46 Foods to Eat That Help Grow Hair Fast

46 Foods to Eat That Help Grow Hair Fast

The nutrition lesson at the beginning of this post was designed to make it clear that a balanced diet is the key to preventing hair loss.

Of course, your body needs the proper hydration and “macronutrients” (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) to produce healthy hair.  But it also needs a diverse profile of “micronutrients” vitamins and minerals.

Plant-based foods make up the bulk of the best diet.  Still, non-vegetarian foods such as eggs can play a major role.  And so can foods like lean red meat, to a lesser extent.  The main thing is that you make sure you eat foods with ingredients from good sources.

A Few Notes About This List:

The following 46 foods are a diverse assortment of plant and animal based items that contain high levels of the nutrients required to grow hair and hold off hair loss.

Since we’ve already talked about the roles various nutrients play in terms of hair health, most food descriptions are short with “Hair Health Highlights” as the main feature.

Though many foods have trace levels of various nutrients, only those with significant amounts show up in the “Hair Health Highlights.” (ie. at least 7% DV or at least 5g of protein)

All nutritional information is based on 100g servings from Healthaliscious.com’s nutritional comparison tool, unless otherwise specified

If a food is listed with word “cooked”, the nutritional facts are based on a boiled, drained, and unsalted version.

Plant-Based Foods that Help Grow Hair

“Plant-based food” implies fruits and vegetables to most people.  While fruits and vegetables are certainly important so are grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.  And while technically not a plant, fungus grows from the ground as well and has vital nutrients.

Still, we’ll start with what you likely know best.

Fruits

Most people know that fruits are a great way to get vitamin C.  But some fruits have even more to offer.  We only included fruits that a little extra nutritional power.

Avocado

There’s a reason Avocados make every superfood list.  They are packed with micronutrients as well as their fair share of protein and healthy fats.  Avocado can also be used to make a conditioning hair mask.

***Contrary to popular belief, avocado is not a major source of omega-3 fatty acids.  While it does offer a favorable ratio of 3s to 6s, we included it in the highlights is so that you can compare its total with real omega 3 heavy hitters such as chia seeds and salmon.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 7.4

***Total Omega 3s: 111mg

Vitamin B3: 1.738mg (9% DV)

Vitamin B5: 1.389mg (14% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.257mg (13% DV)

Vitamin B9: 81μg (20% DV)

Vitamin C: 10mg (17% DV)

Vitamin E: 2.07mg (10% DV)

Copper: 0.19mg (10% DV)

Cantaloupe

This melon sometimes takes a backseat to more popular sources of vitamin A such as oranges or carrots, but in reality it contains almost 30 times the beta-carotene that oranges do.  Considering the high levels of vitamin C also found in cantaloupe, this fruit is much more than fruit salad filler.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 3382IU (68% DV)

Vitamin C: 36.7mg (61%)

Guava

Guava is an extremely vitamin C rich fruit.  Considered to be indigenous to Mexico and Central America, this fruit is now common in many different parts of the world from Northern California to India.  Similar to an apple, it is recommended to eat guava with the skin on to maximize the amount of nutrients consumed.  Please note that the body can handle up to 2000mg of vitamin C.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 624IU (12% DV)

Vitamin B9: 49μg (12% DV)

Vitamin C: 228.3mg (381% DV)

Mangos

This popular tropical fruit doesn’t have extremely high levels of any one particular nutrient, but that’s not to say it’s not a nutritional powerhouse.  With over 20 different vitamins and minerals contained in each mango, it’s hard to deny that the fruit is a well balanced addition to almost any diet.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 1082IU (61% DV)

Vitamin B9: 43μg (11% DV)

Vitamin C: 36.4mg (22% DV)

Cooked Red Bell Peppers

Though often treated as vegetables, peppers are technically fruit.  Red, green, yellow, and orange actually come from the same plant.  Red bell peppers are simply the fully ripened version. More densely packed with nutrients than other pepper varieties, red bell peppers are also considered one of the most flavorful.  If your focus is nutrition though, raw or sautéed bell peppers offer even more benefits.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 2941IU (59%)

Vitamin B6: 0.233mg (12% DV)

Vitamin C: 171mg (285% DV)

Vitamin E: 1.65mg (8% DV)

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are a great source of vitamins A and C especially.  They also offer some of your daily needs for the B complex.  Depending on the variety, they also offer significant levels of other vitamins and minerals.

