Good nutrition and the intake of a sufficient amount of vitamins and
minerals are essential for the growth
of healthy hair, just as it is important for overall health. The
body as a whole needs a wide array of vitamins and minerals; however,
there are several that are very important specifically for the healthy
growth and development of hair.
There are a lot of factors that affect the growth of hair. These factors, such as the toxins in our environment, stress, exposure to the sun, cigarette smoke, lack of sleep, and an excessive consumption of alcohol, are present in our everyday lives. Exposure to these items can cause poor health and, in addition to that, dull, lifeless hair as well.
To counteract the negative effects brought about by exposure to these factors, one must have a proper diet that supplies the body with the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to operate in an optimal level. Any deficiencies in nutrition can cause thinning of the hair and even baldness.
The creation of healthy, beautiful hair requires the use of a combination
of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. The follicular cells metabolic
requirements must be met in order to promote and maintain optimum
growth of hair. The vitamins for hair growth must be present in
appropriate amounts; if these vitamins are not present or if the
body does not meet the required daily amounts, hair being grown
on the scalp may not be as healthy.
Vitamins that promote hair growth are very common and can be found in a lot of sources. These vitamins for the promotion of hair growth are:
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that aids in the production of sebum on the scalp. Good sources for this vitamin are fish liver oil, milk, cheese, meat, eggs, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, apricots, peaches, and carrots. A daily dose of 5000 IU is recommended; bear in mind that too much intake of this vitamin, specifically intake of more than 25,000 IU, in a day is toxic and can cause harmful side effects such as hair loss and other health problems.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. Good sources for this vitamin are citrus fruits, pineapples, tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi fruit, cantaloupes, green peppers, potatoes, and dark green vegetables. A recommended daily dose of 60 mg is needed.
Vitamin is a common antioxidant that enhances the circulation of blood in the scalp. Sources for Vitamin E are wheat germ oil, soybeans, cold pressed vegetable oils, raw seeds and nuts, green leafy vegetables, and dried beans. A daily dose of 400 IU is recommended; exceeding this recommended amount can lead to an increase in blood pressure and may also reduce the ability of blood to clot. Individuals who are taking medication for high blood pressure or anticoagulants should consult with their physicians before using these supplements.
Biotin promotes the production of keratin which helps in preventing hair loss and the discoloration of hair. Sources for biotin are whole grains, egg yolks, liver, rice, milk, and brewer’s yeast.
Inositol is a substance that maintains the health of hair follicles
at a cellular level. Sources for this vitamin are liver, citrus
fruits, brewer's yeast, and whole grains.
Niacin or Vitamin B3 promotes the circulation of blood in the scalp. Sources for niacin are fish, chicken, turkey, meat, and wheat germ. The recommended daily dose of niacin is 15 mg, taking more than this recommended amount can cause a condition called niacin flush which is a temporary sensation of heat caused by the dilation of blood cells.
Pantothenic acid or Vitamin B5 prevents the loss of hair and hair graying. Sources are organ meat, egg yolks, whole grain cereals.
Vitamin B6 prevents the loss of hair and promotes the creation of melanin which gives hair color. Vitamin B12 also prevents the loss of hair.