While hair strands are not alive, hair roots are. Therefore vitamins for hair growth are vitally important. In order for your hair roots to produce beautiful and healthy strands of hair, they need their daily dose of specific vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which can be obtained from a healthy diet or by taking nutritional supplements.
When you are deficient, it can lead to hair thinning or slow hair growth, which can be corrected in most cases by taking the recommended amounts of nutrients your body needs. On the other hand, if you are wondering about the possibility of increasing the rate of hair growth by taking nutritional supplements, unfortunately there is no sufficient evidence that can support this possibility.
Vitamins for Hair Growth
The antioxidant, Vitamin A protects the hair roots from the harmful effects of free radicals. These molecules can reduce the amount of nutrients getting to the hair shafts by breaking hair follicle cells down, which will consequently lead to hair loss or slower hair growth. In addition, retinoids supplied by vitamin A will stimulate the scalp and hair follicles, promoting hair re-growth and preventing hair fall. Food sources of vitamin A include apricots, broccoli, carrots, cheese or eggs.
Vitamin C is another antioxidant that treats and protects your hair and its deficiency is known to affect your hair, making it dry and brittle. Food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, mango, papaya or potato.
Vitamin B complex is especially important for maintaining a healthy head of hair, as vitamins B3, B6 and B12 strengthen the hair shaft, improve blood circulation to the scalp and promote a healthy nervous system, making you more resilient to stress, which is one of the main causes of hair loss. Vitamin B deficiency is known to slow down cell division in hair follicles, making you more susceptible to hair loss. Natural food sources of vitamin B complex include nuts, beans, eggs, fortified bread, pasta and cereals.
Zinc promotes healthy hair follicle cell division as well as also protecting your hair and hair follicles from free radicals, since it is another important antioxidant.
Calcium influences cell-mediator molecules that act on the hair follicle. It carries and releases enzymes and hormones which affect nearly every function in the body, and this includes the growth of hair.
Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent causes of hair thinning. This mineral oxygenates the blood, improves blood circulation to the scalp and influences the body’s hormone production, which can also affect hair growth.
The amino acids L-cysteine, L-methionine and L-lysine are the building blocks of your body, making up your blood cells, skin, nails, muscles and hair. Amino acids do not only make up proteins, but transport oxygen and vital nutrients to the hair follicles. They build up the fibrous molecules of keratin, which is the most important component of hair. Food sources of these amino acids include soy foods and animal proteins, such as eggs, meats, cheese, yogurt or milk.