Raw Bok Choy (Pak Choi or Chinese cabbage)

Bok choy is undoubtedly an excellent source of several key vitamins and minerals. Although raw bok choy stands out as a strong provider of vitamins A and C, that’s hardly the beginning of the long list of nutrients this vegetable has to offer.  If you really want to take it’s nutritional impact to the next level, you can make boy choy kimchi.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 4468IU (89%)

Vitamin B6: 0.194mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B9: 66μg (17% DV)

Vitamin C: 45mg (75% DV)

Cooked Bok Choy (Pak Choi or Chinese cabbage)

Cooking bok choy makes most of the nutrients contained within easier for the body to absorb.  A longtime staple of Chinese food as well as Chinese medicine, bok choy is now quite popular in the United States as well.  Cooked bok choy is often found in stir frys or sautéed with garlic.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 4249IU (85%)

Vitamin B6: 0.166mg (8% DV)

Vitamin B9: 41μg (10% DV)

Vitamin C: 26mg (43% DV)

Raw Spinach

Immortalized in American culture by Popeye the sailor, it’s hard to say if any other vegetable has ever reached the level of fame achieved by spinach.  While slurping it through your pipe a can-at-a-time won’t give you superhuman strength, this leafy green is an absolute powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 9377IU (188%)

Vitamin B5: 1.389mg (14% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.195mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B9: 194μg (49% DV)

Vitamin C: 28.1mg (47% DV)

Vitamin E: 2.03mg (10% DV)

Copper: 0.13mg (7% DV)

Iron: 2.71mg (15% DV)

Cooked Spinach

Spinach is arguably just as healthy when cooked lightly, if not more so.  When eating spinach that’s been heated, your body will absorb higher levels of vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, and zinc. To best retain the iron content of spinach when you cook it, add a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 10481IU (210%)

Vitamin B6: 0.242mg (12% DV)

Vitamin B9: 146μg (37% DV)

Vitamin C: 9.8mg (16% DV)

Vitamin E: 2.08mg (10% DV)

Copper: 0.174mg (9% DV)

Iron: 3.57mg (20% DV)

Cooked Kale

Kale has made a surge in popularity in recent years as a crucial superfood. Although kale still contains extremely high levels of vitamin A when cooked, the efficiency of many antioxidants and vitamins are lessened during the cooking process. However, raw greens have a tremendous amount of fiber, which can be harmful to the digestive tract when eaten in too great a quantities.  Basically, your body can handle more cooked kale than raw.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 13621IU (272%)

Vitamin C: 41mg (68% DV)

Copper: 0.156mg (10% DV)

Raw Kale

When left in it’s natural raw state, kale might be the definition of a “superfood”.  It has enough vitamins A and C for multiple people within each serving, making it easy to overlook kale’s other nutritional attributes.  But this dark leafy green contains loads of other essential vitamins and minerals, including Biotin and Folic Acid.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 9990IU (200%)

Vitamin B6: 0.271mg (14% DV)

Vitamin B9: 141μg (35% DV)

Vitamin C: 120mg (200% DV)

Copper: 1.499mg (75% DV)

Iron: 1.47mg (8% DV)

Other Vegetables

Vegetables are actually plants parts, where fruits are the reproductive bodies of those plants.  Aside from the leaves, this includes roots, stems, and buds.  Look for a variety of vitamins and minerals, depending on which vegetable you’re talking about.

