Most people have a huge misconception of what it really takes to make your hair grow. Your hair requires a variety of nutrients to grow and maintain length and volume. If you don’t take enough vitamins and minerals to support your hair, it will suffer and may lead to hair breakage or hair loss.
While the best way to acquire these nutrients is by eating a healthy diet, sometimes it’s not possible with our busy schedules. Luckily, there are vitamins that promote hair growth that can serve the purpose.
So, what are the best vitamins for hair growth?
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that facilitates the growth and development of epithelial tissues such as skin, sebaceous gland, and hair. Consumption of the right amount of vitamin A improves sebum production. The latter keeps your scalp and hair moisturized.
Vitamin A is also crucial because it’s responsible for producing new cells in the body and hair is among the fastest-growing tissue in the body. However, too much vitamin A may cause more harm than good as it may reduce the number and length of your hair follicle─ causing hair loss.
Food that is rich in vitamin A include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Cod liver
- Red pepper
Consulting with a medical professional can help you find a good balance to make sure you have a sufficient amount but not too much.
2. Vitamin B
Vitamin B is another choice for hair, skin, and nails vitamins that can yield amazing results. Different vitamins in the B family have different impacts on your hair. Check out these benefits.
Biotin is first on the list as it’s known as the “hair growth vitamin”. Hair loss, uncombable hair and thinning hair among kids are associated with the lack of biotin.
Foods rich in biotin include:
- Sweet potato
- Peanut butter
This vitamin plays a major part in the development of red blood cells. The cells carry oxygen to the body─ which includes hair. Although b12 only helps the hair growth within the normal range (typically dictated by genetics), studies have shown that it can help with hair loss.
Food rich in vitamin b12 include:
- Whey powder
Folic acid (Folate)
This is a water-soluble B vitamin while folic acid is the oxidized form of the vitamin that’s used in dietary supplements. It facilitates the generation of red blood cells, which transports oxygen to the hair. It also prevents hair fall, greying hair and helps rebuild your hair’s follicle cells.
Food rich in folate include:
- Green peas
- White beans
- Black-eyes peas
- Brussel sprouts
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
This is also a water-soluble B vitamin and derivative of tetradecyl nicotinate and octyl nicotinate. Both of these help to increase the hair volume in females.
Foods rich in vitamin b3 include:
- Marinara spaghetti sauce
- Brown rice
- Sunflower seeds
Although more research is being conducted to confirm this fully, it’s worth the trial.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble mineral and it’s present in multiple foods. Vitamin C is a crucial physiological antioxidant that generates antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E.
Researchers are still conducting experiments to see whether vitamin C stops the damaging effects of free radicals using its antioxidant effect. The latter prevents the development of certain cancers by reducing oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress causes the aging of hair so blocking it is good for the hair. You also require vitamin C in your body to create collagen, an essential protein in your hair structure. Lastly, vitamin C helps in absorbing iron, which is crucial for your hair growth.
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
4. Vitamin D
This is a fat-soluble vitamin that is also known as ergosterol (provitamin D2), calciferol (vitamin D3), ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol. Vitamin D helps in improving the healthy immune function, calcium regulation, and cell growth.
Studies have shown that a lack of vitamin D can lead to alopecia areata (the medical term for hair loss) and alter with the regular postnatal hair follicle cycle. Fortunately, rubbing synthetic vitamin D ointment on the skin can treat alopecia areata.
Besides exposure to direct sun rays, you can boost your Vitamin D by consuming the following:
Vitamin D supplements are therapeutic for individuals suffering from telogen effluvium, female pattern hair loss, and alopecia areata. Although vitamin D is said to play a part in hair growth, how it helps is yet to be established.
5. Vitamin E
This is a group of fat-soluble components with rich antioxidants. Although it exists in multiple forms, humans can only consume tocopherol.
Vitamin E is among the leading vitamins that promote hair growth and it’s universally used in home recipes meant to boost strong, healthy, and thick hair. A study conducted on people with hair loss to show the impact of tocopherol showed significant growth on the number and length of hair strands after eight months. This happened because tocopherol helps in reducing oxidative stress on their scalps allowing growth.
Foods rich in vitamin E include:
- Dried herbs
- Sunflower seeds
- Cooked spinach
Do Vitamins That Promote Hair Growth Really Work?
Like any part of your body, your hair requires being fed continuously with nutrients and vitamins to stay healthy. Taking vitamins that promote hair growth is one way to get started. You will not see overnight changes but with consistency, you’ll start seeing great results.
You can supply your body with these vitamins by eating a balanced diet. If you still need extra support, you can use vitamin supplements.
Keep in mind that some vitamin supplements may come with side effects. To avoid adverse effects, consult with an expert before using any supplement.
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