What Minerals Help Hair Growth: The Vital Role of Dietary Elements

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Strong, healthy hair depends on proper nutrition from the inside out. Certain minerals play key roles in supporting the hair follicles and promoting vibrant growth. By addressing mineral deficiencies, one can help boost hydration and thickness over time.

What minerals help hair growth?

Research shows several minerals to be especially important for hair follicles. The top ones include zinc, biotin, iron, and selenium.


Zinc aids protein synthesis within follicles and regulates sebum production to hydrate the scalp. It also supports cellular division during the anagen growth phase. Zinc deficiency has been linked to telogen effluvium shedding.


As a co-factor in metabolic reactions, biotin contributes to keratin production for strong strands. It keeps hair and nails from becoming brittle. Insufficient biotin has been tied to hair thinning and shedding.


Iron carries oxygen to tissues throughout the body, including the scalp and follicles. Low levels can deprive hair of the oxygen it needs to grow vigorously. Iron deficiency often leads to fatigue and brittle nails as well.


This mineral activates selenoproteins involved in thyroid hormone production. Since thyroid health regulates metabolism, selenium ensures proper nutrient processing and cellular regrowth in follicles.

Other important minerals

While the above minerals top the list, others like copper and magnesium also benefit hair growth when consumed in balanced amounts:

  • Copper - component of melanin pigmenting hair
  • Magnesium - required for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body
  • Manganese - antioxidant support and collagen formation
  • Iodine - thyroid support linked to metabolic processes

Adequate intake of these minerals through whole foods is best, but supplements can help fill gaps.

Food sources of hair-friendly minerals

Top whole foods containing combinations of the above minerals include:

  • Salmon - high omega-3s plus zinc, selenium, vitamin B12
  • Chicken and turkey - quality protein plus biotin, selenium
  • Leafy greens - zinc, iron, magnesium in kale and spinach
  • Almonds - nutrient-dense with magnesium, copper, manganese
  • Seeds like pumpkin - heavily supply minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium
  • Beans - versatile legumes contain zinc, iron, folate, selenium

Eating a mineral-rich diet is key to nourishing healthy follicles from within over the long term.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.