You Can Eat Your Way to Healthier, Thicker Hair—Here's How

Kelsey Clark

When it comes to hair health, your first instinct may be to turn to expensive products or maybe even a keratin treatment. And while those solutions can certainly work wonders for your locks, the (budget-friendly) answer to your hair woes may be hidden in your kitchen cupboard. "The food you eat actually has a huge impact on hair growth, shine, strength, and softness—so pretty much everything that matters," writes Kayla Jacobs, beauty editor for Mindbodygreen. Depending on your long-term hair goal, here's what Jacobs recommends eating:

For Thicker Hair

Protein and collagen are the building blocks of strong, healthy hair—essentials that can be found in meat and vitamin C–rich foods. "Vitamin C is essential to building collagen in our bodies, and a deficiency in it could actually lead to breakage, dry hair, and more split ends than usual," explains Jacobs. Fill up on oranges, berries, and peppers for a healthy dose of vitamin C, and meat, fish, eggs, and cheese for protein.

For Shinier Hair

Salmon is your go-to food if you want shinier hair. It contains fatty acids, which are rich in omega-3, vitamin B12, and iron. "The vitamins and iron support a healthy scalp and [help] dull-looking hair," explains Jacobs. Try your hand at these baked salmon recipes to give your locks a lustrous boost.

For Voluminous Hair

Almonds are high in magnesium, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc—all key ingredients when it comes to hair health. "Gobble them raw or blitz them with water in a Vitamix to make your own almond milk," suggests Jacobs. They also help prevent alpha-linolenic acid deficiencies, which "can lead to hair shedding, brittleness, and dry scalp."

Head over to Mindbodygreen for more of Jacobs's insight, and share your go-to food for hair health in the comments below!

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