The hair growth diet: what to eat for long hair, fast

Maybe it’s just modern times, but there’s nothing more depressing to an avid hair-grower than checking your hair length in the mirror and thinking, this is literally the same length as it was when I got it cut two months ago. It’s even worse if you’ve been making a real effort to look after your hair, whether it’s adding oil, applying a nightly hair mask, or even head-massaging (said to stimulate the scalp- but not, it seems, fast enough). If this is you, it might not be the external factors that are decelerating your hair growth, but rather, what you’re putting into your body.

Since your hair is made up of proteins, if you don’t get enough protein intake from your diet, its growth will be affected. But it’s not just protein that your hair needs- there’s also needs a variety of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A, B-vitamins like Biotin, vitamin C, D and E, iron and zinc. A deficiency in any of these minerals could be the cause for your distinct lack of hair growth.

If you’re unsure whether you are including these nutrients in your diet, below is a list of the five best foods for hair growth. Eating a diet rich in these foods should improve your hair’s overall health and strength, helping hair to grow faster as a result.

1.       Eggs

Ever heard of the DIY egg white hair mask? Why not save the effort and include more eggs in your diet instead? Eggs are high in protein, and are extremely versatile, so it’s usually easy to slip one into your diet. Eggs are also a great source of zinc, biotin, selenium and other hair-healthy nutrients, which makes them one of the best food sources for hair health.

2.       Sweet potatoes

They’re not labelled as a superfood for nothing. As well as being a rich source of fibre and containing a good array of vitamins and minerals, sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, which promotes the production of sebum, keeping hair healthy.

3.       Spinach and other leafy greens

Iron is an essential mineral that your hair cells require, so much so that an iron deficiency can also cause hair loss. Spinach is a great plant-based source of iron, which helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to fuel your metabolism and aid growth and repair. It also contains beneficial nutrients like folate, and vitamins A and C, all of which may promote hair growth.

4.       Nuts and seeds

Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans are a great source of biotin, a vitamin known to help promote hair growth. They’re also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which your body can’t produce itself, so it’s important to derive them from your diet. Similarly, seeds like flax and chia seeds contain healthy fat L-lysine, which plays a role in the formation of your hair.

5.       Beans

In our humble opinion, beans are underrated. They’re cheap, they’re tasty, you can add them to pretty much anything, and they’re a great plant-based source of protein. Beans are also a good source of zinc, which aids the hair growth and repair cycle, as well as other hair-healthy nutrients, including iron, biotin and folate.

Laura Shallcross