Having healthy hair is one of the signs of good health. It’s one of the first things that stand out in an individual. Too many times, our hair isn’t treated with the utmost care and attention. Your hair is a part of your body, not an extension. Like all areas of your skin, it needs nutrients, hair growth vitamins and remains healthy.
That being said, hair loss can be linked to nutritional deficiencies. True, factors like genetics, hormones and age play a huge role in hair depth and firmness, nutrient intake also a determinant.
Vitamins Your Hair Needs to Flourish
Your hair needs vitamins and nutrients. However, it is important to note that not just any vitamin will do. As far as hair growth is concerned, your body needs all the following hair growth vitamins:
Vitamin A can’t be overlooked when hair growth vitamins are mentioned. Cells can’t grow without vitamin A, simple as that. Your hair follicles aren’t excluded because they are the fastest-growing tissue in your body.
Vitamin A targets the skin’s oil glands and helps them produce a substance called sebum. Sebum moisturizes the scalp and keeps the hair healthy. A deficiency in vitamin A could lead to a loss of hair. An overdose of vitamin A could also cause hair loss. It’s important that you keep your body’s vitamin A levels balanced.
Foods like sweet potatoes, carrot, spinach and pumpkins have high beta-carotene content which is full of vitamin A. You can find vitamin A in many dairy products such as eggs, milk and yogurt. Cod liver is also a good source of this vitamin. If you prefer vitamin A supplements, you can find many online.
Also called the B-vitamins, vitamin B is very important for hair growth. A particular B-vitamin called biotin aids body as well as hair growth. In fact, studies have proven that a deficiency in biotin can lead to hair loss. Many times biotin is used as hair-loss treatment; however, people who have a deficiency in this vitamin enjoy the best results. Biotin deficiency is somewhat rare as the B vitamin appears in a long list of foods.
Other B vitamins are also effective in enhancing hair growth. These vitamins rapidly speed up red blood cells production responsible for transporting nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. The absence of these vitamins can lead to hair loss. You can find the B vitamins in foods like meat, fish, seafood, grains, almonds, and leafy greens.
As per vitamin B12, animal foods are the best sources. If you’re vegan, a B vitamin supplement will be your best option.
Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular vitamin. They are very effective in preventing damage caused by free radicals in the environment. Free radicals like UV rays from the sun impede hair growth and cause it to age rapidly.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant which counteracts the effect of aerobic damage caused by free radicals. In addition to this, vitamin C helps the body produce a protein called collagen. This protein, collagen, is the major determinant of the good hair structure.
But the benefits of vitamin C don’t stop there. Vitamin C allows your body to absorb minerals paramount to hair growth. One of such mineral is iron. Good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits as well as strawberries, guava and peppers.
Alopecia, a sophisticated term for hair loss, is often caused by a Vitamin D deficiency. But in a situation where vitamin D is present, new hair follicles are produced.
While the role of vitamins on hair growth is somewhat unknown, studies have proven that a deficiency may be bad for hair growth. If you don’t get enough of vitamin D, it’s wise to increase your intake. Good sources of vitamin D are cod liver oil, fatty oils, select mushrooms and fortified foods. You can find vitamin D supplements online as well.
Keep in mind, your body increases its vitamin D production when you get some sun exposure. This could be an alternative to changing your diet.
Where vitamin C is mentioned, vitamin E must be present. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that prevents oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Studies have proven time and time again that vitamin E is effective in increasing hair growth.
Good sources of vitamin E are spinach, avocado, almonds and sunflower seeds. Vitamin E supplements could also be found online.
Minerals needed for Hair Growth
There are minerals which support hair growth the way hair growth vitamins do. They are:
Iron is a mineral that improves bodily function. This mineral enables red blood cells to carry oxygen effectively throughout the body. Hair growth benefits from this transport of oxygen.
In fact, an iron deficiency causes anemia which then causes hair loss. Good sources of iron are oysters, clams, red meat, eggs, lentils and spinach. You can find iron supplements online.
Hair loss can also be linked to zinc deficiency. Zinc is an important mineral responsible for hair growth and tissue repair. Zinc ensures that the oil glands around your hair follicles function properly.
While a Zinc deficiency causes hair loss, an overdose could also do the same. Good sources of zinc come from whole foods like beef, oysters, spinach, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ and lentils.
Hair is basically protein-composed. Consuming the right amount of protein is beneficial for hair growth. A deficiency in protein will most likely lead to hair loss. In the western world, however, protein deficiency is somewhat rare.
Are Hair Supplements Needed?
Whole foods are still the best sources of vitamins. But if you can’t get enough vitamins in your diet, you can take supplements—especially if you’re vitamin deficient.
Do Hair Growth Vitamins Work?
Yes, they work very much indeed. Biotin, a B vitamin is the cream of the crop. If you discover that you’re deficient in vitamins like biotin, zinc and iron, then taking vitamin supplements can really help your hair grow.