Raw Broccoli

Probably one of the most popular green vegetables around, this crucifer is packed with vitamins.  Consuming it raw preserves the highest possible vitamin C and mineral content.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 623IU (12%)

Vitamin B6: 0.175mg (9% DV)

Vitamin B9: 63μg (16% DV)

Vitamin C: 89.2mg (149% DV)

Cooked Broccoli

Cooking broccoli brings out more of the vitamins within the B complex and vitamin A, though values of other micronutrients might fall.  Raw or cooked, broccoli is a great addition to any meal.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 1548IU(31%)

Vitamin B6: 0.2mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B9: 108μg (27% DV)

Vitamin C: 64.9mg (108% DV)

Raw Carrot

Carrots, a very popular vegetable found all over the world, are one of the most versatile health foods around.  Everyone has probably heard that carrots are good for your eye sight—and it’s true.  Raw carrots are one of the best sources of vitamin A you can find. Cooked carrots still have value, but they didn’t make this list of hair heroes.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 16706IU (334%)

Vitamin B6: 0.138mg (7% DV)

Vitamin C: 5.9mg (10% DV)

Baked Sweet Potato

Native to Peru, the sweet potato is a delicious vegetable that is popular across the world. Like other orange fruits and vegetables, it has a high level of vitamin A. In fact, sweet potatoes have higher levels per mass than any other vegetable. Please note that baking is by far the best way to the sweet potato’s high nutritional content.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 19218IU (384% DV)

Vitamin B3: 1.487mg (7% DV)

Vitamin B5: 0.884mg (9% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.286mg (14% DV)

Vitamin C: 19.6mg (33% DV)

Vitamin E: 2.03mg (10% DV)

Copper: 0.161mg (8% DV)

Not-Quite Vegetables

There are things that we eat that grow the sun’s light that is technically fruits or vegetables.  On land, we’re talking about fungus.  And at sea, we are talking about marine vegetables.

Mushrooms

Although not actually a vegetable, mushrooms (which are the fruiting body of fungus) provide a wide range of healthy nutrients.  Perhaps most notable is the density of protein and omega-3s found in mushrooms, but this important food also contains lots of different vitamins and minerals.

Our Hair Health Highlights are based on white, raw mushrooms.  Other varieties have different (though similar) yields.  Cooking them will bring out different levels of B vitamins and minerals.  Just be sure not to overcook them or they drastically lose their nutritional value.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 25.21

Total Omega 3s: 1714mg

Protein: 29.9g

Vitamin B3: 3.607mg (18% DV)

Vitamin B5: 1.497mg (15% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.194mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B9: 66μg (17% DV)

Copper: 0.318mg (16% DV)

Dried Spirulina

If you’ve never heard of spirulina, you’ll be surprised to learn that the food on this list highest in protein per 100g is actually seaweed.  Dried and powdered spirulina is becoming one of the most popular “superfoods” around.  As long as you find a way to balance out the copper with other things in your diet, it is one of the very best foods to help regrow hair.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Total Omega 3s: 823mg

Protein: 57.5g

Vitamin A: 570IU (11% DV)

Vitamin B3: 12.82mg (64% DV)

Vitamin B5: 3.48mg (35% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.364mg (18% DV)

Vitamin B9: 94μg (24% DV)

Vitamin C: 10.1mg (17% DV)

Vitamin E: 5mg (24% DV)

Copper: 6.1mg (305% DV)

Iron: 28.5mg (158% DV)

Zinc: 2mg (13% DV)

Grains

Grains are a worldwide dietary staple.  Due to ease of growth and long shelf life, they are probably the most important food group in the fight against hunger. Surprisingly, you won’t find rice or wheat on this list.  While both of these do have some nutritional value, there are much better grains to consume if you want to boost hair growth.

