all hair types What Are the Best Foods for Healthy Hair?January 21, 2022
The guide to eating your way to your best mane.
The guide to eating your way to your best mane.
You are what you eat, or so the saying goes. While that may not literally be true, what you eat could be a factor contributing to how your hair appears. That’s why it’s important to incorporate the right foods for healthy hair into your daily diet — meaning junk food and sugary treats are out. If you’re wondering what you should be chowing down on instead for your hair’s health, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best beauty foods you need in order to be your most beautiful, healthy-looking self this year.
Having a healthy diet can benefit you in more ways than one — including boosting your hair’s appearance. Your mane, like the rest of your body, requires care to appear its best. According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnological Information (NCBI), healthy-looking hair can be the result of what you’re putting in your body. So, that means in addition to using hydrating hair treatments (like hair masks) weekly, not using hot tools often and being on top of your haircut appointments, you should also be eating right. You can start doing the same by incorporating some nutritious foods into your diet and ensuring that you maintain a balanced, well-rounded diet and lifestyle. Keep reading to find out what foods you should be adding to your daily meal plan.
Getting the right amount of protein is an essential part of supporting healthy hair, which is why eggs are on the top of our list. Eggs provide a source of amino acids that make up the proteins responsible for healthy hair. According to the NCBI, it is recommended to consume two to three eggs per week as part of a healthy diet. The study goes on to explain that protein deficiency can result in hair fragility and brittleness, hair loss, lack of hair elasticity and lack of volume. Other sources of protein include salmon, poultry and lean red meat.
Editor’s tip: For folks who follow a plant-based diet, a good alternative to eggs or meat-based foods are legumes and beans. They are also protein-rich and can help play a part in transforming damaged hair.
Speaking of protein, another protein-rich food that boosts the look of healthy hair is nuts. Not only are nuts — specifically pistachios and peanuts — a good source of amino acids, according to the NCBI, they can also add magnesium and iron into your diet. This is important, as having an iron or magnesium deficiency can result in hair loss, according to the same study. So, consider grabbing a handful of nuts the next time you’re craving a mid-afternoon snack.
Editor’s tip: In addition to practicing a healthy lifestyle, incorporating proper hair care products is still important. We recommend adding the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair Extreme Renewing Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair Extreme Renewing Conditioner into your hair care routine. Both are formulated with wheat protein and ceramides to deeply penetrate and renew damaged hair. Once a week, follow up with the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Protein Recharge Leave-In Conditioner Treatment for an extra boost of nourishment. Formulated with a blend of almond oil and protein, this leave-in treatment works wonders at nourishing your hair and preventing breakage.
We bet it’s no surprise to you that vegetables are on our list of foods that help achieve healthy-looking hair. After all, your mom has likely been telling you to eat your veggies since you were a child. And hopefully, you listened since vegetables have quite a few benefits when it comes to hair, including providing vitamin C. The NCBI states that vitamin C has an influence on creating the hair shaft (the part of the hair that is above the skin), which is why it should be included in your diet. According to the study, veggies that are a good source of vitamin C include green parsley leaves, kale, horseradish, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach.
Folate is another nutrient found in certain vegetables that can benefit your hair’s appearance. The study states that folate is responsible for stimulating the blood flow to the hair growth source. You can get folate into your diet by consuming green peas, asparagus and beets. Other nutrient-rich veggies you can ensure are part of your diet include biotin, vitamin B5 and vitamin A.
Editor's tip: Taking a biotin supplement can also be beneficial for achieving healthy hair. Before making the decision to take a supplement, talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you make sure you're consuming the right nutrients in the right quantities.
Like vegetables, fruits are another great source of vitamin C in your diet. According to the NCBI, you can get your vitamin C fix in strawberries, kiwi and any citrus fruits.
Additionally, fruits are also a good source of vitamin A and flavonoids (a compound found in most fruits and veggies), which can help bring about healthy-looking hair. Specific fruits that can serve as a source of flavonoids in your diet include apples, berries, grapes and citrus fruits. The study also states that bitter chocolate has the highest number of flavonoid compounds, so consider having a treat (as long as it’s greater than 70 percent cocoa) here and there, too.
Foods that are rich in essential fatty acids should also be incorporated into your diet, stat. According to the NCBI study, healthy fats — such as omega-3s and omega-6s — may promote hair growth and hair hydration. Fatty fish, like salmon, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. If fish isn’t your cup of tea, you can also consume nuts and seeds, plant oils, poultry and eggs, as all of these foods contain essential fatty acids.
Editor’s tip: Looking for some topical hair care products that include plant oils? The L'Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Dreamy Curls Leave-In Conditioner contains castor oil that helps hydrate hair and create bouncy, soft curls. You can also achieve nourished hair goals by trying the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment, which is infused with camellia and sunflower oils.
Edited by: Sophie Dweck, Photography: Chaunte Vaughn, Senior Art Direction: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Senior Visual Designer: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Assistant: Victoria Ochoa, Digital Tech: Kyle Thompson, Model: AnnChristine Velazquez