Hair growth involves several distinct stages -- an initiation stage where the follicle begins to form a new hair, a lengthening phase during which the hair grows, a static phase where the grown hair remains in the follicle, and a final phase where the hair naturally falls out. Health problems or nutrient deficiencies can affect the behavior of hair follicles, leading to abnormal hair loss. Therefore, ensuring you consume adequate amounts of vitamins can help prevent this excess hair loss, and improve the condition of your hair.
One food that is good to encourage thick healthy hair is olive oil. The oil is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin that helps keep your cells healthy and free of molecular damage. In addition, olive oil provides your body with a source of healthy fats that can help keep your hair and skin supple and moisturized, so your hair is less likely to break and fall out. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends olive oil or other vegetable oils to help reduce the symptoms of several hair disorders including alopecia, or premature hair thinning and loss. You can include more olive oil into your diet as a salad dressing, as a cooking oil or as a topping for vegetables or meats.
This leafy green is a rich source of vitamin B-9, or folate. Adequate levels of the vitamin help maintain healthy, strong hair that resists falling out. The University of Maryland Medical Center also indicates that proper folate intake is essential for the health of your skin, so ingesting the vitamin helps nourish your scalp, protecting against improper hair loss. In addition to its folate content, spinach also contains vitamin A, B, C and K. You can include more spinach in your diet by using it as a salad base, steaming or sauteing the greens or by adding it to soups or casseroles.
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C, another kind of antioxidant vitamin that fights cellular damage. Insufficient levels of vitamin C may reduce your body's ability to neutralize harmful free radicals, leading to tissue damage, including damaging to your hair follicles. Including strawberries into your diet, either alone as a snack or in salads, can help you ingest the 1000 to 2000 mg dose of daily vitamin C recommended by the University of Maryland Medical Center to treat hair disorders like hair loss.