25 Best Foods for Hair Growth (Science Based)
What are the Best Foods for Hair Growth?
What are the Foods That Promote Hair Growth?
You might be having these questions. Today I will tell you about the foods for hair growth, hair fall causes and how to treat it.
Have you ever wondered why everyone, including men and women, is so obsessed with their crown of glorious or paltry hair? It is considered the crowning glory of our head since eons. Long hair has found importance from a historical and cultural perspective. Whatever may be your reasons for growing your lustrous mane, here is a guide to some of the best foods that promote hair growth.
Reasons for Hair Fall or Hair Damage
Hair fall, as well as hair damage, is a reality that everyone faces at one point or the other. Both men and women fall prey to hair fall and hair damage. There are multiple reasons for hair fall and cannot be attributed to only one cause. The following are some of the most common causes of hair fall: (1)
1. Hormonal Imbalance
An imbalance of the hormones can lead to several changes in the body including hair fall. This is because hormones play an important role in regulating the hair growth cycle. Estrogens are hair “friendly” hormones which aid in the growth of hair while androgens are “unfriendly” hormones which do not aid in the growth of hair and instead shortens the hair growth cycle.
2. Iron Deficiency
One of the leading causes of hair fall is anemia which is commonly known as an iron deficiency. It is an essential requirement for the production of hair cell protein without which there is a tendency of hair fall and loss.
Stress triggers several problems with regard to hair; it causes not only hair fall but thining of hair. Stress has the ability to raise the androgen hormone level which stunts the hair growth cycle. It also disrupts your eating habits and affects the digestive system which in turn affects the growth of your hair. (3)
4. Thyroid Imbalance
Any imbalance in the thyroid gland affects the hair follicles as the thyroid gland aids in the regulation of the body’s metabolism. This helps in controlling the production of proteins and tissue use of oxygen.
5. Sudden Weight Loss
Any sudden weight loss or for that matter any changes in your body affects the hair first. Weight loss can lead to stress on the hair and initiate hair fall and loss.
6. Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Apart from feeling tired and weak due to a lack of vitamin B12 in your body, it can also affect the health of your hair. Vitamin B12 is responsible for the health of the red blood cells which carry oxygen to your tissues and if there is a deficiency then it leads to hair loss.
Hair fall is a normal aging process. In women, it is more evident especially during menopause as menopause brings in many changes in the body. Regular Exercise and consuming anti-oxidant rich foods helps to slow down the aging process.
Here is an informative video from Sooraj Mohan on hair growth foods
The following are some of the most common reasons for hair damage:
1. Environmental Damage
The environment around you can also affect the quality of your hair. Hard water makes the hair rough and dry as it accumulates mineral deposits on the hair. The hair becomes susceptible to tangles and frizz. Other environmental conditions like humidity, harsh sunlight, strong wind etc. can also have a detrimental effect on the hair.
2. Chemical Damages
Chemical treatments like bleaching, straightening, and coloring changes the complete structure of the hair and the moisture from the hair cuticles are removed which makes the hair brittle and dry. Over-shampooing also rids the hair of its natural oils and makes it dull and damaged.
3. Physical Damages
Although innocuous, some of our beauty habits cause extensive damage to the hair. Curling, straightening, hair dryers, ponytails, and braids cause much distress to the hair follicles which ultimately leads to damage of the hair. This can be attributed to a receding hairline as well. Excessive combing of the hair particularly when it is wet is also another way to damage the hair.
4. Nutritional Damage
The follicles of the hair regulate the condition of the hair. If it is nourished well then the condition of the hair is good. Nutrients are delivered to the hair follicles through a good diet. When there is a deficiency of nutrients in the body, the other major organs get precedence when it comes to distribution of nutrients. The other less important organs are ignored which is why the hair is affected first when there is any nutritional deficiency.
Best Foods for Hair Growth
A right kind of food can help in the proper growth of your hair as well as maintaining it. A diet which is rich in vitamins, proteins, fatty acids, and minerals ensures that the hair follicles are well fed and the hair remains lustrous, shiny and strong. The following are some of the best food for hair growth:
1. Coconut Oil
Applying coconut oil in the roots of the hair is an excellent way to moisturize and condition it. A hair massage after applying coconut oil is an effective way to stimulate growth and combat dandruff on the scalp as coconut oil is antibacterial as well as antifungal.