Hulled Barley

Hulled barley is the whole grain form of barley with only the outer hull removed. Rich in protein, as well as many other vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B3 and B6, hulled barley is largely underutilized in the states.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 12.5g

Vitamin B3: 4.604mg (23% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.318mg (16% DV)

Copper: 0.498mg (25% DV)

Iron: 0.19mg (10% DV)

Zinc: 0.19mg (10% DV)

Puffed Millet

Puffed millet is a whole grain cereal that in itself is a complete protein (contains all essential amino acids).  High in vitamins and minerals as well as fat-free, there are few cereals—or other whole grains—that can compete with the nutritional content of puffed millet.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 13g

Vitamin B3: 4.42mg (22%)

Vitamin B6: 0.36mg (18% DV)

Vitamin B9: 79μg (20% DV)

Copper: 0.702mg (35% DV)

Iron: 3.6mg (20% DV)

Zinc: 2.77mg (18% DV)

Oats

This cereal grain is known for its protein and fiber content and is also well-endowed with other vitamins and minerals.  Oats are primarily grown in North America and Europe but can be found all over. Especially high in iron and zinc, oats can serve as an excellent source of nutrition.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 16.9g

Vitamin B5: 1.349mg (13% DV)

Vitamin B9: 56μg (14% DV)

Copper: 0.626mg (31% DV)

Iron: 4.72mg (26% DV)

Zinc: 3.97mg (26% DV)

Beans & Legumes

Beans and legumes are another important dietary staple across the world.  They are packed with B vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats. Pair beans with the right vegetables and you can easily cover the vast majority of the essential nutrients for hair growth.

Black Beans

Black beans also called “black turtle beans”, are a commonly used ingredient in many different styles of food.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 8.9g

Vitamin B9: 149μg (37% DV)

Copper: 0.209mg (10% DV)

Iron: 2.1mg (12% DV)

Zinc: 1.12mg (7% DV)

Cowpeas (Black Eyed Peas)

The “black eyed pea” is actually a subspecies of cowpea, is a legume and important crop grown in many areas of the world including Asia, Africa, and parts of Europe. Black eyed peas have remarkably high vitamin A content for a bean.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Vitamin A: 791IU (16% DV)

Vitamin B3: 1.403mg (7% DV)

Vitamin B9: 127μg (32% DV)

Copper: 0.133mg (7% DV)

Zinc: 1.03mg (7% DV)

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans, sometimes mistaken as adzuki beans, are a particular variety of the common bean. Named kidney because of their similar shape to the human organ of the same name, kidney beans are dense with protein as well as many vitamins and minerals.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 8.7g

Vitamin B9: 130μg (33% DV)

Copper: 0.216mg (11% DV)

Iron: 2.22mg (12% DV)

Zinc: 1mg (7% DV)

Lentils

Lentils are another member of the legume family, classified as a pulse.  These tiny beans boast some of the highest levels of B vitamins and minerals per 100g of any food in this group.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 9g

Vitamin B6: 0.178mg (9% DV)

Vitamin B9: 181μg (45% DV)

Copper: 0.251mg (13% DV)

Iron: 3.33mg (19% DV)

Zinc: 1.27mg (8% DV)

Pinto Beans

Like most other beans on this list, pinto beans are packed with essential nutrients.  Regarded as the most popular bean in the United States as well as northwestern Mexico, the pinto bean is just as healthy as it is delicious.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 9g

Vitamin B6: 0.229mg (11% DV)

Vitamin B9: 172μg (43% DV)

Copper: 0.219mg (11% DV)

Iron: 2.09mg (12% DV)

Zinc: 0.98mg (7% DV)

Lima Beans

The lima bean, sometimes called the “butter bean” another legume.  Valuable for fiber and the assortment of vitamins and minerals typical of this group, lima beans also pack an extra vitamin C punch.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 6.8g

Vitamin B6: 0.193mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B9: 26μg (7% DV)

Vitamin C: 10.1mg (17% DV)

Copper: 0.305mg (15% DV)

Iron: 2.45mg (14% DV)

White Beans

The white bean, also called the”navy bean”, is native to North and South America.  It has one of the highest levels of protein of any bean, period.  Though not as popular, the white bean is just as nutritious as most other beans.  It is certainly one of the most powerful for hair health.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 9.7g

Vitamin B9: 81μg (20% DV)

Copper: 0.287mg (14% DV)

Iron: 3.7mg (21% DV)

Zinc: 1.38mg (9% DV)

Nuts, Seeds, & More Legumes

Nuts, seeds, and legumes that are treated similarly are perhaps the true definition of “superfoods”.  When you think that tiny balls of matter hold the building blocks for complex life, it’s not all that surprising.  Protein, fat, B vitamins, and major mineral content make these typical snack foods and salad toppers a great addition to a balanced diet.

