Suffering from Split Ends? Get Hair-Strengthening Foods

split ends
split ends

We all get split ends sometimes, even when we schedule hair trims every 6 to 10 weeks and avoid brushing our hair when wet. Our strands deal with plenty of regular wear and tear that causes breakage once in a while.

If you are split end prone, however, you should look into a few essential vitamins and minerals that can restore strength and durability to your strands. Even if you aren't suffering from constant splits, these nutrients can turn an average head of hair into a healthy, shiny, strong one.

Here are the beauty nutrients to get more of for healthier hair:

ZINC. So many of us are deficient in zinc! A lack of this mineral can lead to an itchy scalp, hair loss (even eyelash loss...) and create the conditions for splits to readily form. It's best to get zinc from your diet, not from a pill, so try eating more oysters, whole grains, eggs, and nuts like pecans and walnuts.

OMEGA-3s. Just as you might imagine, Omega-3s keep your strands elastic and shiny. Take fish oil supplements or get your Omega-3s from wild salmon, flax, sardines, and pumpkin seeds.

PROTEIN. Protein is a building block of healthy hair and its main component keratin, so you absolutely MUST get enough in your diet for optimal hair health. But, you definitely dont need to go out and eat a steak—try plant-based protein sources like pastured eggs, wild salmon, quinoa, tempeh, and spirulina.

IRON. This mineral makes it possible for red blood cells to transport oxygen to your hair follicles. If you're low in iron, you might notice your hair thinning, as well as splitting.  Pastured eggs, seafood, and high-quality meats (small servings!) are good sources of iron for omnivores; if you're vegan or vegetarian, go for lentils, hemp seeds, parsley, spinach, raisins, tomatoes, leafy greens, or sea vegetables- and make sure you pair your iron-rich foods with vitamin C for optimal absorption.

VITAMIN E. This fat-soluble vitamin seals in the scalp's natural oils and supports the lipid membranes, which keep your hair from drying and snapping. Sunflower seeds, olives, almonds, and avocados are all delicious sources of vitamin E!

B COMPLEX VITAMINS. This powerful group of vitamins supports strong hair and beautiful natural pigmentation. You've probably heard of biotin (vitamin B7), which you can get in chard, almonds, and pastured eggs, but dont miss out on the other Bs—found in foods like mushrooms, raw nuts & seeds, leafy greens, winter squash, avocado, and lentils.

For more information on beauty foods for healthy hair, check out Eat Pretty and Eat Pretty, Live Well!

Not hungry yet? For quick-fix split end therapy, try a lightweight natural oil on the ends of your hair. Just use the tiniest bit!