Shrimps are shellfish which are rich in nutrients such as vitamin B, D, zinc, iron, protein. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids which all together help in the promotion of hair growth and prevention of hair breakage.
Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin B7 or biotin which is a coenzyme known to promote hair growth. It promotes the growth of healthy hair cells which lead to thick and healthy hair. It is one of the best foods for hair growth.
Walnut also contains other essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and copper which help in protecting the hair from harsh sunlight and to retain the natural color of the hair.
Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids along with calcium, protein, zinc, iron, and magnesium which are beneficial for the growth of hair and to make them healthy and strong. Flaxseeds and its oil offer tons of health benefits to our body.
Carrots are jam-packed with vitamins A, vitamin C, potassium, carotenoids, and antioxidants which promotes hair growth. They also help the hair to grow thick, strong and shiny. It also prevents premature graying of the hair as it contains vitamin C and E which improves blood circulation in the scalp.
Eggs contain omega-3 fatty acids and biotin which promotes hair growth. Do note that it is the consumption of the yellow egg yolk which will benefit you as too much of egg whites can block the absorption of biotin by the body.
Eggs also contain proteins and vitamin B12, zinc, sulfur, selenium, and iron all of which help in the growth of the hair and also help to combat hair fall. Zinc also helps in maintaining the glands which secrete oil in the hair follicles and aids in reducing hair fall. There are many more health benefits of Eggs.
Oysters are an excellent source of zinc which helps in the prevention of hair loss and a poor scalp with dry and flaky skin. They contain iron and proteins which promotes healthy, lustrous and strong hair. Oysters are one of the vitamin D rich foods.
They are one of the best foods for hair growth.
Groundnuts are a powerhouse of sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron all of which help in the maintenance of healthy hair. The omega-3 fatty acids in it help in the growth of healthy hair, keeping them strong and lush.
Beans contain silica which helps our bodies to absorb minerals and vitamins which further nourishes the body and hair with nutrients. It also contains fiber, protein, vitamin B, vitamin C, minerals, and zinc which are essential for the growth of healthy hair.
It contain vitamins and compounds which aid in hair growth. Berries such as blueberries contain antioxidants which are particularly useful to fight free radicals and protect the hair follicles.
The free radicals promote hair discoloration and split ends which are combated by the nutrients found in blueberries. It also stimulates hair growth.
11. Sweet Pepper
Sweet Pepper is an excellent source of vitamin C which promotes hair growth and collagen production to strengthen the hair. It also contains vitamin A. The strong antioxidant in sweet pepper protects the hair against oxidative stress and hair loss and graying.
12. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E which helps in the growth of hair and its maintenance. They make the hair shiny and strong.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach are crammed with iron, folate, beta-carotene, and vitamins A and vitamin C which help to maintain the health of the hair follicles. Vitamin A aids in the production of sebum by the skin glands. Sebum is the oily substance which aids in moisturizing the scalp. They also keep the hair shiny and strong.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and bioflavonoids for the benefit of hair growth. They also reduce hair fall and the folic acid found in oranges helps to stimulate hair growth.
15. Fatty Fish
Fish like herring, salmon, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, protein, vitamin B, and D3 which promote the growth of hair and make them strong and lush.
Chicken contains a high level of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B which aids in hair growth as well as to keep them strong and lush. It also combats hair fall and breakage as it nourishes and strengthens fragile hair.
Soybeans contain spermidine and proteins which promotes hair growth. They also make the hair shiny and lustrous and prevent hair loss as well.
18. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain antioxidants like beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A helps in the production of sebum which aids in keeping the hair healthy and promotes the growth of thick hair. It also ensures that the scalp is well oiled and prevents an itchy scalp and dandruff.
19. Sweet Lime
Sweet Lime is a treasure trove for vitamin C, copper and minerals and it helps to maintain the health of hair by combating dandruff, split ends and hair fall. It also helps in expediting hair growth.
Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, avocados are perfect to promote hair growth. Vitamin E helps to protect the scalp from oxidative stress. They aid in hair growth and prevent hair loss as they stimulate elastin and collagen production. They keep the hair shiny and lustrous by moisturizing the scalp and hair follicles.
21. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, selenium, potassium, sodium, and zinc which promotes hair growth as it enhances the blood flow to the scalp. They also contain omega-3 fatty acid which promotes hair growth as well as prevents hair loss and graying.
22. Yellow Pepper
Yellow Peppers are a rich source of vitamin C. They, in fact, contain five and a half times more vitamin C than oranges. It contains antioxidants which help to strengthen the hair follicles and prevents breakage.
Almonds are another source of vitamin B7 or biotin, a coenzyme which helps in the growth of hair. It helps in the healthy growth of thick and lush hair. They also contain iron, protein and vitamin E which aids in blood circulation promotes strong hair follicles and prevents hair fall.
24. Sesame Oil
Sesame seeds and oil contain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals which help in hair growth as well as maintain a healthy scalp which is nourished and conditioned. The omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids help to promote thick hair growth.
Sesame oil massages help in circulating blood on the scalp while its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties help in combating dandruff and irritation in the scalp.
25. Castor Oil
Castor oil is loaded with nutrients such as omega 9 fatty acids and vitamin E which helps to promote good health of the hair and moisturizes it as well.
It also promotes hair growth through the ricinoleic acid present in it which aids in blood circulation in the scalp. It also prevents the hair from being damaged and susceptible to dandruff as it has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Yoga Asanas for Hair Growth
Yoga and its benefits for the wellbeing of the body, mind, and soul are very well known. It also helps in the hair growth as most of the yoga asanas help in blood circulation of the scalp.
Some of the yoga asanas which help in hair growth:
1. Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward Facing Dog Pose
It is an asana which resembles the pose of a dog when it bends forward. It should be done for 1 to 3 minutes on an empty stomach.
Benefits: This asana helps in increasing the blood circulation of the body and in particular enables fresh blood to flow into your head. It also stretches the entire body and helps to calm the mind.
2. Uttanasana or the Forward-bending Pose
It is an asana where the head falls below the heart. It should be done on an empty stomach and bowels preferably in the morning and should be done for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
Benefits: This asana instantly rejuvenates the body through blood circulation in the head as well as stretches and strengthens various parts of the body
3. Sarvangasana or the Shoulder Stand Pose
This is also called the queen of all asanas as it enables the shoulders to take all the weight of the body. It should ideally be done early in the morning when both the stomach and bowel are empty and should be done for at least 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits: This asana helps in increasing the blood circulation in the body and promotes the growth of hair.
4. Shirshasana or the Headstand Pose
It is an asana in which the body is completely inverted and supported by the forearms. Shirshasana is known as the king of all yoga asanas as it is possible to do this asana only after being proficient in other asanas. It is imperative that you do this asana on an empty stomach early in the morning or else there should be a gap of 10-12 hours between your meal and practice. You need to practice Shirshasana for 1 to 5 min.
Benefits: This asana helps to enrich the brain with a fresh supply of oxygenated blood within turn revitalizes and rejuvenates the brain. It helps to promote hair growth.
5. Ustrasana or the Camel Pose
It is an asana with a backward bend pose and has the ability to open the heart chakra. It should be done on an empty stomach and bowel early in the morning for at least 30-60 seconds.
Benefits: This asana helps in hair growth due to the increased blood circulation to the brain.
Tips for Hair Growth
One of the basic rules to keep in mind when it comes to hair growth is nurture and care of the hair. If you invest your time in taking proper care of your hair then there will always be a growth of healthy hair on your head. The following are a few tips to follow for hair growth:
- Always apply oil before you shampoo your hair. You can choose to use coconut, almond or sesame oil.
- Apply natural hair masks made at home regularly. You can make a simple hair mask by applying the juice of raw onions which boost hair growth or an egg mask which can deep condition your hair and leave it soft and silky.
- Detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb when it is wet so that there is reduced breakage of hair.
- Refrain from using hot irons and curling iron on your hair as it makes them weak and brittle with continuous use.
- Trim your hair regularly to get rid of split ends and maintain healthy hair.
- Use Mild shampoos and conditioners on regular basis. Harsh shampoos give temporary shine and permanent damage to your hair.
- Eat a balanced diet and do regular exercise.
- Comb your hair well before going to bed and tie them neatly. This will improve blood circulation there and avoid breakage in the morning.