Do you dream of having long luscious locks yet struggle to even grow your hair an inch longer than it already is? Do you deal with frustrating split ends and breakage? What about the feeling that your hair will only grow to a certain length (one that is way shorter than you wish)? What many people don’t realize is hair growth has a lot to do with diet. Here is our list of the top 11 vitamins for hair growth and healthy tresses.
1. Vitamin C
Most of us are aware that vitamin C can help boost our immunity, protecting us against frequent colds and other diseases. What many people don’t realize, though, is vitamin C can help strengthen hair and help it grow. That’s partly because vitamin C helps the body produce collagen, a vital protein for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Additionally, vitamin C is considered an antioxidant that fights free radicals that damage body tissue. Free radicals have been known to damage hair, making it weak and brittle. If you notice your hair breaking a lot or shedding, it may be due to vitamin C deficiency.
While you can simply take a vitamin C supplement, researchers say it’s best to load up on nutrients from whole foods. Some foods that are high in vitamin C include oranges, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, papayas, strawberries, kiwi, and red bell peppers.
Along with consuming nutritious foods, there are a number of great hair care products that are infused with vitamin C.
2. B Vitamins
Often referred to as vitamin B complex, all eight B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) play a large role in keeping us healthy. B vitamins affect our energy, metabolism, nerves, muscles, skin, nails, and hair. As a whole, vitamin B complex promotes cell growth and division, which is important for healthy hair growth. To make sure your body isn’t vitamin B deficient, it’s important to replenish your body’s supply daily. That’s because this type of vitamin is water-soluble, meaning the body can’t store it. Rather, whatever the body doesn’t use gets flushed out of your system through your urine. Some warning signs of deficiency include:
- Feeling weak or tired
- Bruising easily
- Hair not growing as fast as it used to
Vitamin B12 is the most important of the B vitamins, but for best results try to include them all in your daily diet plan. Again, the best way to load up on B vitamins is through the foods you eat. Some sources include meats, eggs, nuts, grains, and vegetables. If your diet is lacking in B vitamins, though, you can take a daily supplement. Additionally, some hair care products contain B vitamins for extra support.
If you want longer, healthier hair then don’t forget about Biotin. This is quickly becoming one of the most widely used supplements for faster hair growth. While biotin is a B vitamin it plays such a key role in keeping hair healthy that it needed its own spot. This vitamin helps produce glucose and break down proteins into amino acids. Since hair itself contains keratin, which is a form of protein, this supports healthy locks.
While most people do get enough Biotin from the foods they eat each day, it is a water soluble vitamin. Again, that means your body can’t retain it and flushes what it doesn’t use. So you need to get enough of it each day or you’ll run a deficit. Many hair care products now contain Biotin. However, that doesn’t mean you should ditch biotin-rich foods or supplements. Rather, a combination of both an internal and external supply seems to work best.
Some food sources of Biotin include mushrooms, avocados, eggs, salmon, peanut butter, and more.
Niacin is another vitamin that’s in the B family but deserves its own recognition. This vitamin helps to nourish the scalp, promoting healthy hair growth. Without adequate amounts of niacin, your hair stands the chance of becoming brittle, lifeless, and may even fall out.
Niacin deficiency is a condition called pellagra. Signs of pellagra include:
- Delusions or mental confusion
- Nausea (sometimes)
- Scaly skin sores
Foods that contain niacin include turkey, chicken breast, tuna, mushrooms, and avocado (just to name a few).
5. Vitamin E
While vitamin E is one of the most overlooked vitamins, it’s an antioxidant that repairs and builds tissue, which is essential for healthy hair growth. Along with eating vitamin E-rich foods (such as almonds, seeds, avocado, and broccoli), people are raving about the benefits they reap from its topical use. When you apply vitamin E to your scalp, it helps reduce inflammation, increases blood circulation, boosts oxygen supply, and repairs damaged hair follicles. Officials recommend massaging vitamin E oil into the hair and scalp at least twice a week to promote hair growth.
Try This Hair Mask For Healthy Tresses
- Open two vitamin E capsules and mix with coconut oil.
- Massage the mixture into your scalp using your fingertips in circular motions.
- Leave for at least 20 minutes (the longer the oil sits on your head, the better the results).
- Wash hair as usual.
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is another vitamin that’s necessary for proper cell growth. Also, it helps to produce sebum (AKA oils) on the scalp, which prevents hair from drying out and breaking. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, melons, and dark leafy greens. Some symptoms of vitamin A deficiency include vision and skin problems.
It’s important to note that it is possible to get too much Vitamin A, which is going to be counterproductive to your hair growth efforts.
7. Vitamin D
Nearly 85 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough of this important “sunshine” vitamin that promotes healthy follicle growth. One way to boost vitamin D levels is to spend some time outside in the sun. You don’t need that much in order to keep your body synthesizing its own Vitamin D — just around 15-20 minutes every day. While this isn’t difficult during the warm summer months, you may not be able to soak up enough sun during the winter. That’s where supplements and food come into play. Some vitamin D-rich foods include fatty fish (like salmon and tuna), eggs, mushrooms, and milk.
While not a vitamin, iron is an important mineral that your body needs in order to function properly. One way iron benefits the body is by strengthening hair and promoting growth. Without iron, doctors say your hair can become dull, thin, and dry. To find out if you are lacking in iron you can go for a simple blood test.
Foods that are rich in iron include red meat, oysters, and spinach.
Another mineral that your body needs in order to function properly is magnesium. Eating a diet filled with magnesium-rich foods such as salmon, nuts, and seeds, is one way to make sure you’re giving your scalp what it needs to grow strong and healthy hair. Unfortunately, nearly 80 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient. A lack of magnesium has been linked to heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, constipation, anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue.
