For thick, strong, shiny strands, don't deprive yourself — restricted diets can actually cause hair loss — and fill up on these nutrients.
# Iron and Zinc: Iron and zinc help hair follicles to grow, says Wilma Bergfeld, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, who suggests eating lean red meat, which is rich in both, twice a week. Pair non-meat sources, such as soybeans or lentils, with a vitamin C-rich food like an orange to boost iron absorption.
# Vitamin D: Several studies have found that D may help activate hair growth. Take a 1,000 IU supplement daily.
# Protein: It boosts hair strength; women should get at least 46 grams a day (3 ounces of chicken has about 23).
# Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Eat fatty fish (like salmon) twice a week for hydrated hair, or take up to 1 gram a day of a DHA and EPA supplement.
# Biotin: Eggs are rich in this B vitamin essential for growth. Or take a 30mcg supplement daily.