When it comes to hair health, your first instinct may be to turn to expensive products or maybe even a keratin treatment. And while those solutions can certainly work wonders for your locks, the (budget-friendly) answer to your hair woes may be hidden in your kitchen cupboard. "The food you eat actually has a huge impact on hair growth, shine, strength, and softness—so pretty much everything that matters," writes Kayla Jacobs, beauty editor for Mindbodygreen. Depending on your long-term hair goal, here's what Jacobs recommends eating:
For Thicker Hair
Protein and collagen are the building blocks of strong, healthy hair—essentials that can be found in meat and vitamin C–rich foods. "Vitamin C is essential to building collagen in our bodies, and a deficiency in it could actually lead to breakage, dry hair, and more split ends than usual," explains Jacobs. Fill up on oranges, berries, and peppers for a healthy dose of vitamin C, and meat, fish, eggs, and cheese for protein.
For Shinier Hair
Salmon is your go-to food if you want shinier hair. It contains fatty acids, which are rich in omega-3, vitamin B12, and iron. "The vitamins and iron support a healthy scalp and [help] dull-looking hair," explains Jacobs. Try your hand at these baked salmon recipes to give your locks a lustrous boost.
For Voluminous Hair
Almonds are high in magnesium, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc—all key ingredients when it comes to hair health. "Gobble them raw or blitz them with water in a Vitamix to make your own almond milk," suggests Jacobs. They also help prevent alpha-linolenic acid deficiencies, which "can lead to hair shedding, brittleness, and dry scalp."
Head over to Mindbodygreen for more of Jacobs's insight, and share your go-to food for hair health in the comments below!