What Sort Of Diet Should You Follow To Promote Hair Growth?

Long hair is the object of all of our desires and is revered worldwide as a symbol of beauty. It's no wonder we clamor to get the most acclaimed products that promise growth and thickness, and even risk getting scammed (again) in the process. If there was a magic elixir that guaranteed instant hair growth, it would be sold out in two minutes. While no such elixir exists (yet), there are foods you can eat that contain the necessary nutrients to actively promote hair growth. 

When looking to boost hair growth, most of us tend to ransack the beauty product shelves at the supermarket. But we'd be better off just a couple of aisles over on the produce side. Your dietary intake is vital in nourishing your hair follicles. Topical applications are useful, but if your diet consists of nothing but junk food with no real nutritional value, it will reflect in your hair's health. There are certain foods you can add to your diet to help knock your follicles into overdrive.

Increase your protein, vitamin, and mineral intake

The notion that something as ordinary as a proper diet could have a hand in achieving your hair growth goals might sound outlandish, but it's the truth. Eating one piece of broccoli might not give you long, lustrous locks but the compounded effect of eating well does make a big difference. As nutritionist Maria Marlowe explained to Vogue: "The healthiest diet for your hair is the healthiest diet in general — one that is based on real, whole foods and is mostly plant-based."

Your hair is primarily comprised of keratin, a protein, and amino acids are essential when it comes to growing your hair. You also want to look out for foods that are high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, Omega-3, and zinc. You can find these nutrients packed into foods like eggs, bell peppers, green leafy vegetables, and seeds and nuts such as walnuts, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. 

Elsewhere, oily fish is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. The fish you should be eating for stronger hair are mackerel, sardine, herring, and salmon. Biotin, meanwhile, is a complex B vitamin that is famously vital for haircare and is used in many product formulas. Foods that contain copious amounts of biotin include sweet potatoes, liver, almonds, broccoli, avocados, sunflower seeds, and yogurt.

Your hair will tell you when to work on your diet

Good food is a prerequisite for better hair growth and healthier strands. In the same way that getting rid of belly fat has more to do with what you eat than how much you work out, growing healthy hair depends more on what you put into your mouth than what kind of shampoo or conditioner you use. Fortunately, when your hair isn't getting the nourishment that it needs, it will be super obvious. 

If you notice your hair breaking off and falling out without any real reason, it could be because of your diet. Nutrient deficiency can lead to a condition known as telogen effluvium or TE which is basically a type of hair loss that also results in dull, lifeless hair. If you suspect you're lacking in certain nutrients, you can talk to your doctor or even opt for a blood test to check if everything's in order. 

On the other hand, if it turns out you don't have a nutrient deficiency, it might be time to stop taking supplements. Taking too many supplements when your nutrient level is perfectly balanced can have adverse effects on your hair.  Getting a surplus of selenium, vitamin E, or vitamin A could even lead to hair loss. If in doubt, always pay attention to your head and proceed accordingly.