7 Best Foods for Hair Growth (What to Eat for Healthy,Thick Hair ) - hair buddha

7 Best Foods for Hair Growth (What to Eat for Healthy,Thick Hair )

Foods for Healthy Hair Growth

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

Similarly, our body also sheds hair to survive the nutrition crisis. If we eat too much junk foods, there are little nutrients in our system. And our hair which is the non-essential part– meaning it’s not necessary for our survival– is cut off the vitamins and minerals.

Our body cleverly directs the available nutrients towards the vital areas like brain, heart and other organs. Thus, leaving out hair and nails.

With low nutrients, the hair will grow weaker and thinner over time.

And unlike the trees that grow back their leaves in spring months, your hair will not grow if you continue eating the same junk.

But here’s the good news. Once you get on the healthy eating path, your body will have enough resources (nutrients) to give to the essential as well as the non-essential body parts. So your hair roots will be provided with the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs to grow strong and healthy hair.

What should be on the menu? Here’s a list of 7 superfoods to nourish your hair from the inside out.

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

7 Best Foods for Healthy Hair Growth 

1. Cucumbercucumber for healthy hair growth

Cucumbers have not received as much fame as other vegetables in terms of health and hair benefits. Cucumbers contain a unique combination of antioxidants which help our body get rid of free radicals. And the faster we rid these free radicals, the better it is for us. Free radical build up can cause everything from small to big problems, such as wrinkles, greying, hair loss, arthritis, heart conditions and memory loss.

Cucumbers also have a detoxifying and cleansing action. That’s because of compounds called cucurbitaceae. They help to support our liver and digestive tract so that toxins and waste are eliminated. With the system clean, we are better able to absorb nutrients and nourish our cells and tissues, including hair cells.

Besides, cucumbers are a great source of silica, an essential mineral for the health of our hair. Silica strengthens and thickens hair and adds a lovely shine to it.

Even from the ayurvedic point of view, cucumbers are beneficial for the hair. It reduces the excess body heat or pitta dosha. As we saw here, high pitta dosha is damaging to hair follicles and cause 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. ChickenChicken for hair growth

Chick chick chicken…is good for hair.

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

Why is cysteine vital for hair?

As you know, our hair is composed of a 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 (and 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 known to be good for eyes, but carrots also help keep your hair in tip-top condition. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which has many amazing benefits for your hair.

Firstly, it protects your hair from UV-rays, pollutants and free radicals generated due to stress. Secondly, it helps in the production of sebum or your hair’s natural oils. These natural oils will give you soft, shiny, bouncy hair without any need of hair product.

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 for hair growth

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 contain plenty of hair nourishing nutrients such as: protein, B vitamins, zinc, iron magnesium, calcium and more. You can call them multivitamin for hair.

Folate, one of the B vitamins, is found in large amounts in these beans. It helps to prevent premature greying and also restores luster and vitality of the hair.

Another important nutrient worth mentioning is zinc. Zinc is vital for cell regeneration (including hair cells), and protein absorption and these function are essential to thick, healthy, shiny 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 for healthy hair

Almonds not only taste delicious, they also promote healthy hair.

Almonds are rich in vitamin E. This powerful vitamin nourishes the scalp and gives your hair a strong base to grow. Almonds are a good source of biotin. Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about biotin, which is touted as the important vitamin for healthy hair.

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. Amlaamla for 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 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.

You may also enjoy:

Amla for thicker and fuller hair growth

Amla the Superfood for Hair

Okay, so that was the list of 7 superfoods that can make a big difference in your hair growth. But along with eating these foods, there are few more tips you can follow to enhance your hair and health.

9 Bonus Tips for Healthy Hair

1. Love and Eat Fruits and Vegetables  

If you love and eat fruits and vegetables, you are a star. And if you don’t love and eat your fruits and vegetables, yet, you are 2 steps from becoming a star.

Now, why should you eat fruits and vegetables. Because not only they contain amazing vitamins and minerals, they are also packed with antioxidants. Our body generates free radicals as part of regular metabolism. These free radicals are quickly neutralised by antioxidant enzymes that our body makes as well as the antioxidant-rich foods that we eat.

What happens if these free radicals start building up? Well, they can damage our body tissues and cause ageing and chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and heart condition. Plus, they also cause hair thinning, greying and wrinkles. So don’t give free-radical a chance to build up and eat the veggies and fruits.

