To maintain healthy hair, there are specific vitamins and minerals necessary to get enough of in your diet. They’re easily obtainable as they are present in most foods, however, some foods are richer in certain nutrients than others. They can also be taken as a daily dietary supplement. Below are the most important minerals and vitamins for hair growth.
- B-Complex Vitamins: B-complex vitamins are a group of eight vitamins your body needs in small quantities and support a healthy body in many ways, some examples being supporting skin and hair health. The eight members of the B-complex are B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cobalamin). B-Complex vitamins play a role in healthy hair growth because they are required for the growth and development of dermal layers (skin) and its appendages. Biotin, niacin and cobalamin, for example, are among the most popular B-Complex vitamins that help restore shine and thickness to hair strands. However, all of the B vitamins are important for hair growth.
- B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), and B3 (Niacin) contribute to the proper nourishment of hair follicle cells. For example, a deficiency of Vitamin B2 can cause dry skin, inflammation of mucosal membranes and dermatitis. Similarly, Vitamin B3 deficiency can also cause dermatitis.
- B5 (Pantothenic Acid) can give hair flexibility, shine and helps to prevent hair loss. It is most found in both plants and animals including meat, vegetables, cereal grains, legumes, eggs, and milk.
- Biotin is known to play a role in strengthening hair follicles, nails, and skin. A deficiency in B7 (Biotin) can cause hair loss (alopecia), dermatitis, and loss of hair pigmentation. Biotin can be found in foods such as peanuts, carrots, swiss chard, cooked eggs and raw egg yolks, liver, yeast and bananas.
- B12 (Cobalamin) may also help aid in hair maintenance.
When combined, B-Complex vitamins can be powerful at preventing hair loss. B-Complex vitamins also provide great benefits when paired with zinc to improve hair health. Together, zinc and the B vitamins may inhibit the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is one of the major known causes of alopecia.
- Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral that helps maintain healthy hair. Because hair growth depends on normal cellular reproduction and protein-building, a deficiency of zinc can lead to hair shedding or hair loss. Oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, certain seafood such as crab and lobster, whole grains, cereals, and dairy products all contain zinc.
- Iron: Without iron, hair can become dull, thin and dry, and nails can become brittle and break easily. Iron which is found infoods such as spinach, oysters, and cashews, also helps make your skin glow by activating B vitamins. Over the years, researchers have discovered that having an iron deficiency can exacerbate the effects of hair loss. According to researchers and medical professionals, treating an iron deficiency can aid in hair loss prevention.
It’s important to be careful about the amount of iron you are getting each day, as too much can cause free radical damage to the skin.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3’s help regulate oil production and keep the skin moist. Additionally, Omega-3’s can add shine to your hair, prevent it from dryness, and prevent your scalp from flaking. Omega-3’s are found in fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can improve hair growth, fight dandruff, and lead to thicker hair. Vitamin C also increases the amount of iron your body absorbs, which increases the benefit iron has on hair health and growth.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant which can help fight free radicals that have damaging effects on both skin and hair follicles. A study done in 2010 testing the effects of Vitamin E on hair growth showed that men with signs of hair thinning who took Vitamin E (tocotrienol) supplements had significantly more hair growth than men in the placebo group.
A healthy and balanced diet that incorporates the right balance of vitamins and minerals is necessary for hair and scalp health. Vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, amino acids and a host of minerals all work together to maintain hair growth – it’s not just limited to one vitamin or mineral.
Instead of taking just one type of vitamin or mineral, consider taking care of your hair by starting with a balanced diet and including a daily multivitamin or a comprehensive supplement to support healthy hair. These supplements are not just for people who are experiencing hair thinning; they can be taken by anyone who wants to have stronger, fuller hair. They’re a convenient way to get many of the most important minerals and vitamins for enhancing and supporting hair health.
1. Progressive Health website Do B Vitamins Help Stop Hair Loss?
2. Huffington Post Vitamins & Minerals For Hair That’s Healthier, Stronger And Shinier:
3. Progressive Health website 6 Reasons Why Biotin Helps Hair Loss:
4. WebMD Hair Loss: It May Be Iron Deficiency:
5. Everyday Health 6 Supplements for Glowy Skin and Gorgeous Hair: