Top 16 Foods To Prevent Hair Fall And Stimulate Hair Growth

Written by Anjali Sayee

It is a common misconception that just oiling, shampooing, and conditioning the hair can make it strong and healthy. A proper lifestyle and balanced diet also play an important role in restoring hair shine, preventing hair loss, and delaying the aging of hair. In this article, we have listed the top 16 foods for hair to prevent premature hair shedding and stimulate hair growth. Scroll down to know more!

Best Natural Foods To Prevent Hair Loss

Protein – An Essential Nutrient To Prevent Hair Loss

1. Eggs 

A medium-sized (50 g) egg contains 6.3 g protein, various vitamins, and minerals that strengthen the hair follicles (1). Anecdotal evidence suggests that eggs can make the hair shiny and strong, prevent hair breakage, and reduce brittleness.

A study showed that the sulfur amino acids in proteins are the precursors to keratin hair protein synthesis that strengthens the hair roots and prevents premature hair loss (2).

A study shows that eggs contain a key hair growth factor that stimulates human dermal papilla cells (a group of cells that controls hair production and hair growth cycle) for new hair development (3).

Eggs are packed with vitamin B8 or biotin that helps in hair growth and prevents hair loss (4). A study published in the International Journal of Trichology shows that biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss among women (5).

2. Poultry 

Poultry meat is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals (6). These are essential nutrients to nourish the hair and prevent hair fall and balding. A study published in the Journal of Dermatology Practical & Conceptual states that protein deficiency impacts hair structure and hair growth, resulting in telogen effluvium (temporary hair loss) (7).

Another study shows that nutrient deficiencies can result in androgenic alopecia (hair loss due to hormonal imbalance), female-pattern baldness, chronic telogen effluvium, and alopecia areata (circular bald patches) (8), (9).

The animal fat in poultry meat – omega-6 fatty acids – stimulates dermal papilla and controls the hair growth cycle for healthy tresses (10).

3. Lentils 

Lentils like split pigeon peas, red lentils, peas, yellow lentils, chickpeas, and kidney beans are rich in folic acid, iron, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and fiber (11), (12). A study showed that mineral and zinc deficiency resulted in diffuse alopecia (general distribution of hair loss in the scalp) among children (13), (14), (15).

The proteins in lentils also play an important role in healthy hair development. Nutrient deficiency, especially lack of essential amino acids and micronutrients, can lead to telogen effluvium, male-pattern baldness, and female-pattern baldness (16).

4. Fish 

Fish is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that improve hair health. A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Science showed that fish oil from mackerel stimulated dermal papilla cells and promoted hair growth by activating the anagen (growth phase of hair cycle) pathways (17).

Another study showed that fish oil supplementation rich in omega-3 fatty acids promotes hair growth and reduces thinning of hair (18).

5. Lean Beef 

A lean cut of beef is rich in iron, zinc, selenium, vitamins, and biologically useful proteins that promote healthy hair growth and reduce hair loss (19), (2). A study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science showed an inverse relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss (20). Deficiency of vitamins and minerals can also result in non-scarring alopecia or hair loss (21).

Healthy Fats – Key Nutrients To Hair Growth

6. Walnuts 

Walnuts are known as “hair food” because they contain omega-3 fatty acids – nutrients essential for healthy and luscious hair. They are also rich in protein and macro minerals that are important for hair growth (22).

Walnuts also contain zinc, iron, selenium, and vitamins B1, B6, and B9, which stimulate hair growth and reduce hair fall. They also contain biotin, vitamin E, protein, and magnesium that strengthen the hair and maintain scalp health. The deficiency of these vitamins and minerals leads to hair loss (14).

7. Almonds 

Almonds are rich in magnesium, selenium, protein, unsaturated fatty acids, and vitamins (23). Studies have shown that magnesium acts as a co-factor of different metabolic reactions that stimulate hair follicles (24), (2). Consume 4-5 soaked almonds daily to strengthen the hair and maintain healthy hair growth.

8. Seeds 

Seeds, especially sunflower seeds, are rich in beta-sitosterol that is effective in preventing androgenetic alopecia and promotes healthy hair growth (25), (26).

