Eat these 5 foods for shiny hair, according to a nutritionist

When I hear the adage Food is fuel, I needed everything in my power to not get my soapbox, and (with fervor and passion) rambled on many reasons that I disagreed with. Sure, I understand the intent and while the core of the saying is true, the food is more and more. Food is memory, comfort and please. Food keeps us connected and construct rituals and habit In our daily life. And when you fill your fridge with the best foods for shiny hair, foods can help us feel like our most vibrant, beautiful, and confident selves.

Personally, I’ve always considered luck to be the difference between my good and bad hair days. On some, my strands fell exactly where I wanted them to be — and on others it took me all the time, energy, and hairspray to tangle my strands. But when I questioned whether my diet played a role, that’s when I found the answer.

Whether you opt for a sleek and chic look or embrace your natural curls, there’s no doubt that having healthy, lustrous hair is a win in our many beauty books. . And while I love learning about the products that make it up, I believe our health habits and wellness practices can also play a part. I talked to Edie Horstmana dual certified Integrative Health Coach and Nutritionist — and of course, our resident wellness expert — for the scoop on achieving beauty from the inside out outside.

Keep reading for everything you need to know for glassy healthy hair — plus the ultimate grocery list of the best foods for shiny hair.

Featured image of Ashleigh Amoroso.

Hold the phone — food okay really make my hair shiny?

While there’s more to health than (literally) eye contact, Horstman confirms that dull hair can be your body’s way of signaling that something is wrong. Many factors can influence our search for shiny yarns: Hormonal imbalancegenetics and of course, vitamins and nutritional deficiencies due to a gap in your diet.

And while supplements are targeted to support healthy hair, all is well and good (not to mention, an important addition!), they should be used as intended: supplement. What could be better? A holistic approach through food. If you want to let go of the quick fix mindset, now is the time. Not only will you be doing a lot of good for your overall health by eating the best foods for shiny hair that will keep your hair shiny as well.

Foods to avoid for shiny hair

While we will never tell you Not Eat something (balance is the spice of life, after all) if your goal is to have shiny hair, Horstman recommends consciously cutting back on some of the foods below. Remember: Stress can also take you back to your journey with silky soft hair. With that in mind, read below for a dietitian’s remedies.

Fish with high levels of mercury

Fatty fish (wild-caught salmon, herring, sardines, etc.) is good for your skin and hair. However, remember that fish with high mercury content can actually lead to hair loss over time. In essence, all heavy metals can lead to hair loss.

Fish to be cautious of include mackerel, swordfish, and some types of tuna. As an alternative, look for fatty fish like shrimp, sardines, wild-caught salmon, and canned tuna. They all tend to be low in mercury, so eating them can help you improve your hair, scalp health, and eczema symptoms.


We all know that too much sugar can lead to blood sugar problem, hormonal imbalance, sleep problems, etc. Moreover, sugar can cause problems like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. Sugar can cause flaking, itching, and damage to your hair follicles because it encourages the production of androgens, a hormone that shrinks hair follicles. That means you can quickly develop dandruff, and many medicated shampoo options won’t treat the source of the problem.

If you want healthy hair, limit your sugar intake (no need to eliminate it completely!).

Low protein foods

Hair is made up of protein. If you consistently eat foods that are low in protein, you’re not giving your hair the building blocks it needs. When most people think of protein, they think of animal protein. And while I encourage a well-rounded diet, there are plenty of foods — high in protein — that are plant-based. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, some high-protein foods include tofu, tempeh, edamame beans, lentils, and beans.


Although not a food group, too much alcohol can lead to itchy skin because it reduces the overall zinc levels in your body. Zinc is fundamental for healthy hair growth, so over time drinking too much alcohol won’t help. Alcohol is still good for your hair in small amounts, so you don’t need to avoid it completely when trying to control dandruff. What’s more, alcohol can also dehydrate your body, which can affect conditions like dermatitis and dandruff. Make sure you stay hydrated when drinking alcohol to minimize the worst of these conditions.

Other toxins to avoid: sulfates, parabens and other synthetic chemicals! These are harsh on hair, stripping our natural oils, etc. See full list here.

Pictures of Michelle Nash

The best foods for shiny hair

When it comes to the best foods for shiny hair, whole grain, minimally processed foods will be your hair’s best friend. Healthy fats, protein, and a host of vitamins and nutrients (Vitamin C! B6! Zinc!) will help you get the shiniest hair of your life. Let’s dive in — restored and rejuvenated hair is just a snack or a meal.

Omega-3 fatty acids

We’re 100% here for the benefits of omega-3s (we’d take any excuse to have another section on Butter Toast!). In addition to your favorite brunch, these hard-working polyunsaturated fatty acids can be found in oily fish, nuts, almonds, and walnuts. These foods not only support hair health, but ensuring that you get enough omega-3 fatty acids through foods and supplements can support brain health and help improve your mood.

If you’ve ever questioned how delicious and convenient a pizza can be, the recipe below will answer it for you. It’s celebratory and simple, and with the plant-based almond ricotta ice cream, you’ll get plenty of omega-3s in every slice.

Formula: Avocado Pumpkin Pizza With Arugula and Ricotta Almonds

Vitamins B6 and B12

Found in salmon, oysters, leafy green vegetables, eggs, legumes and whole grains, these vitamins help make red blood cells, which, according to Horstman, carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. Both are important processes for hair growth.

Nutritious and delicious, this cereal bowl is proof that when it comes to lunch or dinner, you can really eat it all. It’s crunchy, creamy, leafy, and of course, a dream for your hair. The good news is that this bowl does double duty, with superfood ingredients like salmon and avocado to keep you full and your strands satisfied.

Formula: Salmon & Veggie Bowl


Iron is a good mineral for hair that cannot be ignored. Horstman shares that it enhances circulation and brings oxygen to your hair roots. Furthermore, iron deficiency can lead to hair loss. Heme, an iron-rich molecule, is optimal, with animal food sources including red meat, poultry and seafood. If you follow a plant-based lifestyle, non-iron plant sources include beans, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruit.

Last but not least, Horstman adds that for optimal absorption, it’s best to combine iron with sources of vitamin C. So if you’re enjoying a low-stress green smoothie With this strength, you will not be harmed by enjoying an orange. with.

Formula: Almond Butter Green Smoothie

Vitamin C

Speaking of vitamin C, it’s another important substance for hair health. Horstman credits vitamin C’s function in increasing collagen production as one of the key reasons for its inclusion in this list of the best foods for lustrous hair. Look for vitamin C in citrus, strawberries, and red bell peppers.

If you’re looking for a quick and light (but not boring) breakfast, look no further than these savory and sweet strawberries. It is special, simple and very attractive. Plus, the color on those berries can’t be beat.

Formula: Thyme & Greek Yogurt Marinated Strawberries


Finally, zinc. “Zinc helps keep the oil glands in your scalp working properly,” says Horstman. Just as iron deficiency can lead to hair loss, so can a lack of zinc in your diet. Make sure to include enough food sources of this important trace mineral in your diet. Pumpkin seeds, oysters, Brazil nuts, and eggs are all good choices.

As evidenced by the recipes that I have chosen to feature in this list of the best foods for shiny hair, I will start my long and strong hair regimen in the morning. Store-bought pico de gallo makes this savory egg dish even easier, and if you’re looking for a healthy hair party in the evening, this recipe also works well for dinner.

Formula: Spicy Mexican Grilled Eggs

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