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11 Foods to Eat for Shiny Hair

May 29, 2012

Glossy, healthy strands require way more than 100 brushstrokes a night! See how to get 'em naturally with eats recommended by Cynthia Pasquella, certified clinical nutritionist, SoCal Cleanse founder, and gorgeous, shiny blonde herself.

#1. Asparagus


"This veggie is densely packed with folic acid, a B-complex vitamin that helps the body utilize protein better, getting it to your hair faster," says Pasquella. "Just one cup of asparagus has over half of your daily requirement, important since not enough can cause thinning hair." Another reason to indulge? It speeds up hair growth!

#2. Garbanzo Beans

"Since hair is primarily made up of the protein, keratin, it's important to get enough protein to fight off hair breakage and loss," explains Pasquella. "These beans, also known as chickpeas, provide tons along with the trace mineral manganese. It's known to prevent changing pigmentation, a.k.a. gray hair!"

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#3. Lentils

"They're an ideal source of iron, which is so important for full, lustrous locks!" exclaims Pasquella. "Iron helps bring oxygen to the hair follicles, leading to growth and fullness. This is especially key if you have thin hair."

#4. Hops

"This amazing herb, commonly used to make beer, contains silica to fortify and strengthen the hair from within," Pasquella explains. "Pick up the herb online or at your health food store and brew it in a tea. One bit of caution-it can make you drowsy so it's best to sip before bed."

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#5. Tomatoes


"These are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant which helps maintain levels of collagen," says Pasquella. "Keep yours high by including tomatoes in your diet. They're actually more potent when cooked, so enjoy them roasted or in your favorite homemade marinara!" Wait...did she just suggest more pizza in our diet?

#6. Hemp Protein Powder

"Add a scoop to a smoothie to infuse your hair with essential fatty acids," suggests Pasquella. "This fortifier has the optimal ratio of omega-6 and -3 fatty acids, letting them work most effectively. Insuffiecient amounts of either can lead to a dry scalp and brittle hair."

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#7. Avocado

"Long touted as the miracle hair food, they're high in vitamins B and E which promote a healthy scalp and the growth of new strands," says Pasquella. "They're also full of healthy, monounsaturated fats to plump up and moisturize hair follicles. Talk about shine!"

#8. Blueberries

"Berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants," Pasquella notes. "They keep hair youthful and vibrant by fighting off the free radicals that can cause graying or brittle texture." Throw them on top of your morning oatmeal or simply snack on a handful.

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Raw Honey
Raw Honey

Raw Honey

#9. Raw Honey

"The sweet stuff is a humectant which holds on to water molecules," explains Pasquella. "Look for raw honey, straight from the source, for the most benefits. Add a teaspoon to smoothies or spread some over whole wheat toast for shiny, moisturized tresses."

#10. Cilantro

"This herb works wonders for hair loss!" exclaims Pasquella. "It works as a purifying agent to rid the body of toxic metals quickly. A good thing, since they can stop nutrients from getting to your scalp, resulting in hair loss and dull strands."

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#11. Aloe

"Commonly thought of for sunburns, eating or drinking the liquid form is wonderful for stimulating new hair growth," says Pasquella. "It's also very cleansing and helps your body absorb more nutrients like B vitamins and silica, both necessary for shiny, beautiful hair."

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.

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