Healthy hair - from the inside out!

Give your hair the nutrients it deserves

Truly healthy hair can only come from the inside out, writes Shannon Dunn.

With celebrity-endorsed advertisements and come-hither packaging, it’s easy to believe that the latest conditioning, styling and smoothing products could be responsible for returning stressed-out locks to childhood glory.


Yet, there’s one piece to the healthy hair puzzle that often gets overlooked: Regardless of how many expensive products we buy to get that longed-for salon look, vibrant hair can only come from the inside out.

Foods we eat – and more specifically the vitamins and minerals they contain – are the most important factor in whether your hair bounces and shines, or whether it’s dull and lack-lustre. While a nutrient-devoid diet can quickly show up as a slump in energy levels and dull skin, it can take months to manifest as unhealthy hair thanks to its slow growth cycle.

A balanced, organic wholefood diet complete with ample good fats is essential for strengthening the hair follicle, from where new hair growth begins. A healthy follicle is the first step in ensuring healthy hair strands.

5 hair-friendly foods

With omega-3 fats, walnuts are the perfect snack to boost hair condition. Rich in cell-protecting biotin and vitamin E, as well as copper, these help maintain colour and condition. Too little biotin in the diet has been found to result in hair loss.

Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes (as well as carrots, apricots, mangoes and pumpkin) are a great source of beta-carotene, which, once consumed, convert into vitamin A – an essential ingredient to keep the body functioning optimally. If you suffer from itchy scalp and dandruff, you could be lacking in this important vitamin, which also helps make oils that ensure a healthy scalp.

Iron-rich spinach is also a great source of vitamin C and folate. These nutrients help with proper circulation of blood to the scalp while also keeping hair follicles healthy.

A vegetarian staple, lentils are brimming with iron, zinc, biotin and protein – excellent nutrients to help foster healthy locks and scalp.

While small in size, blueberries are big in hair-loving vitamin C. This commonly known vitamin helps with blood circulation to the scalp while supporting the blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little vitamin C in your diet can result in dry ends and breakage.

Beyond food

If you’re new to healthy eating, there can be some essential ‘housework’ to do before seeing the benefits of your efforts. A well-planned cleanse or detox is a great way to shed toxins and built-up debris from the colon. A clogged colon stops the body from eliminating toxins effectively and also absorbing the nutrients it needs to produce great skin, hair and overall health.

Water is also an essential daily ingredient to regularly help the body cleanse while hydrating cells (including the hair’s follicles). The best kind of water is sourced directly from a natural spring, and preferably not packaged in plastic. Check local listings for a spring water delivery service if you’re committed to upping your H2O. Add a dash of Celtic sea salt to get the benefits of its minerals at a cellular level.

Sleep helps to regenerate energy levels at a cellular level. It has been found that erratic sleep cycles – or simply not getting enough shut-eye – directly affects stress levels, overall health and hair quality. Lack of sleep is known to cause brittle strands and even male pattern baldness in men thanks to fluctuations of hormone levels.

If your diet is nutrient-rich, but your hair isn’t reflecting it, talk to a holistic health professional to see if your body is absorbing the nutrients you’re eating. Prolonged stress can manifest as leaky gut and other symptoms while putting the body in ‘flight or fright mode’ and unable to function efficiently.

A detox or cleanse doesn’t always mean going without food. It’s essential to do research to find a program, from juice fasting to smoothie feasting, that feels right for you and your body and your current state of health.

NEXT: Top 10 foods for healthy hair>>

Shannon is an eco beauty editor and wellness coach whose philosophy is that true beauty can only come from the inside out. Find out more at and 

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.