What you eat doesn't just affect your body — it also affects your strands. Sure, you may buy and try expensive shampoo and conditioner to get your hair in tip-top shape, but to get the locks you desire, it really all comes down to loading up your plate with the right foods.
"When you focus on a variety of foods, your body naturally works together by using the nutrients it needs at the time, storing what could be used later, and excreting what it knows it won't need," says Jackie Vega, RDN.
If you live on fast food, don't expect to have luscious locks — your lackluster hair will rat you out.
"A well-educated hairstylist can tell when you have a poor diet due to the dullness of your hair and a brittle texture," says Joelle Noll, stylist at B. Salon and Spa in Wayne, New Jersey. "If you come in with volume, fullness, and a natural shine along with a uniformed look, the stylist knows you lead a healthy and nutritious lifestyle."
While you can try supplements, hair masks, and other treatments, your hair may benefit more by getting certain nutrients from food.
"It's actually better to ingest certain nutrients rather than slather them on your head," says Kendra Aarhus, licensed cosmetologist and women's hair expert at About.com. "The hair's inability to absorb nutrients through the cuticle sends most of your efforts swirling down the drain."
It can take some time to see results, so be patient. Noll notes changes won't happen overnight, explaining "the hair takes about three months to turn around."
Consider making these foods part of your diet and you'll be on your way to healthy, strong, and vibrant hair before you know it.