Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is only stored in the body for a short period of time and supports hair growth. It has immense benefits on your overall health, including helping in the collagen production that strengthens and maintains elasticity to our skin, bones, blood vessels, muscles and teeth, healing of wounds, and enhancing the growth of healthy hair. Let’s take a look at the different mechanisms through which Vitamin C helps in maintaining our hair overall.
Vitamin C For Hair Health and Avoiding Excess Hair Loss
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This is How Vitamin C Promotes Hair Growth
Works as an Antioxidant
Our body actively produces free radicals while metabolizing food into energy. These free radicals are harmful and damage hair follicles – increasing hair loss. Vitamin C is provided with anti-oxidant properties so that it stops free radical formation in the body. Thereby, it reduces hair loss and improves our overall hair health. That’s why getting extra Vitamin C for your hair might be a good idea.
Effect on Androgens or Sex Hormones
Hair loss is directly affected by the circulating androgens – sex hormones – in the blood. Having high levels of the male hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) immensely increases hair loss. DHT binds to the papilla cells of the skin – cells that are responsible for the transportation of nutrients to the hair follicles. When bonded with DHT, the papilla cells can’t provide nutrition to the hair follicles, slowing down hair production and regrowth. Sufficient Vitamin C reduces the formation of DHT, which brings on great improvement in hair growth.
During a scientific study conducted at the Kyungpook National University in Korea, scientists wanted to find out why vitamin C is so important for hair growth.
They had found out that DHT activates the production of DKK-1 protein – commonly known as “the baldness protein” since it is present in huge quantities in the skin of balding people. The researchers observed a drop in the production of hair papilla cells with rising levels of DKK-1 protein. This deficiency of papilla cells in turn led to a weakening of the cells, synthesizing the outermost sheath of hair strands and eventually they stopped functioning all together. This brought on increased hair loss and no hair growth.
However, when the scientists treated the papilla cells of balding men with Vitamin C, the DKK-1 protein production completely stopped, reversing hair loss in the balding persons. Additionally, Vitamin C also increased the production of an important growth factor in the papilla cells, which further increased the hair growth and hair regeneration.
Helps in Creating Collagen
Vitamin C is actually essential for the production of collagen in the body. The amino acid responsible for skin rejuvenation, strengthening our bones, teeth and making our hair beautiful and strong.
Daily Dietary Intake and Food Sources
You can find Vitamin C in many everyday food items such as spinach, cauliflower, turnip greens, tomatoes, citrus fruits, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, papaya, mangoes, and kiwi. It is confirmed by the US Dietary Guidelines that almost 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and fresh fruits on a daily basis ensure sufficient dietary intake of Vitamin C.
Supplements With Vitamin C That Support Healthy Hair Growth
If Vitamin C deficiency can’t be fulfilled via dietary intake, Vitamin C supplements are recommended. Depending on your purpose, there are specialized supplements that contain Vitamin C with other important nutrients. For example, Nutrafol contains Vitamin C as well as a range of ingredients that support healthy hair.
The National Institute of Health suggests that the daily dose of Vitamin C is 90mg for men and 75mg for women.