2. Follow 80:20 Rule for Eating

I am not saying you give up 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.

3. 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.

Some examples of good fats are: ghee, butter, nuts (cashew, walnut) and seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin). So munch on these.

4. 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

5. 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 are: beans and lentils, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, beetroot, meat and liver.

6. Spend a few minutes in the sun

That’s to get vitamin D which is made in your skin. Vitamin D is another essential vitamin for hair growth, and its deficiency can result in hair loss.

Make sure your arms or legs or both are exposed to the sun as your skin can’t absorb sunlight under the clothes.

You will also like

Garlic Hair Oil to End Hair Loss

Zinc deficiency causes Hair Loss

Egg and Olive Oil Hair Mask for Thick Hair Growth

Ashwagandha for Healthy Hair Growth 

Leave a Comment:

Khan says

I am suffering from hair loss I can see the skin of my head means that much i had lost hair kindly suggest how to stop hair fall and to regrowth

    Minaz says

    Do a regular head massage, use natural homemade shampoo. And staying away from synthetic hair sprays and gels which can harm hair. Also make sure you eat healthy and balanced diet. Do check with your doctor to rule out any deficiency or medical condition.

Kaiser says

Just for fun: Did you know chickens Poop and lay their eggs out of the same hole.

Sindy Sahota says

Hi Minaz
I have Lupus SLE and Drs’ put everything that goes wrong with me, down to that.
I used to have such lovely hair even though its fine hair i had loads of it. Now i have wide parting and the grey hair makes it look even worse. I feel that my confidence to go out has gone. In the sun you can see gaps. Please help Minaz. I’ve thought of seeing a Tricologist but cant find one with good reviews. I need help.

    Minaz says

    Hi Sindy, I am not sure if I can help much.
    Keep your diet clean, eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Vegetables in every meal (btw potato and paneer are not counted as vegetables). Get help from nutritionist if you are not sure on what to eat.
    Exercise regularly. Do a balance of cardio and weights. Exercise helps rewire our brain, balance our hormones and built healthy immune system.
    For hair, I have shared lots of ayurvedic masks and shampoos and they do help strengthen the hair follicles and grow healthy hair.
    You can start with this shampoo.

ranjani says


Is it ok to use Banjara’s henna? or what kind of henna can we use to cover the gray. I have been coloring but i no longer want to color my hair and want to go with natural products. Please suggest on grey coverage.


    Minaz says

    I have never used Banjara’s henna. Find a local supplier that sells rajasthani henna with no additives. Just pure henna powder.


Hii i have moved to USA from INDIA recently its been two months since ive been here i have lost almost 1/4 of hair, i thought it because of hard water here could you plz tell me how to stop my hairfall and regrow naturally Iam very much concerned about my hairloss.

    Ksenija says

    Your hair loss is more probably because of the stress than hard water. Hair is very sensitive to your psychological well-being and moving (especially to a different continent) is one of the biggest stressors in ones life. The good news is, the hair can grow back. And fairly quickly as well. Do a hair mask once a week from organic Amla, Shikakai and Ritha (the brand name I use and trust is Radico), keep it on your head for one hour and rise it off. It also works as shampoo. In fact, I ditched the regular shampoo and only use Shikakai and Ritha as a shampoo.You should start seeing new hair growth in 4 to 6 weeks.

Pixie says

Love your writing. I found you because my hair is responding terribly to any oils I use. I managed to follow a 2 month regimen of oil every other night and spritzing to style or wash and go. At first my hair was rich and luxurious but then it was like I went through some sort of setback. My healthy hair became brittle and won’t curl. Oils make my hair straight and super dry. Leave-ins don’t work and regular conditioners make my strands as brittle as the oils do. I’m at a loss

Sally says

Hi Minaz ,, thanks for the informative post ,, I would love to know how the mung beans were served for breakfast ? Was it kitchari or another dish ? ,,

    Minaz says

    Hi Sally, my mom made a stir-fry with onion, tomato, some turmeric and chili powder.

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.

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.

    Minaz @hairbuddha says

    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.

      Minaz @hairbuddha says

      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

      Minaz @hairbuddha says

      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.

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.

    Minaz @hairbuddha says

    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.

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