The Importance of Vitamins For Hair Growth
We will help you discover the key vitamins for hair growth, to not only benefit from healthy radiant hair but also provide the nutrients you need for a balanced diet.
The secret to lustrous hair is not an expensive shampoo or conditioner. It is something much simpler. Good nutrition. If you are vitamin deficient, your hair may grow slower and break easier.
By eating a diet that is rich in the vitamins and minerals that support hair growth, you can get the beautiful and healthy head of hair you dream of!
Vitamin D plays a significant role in the human body, helping to maintain healthy skin and bones. It also plays a role in improving hair growth. A 2012 study in the medical journal, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, showed that a “super-active” form of vitamin D can help create hair follicles.
Hair follicles are tiny pores where hair can grow from. This super-active version of vitamin D intake appeared to stimulate the epithelial stem cells, making them create hair follicles.
Vitamin D may also play a role in “waking up” hair follicles. At any one time, approximately 90% of the hair follicles on your head are actively growing hair. The remaining 10% are dormant. A Harvard research paper has shown that vitamin D intake can wake up these dormant follicles and encourage them to produce hair.
Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure or vitamin supplements. Foods which contain vitamin D include eggs, fatty fish (mackerel, herring and salmon) or liver. It can also be obtained by eating foods fortified in vitamin D, like milk or margarine.
Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Biotin is a B group vitamin that metabolises fats and carbohydrates, improves the health of your hair and maintains your nervous system. A biotin deficiency can result in hair loss. While some claims have been made about biotin supplements being able to treat hair loss in adults, there are no published studies that support the claim.
If you suspect you have a Biotin deficiency, either take a B-complex vitamin or obtain it through your diet. Some of the foods containing Biotin include egg yolk, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, soybeans, whole grains, bananas, cauliflower, brown rice, lentils, meat (kidney and liver) and mushrooms.
Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Cobalamin is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in metabolism and central nervous system function. According to the dietician and author Lisa Drayer, vitamin B12 is one of the vital vitamins for hair growth as it forms healthy red blood cells.
Hair follicles contain tiny blood vessels at their base. These blood vessels connect the root of the hair strand to the head. Red blood cells help to deliver oxygen to this living part of the hair cell.
She suggests that a diet rich in B12 makes it easier for red blood cells to perform this task. Without enough B12, the body cannot support hair growth.
Vitamin B12 can be found in foods including liver, mackerel, sardines, red meat, fortified cereals, salmon, fortified soy milk, cow’s milk, cheese and yoghurt.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin has the ability to dilate blood vessels. This may help hair growth by ensuring the capillaries in the scalp are flushed and capable of delivering nutrients to the hair follicles. Foods rich in niacin include fish, red meat, celery, dairy, beans, almonds, and carrots.
Retinol (Vitamin A)
Retinol is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. It also helps the body produce sebum — an oily substance that keeps the skin healthy. Sebum also keeps the scalp from drying out, helping your hair to grow.
It is important to avoid taking too much vitamin A because an overdose can actually contribute to hair loss! Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, mangos and red peppers.
Vitamin C is another important antioxidant that helps drive your immune system as well as being one of the key vitamins for hair growth. It helps to produce collagen, a form of connective tissue that keeps your skin supple. A vitamin C deficiency may result in more hair breakage and split ends.
Luckily, it is easy to get more vitamin C. Simply consume oranges, lemons, mandarins, red peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and berries.
Vitamin E plays a significant role in supporting healthy skin. It can be eaten or rubbed into your scalp to reduce inflammation and repair damage to skin follicles, promoting hair growth.
Sources of vitamin E include toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, avocado, spinach, shellfish, fish, olive oil, broccoli and pumpkin.
Other Nutrients for Hair Growth
In addition to vitamins, here are a few other nutrients for encouraging hair growth.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in a variety of plants and animals. They can help reduce inflammation and many common diseases. Omega-3 fast acids can help hair growth by reducing inflammation in the scalp and lubricating the scalp. They can also help balance the hormones that play a role in the growth of healthy hair.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods such as oily fish (salmon, halibut, sardines, albacore, trout, cod, tuna and herring), shellfish, nuts, seeds and some oils.
Hair is made up of a fibrous structural protein called keratin. Although it is yet to be proven, some researchers suggest that a healthy intake of protein can help support keratin production.