Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on February 10, 2021

Salmon for Shine

1/10

Fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Your body can't make these healthy fats, so you have to get them from food or supplements. They help protect you from disease, but your body also needs them to grow hair and keep it shiny and full.

Grow With Greek Yogurt

2/10

It’s packed with protein, the building block of your locks. Greek yogurt also has an ingredient that helps with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth. It’s called vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid) and may even help against hair thinning and loss. You may recognize pantothenic acid as an ingredient on your hair and skincare product labels.

Spinach to Battle Brittle Hair

3/10

Like so many dark green leafy vegetables, spinach is full of amazing nutrients. It has tons of vitamin A, plus iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C. These work together for a healthy scalp and mane. They keep your hair moisturized so it doesn't break. Want to mix it up a little? Kale is another great green choice.

Guava to Prevent Breakage

4/10

This tropical fruit brims with vitamin C. It protects your hair from breaking. One cup of guava has 377 milligrams of vitamin C. That's more than four times the minimum daily recommended amount. Bonus!

Iron-Fortified Cereal to Prevent Loss

5/10

Getting too little iron can lead to hair loss. But you can find this important nutrient in fortified cereal, grains, and pastas, and in soybeans and lentils. Beef, especially organ meats like liver, have lots of it. Shellfish and dark leafy greens do too.

Lean Poultry for Thickness

6/10

When you don't get enough protein, hair growth "rests." Since it stops and older hairs fall out, you can have hair loss. To get protein from meat, pick lean options like chicken or turkey, which have less saturated fat than sources like beef and pork.

Sweet Potatoes to Fight Dull Locks

7/10

Have dry hair that's lost its shine? Sweet potatoes are filled with a good-for-you antioxidant called beta carotene. Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin A. That helps protect against dry, dull hair. It also encourages the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid called sebum that keeps hair from drying out. You can also find beta carotene in other orange vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and mangoes.

Cinnamon for Circulation

8/10

Sprinkle this spice on your oatmeal, toast, and in your coffee. It helps with blood flow, also called circulation. That's what brings oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles.

Eggs for Growth

9/10

Your protein and iron bases are covered when you eat eggs. They're rich in a B vitamin called biotin that helps hair grow. Not having enough of this vitamin can lead to hair loss. Biotin also helps strengthen brittle fingernails.

Oysters for Fullness

10/10

These are rich in zinc. When you don't have enough of this mineral in your diet, you can have hair loss -- even in your eyelashes. Cells that build hair rely on zinc to help them work their hardest. You can also find this mineral in beef, crab, lobster, and fortified cereal.

Show Sources

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SOURCES:

Sandra Allonen, registered dietitian, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Aoi, M. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, June 18, 2012.

Whitney Bowe, MD, board-certified dermatologist; clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

CosmeticsInfo.org: "Panthenol and Pantothenic Acid."

Hossein, N. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, May 17, 2013.

Iowa State University: "Protein."

Kelly, G. Alternative Medicine Review, 2011.

Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University: "Biotin."

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: "Zinc."

Julie Negrin, MS, CN, nutritionist, speaker, and author of "How to Teach Cooking to Kids."

Ordon, A. MD, Better in 7: The Ultlimate 7-Day Guide to a Better You, 2013.

The Merck Manual Home Edition: "Vitamin A."

Ohio State University: "Vitamin A (Retinol)."

The Vegetarian Resource Group: "Iron in the Vegan Diet."

USDA National Nutrient Database.