Much like how our diet affects the health of our body, brain, and skin, the foods you eat also have a significant impact on the health and look of your hair. Shiny, strong, full, lustrous hair are all outward signs of a healthy hair that is optimally functioning inside. Each individual strand of hair is made up of cells that require a balance of essential nutrients. A well-rounded diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and herbs will provide the right vitamins and minerals to support full-bodied, vibrant hair growth. A diet lacking in these key nutrients, conversely, will have negative effects felt throughout the entire body, skin, hair, and nails included. Dry, brittle hair as well as breakage and even hair loss are all impacts of a diet short of key nutrients. So what are the most beneficial nutrients for lush, natural hair? Let's find out!
Hair is made of protein, and a sufficient amount of protein in your diet is critical when it comes to voluminous, natural hair. One type of protein that is crucial for healthy locks is keratin. In fact, up to 95% of the hair follicle is made up of keratin. If your diet is lacking in this protein, you might notice that your hair is excessively dry or easily broken.
Vitamin A is one vitamin that is necessary to help promote keratin synthesis, making it incredibly important for the overall health and strength of your hair. Vitamin A also helps make sebum - our body’s natural oil. Sebum acts as a natural conditioner and is essential for the health of your scalp. A diet lacking in Vitamin A may also cause a dry, itchy scalp or brittle hair.
Iron is an incredible mineral when it comes to avoiding hair loss and breakage. Because the root and hair follicle are both supported and fed by the blood supply, a lack of iron in the diet can disrupt the nutrients available in the blood for absorption, resulting in an absence of healthy hair growth and, in the case of anemia, even hair loss.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that works to jumpstart the production of collagen - one of the most important proteins for the strength and elasticity of not just the skin, but the hair as well. Vitamin C can also assist in the absorption of Iron, so a diet high in Vitamin C and Iron work hand in hand to promote full, voluminous natural hair.
Rounding out our top vitamins and minerals for vibrant, nourished hair- the B vitamins play a critical role in the production of red blood cells which work to carry nutrients and oxygen to feed the hair follicles. This is important for healthy hair growth and hair volume.
Food Sources of The Best Nutrients for Hair
You already know we are all about including a ton of fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs in our diet for an optimally functioning body. Here are our favorite fresh, whole food ways to include these hair-loving vitamins and minerals into your diet today:
Sweet potatoes are one of our go-to's for strong, conditioned hair as they are a rich source of beta carotene, a compound which is converted into Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamins B6 and C as well as Potassium.
Onions are another great addition to your diet when it comes to fostering keratin production. Onions are also high in folate, one of the essential B vitamins for full-bodied locks. Our Intense Dandruff Oil "No Time For Flakes" contains Onion Oil, it reduces scalp inflammation, minimizes hair thinning, nourishes hair follicles, and conditions a dry scalp.
Similar to onions, garlic is brimming with antioxidants that help the body produce keratin. Garlic is also rich in Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C - two vitamins that are non-negotiable for collagen production and encourages strong, vibrant hair growth.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable with quite an impressive nutritional profile. It is an excellent source of Vitamins A and C as well as Iron. Kale is a perfect addition to any diet to help support keratin synthesis and thicker, fuller hair growth.
Carrots are another vegetable boasting high levels of Vitamins A and C. Carrots are a rich source of Biotin and Vitamin B6, which work together to strengthen hair from root to tip and prevent hair loss.
Herbs & Teas
There are also several herbs and teas that support healthy, natural hair. Green Tea, bursting with antioxidants, is great for fostering smooth, silky hair; while rosemary works to stimulate circulation, helping to bring those fresh nutrients you’ve been consuming directly to the hair follicles for thicker, faster hair growth. Lavender is another favorite herb for healthy hair, as it can encourage a healthy scalp, fighting dandruff, and calming inflamed skin. Dandelion Root is an herb rich in antioxidants as well as Iron, Biotin, and Calcium. Dandelion Root tea is great for the overall strength and health of your natural hair. Not only is our Ella Dean Hair Oil Collection made with organic fruits and vegetables, they are also made with organic herbs as well.