Please note:  Hemp seeds or hemp hearts are additional foods that definitely should have made this list. However, we could not find any consistent, reliable nutritional data for them so they were left off.

Dry Roasted Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are an incredible source for the B complex, vitamin E, copper, and a variety of other micronutrients.  Per 100g, they are certainly one of the most powerful foods for fighting hair loss—and getting healthy in general.

***Be careful to consume sunflower seeds in moderation, as they are very high in total fat with a poor omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 19.3g

Vitamin B3: 7.042mg (35% DV)

Vitamin B5: 7.042mg (70% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.804mg (40% DV)

Vitamin B9: 237μg (59% DV)

Vitamin E: 26.1mg (126% DV)

Copper: 1.83mg (92% DV)

Iron: 3.8mg (21% DV)

Zinc: 5.29mg (35% DV)

Walnuts

One of the most popular nut varieties, walnuts are technically the seed of a nut themselves.  Nutrition-wise, they fit the typical nut profile.  They also contain one of the highest levels of protein per 100g on this list.

***Be careful to consume walnuts in moderation, as they are very high in total fat with a poor omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 24.1g

Vitamin B5: 1.66mg (17% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.583mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B9: 31μg (8% DV)

Vitamin E: 2.08mg (10% DV)

Copper: 1.36mg (68% DV)

Iron: 3.12mg (17% DV)

Zinc: 3.37mg (22% DV)

Dry Roasted Almonds

One of the most popular nuts on the planet, almonds rightly earn the title of “superfood”.  Protein, healthy fats, B vitamins, vitamin E, and great mineral content make this a wonderful food to add to your diet if you are fighting hair loss.

***Be careful to consume almonds in moderation, as they are very high in total fat with a poor omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 21g

Vitamin B3: 3.637mg (18% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.136mg (7% DV)

Vitamin B9: 55μg (14% DV)

Vitamin E: 23.9mg (115% DV)

Copper: 1.099mg (55% DV)

Iron: 3.73mg (21% DV)

Zinc: 3.31mg (22% DV)

Flax Seeds

Often used as a supercharged additive in smoothies and oatmeal, flax seeds are an awesome source of essential nutrients.  Don’t let their small size dissuade you, flax seeds are without a superfood.  The high omega-3 to omega-6 ratio make these unique in the group, making flax seeds perhaps on a tier above.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 3.86

Total Omega 3s: 22813mg

Protein: 18.3g

Vitamin B3: 3.08mg (15% DV)

Vitamin B5: 0.985mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.473mg (24% DV)

Vitamin B9: 87μg (22% DV)

Copper: 1.22mg (61% DV)

Iron: 5.73mg (32% DV)

Zinc: 4.34mg (29% DV)

Sesame Seeds

Thought to be one of the oldest oilseeds known to humans, sesame seeds are native to India. Even beyond the vitamins and minerals we cover here, sesame seeds have incredible nutritional content for something so small.

