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Can Food Make Hair Thicker?

author image Leigh Ann Morgan
Leigh Ann Morgan began working as a writer in 2004. She has extensive experience in the business field having served as the manager of a $34 million rental property portfolio. Morgan also appeared as a guest on an episode of National Public Radio's "Marketplace Money" in 2005.
Can Food Make Hair Thicker?
Thick hair. Photo Credit: Valua Vitaly/iStock/Getty Images

Two factors determine hair thickness: the thickness of the hair follicles and the number of hair follicles on the scalp. While genetics play a role in hair thickness, the foods you eat also impact the number and size of the hair follicles on your scalp. Several foods contain vitamins and minerals that improve the thickness and overall health of hair.

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Black beans.
Black beans. Photo Credit: Barbro Bergfeldt/iStock/Getty Images

Legumes contain biotin, a B-complex vitamin necessary for hair growth. While humans rarely have severe biotin deficiencies, diets lacking in biotin result in thinning hair and hair loss. Increase your biotin intake by adding black beans, chickpeas or lentils to soups, salads and chili.


Cutting fresh salmon.
Cutting fresh salmon. Photo Credit: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Salmon contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients for healthy hair. Both of these nutrients encourage hair growth and thickness. Deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids and protein lead to thin, brittle hair or hair loss. A 4 oz. serving of baked or broiled salmon contains 29.4 g of protein and 2.09 g of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acid content of salmon represents 87.1 percent of the U.S. recommended daily intake for that nutrient.


Bunch of carrots.
Bunch of carrots. Photo Credit: NA/ Images

Thick hair requires a healthy scalp for continued growth. Carrots contain vitamin A, which keeps the scalp healthy and prevents the hair follicles from thinning. Eat raw carrots as a snack or add shredded carrots to your salad to get more vitamin A on a daily basis.


Macadamia nuts.
Macadamia nuts. Photo Credit: lirtlon/iStock/Getty Images

Nuts contain high levels of protein, along with selenium and omega-3 fatty acids that improve scalp health. One cup of Brazil nuts contains 19.05 g of protein and 2,549.6 mg of selenium, as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Examples of nuts with omega-3 fatty acids include butternuts, hickory nuts, peanuts and macadamia nuts.

Dairy Products

Cheese. Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

Calcium contributes to hair growth, helping create thicker, fuller hair. Dairy products also contain protein, making them ideal for increasing hair thickness and promoting hair growth. Add dairy products to your diet by drinking milk or eating cheese and yogurt. Even a dish of calcium-packed ice cream helps promote healthier hair.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter.
Peanut butter. Photo Credit: Jaimie Duplass/iStock/Getty Images

In addition to high levels of protein, peanut butter also contains zinc. Zinc promotes the hair growth and repair and normalizes the production of oil around the hair follicles. Diets deficient in zinc lead to hair loss, reducing the overall thickness of your hair. Add peanut butter to celery sticks, apple slices or whole-grain bread for a healthful snack that improves your hair's health.

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