Like your skin, the condition of your hair is an outward sign of your health, so if your locks are dry, brittle or dull, it could be time to forget the expensive oils and luxury treatments and take a look at your diet. From avocados to eggs and even dark chocolate, read on to discover the foods you should be eating for strong, glossy tresses...
FOR STRONG HAIR
EAT: Citrus fruits, kale, peppers
Vitamin C is essential for building collagen – a connective tissue in our bodies, which in turn supports hair strength and growth. A deficiency in vitamin C can lead to breakage, dry hair and increased split ends, aim for at least 100mg daily and make an effort to include plenty of citrus fruits, peppers, kiwis and kale in your diet.
FOR LONG HAIR
EAT: Avocados, eggs, almonds
Brimming with biotin – or vitamin B7 –avocados, eggs, almonds and oats provide key nutrients for preventing hair loss and a healthy scalp. A deficiency in biotin can lead to a dry scalp, dandruff and dull, brittle hair, so stock up on these foods for long, luscious locks. While biotin can be found in many beauty and hair-growth supplements, it’s best to include wholefood sources for optimal results.
FOR RESILIENT HAIR
EAT: Lean meats, fish, eggs, peanut butter
Hair itself is primarily made up of keratin – a protein which gives hair its strength and elasticity. Without enough protein, the texture of your hair can change, resulting in tresses that are dry, thin and brittle. Sound familiar? Make sure that at least 25% of your daily calories are from protein and opt for organic sources such as Greek yoghurt, lean meat, fish, eggs and peanut butter.
FOR THICK HAIR
EAT: Dark chocolate, chamomile tea, vanilla
While the negative effects of stress on the skin are well documented, stress and anxiety can also take its toll on hair, leading to thin strands that are prone to breakage. The solution? Stock up on chamomile tea and vanilla, which have been proven to reduce stress levels and leave mind and body calmer. And, since stress and inflammation are closely connected, be sure to incorporate dark chocolate into the diet for boosted benefits.
FOR SHINY HAIR
EAT: Fatty fish, like salmon
Omega-3 fatty acids are important fats our body cannot make itself and therefore must be obtained through diet. Omega-3s are found in the cells that line the scalp and also provide the oils that keep the scalp and hair glossy and hydrated. Look out for oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel as well as plant sources like walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
FOR SOFT HAIR
EAT: Red meat, lentils, leafy green vegetables
Since iron is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients around the body, not getting enough means your hair might not receive the vital nutrition it needs. The result? It can become dry and brittle. For softer, bouncier locks, make an effort to include red meat, chicken and fish in your diet; vegetarians can raise their intake by including lentils, spinach and other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and salad greens.