17 Best Foods To Stop Hair Loss
If you’re older than fifteen, the era of your thickest hair has come and gone. From now on, the name of the game is to keep as much of that stuff on your head. (And to maintain its luster, strength, and shine.)
Although the causes of hair loss are many — including genetics, age, hormones, nutrient deficiencies, toxicity, medications, and autoimmunity — changing your diet can, in many cases, be helpful. “Proper diet and supplements can slow or reverse hair loss, and make the hair thicker and healthier,” says nutritionist Joseph Debé, CD, CDN, CCSP.
Below are 17 nutrient-rich foods that have been shown to keep hair healthy and full.
In some cases (particularly in women), a mineral deficiency is the cause of hair loss. “It’s important to make sure you don’t have a lack of something in your diet that could be leading to hair loss,” says dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD, FAAD. “We check protein levels, iron, iron storage, vitamin D and a number of other labs to make sure you don’t have deficiencies.”
Spinach is iron rich and it contains sebum, which acts as a natural conditioner for hair. The leafy green also provides omega-3 acids, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. All help keep hair lustrous, shiny and, most importantly, out of the drain.
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid), which helps with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth. Just one ounce of the seeds serves up a solid 20 percent of your DV of the vitamin.
The human body can do a lot of crazy stuff, like turning sunlight into bone-strengthening vitamin D. Something it can’t do, however, is make omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to helping you stay fit and disease free, omega-3’s enable you to grow hair and keep it shiny and full.
“Omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory. They can help if you have inflammation that’s causing hair shedding,” says Dr. Jacob. It’s best to get omega-3s from natural sources, such as salmon and cold-water fish like sardines and mackerel.
This ruby red root is rich in natural chemicals known as nitrates. After being broken down in your body, these chemicals may contribute to improved circulation, which may bring oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles.
Oats are rich in beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber. According to Dr. Debé, both male-pattern balding and female hair loss is often associated with insulin resistance. Due to its high concentration of fiber, oatmeal is one food that helps improve the body’s insulin sensitivity.
One type of polyunsaturated fatty acids — an omega-6 fatty acid known as arachidonic acid (AA) — has been found to stimulate hair growth, making it thick and healthy. According to the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), chicken is the top source of AA intake in America. A 1-cup serving of a roasted chicken contains 154 milligrams of arachidonic acid.
Red Bell Pepper
Vitamin C prevents hair from becoming brittle and breaking. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled 2012 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, researchers tested an oral supplement containing vitamin C in women with thinning hair. They found the supplement promoted “significant hair growth in women with temporary hair thinning.” Although we often think of oranges as the best source of vitamin C, just a half of a medium red bell pepper packs 158 percent of your DV of the nutrient. We’ve rounded up 6 more foods that are the Best Sources of Vitamin C.