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The Only New Year's Diet Your Clients Need: Nourishing Foods for Healthy Hair

How to choose foods that improve hair health inside and out

Come January 1, a sense of renewal is in the air. Clients may start talking to you about their goals or chatting about changes they want to make in this new year. It’s an exciting time, but unfortunately, a lot of us don’t set ourselves up for success with new year's resolutions. 

That doesn’t mean all resolutions are a waste of time; experts agree that breaking down big goals into small, achievable ones is the way to go. That includes restoring hair health, a process that requires time and patience. Taking baby steps, like adding a few nourishing, hair-friendly foods into your recipe rotation, is an easy and tasty way to make progress. 

Here are some foods that science says may help hair recovery.

Healthful fats

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flax seeds, walnuts, and avocados have been shown to restore hair loss and strengthen hair strands. As a bonus, omega-3s have other benefits, including improving heart health and brain function. That’s a good enough reason to load up on avocado toast, eh? 

Sources of healthy fats:

  • Flax and chia seeds (try adding them to smoothies, granolas, your morning oatmeal, and as toppers on salads and soups)

  • Walnuts

  • Oily fish, like salmon or mackerel 

  • Avocados (don’t pass on the guac)

  • Canola oil (use as a base for homemade salad dressings)

Lean proteins

Lean sources of protein from plants (soy, hemp, oats) and animals (poultry, fish, eggs, dairy) help build stronger hair strands. Hair is mostly made up of keratin, a type of protein, so a diet low in healthy proteins can lead to brittle, dry hair. 

Sources of lean protein:

  • Tofu

  • Hemp hearts or hemp tofu

  • Chicken 

  • Turkey

  • Eggs

  • Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese)

B vitamins

B vitamins like folate (B9) and biotin (B7) may play a role in healthy hair growth. The research is still ongoing, but since folic acid and biotin are already popular supplements for hair growth and B vitamins have many other health benefits, it can’t hurt to add some spinach to the plate. 

Sources of folate: 

  • Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, turnip greens)

  • Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)

  • Brown rice

  • Whole-grain pasta

Sources of biotin:

  • Eggs

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Salmon

  • Almonds

Iron-rich foods

Iron helps your body create hemoglobin, a type of protein that carries red blood cells. Red blood cells deliver oxygen and other nutrients to all the other cells, including hair follicles. People who are iron deficient will often have brittle dry hair and hair loss because their strands are not getting a timely nutrient delivery.

 Don’t skimp on these iron-rich foods:

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Legumes

  • Lean red meats 

  • Spinach

  • Quinoa

Style and substance

Cuts and colors are only a part of a hair stylist's job. Helping clients understand the connection between nutritious foods on this list and shiny, Instagram-worthy hair will have them coming back month after month for more of your expertise.

Think you know what clients truly want? We surveyed 800+ beauty patrons to discover what matters most to potential clients. Here's what we found

Client Experience Guide

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