Foods for healthy hair: what to eat + what to avoid

Posted by Verb Team on

We all know that taking care of your hair with regular trims and quality hair care products free of harmful ingredients is good for your hair health. But what other things can we be doing to make hair healthier from the inside out? Today we're looking at the food you can incorporate into your diet to help your hair, one bite at a time.

Best foods for healthy hair

Just like a vibrant garden, your hair thrives on the right blend of nutrients — the secret to healthy hair might be hiding in your pantry!


Protein is the building block of hair structure, with the main protein (keratin) forming the foundation. Enough protein intake is important for maintaining hair strength, structure and overall health. Meats like chicken and turkey, fish such as salmon and tuna, eggs, milk, yogurt, legumes, as well as nuts and seeds, all contribute to a protein-rich diet to sustain vibrant and healthy hair. Deficiencies can lead to weak, brittle strands, so prioritize consistent protein intake to keep your hair strong and healthy.


Iron also plays a vital role in hair growth by facilitating the production of hemoglobin, which is responsible for delivering oxygen to hair follicles. Red meat, poultry, leafy greens like spinach and kale, legumes such as lentils and beans, tofu and fortified cereals are excellent sources of iron that can help ensure your hair gets the oxygen it needs to thrive.


Omega-3 fatty acids are integral for promoting moisture retention in the hair, combating dryness, soothing inflammation and enhancing hair health. They’re found in abundance in fatty fish like salmon, chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts.

Vitamin A, C, D and E

  • Vitamin A: Supports the production of sebum, a natural scalp conditioner. Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale and butternut squash are rich sources that can contribute to maintaining a healthy scalp.
  • Vitamin C: Helps collagen production, an essential protein for hair strength. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, strawberries, bell peppers and broccoli are excellent sources to incorporate into your diet for robust hair health.
  • Vitamin D: Maintains hair follicle health, dietary sources include fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, fortified dairy products and egg yolks.
  • Vitamin E: Protects hair cells from damage caused by free radicals. Nuts like almonds, sunflower seeds (a key ingredient of our Curl collection), spinach, broccoli and avocado are rich in vitamin E, supporting hair health and vitality.

Also a quick shoutout to our hair friends over at Nutrafol! Many members of the Verb Team use Nutrafol and it's changed our hair game when combining with great products.

For Fine Hair

If you have thinner or fine hair, research shows that those deficient in vitamin C, D, or iron may be able to improve symptoms by increasing these ingredients in their diets. While iron-rich foods work to boost red blood cells, vitamin C and D promote hair strength. You can find iron in tofu, lentils, quinoa and spinach. Vitamin C is easy to get in citrus fruits, and egg yolks or salmon are high in vitamin D.

Protein can also help with thinning hair and is thankfully easy to get more of. Lean meats, eggs, Greek yogurt and beans are your friends here, providing the building blocks for strong, healthy strands. Remember, healthy hair takes time, so be patient and consistent with your food choices for long-term results.

For Handling Dandruff

Did you know that you can help manage signs of dandruff by cutting back on sugar in your diet? Besides easing up on sugar intake, you can also embrace a zinc-rich set of foods like oysters, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas to help regulate sebum production and keep your scalp happy. Bonus points for incorporating anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and ginger, soothing irritation and reducing redness.

For Oily Hair

Sugar and refined carbs act like oil slicks for your hair, so swap them for whole grains, leafy greens and lean protein. Think brown rice, quinoa, oats, spinach, kale, chicken, fish and beans — these offer sustained energy without the greasiness. Moderation is key: occasional sweet treats won't derail things, but prioritizing whole foods is the golden rule for balanced sebum production and bouncy, healthy hair.

For Dry Hair

Water is your ultimate weapon against dry hair, so try to drink six glasses a day to quench your hair's thirst at its source. Water-rich fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, berries and cucumber are another great way to boost hydration levels, while also delivering a burst of essential vitamins. Don't forget the omega-3 fatty acids we mentioned above — salmon, tuna and chia seeds lock in hydration and leave your hair soft, shiny and resilient.

Foods to avoid

Too much sugar

Processed sugar messes with your hormones and sends your sebum production into overdrive, leading to greasy, limp hair. Limit sugary treats like candy and pastries and opt for naturally sweet fruits or dark chocolate for a guilt-free fix. Remember, a balanced diet is key — enjoy occasional treats, but prioritize whole foods for healthy hair.

Refined carbs

White bread, pasta and pastries — the comfort foods that pack an inflammatory punch. Substitute them for whole grains, leafy greens and lean protein to keep your scalp happy and hair healthy. Whole grains provide sustained energy without the inflammatory spike, making them a better choice for overall health and hair wellness.

Excess salt

Too much sodium dehydrates your body, including your hair. Go easy on the chips and processed foods and keep water nearby. Remember, hydration is crucial for overall health and hair health, so prioritize water over sugary drinks and salty snacks.

Give your hair an extra boost

Beyond all the delicious ways to make your hair (and overall) health better, it's important to use quality hair care. Hair health is really important to us here at Verb and that's why we know beyond quality hair products free from harmful sulfates, parabens and gluten that it takes a well-rounded approach to get your best head of hair!


products made with only good stuff

products made with
only good stuff

free of parabens, gluten and
harmful sulfates — always

If you're unsure of what products you should be using for your hair type and hair goals, take our hair quiz or DM us on Instagram at @verbproducts and we can help pick out the right ones for you!

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