10 Top Foods for Healthier Hair

Beautiful, shiny hair requires more than a good shampoo and conditioner. It starts on the inside—with a balanced diet.

Healthy hair relies on certain essential nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, biotin and vitamins A, C, E, and D.

If you currently eat a diet rich in variety, you are likely to be getting plenty of these vitamins and minerals. Just to be sure, read on for how certain healthy fats, lean proteins, and colorful fruits and vegetables can contribute to a healthy crown.


Watch Now: What to Eat to Get Healthy Hair




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Salmon and tuna are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. Add salmon or tuna to a fresh green salad or enjoy either as a sushi entree. Keep canned tuna and salmon on hand to used in a number of recipes. Herring, sardines, and trout are also omega-3-rich choices.


Dark Leafy Greens

Cooked greens

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are excellent sources of vitamin A, iron, calcium and vitamin C. Use raw greens as a base for salads or sauté them with a little olive oil and garlic and serve as a tasty side dish.




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Almonds, pecans, and walnuts are rich in plant proteins, biotin, minerals, and vitamin E. Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat raw walnuts as a snack, top your salads with toasted pecans, or sprinkle some almonds on green beans or other cooked veggies. 


Sweet Potatoes and Yams

Sweet potato

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Sweet potatoes and yams are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. Serve whipped sweet potatoes as a side dish or bake sweet potatoes and top them with a bit of molasses to add even more calcium. 




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and biotin, and they contain vitamins A and E, plus some iron and calcium. "Omega eggs," produced by hens fed special diets, are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Beans, lentils, and soy are all rich in protein, zinc, iron and biotin. Baked beans can be used as a topping for baked white or sweet potatoes. Lentil soup pairs perfectly with a fresh green salad. 




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Oysters are extremely high in zinc, plus they’re a rich source of protein. Enjoy raw oysters on the half shell, prepared as Oysters Rockefeller, or make oyster stew for dinner. 


Milk and Dairy

Cottage cheese

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Dairy products are high in protein, vitamin D, and calcium. Serve Greek yogurt with honey, berries, and nuts for a delicious breakfast or healthy dessert. Alternatively, milk made from almonds, soy or rice is also a good choice.


Red Bell Peppers

Red Bell Pepper

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Red bell peppers are high in vitamins A and C. Top a salad with raw red pepper slices, roast them with an assortment of veggies or add them to a stir-fry. 


Lean Beef


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Beef is an excellent source of protein and zinc. If calories are a concern, choose a leaner cut like a filet mignon if that is an accessible option for you. Add thin slices of steak to a salad or use lean cuts of beef in a stir-fry.

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By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.