If your diet is poor and doesn’t address your nutritional deficiencies then your body’s health is going to suffer, and that includes your hair. Sometimes we get off-track by eating junk foods. This is fine if you go on a vacation somewhere, or you get sick, but generally, you should always be focused on a healthy diet.
Eating properly and being careful about what types of hair care products you put on your scalp are important, but it’s also important to take essential nutrients in the form of supplements, to help give your hair a good boost of care.
Signs of Nutritionally Deficient Hair
Hair thinning and loss can affect both men and women. This often happens gradually as we age. Every five years or so we must consider our health, visit our family medical doctor, and consider eating healthier.
Hormonal changes as we age can cause our hair to thin out and fall out. Certain diseases or medical treatments such as chemotherapy can cause unnatural hair loss too. Some of it can be attributed to genetics, which is particularly applicable to men. Some of it can be attributed to nutritional deficiencies which were never addressed when you were younger, while some are from a changing but poor diet.
If your hair suddenly deteriorates, you may need a proper medical diagnosis from your doctor. But if your hair is slowly getting thinner or more brittle or grey, this can most likely be corrected by taking nutritional supplements, such as vitamins and minerals.
Why Do I Need Beautiful Hair?
Many people value a beautiful head of hair, especially in the media and film industries. But you really should be doing it for yourself. A healthy head of hair also means your skin will have a natural glow, and that your body is getting all the nutrients it requires. At times we may be too busy to curl and style our hair, instead of putting it up in a ponytail or bun, but we can certainly improve our looks through supplemental nutrients.
What Types of Vitamins Encourage Hair Growth?
There is a wide range of vitamins, but you may be confused as to which ones are the best to take to improve your hair growth. We suggest making it simple and taking the top five best vitamins to encourage hair growth.
Vitamin A for Hair Growth
We’ll start at the beginning with vitamin A. This is one of the main essential nutrients that your tissue and hair need to grow. Did you know that sebum is an oily substance that is essential to hair growth? Washing your hair too often, or lacking vitamin A can lead to hair loss. Vitamin A will help to moisturize your scalp and keep your hair soft and silky. You can get A from green leafy vegetables, and orange vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
B Vitamins to Increase Hair Growth
The B vitamins contain a wide range of beneficial properties for hair. These help to build red blood cells that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles on your scalp. The best to focus on for haircare is biotin. When scientists have studied hair loss in humans the first thing they noted was that there was a biotin deficiency. This is rare, but it does happen. You can find the Bs in whole grain foods, nuts, meat, seafood and fish, and dark leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C to Prevent Free Radical Damage
Vitamin C works wonders at stopping free radicals, also known as toxins, from harming your body’s cells, tissue, and hair. The body also utilizes vitamin C to create a specific protein called collagen. Collagen is what your scalp uses to create hair follicles. Vitamin C will also aid in your body absorbing iron, which is also an essential nutrient in growing hair. You can find vitamin C in most fruits, but citrus fruits have higher amounts.
Vitamin D’s Strong Ties to Healthy Hair
For people with alopecia, an abnormal condition of excessive hair loss, low levels of vitamin D will be indicated. D is the essential nutrient that helps create new hair follicles. Hair follicles are tiny pores in your scalp where the new hair will grow in. You can also get vitamin D from the sun, but most people lack it. This is one of the nutrients for healthy hair that you should be focussing on. Besides the sun, you can get D from fish products and mushrooms.
Vitamin E’s Antioxidant Properties
Just like vitamin C, vitamin E is also an antioxidant that your body needs. In studies, people who increased their vitamin E intake experienced significant hair growth over eight months. Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and avocados provide good sources of this nutrient.
What Types of Minerals Encourage Hair Growth?
There are a couple of minerals that work better at boosting hair growth than the others. You’ll want to focus on iron and zinc.
Iron Is the Top Mineral
A lack of iron in the body can lead to some serious ailments that include anemia and also hair loss. This is a more common complaint in women who menstruate. It’s also simple to fix. Iron helps the red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s cells. It’s one of the most important minerals for hair growth. You can find it in eggs, red meat, other types of protein, and green leafy vegetables.
The Essential Mineral Zinc
Like iron, zinc is also a mineral that plays a strong role in hair growth. Like biotin, it’s also utilized by the oil glands to keep the hair follicles healthy. Along with the other deficiencies listed above, hair loss from a lack of zinc is also a concern. Supplementing with zinc can be tricky though. Studies have shown that if you take too much zinc, you can also suffer from hair loss. This is why it’s important to buy a good multi-supplement and take only the recommended dosage on the container label. You can also get zinc from oysters and beef, whole grains such as wheat germ, leafy greens like spinach, and lentils and pumpkin seeds.
Other Essential Nutrients Include Proteins
Eating enough protein is important, particularly if you’re a vegan. One entire strand of hair is made almost entirely of protein. Ensuring that you’re eating enough in your daily diet is important so that a protein deficiency doesn’t show first in your hair. Protein deficiencies are rare as it is contained in every single food we eat.
If you wish to focus on higher amounts of protein, it’s found in every type of meat, such as lamb, pork, and beef, and all types of fish and seafood. You can find high amounts of proteins in plant-based foods such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole-grain foods, and all types of lentils and beans.
Do These Supplements Really Work?
There may be some people online who don’t believe that vitamin and mineral supplements really work. But consider this – if you ate only meat and soft drinks each day, how would that impact your health? Our bodies need vitamins and minerals and proteins, from A to Z. Every single living cell, tissue, and organ inside our bodies utilize vitamins and minerals for growth, and to support our immune systems. Without these essential nutrients, our bodies would slow down and we’d have a shorter lifespan.
While eating foods that contain these vitamins and minerals is the best, it can honestly be hard to eat the seven to eight servings of fruits and vegetables on a day when you’re super busy. The next best way is to add a supplement to your diet to cover any of these deficiencies. Your body absorbs them in the same way so that your hair will grow thicker and fuller.
Do I Need a Hair Supplement?
You should make adjustments in your daily diet by eating foods that focus on healthy hair growth. If you’re concerned about nutritional deficiencies, you can visit your health clinic to have laboratory tests were done that will test for all types of vitamin, mineral, protein, and other nutritional deficiencies.
Even if your hair looks its best it may not stay that way over the next decade or so. Our health and nutritional needs can change as we age, as women have children, and having various illnesses, diseases, and even injuries can be a burden to the body’s immune system. But it’s really up to you. If you look at your hair now, and it’s dry, brittle, or falling out too quickly, you can benefit from choosing essential nutrients for healthy hair.
What Format of Vitamins & Minerals Should I Take?
Nutritional supplements come in pill, capsule, chewable, and liquid formats. It’s up to you to decide how to take them. Some come in multi-supplement format. If you want to cover ten essential nutrients, you probably don’t want to take ten pills, but taking one pill and adding vitamin D drops to your water in the morning will be much simpler.
There is a wide range of natural essential nutrients that will give you healthy hair. We suggest a good multi-vitamin, as it’s a lot easier taking one or two supplements, rather than taking them all individually. But it will take some time, as hair for the average person grows at about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch per month. Dedicate the next three or four months to your hair, with a good supplement full of essential nutrients, and soon you’ll start to see a big difference in how soft and full your hair looks!