This year, our collective knowledge about superfoods evolved past just broccoli and kale. We’re more conscious than ever about what we put into our bodies and how this affects our health and beauty. The list is familiar; a lot of fresh fruit, vegetables, and water, as well as other powerful ingredients like turmeric, fish oil, or marine collagen. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, but are we the products that we put on our skin, too?
There is definitely a school of thought that equates the ingredients in our beauty products with the food on our plates. So why shouldn’t we take the same approach to what we use on our hair? There are plenty of natural or naturally derived hair products on the market, but the ones we’re most curious about right now include ingredients we could actually eat. Leading the charge is Hair Recipe—an Australian brand offering a tight edit of just six products to “feed” your hair, inspired by a combination of six tried-and-tested hair superfoods. Extra bonus points, all of the products are free of parabens, silicones, and mineral oils.
Keep reading to find out which superfoods you should be feeding your hair, and how each works to nourish your locks from the inside out.
Besides giving products the most delightful fragrance, strawberries are incredibly high in Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. This gives it the potential to be a hair superfood for a couple of reasons: Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which is a key factor in promoting hair growth—helping to slow thinning and hair fall; and antioxidants are also vital for repairing the free radical damage that can cause premature aging—doing its part to help stop hair going grey too soon.
Just like a blast of fresh air, mint is a refresh button for your body. Mint can give your circulation a big boost, which in turn can stimulate the hair follicles to promote growth and repair. The increased blood flow to the scalp means better absorption of the nutrients necessary for strong, shiny hair. It makes sense that Hair Recipe draws on these benefits for its Strawberry & Mint Cleanse Shampoo ($15), focusing mint on where it will have the greatest impact.
You’ve no doubt come across DIY hair mask recipes (or even kitchen facials) that use honey as a primary ingredient for its moisturizing properties. It’s not so much that honey is a moisturizer itself, but rather that it attracts moisture from the air and locks it into the hair shaft. It’s also antibacterial and softens the skin on your scalp, which can help prevent dandruff.
Apricot seed oil has been an African-American hair secret for years, loved for the fact that it is packed with fatty acids and can lock in moisture, but is light enough to be applied directly to hair without weighing it down. Plus, it is yet another superfood that gives beauty products a beautiful scent.
Just like strawberries, kiwi fruit is a potent source of vitamins C and E that contribute to healthy hair growth. However, it’s the zinc that sets this super fruit apart—zinc is important for collagen production, a key component of strong and youthful hair, skin, and nails. This is particularly important as we get older, as our bodies’ own collagen production all but shuts down after we turn 30.
The forbidden fruit is actually high in calcium—and while that might come as a surprise, it’s good to know it’s also a mineral that is central to strong hair. Just as calcium is vital for strong bones, the same goes for thick, strong hair. Calcium deficiency has been linked to increased hair breakage and thin, brittle strands.