When it comes to hair growth, the first thing that experts from across the globe suggest is a well balanced diet. The diet should include necessary vitamins, protein, iron, zinc and even essential fats. For hair growth, different types of vitamins are a must to ensure normal advancement and maintenance of hair. In fact, vitamins do more in promoting healthy hair than any hair care products and this is a true fact! But before you start taking vitamins, it is essential to know which vitamin can help in healthier and shinier hair.
What are vitamins?
Vitamins are complex molecules that play an important role in the overall health of an individual. Vitamins are required for normal functioning of body and hair. Lack of vitamins can slow down the growth of hair, making your hair look dull, thin and lifeless. Vitamins have also been reported to help in the treatment of dandruff and scalp infections.
Here is a guideline on the best vitamins for hair growth:
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps in the production of healthy sebum on the scalp, which helps in keeping the scalp and hair well hydrated. Vitamin A deficiency can result in hair breakage and scalp acne. Some of the natural sources of Vitamin A are carrot, lemon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, broccoli, apricots, fish liver oil, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and peaches. With right amount of vitamin A intake, your hair will grow faster and there will be no problem of dry hair. Though part of the anti-oxidants group, Vitamin A must be taken in required amount. Daily dosage should be around 5,000 IU. More than 25,000 IU is toxic and can even lead to hair loss and other serious health problems. Also as Vitamin A is non-water soluble, it can be fatal too. So, before you start taking Vitamin A in adequate amount, you must consult your dietician or nutritionist.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid):
Vitamin C also known as Ascorbic Acid is an antioxidant that helps in maintaining hair health. This vitamin helps in cell development and tissue growth which are important for hair growth. With regular intake of required dose of Vitamin C you can prevent hair loss as well as premature graying, dryness, and brittle hair. Deficiency in Vitamin C can lead to weakening of hair structure. Some of the natural sources of Vitamin C are orange, lemon, lime, melon, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple, black current, tomato, cucumber, cauliflower, green peppers, potatoes and so on. The daily dose of Vitamin C should be about 60 mg.
Vitamin D is associated with healthy growth of hair follicles. By stimulating the hair follicle and the cells that form the hair shaft, Vitamin D helps in controlling hair loss problem. Also, vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium, which is essential for healthy follicles. Some of the natural sources of Vitamin D are mushrooms, fish, whole egg, milk, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, cereal, pork, beef liver, ricotta cheese and so on. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D is at least 1000 IU per day.
Vitamin E (Tocopherol):
Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that creates new blood vessels and increases blood circulation to the scalp. It also functions as a stimulant to the immune system which is important for hair growth. When there is good blood circulation in the scalp, hair follicles promoted better and faster hair growth. It is also responsible for strong, non-vibrant hair. Some of the best natural sources of Vitamin E are rice bran, dark green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, wheat germ oil, soybeans, raw seeds and nuts, dried beans, and so on. The required daily dose of Vitamin E is up to 400 IU. As Vitamin E can raise blood, it is advisable for those suffering for high blood pressure problem to consult a doctor.
Vitamin H (Biotin):
Hair mainly consists of a protein named keratin. Vitamin H also known as Biotin produces keratin. This is why it is also known as ‘Hair Vitamin’. It promotes cell growth and metabolism that prevents brittle, fragile hair leading to better hair growth. Severe biotin deficiency can lead to excess hair loss. Adequate intake of Biotin can help in preventing hair loss and hair graying. Some of the natural sources of Biotin are yeast, whole grains, egg yolks, liver, rice, milk, cheese, Swiss chard, peanuts, raw cauliflower, raspberries and avocado. The recommended dose if biotin to get rid of hair problems is about 30 mcg to 100 mcg per day.
Vitamin B strengthens hair follicles making it less prone to damage and hair loss. Eating vitamin B enriched food will increase the rate of hair growth, reduce hair loss and prevent your hair from graying as well. You can find Vitamin B in eggs, meat, fresh fruits, turkey, and fish. Vitamin B is water soluble and thus it will not build up in your body.
Here is the list of Vitamin B that benefits hair:
- Vitamin B12 or Cyanocobalamin helps in preventing hair loss. It also helps in producing red blood cells which help in hair growth. Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in hair loss and premature graying. Some of the food sources for Vitamin B12 are chicken, fish, eggs and milk.
- Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin is one of the best vitamins for hair growth as it helps in cell growth and cell respiration. It also functions as a catalyst for vitamin B6. Some of the good sources of Vitamin B2 are milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, wholegrain breads and cereals, egg white, leafy green vegetables, meat, yeast, liver and kidney.
- Vitamin B3 or Niacin helps in improving blood circulation to the scalp that helps in faster hair growth. Some of the good sources for Vitamin B3 are yeast, wheat germ, fish, chicken, turkey, meat, milk, eggs, wholegrain breads, cereals, nuts, mushrooms and all protein-containing foods.
- Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid prevents premature hair graying and excess hair loss. Some of the good sources of Vitamin B5 are whole grain cereals, brewer’s yeast, organ meats, egg yolks, milk, peanuts and legumes.
- Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine helps in preventing hair loss. It also helps in creating melanin that gives hair its color. Some of the food sources for Vitamin B6 are yeast, liver, whole grain cereals, vegetables, organ meats and egg yolk.
- Vitamin B9 or folic acid is required for cell growth and improving mental health. Good sources of B9 are green leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, liver, poultry, eggs, cereals and citrus fruits.
In addition to vitamins, minerals are also essential for hair. For instance, Zinc stimulates the growth of hair and enhances the functionality of the immune system. Coenzyme Q10 is responsible for the improvement of scalp circulation. Lack of iron can lead to hair loss. Also one cannot ignore protein, one of the most vital components of hair. Protein makes hair strong and healthy.
Some Additional Points:
- Have the entire vitamin levels of your body checked to figure out exactly what type of Vitamin your body needs.
- You can also take vitamin supplements that target the scalp and hair follicles to increase hair growth.
- Before taking any vitamin supplement consult your doctor and ask about the impacts and required dosage.
- To maintain the health of your hair, try to sleep for 7 to 8 hours daily.
- Also follow hair care tips like massaging the scalp, getting hair trimmed from time to time, and avoid of hot water on hair.
- Along with Vitamins, also take other nutrients. Remember the key to good hair is a well balanced diet.
Well, this is all about Vitamin and its connection to hair growth. If you want to have beautiful and healthy hair, you must remember that regular intake of necessary Vitamins can benefit your hair a lot. However, before you come to a conclusion regarding which Vitamin to take, always consult a doctor or nutritionist.