The Independent Pharmacy

10 Best Foods For Hair Growth

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 21 Jun 2024

We understand that finding the right foods to encourage healthier hair growth can be a source of concern for many. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, we are here to guide you through the choices that can make a difference. Of course, genetics do play a key part. But a nourishing diet also hugely impacts strands' health and growth rate.

The biggest question we get is--what nutrients? Based on research, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants like vitamins C and E, plus minerals like iron and zinc seem to have amazing effects. These powerful compounds provide vital building blocks that nourish follicles and scalps from the inside out. An optimal food regime gives strands around a higher chance of leading to visibly strong, shiny, flowing locks.

In this article, we'll highlight our picks for the top ten foods for hair growth. From oily fish to avocados, find out how packing your plate full of these foods could transform dull, limp hair. Keep reading for our guide on what to eat based on lifestyle and hair needs.

1. Fatty Fish: A Rich Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin D

People who swear by salmon have the right idea. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout contain two key nutrients: omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Both have been shown in research to help hair health in their own way.

Let's start with omega-3's. These healthy fats are good for your scalp and help with the growth of hair follicles. Multiple studies have found links between getting enough of these essential fatty acids and hair strength, shine and decreased thinning. Omega-3s also seem to extend the growth phase of strands' cycles to encourage longer locks.

Haliborange Omega-3 Multivitamin Softies Orange Flavour
Haliborange Omega-3 Multivitamin Softies Orange Flavour
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As for vitamin D - getting enough of this powerhouse vitamin could be more important than you think for healthy growth. Studies show many struggle to meet daily recommended D levels, which can have consequences for scalp and strands. This nutrient plays a role in keeping follicles functioning well during growth cycles.

We encourage you to treat yourself to delicious salmon, tuna, or sardine dishes a few times a week. It's not just about nourishment; it's about enjoying what you eat while supporting your hair health. Packed with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, oily fish provides key building blocks for gorgeous locks from within. We recommend aiming for at least two portions of oily fish per week.

2. Avocados: Loaded with Vitamin E and Essential Fatty Acids

Another great choice for healthy hair? Green gold - otherwise known as avocados. These nutritious fruits are chock full of vitamin E, as well as essential fats that benefit the scalp and strands.

Let's break down vitamin E first. This important antioxidant helps keep the scalp healthy and ensures hair follicles work properly. Some studies reveal that getting enough vitamin E could help encourage growth and shine. It may also prevent dryness and unexplained loss issues.

As for fats - avocados offer healthy mono and polyunsaturated varieties that research links to hair repair and volume. And unlike some produce, most of an avocado's nutrients are easily used by your body. This makes it easier for the body to utilise benefits.

Thanks to impressive nutritional stats, swapping out condiments for fresh avocado or its oil could do hair a huge favour. Vitamin E, coupled with essential fats, remedies damage and dryness while encouraging new strand development. For the perfect hair health side or snack, reach for just half an avocado daily.

3. Seeds: Tiny Powerhouses of Nutrients including Zinc and Vitamin E

When it comes to benefiting hair health, seeds punch far above their tiny weight. Various varieties like pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia contain impressive amounts of zinc, vitamin E and even protein. It's no wonder studies show including these miniature powerhouses could promote growth.

Let's look closer at two standout nutrients for strands found in abundance in seeds - zinc and vitamin E. Over half the population doesn't get enough zinc, consequences that may impact follicle health. If you're worried about zinc deficiency, which can disrupt normal hair regrowth cycles, rest assured that there are simple ways to include more of this nutrient in your diet.

Luckily, just an ounce of nutrient-dense seeds can provide well over recommended daily zinc levels. These portions also supply hard-to-get vitamin E, which, as mentioned earlier, plays a key role in scalp health.

Thanks to their nutritional power, sprinkling seeds onto meals, in smoothies or on salads does hair a huge favour. A daily ounce infuses follicles with zinc and vitamin E to remedy damage and dryness over time. To maximise locks, aim for a tasty seed-filled snack each day.

4. Nuts: Versatile Sources of Zinc and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

For those looking to benefit hair health without the fishy taste, nuts can be a tasty alternative for key nutrients. Varieties like almonds, cashews and walnuts all provide impressive amounts of zinc and omega-6 fatty acids.

First, let's examine zinc's role. Many adults fall short on this essential mineral related to healthy follicles and regrowth. Just a small palmful of nuts can supply well over the recommended daily zinc intake. Meeting zinc needs ensures locks receive support for optimal strength and shine.

