat and fish.

You may also like: Why Vitamin B12 deficiency causes Hair loss and Greying

Eat Iron Rich Foods

Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common causes of thinning or hair loss in otherwise healthy women. Besides, it’s noted that women with alopecia areata have significantly lower levels of iron in their blood compared to those without hair loss.

Foods rich in iron: all beans and lentils, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, meat and liver.

What do you eat to grow your hair thicker? 

 

  • Rish says:

    Thanks Minaz, this is good. I’m losing thickness in my hair and hair has really become scarce around the middle of my head. One of my thoughts is to completely move away from commercial shampoos and conditioners- and only use amla and shikakai as a paste thrice weekly, followed by applying hair oil thrice weekly. Wonder how that sounds to you.

    • Hi Rish,

      Sounds good. Also add fenugreek powder to your shikakai and amla paste. Fenugreek helps to reduce hair loss and is good for your scalp health.

  • Suja S says:

    Hi Minaz, Great post as always. I am trying to all these protein rich foods for thicker hair. As I mentioned in one of my comments, I smoothened by hair. Hair loss is bit more after I started with hair massage. As per your suggestion, I stopped the parlor head massage and started my own for 10min 3times a week. I was just thinking should I start with some vitamin supplements. Do you have any suggestions on that.

    • Hello Suja,

      It took few months to normalise my hair fall.
      The chemical treatment that you had could have affected your hair follicle health and it takes time to recover.
      Also, do you think you could be deficient in iron, calcium, B12, or vitamin D? Their low levels cause hair loss. I would suggest that you consult a doctor and find out what is truly causing hair loss. Let me know how it goes.

    • What oil are you using for head massage?

    • Suja S says:

      Hi Minaz, I am using coconut oil mixed with aloe vera oil and another homemade oil which I bought online. I heat the oil and apply(not sure of ingredients..it worked for my friend so I got it). Now that you asked me this question, I am just thinking is it the hair oil that is causing my hairloss. I never had the history of iron,calcium deficiency. From past few months in fact, after I started taking good care of my hair is when I am seeing more hairloss. I am just going with the hope that all weak hair is falling. its more than a month I started head massage. Also I do apply coconut milk mixed with 5 drops of lavender essential oil and leave it for 1hr. During this one hour I go to gym class within my apartment. Started washing my hair with homemade Reetha shampoo.

      Do you have any homemade hair oil that help in hair growth and hairloss

    • Hi Suja, just use any one oil (may be coconut). And don’t heat the oil, not good for hair loss.
      You can try this Miracle Hair Mask. And/or this egg mask.

    • Suja S says:

      Sure Minaz! Will try the Miracle Hair Mask.

  • Natasha says:

    I like your holistic approach. Everything is interconnected and you bring it out so eloquently. It makes me feel even better to eat what I already eat i.e. natural foods as you explain it helps me scientifically. My grandmother used to say eat what god has given you the way he is given it to you and you will avoid 90% of problems. Thanks for sharing this. ….. What you eat shows in your hair and skin.

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