What are the benefits of selenium for you and for your hair growth?

As written in a previous post, selenium is a mineral found naturally in the soil. But it also appears in certain foods and there are even small amounts in water.
It is an important mineral for the human body as it helps immunity. It plays a roll in antioxidant activity that defends against free radical damage. But it will also help you maintain a healthy metabolism. According to some studies, selenium can also help you reduce the risk of cancer and thyroid diseases.

But how does selenium benefit your body?

Simple – selenium is able to play such a protective role in the body because it increases antioxidant capabilities and the quality of blood flow. This increases the body’s resistance against stress and diseases.

And then there is the food…

Food that has a high amount of selenium include Brazil nuts, eggs, liver, tuna, cod, and sunflower seeds. Poultry and certain types of meat are a good source as well. However, whole foods are the best sources of the mineral, especially those who are not cooked on a very high heat.

How does selenium benefit your hair and hair growth?

The mineral has an ability to fight the aging process and help the immune system by reducing free radical damage. It also has a synergistic effect with other antioxidants like Vitamin E, enabling the body to fight oxidative stress. Selenium is an essential component of glutathione peroxidase, which is an important enzyme for processes that protect lipids in cell membranes. So explained in a much easier way: you need selenium to fight oxidative degradation of cells.


It also helps to maintain proper thyroid function, which benefits the immune system and fosters healthy hair growth. Research shows that there is a link between thyroid metabolism and selenium deficiency. The mineral acts like a catalyst for the production of active thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland controls a lot of important everyday body functions. Having problems with it can result in some negative symptoms.


Which means that if you lack the mineral, it is a problem correlated with your thyroid and how it synthesizes hormones. Therefore you might consider taking supplements that include selenium to help support hair related issues caused by thyroid problems. The mineral acts as a protector of the thyroid and regulates the production of reactive oxygen within the gland, which means it is making sure the thyroid function is working properly to support hair health and growth.

To supplement or not – that is the question. If the supplements are selenium-rich the answer is yes. Not only is it beneficial for your body but also for your hair.

What about the blood flow…?

Selenium-rich foods and supplements can also support blood flow which is beneficial for hair health. A healthy hair regime starts with good blood flow and maintained with the support of natural supplements.

Photos: Mattza and Hatici Sosyal via Flickr.

The Role of Selenium For Hair Growth

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Selenium is a major nutrient that helps the body fight diseases. It has tons of benefits, since it is also an antioxidant and plays a role in keeping the metabolic functions of the body. Additionally, it helps support healthy function of several organs. 

Selenium is also needed for healthy hair growth. Below, we’ll look closer at how selenium really works in regard to growing your hair.

How Does Selenium Work For Hair Growth?

No worries, we’ll explain: Enzymes are molecules, used for different chemical reactions of the body. Many enzymes use selenium to do their work for them, which makes them more reactive. Some enzymes help the body clean itself from free radicals. These guys are very harmful to the healthy growth of hair and skin cells of the body since they play a major factor in premature aging and weaker hair follicles. Selenium works for healthy hair growth by killing free radicals.

Selenium is more concentrated in the thyroid than in our other organs and is important for the proper functioning of our thyroid hormone. This hormone in turn plays a huge role in regulating hair loss in patients suffering from the type of hair loss that occurs in patches.

Selenium also activates an enzyme important for the regeneration of important antioxidants in the body, such as vitamin C. These further promote hair growth and hair regrowth by killing harmful free radicals. The enzyme also regulates cells growth and health, something that has made researchers interested in whether it could be used to treat immune system diseases or be used in cancer treatment.

In addition to all these benefits, selenium sulfide is used topically to treat dandruff, which is why it’s often an ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos. It can also work with protein-rich foods to help healthier hair growth. 

Selenium-Rich Foods To Eat For Healthier Hair

Getting enough selenium is important to maintain and improve healthier hair and prevent hair loss. So to be sure of that, there are some foods you can incorporate into your diet to help. Foods rich in selenium include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • whole grains
  • nuts
  • garlic
  • beef
  • liver
  • tuna
  • eggs
  • beans
  • oatmeal
  • spinach.

According to the Huntington College of Health Sciences, the recommended daily requirement of selenium is 50 mcg for adults and 70 mcg for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Since ingesting selenium to help reduce hair loss is a thing, it is a common ingredient in hair growth supplements.

But warning: Too much selenium can lead to selenium toxicity.

NEXT: Want a boost for your hair?