You likely spend a lot of time (and dough!) choosing products to put on your hair to keep it looking soft and shiny. But if you don't pay attention to your diet as well, all of that is just money down the drain—literally.
Although your tresses grow slowly, if you make some small eating changes today, you'll start seeing results in about six months, says Keri Glassman, R.D., and author of The New You and Improved Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever. Add her top healthy foods to your diet for stronger, head-turning hair.
1. Whole grains. "Niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, B6, and B12 contribute to the stimulation of hair follicles, which grow healthy, shiny, and strong hair by increasing circulation," Glassman says. Find all of these vitamins in all whole grains, including oatmeal and brown rice, as well as quinoa.
2. Salmon: Another source of Bs, salmon also provides omega-3 fatty acids, which your body requires in order to grow those luscious locks and keep them from becoming brittle. If you're not a fan of fish, try adding walnuts, avocado, pumpkin seeds to your diet.
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3. Oysters: Foods rich in antioxidants, zinc, and selenium help the body repair damaged hair as well as strengthen follicles, Glassman says. For those who don't like slurping mollucks, add shellfish, legumes, and red meat to your diet instead.
4. Eggs: Enjoy an omelet for biotin, another B vitamin (sensing a theme here?), which keeps hair strong by stimulating new cell growth. Eggs are also a great source of protein, the main component of your locks. Mixed nuts, Swiss chard, and halibut are other good choices.
5. Lentils: In addition to protein, zinc, and biotin, these legumes contain iron. "This mineral helps with circulation to ensure that your hair follicles are well supplied with oxygen," Glassman says. To avoid a lentil rut, mix things up by eating a variety of beans.