10 Amazing Foods for Hair Growth

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Maintaining a healthy head of hair is important to everyone, but many people don’t know that their diet can have a major effect on hair growth. There are many foods that can help stimulate hair growth, including salmon, pumpkin seeds, avocado, citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, oysters, eggs and sweet potatoes, among others.

Hair Growth

When you’re young, it seems like your hair will always be around; in fact, you might get annoyed at how often you have to go and pay for a haircut. However, over the years, your hair has to put up with a lot of strain and stress.  Some people suffer from male pattern baldness, while others simply have weaker hair that break and pull out when you run a brush through it. Hair health can also be affected by certain nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, chemotherapy, heredity, pharmaceutical use, stress levels, autoimmune diseases and dozens of other peripheral causes. In short, it is understood by most that our hair won’t always look luscious, full and healthy. While some causes of hair loss can’t be avoided, one of the best things you can do for the health of your hair is to ensure that you are eating a hair-friendly diet.

The structure and function of hair and the scalp is beyond the scope of this article, but you can find all of that information here. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the foods to help hair growth. [1]

A woman flaunting her beautiful healthy hair

The protein called keratin makes up hair and stimulates hair growth. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Foods for Hair Growth

Foods that can help stimulate hair growth include the consumption of salmon, pumpkin seeds, avocado, citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, oysters, eggs, and sweet potatoes. These foods also prevent hair loss and provide key nutrients to scalp and hair both.


Fruits that are high in vitamin C and other antioxidants are excellent foods to stimulate hair growth if you’re beginning to see some bare patches on your scalp. Vitamin C is a key component in the production of collagen, which plays a key part in the strength and durability of hair. The hair is covered by a protective shell, composed of collagen, so without it, the hair is much more prone to breaking. If you want to ensure that you have proper collagen levels so your hair can stay strong, add strawberries, blueberries and citrus fruits to your diet, as they are very rich in vitamin C. [2]


One of the most damaging elements to the hair and scalp that people often overlook is the sun. When your scalp is negatively affected by the sun’s rays, it can damage your production of new hair. Almonds are a good countering measure to this, as it has very high levels of vitamin E. This vitamin not only protects the skin and the hair follicles from oxidative stress and damage, but it also is integral to the production of keratin, which is found in hair strands and contributes to strength and appearance. Almonds, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts are a few other great sources of this essential vitamin. [3]


When you don’t take care of your hair properly, it can become brittle and frizzy, and is more difficult to comb, resulting in a much better chance of hair loss. If you want to increase the level of natural, healthy oils in your scalp and prevent oxidative stress, omega-3 fatty acids can help in that department. Improving the texture of your hair is important both for health and aesthetics, and the high concentration of fatty acids in flax seeds make them a delicious and simple remedy. [4]


Beans are a rich source of iron, which is a key part of the circulation. If you have enough oxygenated blood flowing to the scalp and other extremities, hair growth is stimulated and maintained. If you add beans to your diet on a regular or daily basis, you can measurably improve the strength of your hair and prevent hair loss. [5]

Leafy Vegetables

You have probably never heard of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), but it can play a huge role in the health and growth pattern of your hair. Another word for this compound is organic sulfur, which is essential for keratin development. Keratin is the basic building-block protein in the strands of your hair, so without a supply of MSM, which you can get from leafy greens, hair growth is basically impossible! [6]


A commonly known cause of hair loss is zinc deficiency, as it is an integral mineral for scalp health and hair strength. Fortunately, if you add oysters to your diet, even a few ounces a week, you will be getting nearly 500% of your daily required intake of zinc, which will definitely keep your hair healthy and strong! [7]


If you want to stimulate the growth of hair and prevent oxidative stress in the scalp, adding avocados to your diet is a great choice. These tasty fruits are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the health of your hair follicles. You can topically apply avocado to your hair and scalp as a hair mask for shiny appearance and faster growth of your hair. [8]


When your hair begins to lose its shine and luster, it can be very frustrating, but without natural acids in the hair, they are less protected and unattractive, making it damage-prone. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can coat the hair and ensure that it keeps shining! [9]


Without protein in our diet, we wouldn’t be able to grow most things in our body, and the same is true for hair! Eggs are not only a source of protein but also biotin, which is a water-soluble B vitamin that helps with scalp health. Adding eggs to your morning diet a few times a week will boost biotin levels, and keep your hair growing regularly and evenly. [10]


Hydration is an important part of every bodily process, including the growth of hair. One-fourth of hair is composed of water, but without proper hydration, growth will slow down and the hair can weaken. Water keeps the hair looking silky and shiny, as well as supple and healthy. The recommended amount of water each day is 8-10 glasses, which should keep your hair in great health! [11]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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