The nutrients you eat today help fortify the hair follicle - from which each strand is born -- and the scalp that surrounds it. 'Healthier follicles? Healthier hair. Healthier scalp? Healthier hair!'
Of course, there's more to your hair than what you eat. Smoking, hormonal imbalances, and not enough sleep can also affect how your hair looks and feels. No magic nutrient can make up for those concerns.
These are the only type of nut that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They're also rich in biotin and vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from DNA damage. Since your hair rarely gets much shielding from the sun, this is especially great. Too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Walnuts also have copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous.
2) Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. It also helps protect and produce the oils that sustain your scalp, and being low on vitamin A can even leave you with itchy, irksome dandruff.
Other options: Carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, and apricots are all good sources of beta-carotene.
A great source of protein (egg white), eggs are loaded with four key minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is especially important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles, and too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss, particularly in women.
Other options: You can also boost your iron stores with animal sources, including chicken, fish, pork, and beef.
The iron, beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C in spinach help keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating.
Other options: Try similarly nutrient-rich dark, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and Swiss chard.
Tiny but mighty, these legumes are teeming with protein, iron, zinc, and biotin, says Fishman, making it a great staple for vegetarian, vegans, and meat eaters.
Other options: Toss other beans such as soybeans (the young ones are called edamame) and kidney beans into your soup or salad.
Cruise the dairy aisle for low-fat options such as Greek yogurt, which is high in hair-friendly protein, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid -- an ingredient you'll often see on hair care product labels), and vitamin D. Emerging research links vitamin D and hair follicle health, but exactly how that works isn't clear.
Other options: Cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, and skim milk also fit the bill.
Exotic super fruits may come and go but when it comes to vitamin C, 'It's hard to top this nutrient superhero,' . C is critical for circulation to the scalp and supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.