I second eating a lot of beans and leafy greens for iron, with a good source of vitamin c at the same meal (such as strawberries, bell pepper, orange etc) to help with absorption of nonheme iron. Seeds like chia or flaxseed and walnuts also provide plant based sources of omega 3s that can be helpful for healthier skin, hair, and nails. Ground flaxseed is relatively cheap and easy to incorporate into foods each day. Blackstrap molasses is very high in iron and calcium too. I like to add it to hot cereals or make homemade bbq sauce with it to go on beans.
My Mom lost a lot of hair when she tried to go vegan/vegetarian a year ago. She can not have nuts and seeds of any kind due to diverticulitis. I had her start taking a vegetarian DHA supplement and her hair loss stopped.
The only time I have had trouble with hair thinning and nails getting brittle is when I was severely underweight from undernourishment. In periods of refeeding as a vegan my hair and nails improved dramatically, especially when I upped servings of beans from 1/2 to 1 cup a day to almost two cups a day and now include flaxseed or another seed or nut in one or two servings per day.
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
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