Downarrow-small-lineGroupStaff FaveGroupClose IconEmailLike Cooking Light on FacebookShapeFollow Cooking Light on InstagramMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Hair Food

A healthy diet grows healthier hair.
Image Credit: Randy Mayor

Hair growth is affected by many factors, including genetics, age, medications, diseases, and yes, your diet. Like your nails, hair requires a nutrient-rich supply of blood to its follicles. A very low-calorie diet could slow its growth and even cause hair loss. But don't be alarmed by occasional fallout―most of us lose 50 to 100 strands a day. (However, if your hair loss seems excessive, consult a dermatologist.)

For the healthiest hair (and body) possible, you should eat a well-balanced diet that includes:

  • fatty acids (found in flaxseed oil and cold-water fish like salmon);
  • zinc and copper (found in fish, shellfish, meat, and poultry);
  • B vitamins (found in eggs, dairy, meat, and whole grains);
  • selenium (found in cruciferous vegetables).

 

Also, keep your hair expectations in check. Typically, healthy hair grows only a half-inch each month, and growth slows with age. In addition, each strand of hair has a life cycle―the length of time it takes to reach maturity, fall out, and be replaced by a new hair―which varies from person to person. If your hair's average life cycle is only two years, it's doubtful that you'll ever have waist-length hair, which would take about six years to grow from a short hair cut.