While some people are blessed with beautiful thick locks, the rest of us aren’t so lucky. And if you’re fearful of losing your hair as you age or experiencing male-pattern baldness, you’re definitely in good company. Healthline explains male-pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss in men — and by age 50, around 50% of all men are affected by it to some extent.
Your genes have a lot to do with hair loss, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are certain foods that can influence your hair growth. Here’s what you should be eating.
Healthy hair thrives on omega-3 fatty acids, and since your body can’t produce these on its own, it’s important to get them through your food, Fox News notes. Salmon contains a healthy amount of omega-3s that will help to nourish both your brain and your scalp.
According to nutritionist Rania Batayneh, omega-3 acids reach the hair shaft and scalp cell membranes. They then nourish these follicles, which in turn promotes the growth of new hair and improved hair density.
Aside from fatty fish, eggs are another great source of protein that can really help your hair. Healthline explains getting enough protein is the first step in combating your scalp struggles, as a lack of this nutrient has been shown to promote hair loss. As for eggs specifically, they are also a good source of biotin, which is necessary for the hair protein keratin to be produced. If you have a biotin deficiency, eating more foods that are high in the nutrient can help with hair growth.
You’ve been told to eat more leafy greens, and one such green you should definitely be adding to your meals is spinach. Fox News reports this veggie is high in vitamin C. This nutrient helps your body absorb iron, which is good news for your scalp. Not only that, but spinach also has plenty of magnesium. If you’re part of the 68% who don’t get enough of this mineral, this may also contribute to hair loss.
Not only are they delicious, but berries are the fruit you should focus on for hair growth. Healthline notes they’re loaded with vitamin C, which, as noted with spinach, means you’ll be absorbing iron more easily. Not only that, but berries have plenty of antioxidants that may help protect your hair follicles against damaging free radicals in the environment.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are the perfect high-protein snack — and they’re also better for your hair than you might think. Nutritionist Joseph Debé told Eat This, Not That! that nuts have oils that can help add elastin in your hair, which makes it stronger. Also, pistachios in particular are high in beta-sitosterol, a food source that’s been proven to help with male-pattern baldness.
Love seeds more? Try going for sunflower seeds. They’re rich in vitamin B5 which can help bring more blood flow to your scalp.
Pumpkin, rosemary, and coconut oils
If you’re going to cook with oil, you’re well-advised to use these three types. Prevention explains one study found men with hair loss who were given 400 milligrams of pumpkin seed oil per day for 24 weeks saw a 40% increase in hair growth as compared with the placebo group.
Even if you don’t eat your oils, they can still have benefits. Try using them as a pre-wash or post-wash grooming product. They may help more than you think.
When it comes to good hair, getting enough (but not too much) vitamin A is necessary. And sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, hence their orange color, which is then converted to vitamin A in the body, Healthline notes. As for what this vitamin does, studies show it can speed up the rate of hair growth and encourage thicker hair. It can also help your scalp hold on to the hair that’s already on your head.