It is quite natural for us to experience hair fall as we age. It is a natural process that almost everyone has to endure, partly on account of your genes and in part, on account of your hormones. You might have also noticed that a few strands of hair tends to fall off every time you’re in the shower or when you comb your hair. Well, this kind of hair fall, known as shedding, is quite normal and not something you need to worry about. Phew!
However, there are certain factors, such as stress, lack of nutrition, or hormonal imbalances that can accelerate and amplify hair loss (also known as alopecia). So ladies, if you’re starting to experience excessive hair loss, typically to the number of a few hundred strands on a daily basis, it is time you reviewed your lifestyle and habits, especially of the dietary kind.
What is it exactly that causes your hair to fall off? Time for a science lesson! So, there are three phases to the cycle of hair growth - the growth, transitional and resting or shedding phases. Given any day of the year, about 10 to 15 percent of the hair follicles on your scalp is in the shedding phase, which is why it is normal to see some hair fall on a daily basis. Lucky for you though, these phases repeat themselves from time to time duh, why else would you call it a cycle?.
In the growth phase, your hair needs a lot of vitamins and other micronutrients in order to stay healthy and prevent excessive hair loss. This makes vitamins a crucial component of your diet, especially if you need to arrest hair loss and get strong, shiny hair. So, what are all these vitamins for hair loss that you need to include in your dietary intake and what happens when you stop taking them?
There are quite a few vitamins for hair loss out there, about half as many as there are alphabets in the English language. And it can all get a bit confusing at times, as to which vitamins can help you and in what ways. When it comes to treating hair loss, vitamins A, B (especially B2 (riboflavin), B7 (biotin), folate and B12), C, D and E are ones that are often taken into consideration. Amongst all of these, it is only vitamin D that your body can produce naturally. Now, for the part, you’ve been waiting for!
1. Vitamin A for Prevent Hair Loss
This vitamin is basically a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters, which is necessary for regulating the formation of retinoic acid in the hair follicles. As a result, it plays an important part in the growth of your hair as well as in moisturizing it, so as to keep it from getting dull and dry.
As for the foods known to be rich in vitamin A, including carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, lettuce and other green leafy vegetables in your diet can help you maintain a requisite amount of vitamin A in your body. For those who enjoy meat, tuna is a fish that is known to be rich in this micronutrient. Fruits like mangoes can also provide you with adequate amounts of vitamin A.
2. Vitamin B complex
Now, here is where things start to get a bit interesting. Vitamin B complex consists of 8 water-soluble vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, folate and B12) and not all of them are useful when it comes to fighting hair loss. Amongst the ones mentioned above, vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B7 (biotin), folate and B12 are those whose deficiencies are known to result in hair loss. What do these vitamins do and which foods do we need to consume to get them?
Biotin, for one, improves the organizational structure of keratin in your hair, while B12 strengthens its conditioning. As for the foods you need to include, dairy, avocados, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds (salmon and egg yolk for those who cannot survive on vegetables alone) can provide you with biotin while it is mostly products such as meat, fish and poultry (apart from dairy products like yoghurt) that are considered to be rich in B12. Tofu, mushrooms, avocados, almonds and fish like trout and salmon have relatively high amounts of riboflavin while beetroot, asparagus, eggs and legumes are some of the foods that can provide you with adequate amounts of folate.
3. Vitamin C
This vitamins C for hair loss, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble one and plays an important role in the intestinal absorption of iron. It is also known to help in the production of collagen, and thus, is crucial from the point of view of maintaining the structure of your hair, and also for repairing hair damage. If you’re suffering from an iron deficiency, you’ve probably also experienced an unnatural amount of hair loss. In such cases, especially, the intake of vitamin C tends to become all the more important.
There are a number of fruits, such as kiwis, guavas, papayas, limes and lemons, oranges, and strawberries that are rich in the vitamin. Apart from the fruits, vegetables such as bell peppers, potatoes and the dark green leafy ones are also known to be excellent sources of vitamin C.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D, the only one in the list to be also produced naturally within the body, is extremely important since it helps stimulate the follicles and hair cells so as to help them grow new hair shafts. Now, while this D vitamin for hair loss can be naturally produced in the body, there are certain foodstuffs like egg yolk and fatty fish that are known to provide vitamin D as well. For those who would like to refrain from eating meat, there are also certain foods like cheese, tofu, soy milk and mushrooms that can do the job for you.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E helps stimulate the capillaries, thereby improving the blood circulation in your scalp, an important factor when it comes to treating hair loss. But more essentially, it is rich in antioxidants and helps protect hair from free radical damage as well, ensuring that your hair stays healthy, strong and not prone to breakage.
All of you who love veggies and nuts, here’s the good news! Foodstuffs like tofu, almonds, broccoli, avocados and spinach are excellent sources of vitamin E. If you just can’t stay without having meat on your plate, chicken is what you should be eating.
So these are all the vitamins for hair loss that you should include in your diet. It could very well be said that healthy hair comes from having a healthy nutrient-rich diet. So go on, munch away while you let the vitamins protect your hair from loss and breakage!