While protein may not be a vitamin, it’s essential for healthy hair. That’s because hair is mostly made of protein. If you don’t consume enough, your body won’t be able to feed your hair follicles, making hair dry and brittle.
While many hair care products contain ingredients that are centered around protein, it’s always a good idea to eat enough of it in your diet too. Vegans and vegetarians need not fret, there are plenty of plant-based sources of protein, like quinoa, spinach, broccoli, and more. Protein helps the hair grow strong and also helps the speed at which it grows. If you’ve noticed sluggish growth, first check your protein intake.
They say to cover your vitamins from A to Zinc and that is certainly a smart choice if you’re looking for healthy hair growth. A zinc deficiency can weaken your immune system, lead to poor digestive health, throw your hormones out of wack, and play a part in lackluster hair growth. The good news is that it’s not too hard to keep up with your zinc requirements. Some foods that are rich in zinc include pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, mushrooms, garlic, spinach, and yogurt.
On average, human hair grows about six inches every year. Loading up on the 11 vitamins and minerals I mentioned above will help your hair reach that length. Some other things you can do to support healthy hair growth include:
- Stop using heat on your hair (hair dryers and straighteners)
- Don’t wash your hair every day
- Get regular haircuts to prevent split ends
Check out some other great hair care tips in this video by beauty blogger Jennifer Chiu:
Top 3 Vitamin Supplements for Hair Growth
Here is a hair growth supplement that not only contains the important ingredients we’ve covered above, but is also loaded with other nutrients that benefit hair. Unlike some companies that make a wide variety of health and beauty products, Toji is focused solely on helping people grow healthy hair.
The price on this supplement may be a little high for a hair product, but with the feedback it’s getting it may be worth it (especially if you are currently experiencing dull, lifeless hair that has trouble growing). A one-month supply would give you enough time to evaluate whether this is a good supplement for you.
- Uses 36 different ingredients to help hair grow.
- Is based on all-natural ingredients (ones that are proven to grow hair).
- Statistically significant data suggests it works.
- Quality standards during the manufacturing process.
Further Details: Toji: Pure Density
If you haven’t been nourishing your hair and need some help repairing your locks ASAP then this could be your go-to supplement. It doesn’t use any drugs. Rather, it contains the vitamins we’ve talked about in this article, as well as marine sources of nutrients in a proprietary blend.
This supplement has garnered a lot of positive feedback from its users. With hair growth products you want to find one that is making the majority of users happy and that’s what we’re seeing here. Also, the price is pretty reasonable for a one-month supply.
- Drug-free and side effect free.
- Combats common hair loss problems like stress and a poor diet.
- Specifically for those with thinning hair problems.
- User feedback is mostly positive.
Further Details: Viviscal Extra Strength
If you don’t think you’re eating and absorbing enough vitamins/minerals from your regular diet, this supplement can help. You can take this as a daily dietary supplement,or whenever you feel like you’re running low on vitamins.
Unlike other hair supplements out there, this one is value-priced and comes from a trusted source so you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your hair needs without having to break the bank.
- Contains vitamins hair needs daily.
- This is formulated for normal to dry hair.
- You can use it when your hair needs a boost.
- The price is right.
Further Details: Elements for Hair
Hair Vitamin FAQs
Do vitamins for hair really help it grow?
Compared to not getting adequate supplies of vitamins, it most definitely makes a difference in the health of your hair, and thus, it can be said that vitamins for hair really do help with hair growth. Of course, if you have a hereditary problem or a medical condition that is limiting your hair growth, they may not have an effect. If that’s the case you should seek additional treatment options.
Can I take prenatal vitamins for hair growth?
One noticeable side effect of prenatal vitamins is improved hair growth since the body is getting increased amounts of many of the vitamins that encourage hair growth. However, there are hair growth vitamins that you can buy that are specifically designed to grow hair and will have a vitamin profile geared directly towards hair growth and not geared toward providing proper nutrition for pregnancy.
Can vitamins help regrow hair?
If you have male pattern baldness then taking vitamins may only help the hair grow in places that aren’t affected. If you’ve been experiencing hair loss related to stress or other factors, you may notice an improvement when you start loading up on all of the vitamins that hair needs to grow properly. Lifestyle changes may also help since you can mitigate stress with daily exercise or help to improve whatever situation is causing the hair loss.
Do multivitamins make hair grow faster?
Taking a multivitamin is one way to cover your nutritional gaps as long as you’re using a whole food supplement. That means the vitamin is made from whole foods and not a synthetic source. If you really want to give your hair the best chance to grow you should go with a supplement that is geared toward hair growth. We’ve talked about three supplements just a minute ago.
Do vitamins change hair color?
There are many products out there that claim they can get your hair back to its original color using a combination of vitamins and minerals. It’s the B vitamins that rank highly in this regard, so if you’re considering a supplement to get your hair color back, make sure it covers the family of B Vitamins, including Biotin.
Should I buy organic vitamins for hair growth?
If available you should always opt for organic products, especially when you’ll be ingesting them. Buying organic vitamins also means that you’ll be getting them from whole food sources so your body will be better able to absorb them.
Are there any side effects of vitamins for hair?
You don’t need to take excessive amounts of vitamins in order to have optimal hair growth. In fact, it can be detrimental to your goal if you overload the body with certain vitamins and minerals. Always make sure you’re getting just enough and not running a deficit, rather than trying to run a surplus. Getting more than you need does not provide better results.
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