Even though hair loss and thinning are more commonly associated with men, women suffer from these issues equally. Some of the leading causes of women's hair struggles are nutrient deficiencies and environmental damage. Yes, it is not enough to use the right shampoo or hair mask if your mane is not healthy from the inside out. And while factors like genetics need a more experienced intervention, extrinsic ones can be dealt with by enriching your diet. Among the nutrients that are often coveted for their benefits, vitamins for hair are the ones leading the charge against oxidative stress and nutritional deficiency harming your hair!
- Top 5 vitamins for hair
- 1. Vitamin A for hair
- 2. B-Vitamins for hair
- 3. Vitamin C for hair
- 4. Vitamin D for hair
- 5. Vitamin E for hair
- FAQs about hair vitamins
Top 5 vitamins for hair
As seen above, a well-balanced mix of vitamins for hair can help support the overall health and wellbeing of your hair. However, it is easier said than done to include these nutrients in your daily diet. Lack of information, improper food habits and a general disregard for hair supplements are some of the reasons for not getting your vitamin fix for the day. The result is dull and tired-looking tresses that are in desperate need of some fullness and shine. Fortunately, we have come up with the ultimate guide to figuring out how to put vitamins to good use, which ones to pick and the kind of benefits they offer. Check it out...
1. Vitamin A for hair
Vitamin A is one of those nutrients whose deficiency can seriously damage your hair health. An essential nutrient that supports cell growth and protects you from tissue damage, lack of vitamin A in your diet can lead to hair loss. The nutrient is also responsible for producing sebum on your scalp - these natural oils are key in keeping your scalp nourished. In recent years, the importance of scalp health has been deemed crucial for hair and vitamin A can help prepare the raw materials needed to maintain the naturally bountiful state of your scalp.
Some of the best sources of vitamin A are carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale. These veggie delights are high in beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A in your body. Animal products that help directly deliver the nutrient to your body are milk, eggs, cheese and yoghurt and cod liver oil.
2. B-Vitamins for hair
B-vitamins are an essential nutrient for overall health. They help in producing red blood cells in your body, which are responsible for carrying and delivering oxygenated blood to different parts of your body, including your scalp. This helps fortify and nourish your hair follicles, helping in new hair growth. While there are eight kinds of B-vitamins, the one that is the most popular and highly beneficial is biotin - it helps break down protein in your body and thus helps boost the health of the basic structure of your hair.
Biotin supplements are generally considered as a safe and effective way of boosting hair thickness and growth. Not only hair, but biotin can also help improve the texture and look of your nails as well. Some of the B-vitamins-rich foods are whole grains, almonds, shellfish, meat, and dark, leafy greens.
3. Vitamin C for hair
Vitamin C is a popular nutrient in the beauty industry as it helps fight oxidative stress in your body and helps delay signs of ageing. Environmental free radicals are unstable in nature and can cause damage in the hair on a daily basis, leading to issues like hair fall and greying. The best way to fight oxidative stress in your system is to supply antioxidants to your body and vitamin C is one of the strongest ones out there. Vitamin C also helps absorb iron into your system and protects against anaemic hair loss. Bottom line is that this nutrient is essential in maintaining the fatty tissue and protein of your hair, resulting in long and strong tresses that are attractive to look at.
Vitamin C can be included in your diet by consuming strawberries, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, guavas and citrus fruits in a balanced manner. The nutrient is also available as effervescent supplements that can be easily consumed in the form of drinks to facilitate maximum absorption.
4. Vitamin D for hair
The deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with a lot of health issues, including hair loss. Maintaining an ideal level of vitamin D in your system can help boost hair follicle growth and inhibit hair loss. It also helps your system absorb other nutrients like calcium, magnesium and hair health-supporting essentials - resulting in an increase in the number of hair follicles on your scalp. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to alopecia areata, an auto-immune condition that causes sudden hair loss.
The best way to increase the vitamin D levels of your body is to bask in natural sunlight on a daily basis. Other sources include fatty fishes, cod liver oil, certain mushrooms and fortified foods (like fatty spreads and breakfast cereals). But at the end of the day, getting healthy sun exposure is the best way to make sure your body is producing this nutrient naturally.
5. Vitamin E for hair
Unlike some of the vitamins for hair we saw above, vitamin E refers to not one, but to a family of eight fat-soluble nutrients. Yet another strong antioxidant that should be supplied to your body, vitamin E is extremely popular with beauty enthusiasts for its intensely nourishing nature as well. Enriching your daily diet with vitamin E also helps fight oxidative damage in the hair cells, thus inhibiting hair loss and delaying the greying of your tresses.
Some of the best ways to include this nutrient in your diet are in the form of wheat germ oil, pumpkin, almonds, spinach, red bell peppers, avocados and sunflower seeds. While there are vitamin E supplements available to purchase over-the-counter, it is recommended to consult a health expert before incorporating them in your daily routine. Vitamin E can also be applied topically to your hair in the form of ampoules and leave-in treatments.
FAQs about hair vitamins
1) Do hair vitamin supplements really work?
A. The efficacy of hair vitamins depends largely on any underlying deficiency of the same. This means that, unless you have any deficiency of a particular vitamin, or mineral or other nutrients, chances are that the effects of hair vitamins won't show on your mane. Over-consumption of these supplements can cause issues like dizziness, nausea, and headaches. They can also have interactions with other medications and states of health like pregnancy. Which is why it is essential to consult a doctor before taking supplements. The only thing you need for ideal hair health and growth is a healthy diet, and hair vitamins can help fill the gaps if there are any.
2) Other than vitamins, what are the other nutrients that help maintain hair health?
A. In addition to vitamins, nutrients like iron, zinc and protein are also necessary to maintain hair health. An iron deficiency in the body is termed anaemia and is one of the major reasons for hair fall. Similarly, a deficiency of zinc also leads to hair loss; a zinc-rich diet can help build hair tissue and repair damage. Finally, your hair’s basic structure is protein-based (keratin), so enriching your diet with the nutrient can prove very beneficial.
3) Can you apply vitamins to your hair topically?
A. Yes, depending on the type of vitamins for hair, topical application options are available to support hair growth. For instance, Biotin - also known as vitamin H - can be applied topically in the form of serums, masks or salon treatments. There is evidence to show that topical application of vitamins can have benefits like hair strengthening and regrowth.