12 Best and Worst Foods for Hair

FIRST, THE BEST FOODS FOR HAIR


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1. Almond Butter

Almond butter contains a wide variety of nutrients—including protein, healthy fats, and certain vitamins—that have all been linked to hair health. It’s the vitamin E content in the nuts that researchers say is particularly good for keeping your locks thick and lustrous. One eight-month trial found men who supplemented daily with vitamin E saw an increase in hair growth by as much as 42 percent. 


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2. Tangerines

The benefits of tangerines affect your hair in two big ways: 1.) Its vitamin C content makes it easier for your body to absorb iron, such as from spinach; 2.) The vitamin B12 in tangerines promotes hair growth, reduces hair loss, and slows down the graying process.


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3. Amla Berries

Also known as Indian gooseberry, amla is a sour fruit native to India. High in antioxidants, it is prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors for glowing skin and hair. It’s easiest to purchase frozen amla berries online. Defrost the berries, cut into small pieces and add them to your next Zero Belly Smoothie!


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4. Spinach

In some cases (particularly in women), a mineral deficiency is the cause of hair loss. “It’s important to make sure you don’t have a lack of something in your diet that could be leading to hair loss,” says dermatologist Dr. Carolyn Jacob . “We check protein levels, iron, iron storage, vitamin D and a number of other labs to make sure you don’t have deficiencies.” Spinach is iron rich and it contains sebum, which acts as a natural conditioner for hair. 


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5. Greek Yogurt

Ever notice what sits atop nearly every ancient Greek statue? A mop of thick, full, wavy hair. An artistic choice? Perhaps. But maybe it’s due to the thick, protein-rich yogurt that Greeks and other cultures have been eating since 500 B.C. Greek yogurt is rich in vitamin B5 (known as pantothenic acid), which helps with blood flow to your scalp and hair growth.


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6. Salmon

The human body can do a lot of crazy stuff, like turning sunlight into bone-strengthening vitamin D. In addition to helping you stay fit and disease free, omega-3’s enable you to grow hair and keep it shiny and full. According to Debé, both male-pattern balding and female hair loss is often associated with insulin resistance. Salmon is one food that helps the body process insulin more efficiently. 

NOW, THE WORST FOODS FOR HAIR


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1 Swordfish

High levels of mercury can lead to hair loss; the overarching rule (but there are exceptions) is that the bigger the fish is in nature, the higher levels of mercury it has in it. Steer clear of fish like swordfish, mackeral, and even some tuna.


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2 .Diet Soda

Yet another reason that diet isn’t any better than regular: The artificial sweeteners—specifically, aspartame—has been linked to hair loss.


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3 Sugar

It’s officially the year of “stop the sugar!” and your wannabe-luscious locks are yet another reason why sugar hurts your health. It’s really pretty basic: Protein is super important for your hair and sugar hinders the absorption of it. Steer clear of added sugar and surprising foods that have sugar, like these 23 Restaurant Items With Crazy-High Amounts of Sugar .


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4 Starchy Whites

This one goes hand in hand with sugar, since white bread, cakes, pastries, white pasta, and other refined, over-processed starches are converted into sugar, which causes your hair to thin. So step away from the croissant and stick with whole wheat whenever possible.


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5. Alcohol

Alcohol slows the levels of zinc in your body, which is a necessary mineral for healthy hair and growth. It also dehydrates your hair, making it more brittle and likely to break. Alcohol does a number on your skin, too, which is why it’s one of the 20 Foods That Age You 20 Years .


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6. Fast Food

Greasy food translates to greasy skin, including on your scalp. As your noggin’s pores wind up clogged, hair loss can occur. Gross, right?

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