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Are There Foods That Strengthen Hair Folicles?

author image Shannon Hyland-Tassava
Shannon Hyland-Tassava has more than 16 years experience as a clinical health psychologist, wellness coach and writer. She is a health columnist for the "Northfield (Minn.) News" and has also contributed to "Motherwords," "Macalester Today" and two essay anthologies, among other publications. Hyland-Tassava holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois.
Are There Foods That Strengthen Hair Folicles?
Dairy products contain B vitamins for healthy hair. Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Hair is a major factor in most people's ideas of beauty and attractiveness. Strong, shiny hair suggests health and vitality, and many people would do just about anything to get it. The right shampoos, conditioners and other hair products can help and support the health of your hair, but another strategy is to encourage strong hair, from the inside out, through proper nutrition.

Important Nutrients

In general, overall good nutrition is necessary for strong, healthy hair. A poor diet, such as when crash dieting, can be detrimental to your hair. Certain vitamins and minerals are especially important for resilient, healthy hair. In particular, protein and iron help maintain good hair health. The B-complex vitamins are also instrumental in keeping your hair healthy and strong.

Food Sources

The best food sources of nutrients for strong hair are animal products. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products are rich sources of protein and B-complex vitamins. Iron is found in meat, fish, beans and legumes. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, and thus eat limited or no animal products, include beans and legumes in your diet to provide these healthy-hair nutrients.


Some people might find it difficult to include enough of these foods in their diets on a regular basis. If this describes you, you might wish to utilize supplements to support the health and strength of your hair. If you eat minimal animal product foods, you might require a multivitamin or B-complex vitamin supplement to obtain sufficient B vitamins. Protein supplements, such as protein powders, shakes and snack bars, are commercially available for those who don't eat many protein foods.


If you are concerned about the health and strength of your hair, consult your physician first. Some medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, can affect your hair's health and should be ruled out or treated appropriately by a medical professional. If you need to improve your diet or try supplements, your physician can evaluate the best steps to take and which supplements are right for you.

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