Vegetarian & Vegan Foods For Hair Growth! (No Meat, No Fish!)

A poor vegan or vegetarian diet may lead to vitamin deficiency, which can have an impact on your hair! But, find out how to get around that here...

There are around 19,632,000 people who are vegans in the USA. That’s a 5% spike in the diet and lifestyle trend in the past 6 years, up from 1% of the population to 6%! 

General meat consumption is also depleting with the Vegetarian and Flexitarian trend proving more popular too.

But, what’s the difference?

Vegan: Don’t eat animals or animal products (eggs, honey, milk etc.), don’t use beauty products that use animals for testing, and don’t wear animals either (fur/leather).

Vegetarian: Don’t eat animals, but are more flexible around eating animal products and wearing items of clothing sourced from animals.

Flexitarian: Consciously reducing the amount of meat and animal products they are consuming daily, but not cutting it out completely.

People are slowly learning the impact of mass agricultural farming and meat consumption on our planet, our animals, and our bodies.

But, when it comes to our hair, and it’s need for protein and iron, which we typically get from consuming meat, how can we make sure we’re getting enough of the right fuel to keep our locks looking luscious?

What vegetarian and vegan foods are actually good for hair growth?

Protein For Hair Growth

Protein is essential for hair growth: it’s made of it! So, if you’re not getting enough, your hair is at risk of becoming brittle, weak, and dry. In extreme cases, hair loss and restricted hair growth can occur.

As a general rule for happy, healthy hair your diet needs to be balanced whether you’re a meat eater or not.

If you’re vegetarian, stay well-stocked on foods like eggs and dairy in addition to vegan-friendly options. If you’re vegan, stock up high on nuts, pulses, and legumes.

Olive Oil For Hair

Olive Oil is a great way of getting Omega 3 into your diet. Omega-3 nourishes hair at the follicles to boost strength, elasticity, and volume whilst keeping any dry and flaky scalp at bay. And you don’t need to drink gallons of it. One tablespoon a day will do the trick!

You can also use Olive Oil as a hair mask before washing for a directly nourishing effect. Soak your head and hair, root to tip, for 20 minutes before washing thoroughly with Cel’s cruelty-free and vegan shampoo and conditioner.

Very Berry Good

Berries will give you your sugar fix naturally and are loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals that can contribute to hair health and growth: Biotin, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, and Zinc.

Berries are also high in Vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant and this can protect your hair follicles from free radicals (harmful molecules). Read more on what free radicals are and why they aren’t great, here.

Vitamin C is also used by the body to produce collagen - a protein that strengthens the hair and prevents it from breakages. Just 1 cup of strawberries provides a whopping 141% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C! Yum.

Read more on how Vitamin C can revamp your hair here!

You can also look to apricots, bananas, and papaya for similar hair and scalp health benefits.

Orange Vegetables For Healthy Hair

This brilliant hair growth vegetable can provide you and your hair with a high dose of Vitamin A.

The body needs Vitamin A to create sebum which acts as your natural conditioner. Without sebum, you’re likely to experience a dry and itchy scalp and brittle hair. Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkins are great here too!

Be careful not to overindulge on Vitamin A though, as too much can have the reverse effect. Make sure you’re not taking a supplement as well as eating a diet rich in this vitamin.

Dark Leafy Greens and Beets

Loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber, dark leafy greens should be consumed every day on a vegan/vegetarian diet.

They contain crucial hair nourishing vitamins like Iron and Vitamins A and C. Iron carries oxygen to the hair follicles whilst Vitamin A helps to create sebum. Vitamin C protects the hair from destructive free-radicals.

Chickpeas For Hair Growth

Chickpeas are a great veggie and vegan food for hair growth because they’re rich in protein, which is essential for preventing hair loss. They also contain manganese which helps strengthen the hair strands and promote growth.

The added bonus of chickpeas is their good level of Vitamin A and Zinc, which reduce dandruff!

Wow With Cacao

Cacao is a raw superfood that’s rich in key nutrients and can help your hair grow long and stay strong.

Cacao is packed with Iron, Zinc, Protein, Magnesium, and B Vitamins. It’s also loaded with Sulfur which can help to nourish and invigorate your hair follicles, which encourages healthy hair growth.

Fill Up On Lentils

Lentils are full of folic acid which is necessary for restoring the health of red blood cells that supply your scalp (and skin!) with much-needed oxygen.

Folic acid is also essential for cell regeneration and hair growth. If you’re serious about having healthy hair, load up on lentils! 

Yes! Avocado For Hair

They’ve taken over the western world in recent years so are probably already a staple feature in your diet which is great news for your hair. Rich in amino acids, avocados help your hair retain moisture.

Açaí Berries

Açaí berries are about an inch-long, and a reddish-purple – very similar to grapes.

Açaí berries are rich in Omega 3 and are also a great source of protein and B vitamins, not to mention antioxidants. Omega 3 helps keep your hair and skin moist to prevent breakage and dryness, and the antioxidants in Açaí berries can help improve the overall look of your hair by fighting off the effect of free radicals.

You can purchase açaí in powder form and sprinkle over yogurts or cereals.

Nuts Are Rich

As well as being a great source of protein, almonds contain a large amount of Vitamin E.

Protein helps improve collagen in the body, which is needed for proper hair growth and strength whilst Vitamin E helps improve elasticity and moisture so your hair will resist breakage and becoming dry.

Walnuts are high in Omega 3 and B Vitamins, so as well as improving your hair’s condition they also support your brain, skin, and nails!

Nuts are great for snacking on. A handful of each of these nuts during the day will help your hair health enormously!

Tahini Benefits The Hair

Tahini is a fantastic source of Iron, Zinc, and Calcium, making it a great veggie and vegan food for hair growth. All of these minerals promote strong, healthy hair along with beautiful skin and nails.

Can being vegan or vegetarian cause hair loss?

In short, if your vegan diet isn’t substituting the essential vitamins and minerals you need then yes, it can. Nutrient deficiency can have a devastating effect on the body.

In your hair’s case, Vitamin B12 is one that isn’t found in vegetable or plant sources. Vitamin B12 helps your body metabolize amino acids, which are the foundation of healthy hair. It also helps maintain the health of your red blood cells and allows them to supply oxygen to tissue, including your hair follicles.

If you’re deficient in Vitamin B12, yes, your hair can fall out.

Vitamin B12 is present in milk and eggs so if you’re vegetarian, you can keep on top of your levels using these. If you’re vegan, many cereals and soy milks are fortified with B12 so look at the product labels to be sure.

If you want to be certain you’re not missing out, you can always support your body via a supplement.

Vegan-Friendly Shampoo & Conditioner

It can be tricky sourcing ethical, cruelty-free, vegan-friendly hair washing products, let alone those that specialize in promoting hair growth.

However, Cel’s Microstem Shampoo & Conditioner is all of those things, as well as being suitable for all hair types. Paraben and sulfate-free, both products encourage high cell turnover to promote new hair growth and protect the hair against day-to-day damage.

Loaded with biotin and glycerin, your hair will never look back whilst also being kind to the animals and the planet!

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Sarah Milton

A passionate content writer, with a specific interest in the science behind hair care. Having created content for several years, I’ve grown my knowledge exponentially in the science behind hair growth, quality and texture, and what ingredients our tresses need to thrive. When not in the office, I’m walking my dog along the beach or invested in a brilliant television drama.