7 Vitamins You Need for Healthy Hair Growth
These vitamins are essential to many of your day to day body functions. However, we will be focusing on their role in your hair health & growth.
1. Biotin or B7
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. That means it's not stored in your body for long. You can’t overdose on it, because your body will urinate out what you don’t need or what it doesn’t use. Your body doesn't naturally produce it, either. However, the bacteria in your gut can produce biotin.
- It is found in various foods like liver, salmon, carrots, yeast, soy flour, bananas
- Promotes healthy hair and scalp: biotin improves the infrastructure of keratin, a basic protein that makes up hair, skin, and nails. It can improve hair health—including thickness & fullenss.
- Malnutrition. Inadequate food and nutrient intake can lead to low nutrient levels, including biotin. Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can decrease the gut bacteria's production of biotin.
- 300 mcg per day to prevent deficiency. –Up to 10 mg per day is tolerable if used to treat deficiency per physician recommendation.
2. Folic Acid/Folate or B9
The manmade form of folate is called folic acid also known as vitamin B9. Folate is another water soluble vitamin that your body can't make, so you need to get it from your diet or supplements.
- Found in foods like leafy green vegetable, rice , nuts, beans, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, avocado, orange.
Why does your hair need folate?folic acid helps to promote hair growth, add volume and even reduce the rate of premature greying—it amps up the body's cell production processes. “If you're deficient in folate, taking supplements may result in the growth of new hair.
What causes a lack of folate?A diet low in fresh fruits, vegetables, and fortified cereals is the main cause of folate deficiency. In addition, overcooking your food can sometimes destroy the vitamins. Folate levels in your body can become low in just a few weeks if you don't eat enough folate-rich foods.
3. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a micronutrient that your body uses for proper metabolism, nervous system function and antioxidant protection. Because it’s such an essential nutrient — you must get it from food, as your body cannot produce it on its own.
Niacin also helps the body make sex- and stress-related hormones and improves circulation and cholesterol levels.
- Promotes healthy skin and hair
- It may possess some anti-aging effects on skin
What causes Niacin Deficiency
Note that a Niacin deficiency is extremely rare, usually only occurs where food is scarce. Some symptoms include:
Why does your hair need Niacin?
It improves blood circulation, Niacin also brings oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle – the main reason why it's vital for healthy hair growth. You can't have healthy hair without a healthy scalp.
Foods with Niacin
A niacin deficiency is rare because it is found in many foods, both from animals and plants.
- Red meat: beef, beef liver, pork
- Poultry, Fish, Brown rice, Fortified cereals and breads, Nuts, seeds, Legumes
4. Vitamin B6 as Pyridoxine
B6 enhances the circulation and promotes hair growth. Found in food sources like bananas, meats, vegetables & nuts.
Foods with B6
richest sources of vitamin B6 include fish, beef, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, and fruit (other than citrus).
Why does your hair need B6?
supports healthy hair growth because of its role in protein metabolism. Vitamin B6 also ensures that hair cells have access to the amino acids (building blocks of protein) needed to make hair proteins.
5. Vitamin C / Ascorbic Acid
- Anti-oxidant effects
- Increases the absorption of iron
Vitamin C deficiency (according to Healthline.com)
- poor diet, alcoholism, anorexia, smoking and dialysis
- Dry and scaly skin, –Dry hair
- Increased needs in smokers
Best food sources of vitamin C (per cup) include
- Acerola cherry: 2,740% of the RDI *in Vale’30
- Guava: 628% of the RDI
- Blackcurrants: 338% of the RDI
- Sweet red pepper: 317% of the RDI
- Kiwifruit: 273% of the RDI
- Lychee: 226% of the RDI
- Lemon: 187% of the RDI
- Orange: 160% of the RDI
- Strawberry: 149% of the RDI
- Papaya: 144% of the RDI
- Broccoli: 135% of the RDI
- Parsley: 133% of the RDI
Why does your hair need Vitamin C?
Vitamin C benefits for your hair are from a property in the vitamin that creates the protein, collagen. Vitamin C promotes hair health, reduces hair loss and improves hair growth. Vitamin C deficiency can also result in dry hair and split ends.
loss of appetite, and impaired immune function. In more severe cases, zinc deficiency causes hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in males, and eye and skin lesions
Why does your hair need Zinc?
Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly. Hair loss is a common symptom of zinc deficiency
What causes a lack of Zinc?
A poor diet can cause zinc deficiency. So it is more common in malnourished children and adults and in people who are unable to eat a normal diet due to circumstances or illness. Lots of zinc intake is from meat and seafood, so vegetarians may be more prone to deficiency.
Foods with Zinc (according to healthline.com)
Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet.
- chickpeas, lentils and beans
- pine nuts, peanuts, cashews and almonds
- cheese and milk & eggs
- 100-gram (3.5-ounce) bar of 70–85% dark chocolate contains 3.3 mg of zinc, or 30% of the DV
- However, 100 grams of dark chocolate also contain 600 calories. So while it provides some healthy nutrients, it is a high-calorie food.
Iron is not made in the body and must be absorbed from what you eat. The adult minimum daily requirement of iron is 1.8 mg. Only about 10 to 30 percent of the iron you consume is absorbed and used by the body. The daily requirement of iron can be achieved by taking iron supplements.
- Iron supplements in multivitamin or extra doses of iron may prevent hair loss
- Ferrous sulfate (20% elemental)300mg BID or TID daily (60mg elemental iron in each dose),
- Apart from calcium supplements if possible
- Not taking with tea or coffee
- Vitamin C increases the absorption
- Patients with gastric bypass surgery may need more
Iron deficiency symptoms (anemia)
- Extreme fatigue
- Pale skin.
- Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath.
- Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Cold hands and feet.
- Inflammation or soreness of your tongue.
- Brittle nails.
Why does your hair need Iron?
Iron helps boost circulation and carries oxygen to your hair's roots, which helps the hair grow faster and longer. An iron deficiency can lead to hair loss.
What causes a lack of Iron?
In women of childbearing age, a common cause of iron-deficiency anemiaTrusted Source is a loss of iron in the blood due to heavy menstruation or pregnancy. A poor diet, or certain intestinal diseases that affect how the body absorbs iron, can also cause iron-deficiency anemia.
Foods with Iron (according to healthline.com)
- Prune juice,
- Dried apricots
- Squash & pumpkin seeds
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