Skip to content

Hair Loss Health Center

Diet and Healthy Hair

Font Size
A
A
A

A healthy diet can help your hair stay strong and lustrous. Your diet can also prevent hair loss. In fact, very specific nutritional deficiencies can affect your hair.

Essential fatty acids -- especially omega-3 fatty acids -- play a key role in skin, hair, and nails. You should eat some of these foods, which are rich in omega-3, every day:

  • Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other fatty fish
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts and almonds

Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are also important to your hair. Vegetarians and vegans often don't get enough of these vitamins.

Good sources of vitamin B-6 include bananas, potatoes (both white and sweet), and spinach.

Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables -- especially citrus fruits and tomatoes -- will help you get folic acid. Whole grain and fortified grain products, beans, and lentils also contain folic acid. Major sources of B12 include meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.

Protein is also critical for keeping hair healthy, but many people don't get enough. Lean meat like fish, chicken, eggs, and soy products are good sources of protein; eat one serving every day.

Because trace minerals like magnesium,zinc, and biotin also affect hair, it's a good idea to take a daily multivitamin.

Sometimes there are genetic factors such as male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness that can play a role. Occasionally, thyroid disease, anemia, other autoimmune disease and hormonal issues may also cause changes or loss of hair.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on July 28, 2014

Today on WebMD

hair in hairbrush
Ways to go about it naturally.
Young woman with thick curly hair
Causes and solutions.
 
man with thinning hair
How to keep the hair you have.
Closeup of Hairbrush with Hair Loss
Understand the basics.
 
Mens Hair Loss When To Start Treatment
Article
A Dermatologist Talks About Hair Loss
Article
 
Rogaine And Propecia For Hair Loss
Article
Woman looking at thinning hair in hand mirror
Video
 
Balding man in mirror
Slideshow
Close up of comb in woman's hair
Quiz
 
Young woman with thick curly hair
Slideshow
hair problems
Slideshow