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Diet and Hair Loss: Top Nutrients for Healthy Hair



Some types of hair loss are permanent and there is really not too much you can do from a lifestyle standpoint—your only options may be products and procedures designed to stimulate new growth. But, for many people, however, excessive hair loss is not destined by the genes, but the result of outside factors such as extreme stress, poor nutrition, or a health condition.

In these cases, you can do something to restore the health of your hair and encourage regrowth. Hair, like any other part of the body, relies on specific nutrients and making sure you get them through your diet is a key step in maintaining healthy locks.


If you eat meat and other animal products, chances are, you are getting enough protein; but, in the event you are not, I wanted to mention it here since this nutrient comprises about 97 percent of your hair. If you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, make sure you eat plenty of tofu and other soy products, nuts, seeds, quinoa, and whole grains. Proteins are the building blocks of all cells, including the cells in your hair.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids get a lot of press for their heart-health benefits, but they play so many other roles in promoting a healthy body. These fats are really good for the hair, and if you are experiencing excessive shedding, you need to up your intake. Omega-3s are found in the hair shaft, your scalp, and in the oils that keep your hair healthy.

Salmon and other cold-water fish are the best sources, but if fish is not your thing, try walnuts, hemp seed, or flaxseed. You can also use supplements, but if you take blood-thinning medications, check with a doctor first.


Iron is another key nutrient in hair health; studies of premenopausal women experiencing hair loss indicate that iron deficiency may be a major contributing factor. Iron plays so many important roles in the body– such as producing the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body– that when intake is insufficient, the body will leach it from ‘’non-essential’’ areas, such as the hair. The richest sources are red meat, leafy greens, egg yolks, nuts, and cereals; eating iron-rich foods along with vitamin C can maximize its absorption.

It is worth noting as well that the body does not absorb the form of iron found in plants as well as the type found in animal products, so if you do not eat any animal sources of this nutrient, you need to compensate by eating larger quantities of iron-rich plant foods.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is often associated with promoting a strong immune function, but it is also vital for tissue growth and repair; if you are experiencing hair loss, this is not a nutrient to be overlooked in your diet. Good sources of vitamin C include potatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, black currants, guava, leafy greens, kiwi, and papaya.


While diet is always the best place to get the nutrients you need for your hair, you might also consider supplementation; some of the best hair regrowth products are nutritional supplements that contain the substances vital to healthy hair and scalp. But, again, it is important to look at these treatments as what they are intended to be—supplements to a good diet.