***Be careful to consume sesame seeds in moderation, as they are very high in total fat with a poor omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 21g

Vitamin B3: 4.581mg (23% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.802mg (40% DV)

Vitamin B9: 98μg (25% DV)

Copper: 2.47mg (124% DV)

Iron: 14.76mg (82% DV)

Zinc: 7.16mg (48% DV)

Chia Seeds

Originating in Southern Mexico and Guatemala, chia seeds have found their way into health food stores all across America.  Most effective when soaked, chia seeds have high omega-3 content.  This along with their impressive vitamin and mineral content is what has vaulted chia seeds into the modern “superfood” conversation.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 3.06

Total Omega 3s: 17830mg

Protein: 16.5g

Vitamin B3: 8.83mg (44%)

Vitamin B9: 49μg (12% DV)

Copper: 0.942mg (46% DV)

Iron: 7.72mg (43% DV)

Zinc: 4.58 (31% DV)

Dry Roasted Peanuts

In America, peanuts are one of the few popular snacks that are actually healthy.  A longtime favorite of airplane passengers and baseball fans alike, peanuts are packed with both macro and micronutrients.  Rich in protein and especially high in vitamin B3, dry roasted peanuts can be a really good choice to snack on.

 

***Be careful to consume peanuts in moderation, as they are very high in total fat with a poor omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 24.4g

Vitamin B3: 14.355mg (72% DV)

Vitamin B5: 1.011mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.466mg (23% DV)

Vitamin B9: 97μg (24% DV)

Vitamin E: 4.93mg (24% DV)

Copper: 0.428mg (21% DV)

Iron: 1.58mg (9% DV)

Zinc: 2.77mg (18% DV)

Dry Roasted Cashews

Another delicious and nutritious snack, dry roasted cashews are quite satisfying.  Even among this group, they provide some of the highest levels of minerals—boasting more than the daily requirement for copper in just one serving.

 

***Be careful to consume peanuts in moderation, as they are very high in total fat with a poor omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 15.3g

Vitamin B3: 1.4mg (7%)

Vitamin B5: 1.217mg (12% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.256mg (13% DV)

Vitamin B9: 69μg (17% DV)

Copper: 2.22mg (111% DV)

Iron: 6mg (33% DV)

Zinc: 5.6mg (37% DV)

Animal-Based Foods that Help Grow Hair

Even according to VeganHealth.org, vegans are at a risk of hair loss based on dietary deficiency.  While an extremely strategic eater could probably get everything their body needs from plant-only sources, it is very difficult to do.  We are a species that evolved with an omnivorous diet.  It’s what our bodies were built for.

 

And if you want to prevent hair loss, you need to give your body everything that it needs.

Red Meat

Contrary to what you might have been told, red meat does have a place in a balanced diet.  Although not an absolute necessity, it can provide specific amino acids (building blocks of proteins) that are hard to come by elsewhere.  It also offers a more digestible form of zinc than do plants.

 

Still, you want to limit consumption of red meat to lean choices.  Our “Hair Health Highlights” in this instance, as based on ground, raw meat.  But you should really look for leaner cuts and moderate portions as excess saturated fats are connected with a variety of health issues.

Grass-Fed Bison

Bison was thought to be somewhat exotic a number of years ago, however, nowadays it’s quite popular and can be found at most decent grocery stores. Grass-fed bison is sought after because of the favorable proportion of protein, fat, and fatty acids for the amount of calories per serving.  It beats out beef in nearly everything.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 20.2g

Vitamin B3: 5.322mg (27% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.383mg (19% DV)

Vitamin B12: 1.94μg (32% DV)

Copper: 0.14mg (7% DV)

Iron: 2.78mg (15% DV)

Zinc: 4.59mg (31% DV)

Grass-Fed Beef

Because grass-feeding can improve overall enrichment, this beef is pumped full of protein as well as many B vitamins and zinc.  Grass-fed beef is leaner and has fewer calories than standard beef.  Still, try to make favorites out of the leanest cuts.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 19.4g

Vitamin B3: 4.818mg (24% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.355mg (18% DV)

Vitamin B12: 1.97μg (33% DV)

Iron: 1.99mg (11% DV)

Zinc: 4.55mg (30% DV)

Lamb

Not necessarily the first thought when it comes to red meat, lamb offers many nutritional benefits.  It gets better grades for the B vitamins than beef and bison. Just be sure that you go for the leanest cuts because it is naturally about twice as fatty as full-grown beef or bison.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 16.6g

