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Food for Hair

How Our Hair Gets Its Nutrients & Building Blocks

Tips // Food for Hair

Published 10/27/18, 3:53 PM by Fleur Scalp Care

We are what we eat. Our bodies derive its nutrients mainly from the food we eat, breaking it down and retrieving the necessary building blocks. Our diet is just as important in achieving healthy hair and scalp from within. Here’s a breakdown of how & which nutrients and minerals are important for healthy hair.

Click here to read more about our hair structure in detail.


Our hair follicles are made of mostly protein fiber which means that it requires an adequate dose of protein to grow healthily through repair and regrowth. Insufficient protein intake is likely to make your hair dry and brittle. Studies have also shown that protein deficiency is linked to hair loss.

Lean poultry like chicken and lean pork loin are a great source for protein that also come with less saturated fat.


Iron deficiency means that your body can’t produce sufficient hemoglobin that transports the necessary oxygen vital for cell growth and repair. Iron also plays a vital role in an enzyme (ribonucleotide reductase) that promotes cell growth. According to some studies, our hair follicle is particularly sensitive to the levels of iron and may not grow as effectively in low iron levels.

Dark leafy greens like spinach can add a good dose of iron to our diet. Alternatively, chia seeds also come packed with iron, zinc, proteins, antioxidants and Omega-3s.

Vitamin A

All cells in our bodies need Vitamin A for growth, including our hair. It is also vital in keeping our sebaceous glands working properly and producing sebum necessary to keep our hair and scalp moisturized and protected. Deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to several problems, including hair loss.

Carrots are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium and antioxidants. Studies have shown that the beta-carotene in carrots are closely linked to promoting healthy hair growth.

B Vitamins

The complex B group of vitamins aids in achieving healthy hair growth. These provide the essential micronutrients for our overall health and also healthy hair growth through supporting the metabolic requirements of our hair follicles.

Biotin, or vitamin B7, is needed in our bodies to convert certain nutrients into energy and is essential in maintaining the health of our hair, nails and skin. Biotin has been shown to improve our keratin's infrastructure. Though vitamin B7 is commonly added and found in hair care products, biotin is also widely available in the food we take such as eggs, avocado, organ meats and mushrooms.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that is a vital source for our bodies’ sebum production through the sebaceous glands. It promotes healthy hair growth with its anti-inflammatory properties that helps prevent scalp inflammation. Omega-3 also plays a key role in the production of hormones responsible for improving our hair elasticity and shine.

Nuts and seeds are generally high in Omega-3s. Almonds, walnuts and flax seeds are excellent choices when it comes to supplementing your fatty acid needs.


This mineral plays an important part in the metabolic functions of our cells by regulating cell growth and health. Its antioxidant properties also assists in healthy hair growth by combating free radicals. In addition, selenium can also reduce dandruff by combating fungus.

Most seafood and shellfish such as oysters, small clams, mussels, shrimps and lobsters can provide the necessary amount of selenium.


Follicles can be calcified overtime when calcium is deposited in small amounts over prolonged periods resulting in scalp inflammation. Magnesium helps improves circulation and also counteracts with calcium making sure it gets to where it’s needed rather than clogging up on the scalp. It also aids in protein synthesis which leads to healthier hair growth cycle.

Avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts and soy milk are an excellent source when it comes to magnesium. Avocados are also rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that can promote hair growth. Additionally, they are a great source of essential fatty acids crucial for hair growth.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is associated with healthy hair follicle growth cycle by stimulating and nourishing the cells from within the hair shaft, triggering the genes that encourage proper hair growth. It also helps in the absorption of calcium that which is essential for healthy follicles.

The best way is to get Vitamin D is from the sun, especially when we’re on this sunny island along the equator. Foods such as salmon, shrimps and mushrooms can also supplement our bodies with Vitamin D.

Our bodies derive most of its needed nutrients and minerals from the food we eat. A proper balanced diet can help not just our hair but also improve our health overall. Before you plan on taking supplements, try to go for a balanced diet first - the natural way is the best way. But if you plan on taking supplements, do note the daily recommended values and also consult your doctor first. Remember everything is best in moderation.

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