The 5 Foods You Need to Eat for Super-Shiny, Healthy Hair

Photo: Demetrius Washington/StockSnap
Intel straight from our hand-picked health squad of best-selling authors, entrepreneurs, and healthy-minded celebs who are leading—and shaking up—the wellness scene.

Kimberly_Snyder_headshotWelcome to the latest from Wellness Council, our handpicked holistic health squad: a tightly curated group that gives the best advice this side of your own personal guru. 

Here, celebrity nutritionist, entrepreneur, and best-selling author Kimberly Snyder, shares her nutritional know-how for gorgeous hair.

What she writes about next is up to you—tell us what what you're dying to know! Send questions and ideas to

Whether your hair is curly or straight, black or strawberry blonde, we all aspire for strong, healthy hair—with shiny being a huge bonus.

How to get it? Great products help, but gorgeous hair is a byproduct of having hair follicles that are well-nourished. In other words, you can build beautiful hair from the inside out with your diet. You don’t have to just rely on great products: There are strategic foods you can eat to create your beautiful hair.

Originally posted June 2, 2016. Updated June 9, 2017.

Which foods get your tresses in top shape? Read on for five powerful ways to eat your way to shiny, healthy hair.

Photo: Jeffrey Betts/StockSnap
Photo: Jeffrey Betts/StockSnap

1. Greens

My love for greens was made famous by my beloved Glowing Green Smoothie (GGS). Growing great hair requires minerals and protein, since your hair is largely made up of protein. Greens supply high-quality and easily assimilated amino acids that build the macronutrient in your body and digest cleanly. They also supply a wide variety of minerals, along with beauty-building vitamins A, C, E, and K. Try making the GGS, or just load up on greens by tossing them into your wraps, soups, or any dish you happen to be eating. Rotate spinach, chard, kale, arugula—whatever is in season and looks good.

Photo: Foodies Feed
Photo: Foodies Feed

2. Chia seeds

Healthy fats are an absolute must to nourish vibrant hair. Chia seeds not only supply great whole-beauty fat, but also omega-3 fatty acids that promote circulation, ensuring that maximum nutrition gets to your hair follicle. Plus, they provide antioxidants that help protect your hair from environmental damage. Soak chia seeds in almond milk in a 1-to-9 ratio, with a touch of coconut nectar or coconut sugar and cacao powder for a delicious dessert that helps your hair look awesome. Now that is multitasking.

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

3. Pumpkin seeds

You also need B vitamins to grow lush, beautiful hair. Pumpkin seeds naturally contain biotin (B7), which not only promotes the growth of strong, resilient tresses, but also encourages increased growth. Pumpkin seeds contain vitamin C as well, which helps produce sebum, the body’s natural oil that conditions hair.

Photo: Flickr
Photo: Flickr

4. Bee pollen

Never heard or tried it before? You can find bee pollen from a local beekeeper or in the refrigerated section of health markets (or online too!). It contains a whole host of minerals, antioxidants, and B vitamins, and is a complete protein. Just throw some in your smoothies, or even try what I call Energy in a Spoon: a little scoop of bee pollen with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. But be sure to introduce bee pollen in tiny amounts and build from there to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

Photo: Dominik Martin/Unsplash
Photo: Dominik Martin/Unsplash

5. Hot water

It’s key to stay hydrated, so your hair stays moisturized and shiny and doesn’t dry out. Water helps flush out waste and supports your liver, which is your main detoxifying organ. The more detoxified your body and blood are, the easier it is for nutrients to circulate and get to your hair follicles.

Why hot water? Excessive cold can contract your stomach, impairing it from properly secreting enzymes and impairing your entire digestive system to a degree—which is not so great for helping your hair get the nutrition it needs! In contrast, hot water (in the form of herbal teas and hot water with lemon) helps enhance cleansing.

And for regular drinking water, stick to room temperature as much as possible. It takes discipline to remember to ask for “no ice” from every waitress and flight attendant, but it is possible—and great hair is worth it!

Kimberly Snyder, CN, is a celebrity nutritionist and the New York Times best‐selling author of The Beauty Detox Solution, The Beauty Detox Foods and The Beauty Detox Powerand co-author of the upcoming Radical Beauty with Deepak Chopra (September 2016). Her popular beauty blog,, features recipes and her signature products, including probiotics, nutraceuticals, and yoga DVD. She is also the creator of Glow Bio, an organic juice, smoothie, and cleanse company.

Now that you're hair is looking shiny and strong, here's how to style it. And here's how to make sure your skin doesn't get a workout when you're at the gym.

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