The Importance of Nutrition for Healthy Hair

Posted on June 3, 2024

In the quest for healthy hair, people often turn to a plethora of products—shampoos, conditioners, serums, and oils. While these products can indeed enhance the appearance and texture of your hair, the true foundation of healthy hair lies much deeper—within your diet. Dr. Gabel is a strong advocate for good nutrition in one’s diet for healthy hair. Nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining not just your overall health but also the health of your hair. Here, we explore the intricate connection between nutrition and hair health, and how you can optimize your diet for the best results.


The Hair Growth Cycle

Understanding how nutrition impacts hair health requires a basic knowledge of the hair growth cycle. Hair grows from follicles located beneath the scalp’s surface. Each follicle follows a cycle comprising three main phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). Proper nutrition ensures that these phases proceed smoothly, allowing for robust hair growth and minimizing hair loss. The metabolism of hair is very high in order for hair to grow at the rate of about 1 cm/month. Therefore, nutrition is vital for hair health, hair restoration, and if one has a hair transplant at the Gabel Center.


Key Nutrients for Hair Health

1. Proteins

Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. Thus, adequate protein intake is essential for hair structure and growth. Foods rich in protein such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, and nuts should be staples in your diet. A protein deficiency can lead to hair that is brittle, weak, and more prone to falling out. If Dr. Gabel is concerned, he may order blood work to check a patient’s iron levels which is one indicator of a healthy diet.


2. Vitamins

Vitamin A: This vitamin is essential for the production of sebum, an oily substance that keeps the scalp moisturized. A dry scalp can lead to dandruff and hair breakage. Sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.

Vitamin B Complex: Biotin, a B vitamin, is particularly important for hair health. Biotin deficiency can lead to thinning hair. Whole grains, almonds, and eggs are good sources. Other B vitamins like B6, B12, and folic acid help in creating red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles.

Vitamin C: This vitamin aids in collagen production, a protein that strengthens hair. It also helps with iron absorption, another critical nutrient for hair health. Citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers are excellent sources.

Vitamin D: Often dubbed the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D is crucial for hair follicle cycling. Deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. Fortified foods, fish, and exposure to sunlight can help maintain adequate levels. Dr. Gabel routinely recommends Vitamin D supplementation for his Oregon hair restoration patients.

Vitamin E: An antioxidant that helps prevent oxidative stress, Vitamin E supports a healthy scalp environment. Nuts, seeds, and leafy greens are rich in this nutrient.


3. Minerals

Iron: Iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to cells, including hair follicles. Lean meats, spinach, and lentils are excellent sources. Although mildly low iron is not the cause of poor hair growth, it may be a contributing factor.

Zinc: Zinc plays a crucial role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly. Foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, and pumpkin seeds.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats are found in cell membranes in your scalp and in the natural oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Fatty fish like salmon, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are rich in omega-3s.


Hydration and Hair Health

Water is often overlooked in discussions about hair health. Staying well-hydrated ensures that your hair receives the necessary moisture from within. Dehydration can lead to dry, brittle hair and an itchy scalp.


A Balanced Diet for Beautiful Hair

Achieving healthy hair requires more than just focusing on individual nutrients. A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods ensures that you get a wide range of nutrients essential for hair health. Whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables should be part of your daily intake.



While topical treatments can provide temporary improvements, the secret to truly healthy hair lies in proper nutrition. A diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins, complemented by adequate hydration, will not only enhance your hair’s appearance but also promote its growth and strength from within. By prioritizing nutrition, you can achieve the vibrant, healthy hair you’ve always desired.

If you are suffering from hair loss, Dr. Gabel at the Gabel Hair Restoration Center is equipped with the latest technology to evaluate and diagnose your hair loss condition and recommend treatment options to restore your hair. These options may include nonsurgical therapy with or without hair transplants. Patients can schedule a consultation online or call 503-693-1118 to start their comprehensive hair restoration treatment plan.



O’Connor K, Goldberg LJ. Nutrition and hair. Clin Dermatol. 2021 Sep-Oct;39(5):809-818. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2021.05.008. Epub 2021 May 24. PMID: 34785008.

Goldberg, L. J. and Lenzy, Y. M. (2010). Nutrition and hair. Clinics in Dermatology, 28(4), 412-419.

Gowda, Dinesh; Premalatha, V; Imtiyaz, DB. Prevalence of Nutritional Deficiencies in Hair Loss among Indian Participants: Results of a Cross-sectional Study. International Journal of Trichology 9(3):p 101-104, Jul–Sep 2017. | DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_48_16.

Contact Us

  • Our team will be in contact with you shortly via phone call and/or email.

There is no guarantee on hair restoration results. Individual results may vary.
© 2024 Gabel Hair Restoration Center | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Patient Rights and Responsibilities | HIPAA Privacy Policy | Accessibility Statement | Terms & Conditions