Your hair reflects the overall condition of your health, and may be your shining glory if your body is well-nourished and healthy. You may not be aware, but certain vitamins are necessary to have long and healthy hair.
Vitamins are the important nutrients that perform number of functions in the body. So, if you are suffering from any nutritional deficiency, your hair may show signs of damage or stop growing. If this happens to you, check to make sure that your daily diet contains the required amounts of vitamins. Which are the essential vitamins for hair growth? Let us take a look at these vitamins in detail.
Vitamin B is necessary for long and healthy hair. B vitamins can be found in carrots, soy, beans, cauliflower, peas, nuts, bran, wholegrain, eggs and some proteins. The vitamins in question are:
Vitamin B3: Vitamin B-3 is also known as niacin. It nourishes and promotes blood circulation in the scalp. Excellent sources of vitamin B3 are chicken, fish, turkey, meat, brewer’s yeast, crimini mushrooms, asparagus and wheat germ.
Vitamin B5: Also known as panthenol or panthotenic acid, this vitamin stops hair loss as well as encourages hair growth. Vitamin B5 also prevents graying of hair. You can stock up on this one by consuming whole grain cereals, egg yolks, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, cauliflower, broccoli, sunflower seeds, winter squash and turnip greens.
Vitamins B6: Vitamin B6 or Pyrodoxine helps in converting amino acid into Niacin and is present in pork, chicken, avocado, oatmeal, and sunflower seeds. It is an essential nutrient that prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth. Vitamin B5 helps in the production of melanin in the body, which gives color to the hair. Sources of this vitamin for hair growth are brewer’s yeasts, bell peppers, turnip greens, spinach, multi grains, liver, organ meats, and egg yolks.
Cobalamin: Commonly known as vitamin B12, this plays an important role in hair growth. It prevents hair loss and can be found in fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, meat – especially liver and dairy products.
Biotin: It’s a water soluble B-complex vitamin (Vitamin B7) that prevents hair from graying prematurely. It’s an essential vitamin for hair growth and it particularly prevents hair loss in men. You can get this vitamin from dairy products, soybeans, brown rice, bulgur wheat, fish, legumes, walnuts, cauliflower, peanut butter and chocolate.
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA): It is a naturally occurring water soluble compound considered to be from Vitamin B complex. PABA may prevent hair from graying and is found in eggs, bran, wheat germ, kidney, liver, yogurt and brewer’s yeast.
Inositol (Vitamin Bh): Inositol is a naturally occurring nutrient that plays an important role in hair growth. It’s present in foods like chickpeas, cantaloupe, calves’ liver, lecithin granules, nuts, rice, lentils, oats, citrus fruits (except lemons), pork, and whole grain.
It’s an important vitamin for hair growth, especially beneficial for the hair follicles, as it keeps the hair roots lubricated. Vitamin A assists in the production of sebum, an oily substance responsible for keeping the hair waterproof as well as preventing it from drying out. Insufficient sebum production will give rise to dry hair which is more vulnerable to falling out and breaking. Hence, an individual suffering from vitamin A deficiency will experience dry scalp and dandruff. Vitamin A, also called Retinol is necessary for normal growth of the body and it helps in maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Vitamin A is found in meat, fish, liver oil, milk, cheese, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, red, orange and yellow vegetables. But be careful while consuming Vitamin A as your body doesn’t break it like it does other vitamins. So don’t take Vitamin A more than you require as it can build up to dangerous levels in your body.
Beta-carotene: Beta-carotene is important to hair growth. It is a compound that can be easily converted into vitamin A, which helps in maintaining the normal growth of your body, hair, skin and nails.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant known for preventing colds, but did you know it’s also a good vitamin for hair growth? It aids in the production of collagen which responsible for the health of your skin and hair. It improves blood circulation in the scalp which keeps the hair follicles stimulated thereby promoting hair growth. High quantities of Vitamin C is found in lemons, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwis, limes, tomatoes, pineapples, potatoes, dark green vegetables, green and red peppers. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to spit ends, damaged hair and breakage. Eat a lot of these foods and you’ll never have a deficiency in this vitamin.
Apart from the above discussed vitamins for hair growth, others like vitamin E are also essential for hair growth. It is thought to promote hair growth by improving immune function. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that stimulates blood circulation in the scalp. When the blood circulation increases, more nutrients become available to the hair follicles so they can grow healthier and stronger hair.
Vitamin E is present in wheat germ oils, cold-pressed plant oils, olive and corn oil, soybeans, nuts, raw seeds, dried beans, and green leafy vegetables. It is advisable to consume the recommend dose of Vitamin E as it can raise blood pressure and lower the clotting capability of the blood.
On the other hand, there are few minerals like iron and copper that are also important for the prevention of hair loss and for proper hair growth. You can get iron from green leafy veggies and Copper from seeds nuts and seafood.
Lastly, if you smoke – please stop. Smoking shrinks your blood capillaries meaning less blood going to your hair roots.