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 for 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 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 says. "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 was 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."
Keep scrolling to find out if avocados gave me the mane of my dreams—plus, what an expert says about the superfood.
Benefits of Avocado for Hair
- Nourishes and strengthens hair
- Encourages hair and nail growth
- Improves the condition of the scalp
- Prevents hair loss
"According to the California Avocado Commission, one-third of a medium avocado (50 grams) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a great, nutrient-dense food choice," says Jerlyn Jones, MS, an Atlanta-based registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As a serving size is equal to one-third of a medium-sized avocado, that means those who dig in to avocados regularly get a lot of bang for their buck. "The avocado is practically the only fruit that contains monounsaturated fat—a heart-healthy fat," adds Jones.
Avocados are also naturally sodium-free, sugar-free, and cholesterol-free, and can act as a “nutrient booster” by helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, K, and E, according to the California Avocado Commission. They are also chock-full of a number of vitamins and nutrients that may be important for hair health, such as vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, and zinc. In addition to aiding our hair growth, Jones adds, "Our skin and nails can also benefit from these vitamins and minerals including biotin, iron, and vitamin C."
I also did 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.
Incorporate fatty acids into your diet to encourage hair growth, prevent hair loss and breakage, and reduce scalp inflammation.
In an attempt to get the most out of avocados as I possibly could, 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.
What to Expect When Eating Avocado for Hair
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, was 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.
The Final Takeaway
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.
Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss: a review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019;9(1):51-70. doi:10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6
Fulgoni VL 3rd, Dreher M, Davenport AJ. Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008. Nutr J. 2013;12:1. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-1