Nuts also supply omega-6 fatty acids, which play a complementary role to the omega-3s found in fish. While omega-3s aid follicle development, omega-6s are linked to reduced inflammation and improved scalp condition. The duo teamed up to create an ideal environment for growth.

With their stellar nutritional profile, nuts perfectly fill gaps for those following plant-based diets.

5. Sweet Peppers: High in Vitamin C and Antioxidants

For a healthy, veggie-packed option that excels at encouraging growth, look no further than sweet peppers. These crunchy fruits shine in the hair health department thanks to impressive amounts of vitamin C and protective antioxidants.

Let's start with vitamin C - this nutrient powerhouse aids the absorption of iron and the follicles' production of collagen. Getting enough C helps construct the building blocks essential for quick, healthy regrowth. This vitamin also protects against breakage by fortifying strands' structural integrity.

Bell peppers go one step further by providing antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin E and beta carotene. This trio helps battle growth-disrupting inflammation and environmental stressors. They also remedy existing oxidative damage to boost shine and thickness.

With their rich stores of vitamin C plus antioxidants, enjoying just half a sweet pepper meets over 100% of daily needs. This makes the crispy, flavourful veggie a delicious way to transform lacklustre locks prone to damage.

6. Eggs: Protein-Rich and Biotin-Infused for Hair Strength

When shopping for a budget-friendly source of complete protein plus hair-healthy nutrients, nutrient-dense eggs have much to offer. Just one to two whole eggs provide a hearty dose of protein along with follicle-fortifying biotin.

Let's review protein first - eggs supply all nine essential amino acids follicles need for continual regeneration of strong, full strands. Skimping on complete proteins can disrupt production, resulting in increased dryness and breakage over time.

Eggs also deliver excellent levels of biotin, which plays a role in improving texture and quality during growth cycles.

Each egg serves up ample complete protein and biotin, easily satisfying daily needs for peak follicle and strand conditions. Scrambling up this versatile food makes for a goldmine snack to strengthen fragile hair.

7. Spinach and Leafy Greens: Iron and Vitamin A Abundance

For an affordable, accessible source of not one but two hair-healthy nutrients, look no further than leafy greens. Spinach and other green varieties provide substantial amounts of iron and vitamin A to nourish strands.

First up, iron - this essential mineral aids red blood cell production to ensure adequate nutrient delivery to follicles. Deficiencies are unfortunately common in women and can manifest in increased shedding and stunted regrowth.

Leafy greens also supply impressive amounts of antioxidant vitamin A, which studies link to improved scalp condition. Having enough vitamin A helps your scalp produce oils that protect your hair - keeping inflammation and free radicals from disrupting healthy cycles.

With excellent sources of both iron and vitamin A, a mere handful of leafy greens meets over 100% of daily needs for stronger strands. Adding a spinach salad or sautéed greens makes achieving lush locks easy and delicious.

8. Greek Yogurt: Probiotic-rich with Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

For a versatile dairy pick pumping up lock's health behind the scenes - look no further than protein-packed Greek yoghurt. This thicker strained yoghurt delivers ample protein along with probiotics and vitamin B5.

Let's review protein first. Greek yoghurt packs up to double the protein of regular varieties for just 100 calories. Adequate protein intake gives follicles the steady amino acid supply needed to construct shiny, strong strands.

This yoghurt option also serves up millions of probiotic bacteria in each cup. These good bacteria in yoghurt help your body use nutrients more effectively - including key compounds for healthy growth cycles.

Finally, Greek yoghurt provides pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)- a nutrient that aids cell division and growth.

Greek yoghurt overflows with protein, probiotics and B5 in each nutritious serving. Just 6 ounces meets an impressive 30% of daily protein needs for visible thickness and strength.

9. Legumes: Plant-Based Proteins and Iron for Hair Growth

For those following a vegetarian or plant-based diet, nutrient-packed legumes satisfy protein and iron needs for lush locks. Varieties like lentils, beans and chickpeas pack impressive nutritional profiles that rival meats.

First, legumes provide substantial amounts of plant-based protein comparable to that found in poultry or beef. As mentioned for Greek yoghurt, getting adequate daily protein ensures a steady supply for constructing strong strands from roots to ends.

These versatile foods also serve up substantial iron stores, with some varieties supplying up to 80% of daily recommended values per cup! Obtaining enough iron prevents depleted blood cell counts that stunt follicle growth and spark increased shedding.

A single cup of legumes like hearty lentils delivers hefty stores of daily protein and iron needs for vibrant locks. This makes beans, chickpeas and their plant-based cousins a sustainable way to maintain resilient hair.

10. Berries: Vitamin C and Antioxidants for Collagen Production

Last but certainly not least, in the hair health food department - bring on the berries! Raspberry, blueberry and blackberry varieties provide substantial vitamin C and antioxidant content that remedies damage.

First up is vitamin C. As mentioned earlier, for peppers, vitamin C plays a huge role in collagen production for healthy strands. It also boosts the absorption of nutrients like iron needed for proper follicle regeneration.

These bite-sized fruits also overdeliver with protective antioxidants that improve scalp health and growth cycles. Rich stores efficiently battle inflammation and free radical damage linked to thinning and breakage.

Just one cup of fresh berries provides over 100% of the recommended vitamin C intake for the day. Choosing them as a snack or dessert gives follicles the collagen-boosting nutrient support needed to construct shiny, strong strands over time.

Supplementing Diet with Hair Growth Products

While focusing on a balanced diet rich in nutrients provides the best foundation for healthy hair, some may still require additional support via targeted products. Dietary efforts can be further complemented with a variety of hair growth, thickness and anti-loss items available at The Independent Pharmacy.

The specific benefits and ingredients in these products depend on the individual’s hair health profile and needs. Some popular options include treatments like Minoxidil (available in the form of Regaine and Regaine for Women) and Finasteride (Propecia), which aim to slow genetic loss in men and women. Supplements like Biotin tablets and Omega-3 capsules also directly fortify hair through increased nutrient intake.

The Independent Pharmacy’s experts can guide customers in choosing the right supplementing products, whether it’s for boosting dietary efforts or addressing more significant hair health concerns. Our personalised advice and recommendations take lifestyle, medical history and effectiveness into account.

We also offer discreet prescription-strength options requiring medical approval, in addition to over-the-counter topical solutions, shampoos and ingestible capsules. With professional guidance, you can construct a comprehensive hair wellness plan incorporating both internal and external support.

Take the Next Step with The Independent Pharmacy

The key takeaway from this article is that taking small steps to incorporate nutrient-rich foods like oily fish, avocados, yoghurt and leafy greens into your daily diet can provide the nutritional building blocks for healthier, stronger hair growth. These dietary changes don't require drastic overhauls when done consistently over time.

For those desiring additional support beyond modifications to meal plans, The Independent Pharmacy offers both over-the-counter and prescription hair health products to explore. Their experts provide personalised guidance, taking lifestyle factors and medical history into account. This ensures customers find the right solutions for their needs.

Contact The Independent Pharmacy online, by phone, or by email to get started. Their dedicated patient care specialists welcome any questions on product selection and aim to provide discreet, affordable treatment options tailored to encouraging healthy, confident hair regrowth. Feel free to reach out for an initial consultation before committing.

We are here to support you in your journey towards healthier hair every step of the way. Think of us as a partner in your long-term hair wellness journey. Getting adequate internal nutrition while supplementing with proven treatments gives hair the best possible advantage. Take that first step and get in touch today!

FAQs

Do bananas help hair growth?

Yes, bananas can encourage healthy hair growth. Bananas contain nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and natural oils that nourish the scalp. These compounds moisturise dry follicles, improve elasticity to prevent breakage, and boost shine. So, adding a banana a day helps create an environment conducive to strong, smooth hair growth.

Does milk help hair growth?

Yes, milk can support healthy hair growth cycles thanks to its nutritional content. Milk provides protein for building hair strands, calcium for scalp health, and B vitamins that aid follicle cell production. Together, this nutrient profile protects against breakage and damage while encouraging the development of strong, thick hair.

What fruits stop hair fall?

Many fruits aid in reducing hair fall due to antioxidant content. Berries, oranges and kiwis provide vitamin C to support collagen and absorb nutrients that optimise growth cycles. Avocados offer vitamin E to repair damage and improve elasticity. Bananas contain potassium and natural oils that add moisture and shine for resilience. Enjoying a variety of these fruits supports scalp health and fuller, vibrant locks.

Sources:

Eating a balanced diet - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Facts about fat - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Vitamins and minerals - Others - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

DIET-004-highenergyhighprotein-2019.pdf (elht.nhs.uk)

Superfoods | The Royal Marsden

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