Over the last few months (more like a full 12, if I'm being honest), I've had a slightly contentious relationship with my hair. Full, chest-length curls used to sprout from my head and grow without much trouble. But lately those tendrils have been replaced with thin, damaged, and uneven strands ready to break off at a moment's notice. I've swapped out every hair product, asked experts, and taken supplements, all in the off chance my hair might grow back into my good graces (only to be sorely disappointed a year later).
Desperate for answers and at the end of my fraying rope, I've frantically bombarded our wellness editor, Victoria, for her advice. Every time I see her, her hair is longer, stronger-looking, and more beautiful than before. I would admit to unadulterated jealousy if it didn't go against all my "women supporting women" type morals. Her advice? Avocados. Yes, really.
She told me about her plant-based diet (one I've tried to adhere to for a week) and how rich it is in healthy fats. "In February 2016, the lovely and very talented Mark Townsend chopped my hair into a shaggy bob," she told me. "It was a welcome and highly necessary change, partially because my previously waist-length hair was so damaged that I had actually lost a couple of inches due to breakage. Less than two years later, my hair is nearly waist-length again and healthier than ever. It's totally crazy how quickly it grew, especially considering I bleach it blonde every six months or so."
She continued, "Aside from using copious amounts of jojoba oil on my ends every few days, the only difference in my routine from a few years ago is that I consume a lot of healthy fats. I eat at least half of an avocado every single day—usually more—and definitely get my fill of olive oil, cacao, and almonds. I can't think of anything else that would suddenly make such a huge difference in my hair, especially since I've seen a marked difference in my complexion as well. Those omega fatty acids are no joke."
So with her hair as inspiration, I decided to eat two full avocados every day for two weeks to see if it made any difference. At this point, what did I have to lose? I was already losing more hair than usual in the shower and would try anything to get it to stop.
First, a little research. A 2013 study concluded that in the context of a healthy diet, avocado consumption can fit into a full range of healthy eating plans, as it houses significant levels of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and vitamin B6. Plus, a healthy diet rich in fatty acids works to aid in hair growth as it not only prevent hair loss and breakage but also encourages new hair growth and reduces scalp inflammation.
As an avocado-toast devotee, I couldn't have found this challenge easier. But the lunch item isn't exactly wallet-friendly. Most toasts in New York ring up at about $12 to $15 a pop, and I try to cut back on costs throughout the day. So, instead, I bought the avocados at the grocery store and made my own.
After a week of eating my daily dose of healthy fats, I was feeling good. Certainly my diet had become healthier in nature. Instead of indulging in Chinese takeout and cheeseburgers, I was preparing healthy meals rich in nutrients. I made avocado-topped salads, avocado toast, whole avocado dipped in balsamic and olive oil, and even a brunch-special splurge on avocado-heavy huevos rancheros. But did it do anything for my sad, sad hair? I had to give it another week to be sure.
After a full 14 days on my avocado diet, I can't say I noticed a huge influx of actual hair growth (that'd be crazy, I suppose), but I saw a massive difference in the shininess, softness, and manageability of my curls. Rather than its usual straw-like feel, my hair was cashmere soft, and I could (for the first time in a long time) run my fingers straight through it. It bounced in a way it never had before, and air-drying it was a breeze. That, plus the sheen my hair emitted were practically highlighter worthy—an invention I came up with while looking at it in the mirror. Would you buy a hair luminizer? Because I would.
In the end, my hair feels stronger, less brittle, super soft, and endlessly shiny. Is it longer? Maybe by a centimeter, but I'm happy with the shockingly visible results either way. I'm going to keep consuming two avocados a day until my hair looks like Victoria's. Those are the results I'm manifesting.