Who doesn’t want shiny, sexy, young-looking hair? While we struggle with conditioners, glosses, salon treatments and flat irons to get our hair looking red carpet fabulous every day, there’s a more organic approach to gorgeous hair that we often forget: diet! The foods we eat can greatly affect how shiny, bouncy and thick our hair appears.
Lock & Mane reached out to Dr. Michael Lorin Reed, a New York dermatologist and renowned expert in women’s hair health and disorders, for tips on super foods for healthy locks. He tells us that “a well balanced diet rich in B vitamins, iron, sulfur, and zinc is essential for optimal hair growth and appearance.”
But Dr. Reed explains that the nutrients in some foods can actually compete with others, inhibiting the absorption of another valuable nutrient for hair.
We compiled a list of hair-healthy super foods across the board:
The hands-down winner is….
1. Red Meat: Dr. Reed tells us that a diet that includes red meat (in moderation) provides zinc, vitamins B1 and B12, iron and sulfur which are all desirable nutritional elements for hair health, optimizing the hair cuticle to promote shine.
2. Poultry/Fish: If red meat isn’t your thing, other meat proteins (poultry, fish) will do the trick by providing essential iron. Halibut is a particularly nutrient-rich fish, for example, providing high levels of biotin (vitamin B7) which promotes hair strength and prevents breakage!
Fun protein fact: Egg whites alone (without the yolk) are not good for hair! A component of egg white (avidin) inhibits absorption of biotin in the intestine. Biotin is a major co-factor in enzyme reactions necessary for hair growth! Consider that next time you’re ordering an egg-white omelette at brunch!