Are you worried about hair loss? Many people overlook an important factor when it comes to preventing and treating hair loss: diet. Nutritional deficiencies can cause hair loss, but eating the right foods can also lead to a fuller, healthier head of hair.
“Ensuring a healthy and varied diet—which includes sources of antioxidants, iron, vitamin D, and biotin—can promote hair health,” Eric Rudnick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Let’s look at five of the best types of food for hair loss.
1. Fatty Fish
Some types of fish that have essential fatty acids, including omega-3s, and vitamin D are:
Fatty fish are also a good source of protein, selenium, and B vitamins, all of which help to promote healthy hair, according to a 2017 article published in Dermatology Practical and Conceptual.
Eggs are like nature’s multivitamin because they contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Some of these that are related to healthy hair include protein, biotin, selenium, and zinc.
Eggs are a great source of protein, which is important for preventing hair loss. A low-protein diet puts hair growth in a “resting” phase, which can lead to hair loss and less hair growth.
Eggs also have biotin, a B vitamin that is important for hair, skin, and nail health. Being low on biotin has been linked to hair loss, as well as loss of hair color. A 2016 study in the International Journal of Trichology found that 38% of women who said they had hair loss were deficient in biotin. Eating egg whites only without the yolk may predispose you to biotin deficiency.
3. Leafy Greens
Dark green leafy vegetables are full of nutrients that prevent hair loss. Some good choices are:
These contain vitamin A, iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C.
One cup of cooked spinach contains about 6 milligrams of iron, a nutrient that is important for strong, healthy hair. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. It’s also linked to many different types of hair loss.
Vitamin A is another important nutrient found in leafy greens that plays a role in hair health. It helps your body make sebum, an oil that protects hair by moisturizing the scalp.
Fruits rich in compounds that are important for healthy hair, including vitamin C and antioxidants, include:
These fruits contain a number of antioxidants, including vitamin C, which can help to protect hair follicles from free radicals. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron and make collagen, which is one of the proteins that builds hair and helps prevent hair loss.
5. Nuts and Seeds
These nutrient-dense foods have many nutrients that are important for preventing hair loss, including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re worried about hair loss, some of the best choices to reach for are:
- Brazil nuts
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Zinc and selenium are essential trace elements that your body can’t make, so it’s important to get them through foods like nuts and seeds. These trace elements are important for hair growth, and being low on them may lead to hair loss, according to a 2019 review in Dermatology and Therapy.
Get Help Now
The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Focusing on the diet is important for hair loss, but if you’re worried about a nutritional deficiency, don’t wait to seek help. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.