Woman Beautiful Hair

Keeping your hair healthy and beautiful requires proper nutrition. Certain key vitamins are especially important.

Does your hair need some love? Healthy, shiny hair is about more than just the shampoo and conditioner you use. What you put into your body matters just as much as what you put into your hair, and vitamins and supplements are a crucial hidden weapon in the fight for healthy, shiny hair.

However, when it comes to transforming your hair from damaged to dazzling, not every vitamin is equal. Here are six of the best vitamins you can take for great hair health from the inside out.

Food With Vitamin A

Vitamin A is critical for cell growth, and may help your hair grow faster.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is often praised for its role in healthy, glowing skin, but did you know it’s also great for haircare? Vitamin A is essential for cell growth — including hair cells. For fast-growing hair, vitamin A is known to help. In fact, many hair loss treatments include vitamin A as an ingredient for this very reason!

Vitamin A also helps your skin glands create sebum, an oily substance that will keep your scalp moisturized and your hair hydrated.[1]

However, there is such a thing as too much vitamin A. In fact, overdoses of vitamin A can actually cause hair loss, so make sure you don’t exceed the recommended dosage.

Foods Rich in Biotin Vitamin B7

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is reportedly important for thick, healthy hair.

Biotin

If you have ever looked at the ingredients on the bottle of a skin, hair, and nails supplement, chances are you’ve seen biotin listed. This is because biotin is hair’s best friend — and it’s not too shabby when it comes to your nails and your skin either.

Biotin helps your body turn food into energy, and is essential for producing keratin, the protein that makes up your skin, nails, and hair. This makes it the perfect vitamin for promoting thick, healthy hair growth. In fact, studies have shown that women with thinning hair saw a visible increase in their hair’s volume and thickness after taking supplements that contained biotin.[2]

Biotin can also help prevent hair loss: biotin deficiencies have been found in 38% of women struggling with hair loss.[3] It’s no wonder that so many hair supplements rely on this handy little vitamin.

Collagen

Known for its benefits to skin, collagen is also helpful for healthy hair.

Collagen

Another nutrient often celebrated for its role in skincare, collagen can also do wonders for your hair.

As the most abundant protein in your body, collagen — like biotin — helps create the keratin that your hair is made up of. This makes it an important ingredient when it comes to helping your hair grow faster and stronger.

But collagen also helps fight damage by protecting your hair from free radicals — compounds that harm your cells, proteins, and hair follicles.[4] Studies have also found that collagen helps slow down premature hair graying[5] and hair thinning caused by aging.[6] With so many benefits, collagen is a must-add to your nutrition routine.

Foods With Vitamin E

Want strong, healthy hair? Make sure you are getting sufficient vitamin E.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E promotes healthy skin — including the skin on your scalp. Since a healthy scalp is necessary for healthy hair,[7] it pays to keep the skin on your head happy.

As an antioxidant, vitamin E rejuvenates, moisturizes, and increases blood supply to the scalp, which encourages your hair to grow faster.[8] This is a proven method of increasing hair growth, with medications like minoxidil using the same method to stimulate hair growth in patients suffering hair loss and hair thinning.

Vitamin E also makes your hair stronger, reducing the free radicals and oxidative stress that cause weak, easily broken hair follicle cells. As damaged hair often breaks easily, vitamin E is the perfect solution, reducing breakage, split ends, and hair fall.

Vitamin C Rich Foods

Studies have shown vitamin C can help fight hair loss.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C creates the protein known as collagen, so it’s no surprise that like collagen, it’s great for combatting hair loss. But vitamin C has plenty of other haircare benefits too.

Vitamin C also fights dandruff by fighting bacteria on your scalp, getting rid of debris, and soothing dry, itchy skin. What’s more, a diet that’s heavy in vitamin C has been shown to fight hair loss, preventing baldness in men and alopecia.[9] One of the main culprits of hair loss is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which causes miniaturization and shrinkage of hair follicles. Vitamin C suppresses this hormone, preventing it from causing hair fall.[10]

Foods Rich in Iron

Iron is an important nutrient for hair growth.

Iron

Like collagen and vitamin C, iron plays an important role in hair growth. Studies have found a link between iron deficiencies and hair loss,[11] and iron helps your skin stay thick and strong. By the way, it does the same for your nails — both your hair and nails are made from keratin, after all.

Iron works by boosting circulation, helping oxygen get to your cells faster. Without it, your scalp won’t receive the blood flow it needs to let your hair grow.

Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is just the first step: beautiful hair happens from within.

Once hair is damaged it can be hard to turn back time. However, what you put into your body has a powerful effect on your hair’s health — and taking the right vitamins can make a real difference to your hair.

References:

  1. Everts, Helen B: “Endogenous retinoids in the hair follicle and sebaceous gland”, September 3 2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21914489/
  2. Glynis, Ablon: “A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair”, November 5 2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509882/
  3. Trüeb, Ralph M: “Serum Biotin Levels in Women Complaining of Hair Loss”, June 2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989391/
  4. Trüeb, Ralph M: “The impact of oxidative stress on hair”, December 2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26574302/
  5. Abedin, Zainul et al: “Biochemical and radical-scavenging properties of sea cucumber (Stichopus vastus) collagen hydrolysates”, March 27 2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24670209/
  6. Varani, James et al: “Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin”, June 2006, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1606623/
  7. Schwartz, J R: “The role of oxidative damage in poor scalp health: ramifications to causality and associated hair growth”, December 2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26574300/
  8. Rossi, Alfredo et al: “Minoxidil Use in Dermatology, Side Effects and Recent Patents”, 2012, eurekaselect.com/article/41603
  9. Almohanna, Hind M. et al: “The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review”, December 13 2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
  10. Kwack, Mi Hee et al: “L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate represses the dihydrotestosterone-induced dickkopf-1 expression in human balding dermal papilla cells”, December 2010, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20701628/
  11. Park, Song Youn et al: “Iron plays a certain role in patterned hair loss”, June 2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23772161/





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