A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, especially saw palmetto extracts and beta-sitosterol, help in the treatment of androgenic alopecia (27).

Flax seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids and an alternative to marine products (28). A study on rhesus monkeys shows that omega-3 fatty acids improve the hair coat and prevent premature hair loss (29).

Soak and grind flax seeds and add them to juices, salads, or desserts. You can also sprinkle them on smoothies or peanut butter.

Green Leafy Vegetables – Prevent Baldness

9. Spinach 

Spinach is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid, and vitamins (30). These nutrients are essential for healthy hair growth. The high calcium levels in spinach facilitate vitamin D absorption, an important vitamin that prevents female-pattern hair loss or telogen effluvium (31).

Spinach is also rich in iron that improves oxygen supply to the scalp for healthy hair growth. People with male-pattern hair loss and premenopausal female-pattern hair loss show low serum ferritin levels (32). The condition can be improved by including iron-rich foods in the diet.

A study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology showed that female androgenetic alopecia was linked to lower zinc and iron levels (33). Therefore, consume a bowl of blanched spinach 2-3 times a week for an adequate supply of essential vitamins and minerals.

10. Kale 

Kale is rich in vitamins A, K, C, folic acid, calcium, and magnesium (34). These are essential nutrients for healthy hair growth. Aging or graying of hair, decreased hair production, or alopecia results from oxidative stress (35). The vitamins A and C in kale protect the hair from free radicals by reducing and neutralizing them.

Vegetables – Powerhouses Of Vitamins And Minerals For Healthy Hair

11. Sweet Potato 

Sweet potatoes contain copper, iron, zinc, and protein, which play a significant role in hair loss, especially alopecia areata and telogen effluvium  (36), (37). Sweet potato is also rich in vitamin A that acts as an antioxidant to reduce the damaging effects of free radicals, a major cause of hair loss and graying of hair (38).

12. Carrot 

Carrots are powerhouses of vitamins A and C, carotenoids, and potassium (39). Anecdotal evidence suggests that this vegetable may contribute to hair health. However, more research is needed in this regard.

Too much or too little of vitamin A is harmful for the hair. A study showed that vitamin A deficiency lead to dry, sparse hair, whereas too much of it lead to hair loss (40), (41).

13. Bell Peppers 

Bell peppers are one of the richest sources of vitamin C (42). They help prevent hair breakage and dryness. Vitamin C also helps in iron absorption and prevents hair thinning (43), (32). Moreover, bell peppers are a powerhouse of different vitamins and minerals that help treat hair loss (44).

14. Oranges 

Oranges are rich in vitamin C that boosts hair growth. They also contain antioxidants, flavonoids, beta-carotene, magnesium, and fiber. Thus, orange juice consumption can help improve hair health (45).

Whole Grains – Aid Healthy Hair And Prevent Hair Fall

15. Barley 

Barley is rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and vitamin E (46), (47). A study published in the Journal of Tropical Life Science Research showed that supplementation of tocotrienol (derivative of vitamin E) reduced oxidative stress in the scalp – one of the major reasons for premature hair loss (48).

Probiotics To Prevent Hair Loss

16. Greek Yogurt 

Greek yogurt is one of the richest sources of probiotics that boost gut health and promote healthy hair (49). A mice study showed that probiotic-rich yogurt promoted hair follicle development and delayed hair loss (50), (51).

Besides including these foods in your daily diet, you can also prevent hair loss in other ways. Check out a few tips in the following section.

Tips To Avoid Hair Loss 

  • Handle your hair gently. Do not pull it too hard.
  • Keep hairstyling with hot tools to a minimum, and make sure to use a protective serum before styling.
  • Never comb wet hair.
  • Do not rub wet hair with a cloth or towel. Dab it with a cloth and let it dry naturally.
  • Use hair care products according to your hair type.
  • Do not shampoo more than 2-3 times a week because your scalp needs time to regain its natural oils.

Along with external hair care, eating healthy food is equally important to strengthen the hair and reduce hair fall. Follow a healthy diet that includes the foods mentioned above. Make your plate colorful and choose your hair care products wisely to enjoy thick, shiny tresses.


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