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.
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