The Top Five Vitamins For Hair Growth and Three Other Nutrients
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Healthy-looking hair is often considered to be a sign of overall beauty and good health. Much like all other parts of your body, your hair requires a number of nutrients for continued growth and for maintaining its wellbeing. In fact, hair loss can be attributed to a variety of nutritional deficiencies. Although factors like hormones, genetics and age can impact hair loss and hair growth, optimum nutrition is vital.
Following are 5 essential vitamins for hair growth along with three other nutrients that may be essential for hair health.
1. Vitamin A
All of your cells require Vitamin A for growth. This is certainly the case for hair given that it’s your body’s fastest growing tissue.
- Vitamin A additionally contributes to the production of sebum, an oily substance that’s secreted by your skin glands. It is sebum that naturally moisturises your scalp to keep your hair looking and feeling its best.
- Even though getting sufficient amounts of Vitamin A is incredibly important, too much of this nutrient can be downright dangerous. Research shows that an overabundance of Vitamin A is a key contributor to hair loss.
- Pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach are all very high in beta-carotene, which is synthesised by the body to produce vitamin A.
- You can also find vitamin A in animal products like yogurt, eggs and milk. Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin A.
- Vitamin A is essential for keeping the hair moisturised and for ensuring optimum hair growth. Some of the best sources of Vitamin A include kale, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and certain dairy products.
The B-vitamin called biotin is one of the best-known vitamins for supporting hair health and hair growth.
- Deficiencies of biotin have been linked to hair loss.
- While biotin is commonly found in alternative treatments for hair loss, people who have deficiencies of this nutrient tend to experience the best results.
- This type of deficiency, however, is quite rare given that is naturally-occurring in very broad range of foods.
- Moreover, there’s insufficient data showing whether biotin is actually effective for promoting hair growth in healthy people who lack nutritional deficiencies.
- It’s possible to get B-vitamins from a variety of foods including fish, meat, almonds, dark and leafy vegetables, seafood, and whole grains.
- You should note that animal foods are the only good source of vitamin B12. As such, vegans and vegetarians may want to consider taking B12 supplements.
- B-vitamins assist by carrying nutrients and oxygen up to the scalp to support hair growth. Meat, whole grains, dark, leafy vegetables and seafood are some of the best sources of B-vitamins.
3. Vitamin C
Damage from free radicals can inhibit hair growth and may even cause the hair to age.
- Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that minimises the effects of oxidative stress that results from free radicals.
- Moreover, your body requires Vitamin C to create a special skin and hair supporting protein called collagen – which is vital to the overall hair structure.
- Vitamin C also aids the body in absorbing iron, which is an essential mineral for hair growth.
- An abundant supply of vitamin C can be found in peppers, strawberries, guava, and citrus fruits.
- Vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen and for minimising the likelihood of hair aging. The best sources of this nutrient include citrus fruits, strawberries and peppers.
4. Vitamin D
Alopecia has been linked to Vitamin D deficiencies – which is a technical term for progressive hair loss.
- According to research, vitamin D may be capable of creating new hair follicles, the tiny pores that exist within the scalp that produce new hair.
- Vitamin D is believed to play a major role in the production of hair, but the majority of these studies are focused on Vitamin D receptors. The role that vitamin D actually plays in hair growth is still largely unknown.
- Understanding this, many people are not getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D and this means that it is still a good idea to try and increase your intake of this important nutrient.
- It is through direct exposure to the rays of the sun that your body is able to produce vitamin D. Some of the best dietary sources of this nutrient include certain mushrooms, fortified foods, cod liver oil, and fatty fish.
- The actual role that vitamin D plays in hair growth is not currently understood, but one type of hair loss has been linked to vitamin D deficiencies. You can increase your levels of vitamin D through increased sun exposure and by eating specific foods.
5. Vitamin E
Much like vitamin C, vitamin E is classified as an antioxidant that’s capable of alleviating oxidative stress.
- One study performed on people with hair loss shows an increase in hair growth of 34.5 percent after just eight months of supplementation with vitamin E.
- People in the placebo group experienced just 0.1 percent of an increase.
- Avocados, spinach, almonds and sunflower seeds are all great sources of this antioxidant.
- Vitamin E assists in boosting the growth of the hair and in staving off oxidative stress. Some of the top sources include almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados and spinach.
Iron helps your red blood cells carry and deliver oxygen to cells throughout your body. As such, this mineral is vital for numerous functions, including hair growth.
- People with an iron deficiency often suffer from anemia, which is a known and very significant cause of hair loss. This is incredibly common in women.
- Foods that have a high iron content include oysters, red meat, eggs, clams, lentils and spinach.
Zinc plays a very vital role in the repair and growth of hair tissue. It also promotes proper functioning of the oil glands that surround the hair follicles.
- One very common symptom of zinc deficiency is hair loss.
- Research shows that supplementing with zinc can reduce or reverse hair loss that is the result of zinc deficiency. There are, however, several anecdotal reports showing that too much zinc can actually be a contributor to hair loss.
- Due to this fact, it is generally best to get your zinc supply from food as opposed to supplements. Food that contains high levels of zinc include lentils, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, beef, oysters, and spinach.
Hair is almost entirely comprised of protein. As such, consuming enough protein is essential for hair growth.
- Studies on animals have shown that protein deficiencies can limit hair growth and may even lead to hair loss. In Western countries, however, true protein deficiency is quite rare.