Vitamin B3: 5.96mg (30% DV)

Vitamin B5: 0.65mg (7% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.13mg (7% DV)

Vitamin B12: 2.31μg (39% DV)

Iron: 1.55mg (9% DV)

Zinc: 3.41mg (23% DV)

Meaty Fish

Seafood offers a lot of things your body bodies.  It is a great source of lean protein that is often still high in omega-3s.  These fish are typically more nutritious than “white, flaky” fish (though not always).  Dry heat is always the way to go in order to bring out the highest nutritional content, as opposed to frying or eating raw.

Swordfish

Swordfish is a hard choice to beat.  It’s low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, and nutrient-dense.  Not only does it contain high levels of protein, B vitamins, and omega 3s, it also provides a full day’s supply of vitamin D and the mineral selenium.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 7.46

Total Omega 3s: 1074mg

Protein: 23.5g

Vitamin B3: 9.254mg (46% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.615mg (31% DV)

Vitamin B12: 1.62μg (27% DV)

Vitamin E: 2.41mg (12% DV)

Wild Caught Atlantic Salmon

Salmon is widely known as one of the most popular fish across the United States.  It also makes every “superfood” list.  It has an amazing omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and protein per 100g.  It also has a wide variety of micronutrients, especially within the B complex.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 25.21

Total Omega 3s: 1714mg

Protein: 29.9g

Vitamin A: 2520IU (50% DV)

Vitamin B3: 10.54mg (53% DV)

Vitamin B5: 1.37mg (14% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.525mg (26% DV)

Vitamin B12: 10.88μg (181% DV)

Iron: 1.31mg (7% DV)

Fresh Bluefin Tuna

This saltwater fish is well known for its high protein content as well as for having tons of omega-3s.  More often found in sushi restaurants or upscale grocery stores, bluefin tuna is an excellent selection when looking for something to pack a nutritional punch with little calories.

 

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 10.52

Total Omega 3s: 2314mg

Protein: 25.4g

Vitamin B3: 10.077mg (50% DV)

Vitamin B5: 1.92mg (19% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.944mg (47% DV)

Vitamin B12: 3.05μg (51% DV)

Copper: 0.321mg (16% DV)

Mollusks

Mollusks are excellent food for hair health, providing omega-3s, protein, and high levels of vitamins and minerals.  They are especially potent sources of B12, copper, and zinc.  In this case, all of our nutritional information is from raw.

Mussels

Mussels boasts an insane amount of vitamin B12 and great omega-3 to omega-6 ratio to top off a nice mix of nutrients.  From a hair-health perspective, they are actually one of the most balanced foods you can eat.  They also provide nearly two days worth of manganese per 100g.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 27.67

Total Omega 3s: 498mg

Protein: 11.9g

Vitamin B3: 1.6mg (8% DV)

Vitamin B9: 42μg (11% DV)

Vitamin B12: 12μg (200% DV)

Vitamin C: 8mg (13% DV)

Iron: 3.95mg (22% DV)

Zinc: 1.6mg (11% DV)

Eastern Oysters (Blue Points)

These are the type of oysters most common in America.  Generically referred to as “blue points” they are also named more specifically on where they come from. Eastern oysters offer a serious 3 pronged attack in the fight against hair loss.  With substantial levels of B12, Copper, and Zinc, you don’t need much to get real benefits.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 8.07

Total Omega 3s: 371mg

Protein: 5.7g

Vitamin B12: 8.75μg (146% DV)

Copper: 2.858mg (143% DV)

Iron: 4.61mg (26% DV)

Zinc: 39.3mg (262% DV)

Pacific Oysters

Compared to eastern oysters, pacific oysters offer a more balanced spectrum of nutrients.  They still have really high levels of B12, Copper, and Zinc.  But pacific oysters offer an over 20:1 ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s as well as a nice vitamin C pop and more B vitamins.  Formerly known as Japanese oysters, they come in varieties based on name as well.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio: 24.75

Total Omega 3s: 792mg

Protein: 9.5g

Vitamin B3: 2.01mg (10% DV)

Vitamin B12: 16μg (267% DV)

Vitamin C: 8mg (13% DV)

Copper: 1.576mg (79% DV)

Iron: 5.11mg (28% DV)

Zinc: 16.62mg (111% DV)

Other

Not all animal-based foods are meat.  Below we have two very different foods that are chucked full of the things your hair needs to be strong and healthy.

