Healthy-looking hair is seen as a sign of health and beauty. Just like any other part of your body, your hair needs proper nutrients to grow, be strong and healthy. Lack of proper nutrition leads to dull, lifeless threads, slow growth and even hair loss. Age and genetics are factors that affect hair growth, but nutrient intake plays an important role. Here we will talk about 8 vitamins and nutrients that are most important for healthy hair growth.
1- Vitamin A
We often associate vitamin A with healthy eyes, and while it’s true that vitamin A is essential for eye health, all cells in your body rely on it for growth. This included the fastest growing part of your body, your hair. Vitamin A helps the sebaceous glands in the scalp produce sebum, which moisturizes and protects your hair to keep it strong and healthy. When you don’t get enough vitamin A, your hair can become dry, brittle and even start to fall out. But you don’t want to overdo it. Studies have shown that too much vitamin A in the diet can cause hair loss. Beta carotene, the substance that gives orange vegetables their color, is converted into vitamin A in the body. To increase this vitamin in your diet, orange vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes, as well as spinach, kale, milk, eggs and yogurt are good sources.
2- B vitamins
One of the best-known B vitamins when it comes to hair health is biotin. It has long been known that biotin is essential for healthy hair growth. Other B vitamins are responsible for the formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles on the scalp to support hair growth. Eat a variety of whole grains, almonds, lean meats, fish and seafood, and dark leafy greens to ensure you’re getting enough B vitamins in your diet. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you may need supplements to make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins, especially B 12, which is mostly found in meat and animal products.
3- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your hair against free radical damage that can inhibit hair growth. Vitamin C is also very important for the production of a protein called collagen, which is one of the building blocks of your hair structure. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb and use the iron needed for healthy hair growth. To increase your vitamin C intake, increase your intake of strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, leafy vegetables and guava.
4- Vitamin D
Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with hair loss, although the true role of vitamin D in hair growth is still unknown. Since most people suffer from a vitamin D deficiency due to indoor sedentary lifestyles and heavy sunscreen use, it’s a good idea to go ahead and supplement with this vitamin. Your skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, so exposing your skin to direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes a day can help increase your levels. You can also take a supplement or add some vitamin D-rich foods to your diet, such as oily fish, cod liver oil, mushrooms grown with some sun exposure, eggs, and foods fortified with vitamin D.
5- Vitamin E
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress that can damage hair and slow its growth. Hair growth increase of up to 34.5% can be seen in people who experience hair loss who take vitamin E supplements for 8 months. This is pretty important! Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocado are foods rich in vitamin E that you can easily add to your diet.
Iron is an essential nutrient that helps oxygenate your entire body. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your cells. Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common causes of hair loss. When your body doesn’t get enough oxygen, it shuts down non-essential processes, such as hair growth, to maintain it. Foods high in iron include meats, especially red meats, eggs, seafood, spinach, oats, raisins and lentils.
Zinc helps the sebaceous glands in the scalp work properly to keep the hair moist and healthy. It also plays a role in hair growth and tissue repair. Zinc deficiency often causes slowed hair growth and hair loss. But don’t go overboard with that either, because high levels are also associated with hair loss. Correcting this deficiency can reverse this type of hair loss and encourage new growth. Foods high in zinc include beef, oysters, spinach, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, and lentils.
Your hair is made up entirely of proteins. Without adequate protein intake, your hair cannot grow. Lean meats, fish, peas, lentils, beans and rice, eggs, dairy products, almonds, quinoa and peanuts are excellent sources of protein to add to your diet.
Good nutrition is vital to helping your hair grow, and incorporating some of these healthy foods can give your mane the boost it needs to grow healthy and strong again. If you’d like to explore other treatments to combat hair loss, schedule a free and discreet consultation with hair loss specialists at: Hair Transplantation Institute. We will assess your hair loss and develop a tailored plan for you to regain full, healthy-looking hair. You can find us in Bloomington, MN at 8009 34th Ave S, Suite 1225, or call 612-588-HAIR (4247) for a private, toll-free consultation.