If you are concerned about excessive hair fall, we have found a solution! You can eat these top foods to prevent hair fall. Hair requires important nutrients to be healthy and strong. We can restore hair strength by making a few dietary modifications, such as improving our consumption of specific foods. What exactly are these foods? We have listed the 16 foods for hair to prevent unwanted hair loss and boost hair growth in this article. Scroll down.
In This Article
Best Natural Foods To Prevent Hair Loss
Protein – An Essential Nutrient To Prevent Hair Loss
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 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).
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).
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).
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
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).
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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).
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
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.
Infographic: Foods To Avoid To Improve Hair Health
While you now know what food can provide you with the required nutrients for good hair growth, you must also be aware of food habits that may affect your hair health or cause hair loss and breakage. Take a look at the infographic below to know more in detail.
Your hair requires love and the right ingredients to be strong and healthy. With a few tweaks to your diet, you can promote hair growth and prevent further damage to your hair. You can start by consuming protein-rich foods that prevent hair loss such as eggs, lentils, poultry, and lean beef. Apart from this, including foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and probiotics can prevent baldness. Using the right hair products, washing your hair rice a week and minimum usage of hair typing products can retain natural oils and strengthen your hair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do bananas stop hair loss?
Yes. Bananas are a rich source of potassium and natural oils that helps boost hair growth and maintain elasticity.
What is normal hair fall in a day?
It is normal to shed 50 to 100 strands a day.
Is onion good for hair?
Yes. The sulfur from onions supports thick and robust hair growth.
Which food is rich in biotin?
Dairy products, spinach, egg yolk, nuts, and seeds, are some foods rich in biotin.
Does rice cause hair loss?
Not directly. White rice has a high glycemic index that can spike the blood sugar level, which is connected to early hair thinning.
- The Impact of Egg Nutrient Composition and Its Consumption on Cholesterol Homeostasis
- Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause
- Naturally Occurring Hair Growth Peptide: Water-Soluble Chicken Egg Yolk Peptides Stimulate Hair Growth Through Induction of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Production
- The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health
- Serum Biotin Levels in Women Complaining of Hair Losshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989391/
- Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus document
- Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement usehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/
- Nutrition and hair
- Nutrition and hair: deficiencies and supplements
- Role of Arachidonic Acid in Promoting Hair Growth
- Lentil and Kale: Complementary Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources to Combat Micronutrient and Calorie Malnutrition.
- Lentils (Lens culinaris Medikus Subspecies culinaris): a whole food for increased iron and zinc intake.
- Diffuse alopecia in a child due to dietary zinc deficiency.
- Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies in Patients With Telogen Effluvium: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study.
- Analysis of serum zinc and copper concentrations in hair loss.
- Prevalence of Nutritional Deficiencies in Hair Loss among Indian Participants: Results of a Cross-sectional Study.
- Mackerel-Derived Fermented Fish Oil Promotes Hair Growth by Anagen-Stimulating Pathways.
- A 3-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the ability of an extra-strength marine protein supplement to promote hair growth and decrease shedding in women with self-perceived thinning hair.
- Apports nutritifs des viandes bovines” [Nutritional value of beef].
- Iron plays a certain role in patterned hair loss.
- The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review.
- Potentials of raw and cooked walnuts (Tetracapidium conophorum) as sources of valuable nutrients for good health
- Nuts, almonds
- The role of micronutrients in alopecia areata: A Review
- Analysis of beta-sitosterol in seeds and nuts using pressurized liquid extraction and liquid chromatography
- Blockade of Androgen Markers Using a Novel Betasitosterol, Thioctic Acid and Carnitine-containing Compound in Prostate and Hair Follicle Cell-based Assays
- A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of botanically derived inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia
- The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid
- Fatty Acid supplements improve hair coat condition in rhesus macaques
- Spinach, raw
- The Role of Vitamin D in Non-Scarring Alopecia
- Iron plays a certain role in patterned hair loss
- Estimation of Zinc and Iron Levels in the Serum and Hair of Women with Androgenetic Alopecia: Case–control Study
- Kale, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
- Oxidative Stress in Ageing of hair
- Sweet potato, raw, unprepared (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program)
- Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss
- The role of micronutrients in alopecia areata: A Review
- Carrots, raw
- The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review
- Unusual manifestation of vitamin A deficiency presenting with generalized xerosis without night blindness
- Peppers, sweet, yellow, raw
- Interaction of vitamin C and Iron
- Use of Vitamins and Minerals in the Treatment of Hair Loss: A Cross-Sectional Survey among Dermatologists in Saudi Arabia
- 100% Orange juice consumption is associated with better diet quality, improved nutrient adequacy, decreased risk for obesity, and improved biomarkers of health in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2003-2006
- Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Functional Ingredients of Barley Grass for Chronic Diseases in Human Beings
- Antioxidant capacity and vitamin E in barley: Effect of genotype and storage
- Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers
- Effects of Dietary Yogurt on the Healthy Human Gastrointestinal (GI) Microbiome
- Probiotic Bacteria Induce a ‘Glow of Health
- Probiotic ‘glow of health’: it’s more than skin deep