Eggs

Affordable, available almost anywhere, and packed with high quality protein, eggs are an easy go-to for health.  It is also high in the B complex vitamins and other micronutrients. However, it has a similar reputation for people high in omega-3s as avocados.  In this case, not only is omega-3 content relatively low, but omega-6 content is over 15 times as high.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 12.6g

Vitamin A: 540IU (11%)

Vitamin B5: 1.533mg (15% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.17mg (9% DV)

Vitamin B9: 47μg (12% DV)

Vitamin B12: 0.89μg (15% DV)

Iron: 1.75mg (10% DV)

Zinc: 1.29mg (9% DV)

Liver

Organ meat can be up to 100 times more nutritionally dense than regular muscle meat.  That part of the reason why liver packs so much vitamin A, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12.  And while you probably didn’t want to see this one on the list, there is no denying that liver is an absolute nutritional powerhouse.

Our Hair Health Highlights are based on raw, chicken liver.  Cooking it makes it even better for you and the liver of other animals have similar, though different levels of nutrients.  For instance, beef and lamb have good stats too, but they are extremely high in copper.  This means you need to find a source of zinc to balance it out.

Hair Health Highlights (per 100g)

Protein: 16.9g

Vitamin A: 11078IU (222% DV)

Vitamin B3: 9.728mg (49% DV)

Vitamin B5: 6.233mg (62% DV)

Vitamin B6: 0.853mg (43% DV)

Vitamin B9: 588μg (147% DV)

Vitamin B12: 16.58μg (276% DV)

Vitamin C: 17.9mg (30% DV)

Copper: 0.492mg (25% DV)

Iron: 8.99mg (50% DV)

Zinc: 2.67mg (18% DV)

Foods to Avoid for Hair Growth

Getting the right foods into your body is definitely the most powerful thing you can do to slow hair loss and grow new hair.

However, there are also foods you want to keep to a minimum. Which foods cause hair loss and which should you avoid?

For different reasons, an overabundance of salt or sugar in your diet often leads to poor scalp health.  Sugar also creates acidic conditions in the body that destroy B vitamins and decrease your body’s ability to absorb the minerals that are in your food.

This means that even if you are eating foods that are great for hair health, your work can be undone by that soft drink or dessert.

Refined sugars are not the only processed foods to avoid.  Many highly processed commercial foods also contain compounds that are known to create free radicals in the body, which have a direct impact on hair growth and overall health.

There are also a variety of medications that lead directly to increased hair loss.  Among others,  antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and medications for blood pressure are known to have this potential effect.

On the flip side of things, there are steps you can take outside of your everyday diet that help to regrow your hair as well.

Cheat If You Must

Getting everything your body needs to function properly from food alone is no simple task in today’s world.

It is hard to find time to cook truly healthy meals and even harder to find them on the go.  What’s more, we love pizza, fried chicken, and donuts.  It’s hard to balance the thought (or worse yet the sight or smell) of delicious foods against the health of your head and scalp.

But that’s what you have to do if you want to keep your real hair around as long as possible. Fortunately, cheating is allowed.  Actually, we encourage it.

Sources like Healthline, will tell you to get a weave or call a therapist.  We say fight, and fight dirty if you have to.

By fight dirty, we mean consider taking supplements for hair growth.

To keep your hair, supplementing your diet with concentrations of the micronutrients it needs in pill form really is a small price to pay. Considering how effective the right balance of vitamins and minerals can be when, this really is a no-brainer.