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10 Best Vitamins and Minerals for Hair Growth


pills 347609 1920 10 Best Vitamins and Minerals for Hair Growth

Want to grow your hair a little faster? There are vitamins and minerals that help your hair growth. Hair, like any other part of your body, needs to be nourished to build up. Although factors such as age, genetics, and hormones also affect hair growth, an optimal supply of nutrients is essential. Nutritional deficiency, sudden weight loss, and severe stress can impact hair structure and growth and cause acute telogen effluvium (TE).

A varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle remain the basis for beautiful, healthy, shiny, and full hair. Many nutritional deficiencies are linked to hair loss.

Keratin is mainly composed of hair proteins (methionine and cysteine), which make up 90% of each hair. The rest is made up of water, pigments, and lipids (natural fats). Keratin is also present in the fingernails and toenails and in the skin and guarantees firmness and resistance. As soon as the hair is lacking in nutrients, the effects are visible: it loses its tone, falls out, does not renew itself well, dries out, dandruff appears… This is why it is important to provide the right nutrients to these hair proteins.

If your hair shows signs of weakness, a dietary supplement or vitamin cure can improve its condition, whether it is to repair a lack of vitality due to temporary fatigue or hair loss. This will have an effect on both the tone and appearance of the hair.

Read the following to see the differences between the different complementary foods and the main vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for hair.

 Vitamin A

Vitamin A and its derivatives (retinoid) have great importance for the development and maintenance of multiple epithelial tissues, including skin[1].

Vitamin A also helps the skin glands make an oily substance called sebum, which is a yellowish, oily substance secreted by the aptly named sebaceous glands found on almost every surface of the body. Sebum moisturizes the scalp and prevents the skin from becoming too dry.

A study on rats has shown the effects of vitamin A deficiency, such as alopecia, eye damage, and low levels of retinol in plasma and liver. [2]

Although it is important to get enough vitamin A, too much can be dangerous. Excessive intake of preformed vitamin A (usually in the form of supplements or certain medications) can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, coma, and even death.

High intakes of preformed vitamin A in pregnant women can also cause birth defects in their babies.

Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, and kale are all rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A.

Vitamin A is also found in animal products such as milk, eggs, and yogurt. Cod liver oil is a particularly good source.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is one of the eight B vitamins. It not only contributes to healthy hair, but can also contribute to better overall health. Your body needs vitamin B12 to turn the food you eat into energy. That’s why people with vitamin B12 deficiency sometimes feel lethargic and tired. Vitamin B12 also plays a role in cell formation, immune system function, and mood regulation.

Vitamin B12 is also beneficial for hair growth. Vitamin B12 is important for the creation of red blood cells, which nourish the hair follicles with nutrients and oxygen for healthy hair growth.

When vitamin B12 levels are low, hair follicles may not be able to grow new hair as effectively. A vitamin B12 deficiency can, therefore, have the side effect of hair loss.


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Your body does not make vitamin B12 on its own. It is therefore important to consume vitamin B12 daily, either through your diet or through supplements.

Animal products, such as meat and dairy products, are the most common sources of vitamin B12. Foods that contain vitamin B12:  Clams, sardines, liver, beef, fortified B12 cereals, tuna, salmon, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, etc.

Make sure you get enough healthy vitamins and minerals for your hair by eating a diet rich in lean meats, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. Or take a dietary supplement that is clinically proven to promote hair growth.

However, vitamin B12 deficiency cannot be diagnosed solely on the basis of hair growth patterns. If you suspect vitamin B12 deficiency or are concerned about hair loss, consult your doctor.

Biotin

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the family of B vitamins. It is also known as vitamin H. Biotin is an essential vitamin, which means your body needs this micronutrient to function properly. Biotin is often considered one of the best hair vitamins, and may even be the best.

Biotin has the immense advantage of promoting hair growth and reducing hair loss. Biotin increases the cellular regeneration of the hair, allowing it to grow back faster. On average, hair grows about 1.2 cm per month. If you wish to see their growth rate increase, you can, therefore, turn to a vitamin B8 treatment.

Vitamin B8 also helps to strengthen your hair by increasing cell density to increase its thickness. They will, therefore, be less brittle and have fewer split ends.

vitamin B8 regulates the production of sebum, which gives the hair an unpleasant greasy appearance. If your hair has this problem, don’t hesitate to turn to a vitamin B8 treatment. The biotin that you consume in food helps your body transform the food you eat (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) into energy.  It also plays an important role in the health of your hair, skin, and nails.

A 2012 study showed that the daily administration of a patented nutritional supplement significantly increased hair growth in women after 90 and 180 days.

An RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance does not exist for biotin because there is not enough evidence to suggest the daily amount needed by most healthy people. Instead, there is an AI (Adequate Intake) level, which is assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.

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Biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss or a red, scaly rash. However, a deficiency is rare. In most cases, the biotin you get from your diet is enough to provide you with the health benefits it offers. Taking a biotin supplement is likely to be effective in treating a biotin deficiency.

Biotin supplements can cause problems if you take too much. Side effects can include skin rashes, digestive problems, insulin release problems, and kidney problems.

Although there is no recommended dietary intake for biotin, it is often recommended that you take 2 to 5 mg (2000 to 5000 mcg) of biotin daily as a supplement to strengthen the hair shaft and get results.

Biotin is also found in a variety of common foods such as bananas, carrots, cooked egg yolks, sardines, nuts, legumes, brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, liver, cauliflower, salmon, and mushrooms.

Biotin deficiency can occur in people who drink alcohol excessively. Most people can take biotin supplements without any side effects, but minor side effects like nausea, cramps, diarrhea are possible.

Niacin

Vitamin B3 has many benefits on blood circulation, especially in the scalp, making it undoubtedly one of the best vitamins for the hair. Therefore, it limits the risk of dandruff by slowing down the degeneration of scalp cells. A scalp that is properly irrigated with blood also results in healthier, stronger hair that is less prone to falls.

Another very positive aspect of vitamin B3, or Niacin, is its ability to facilitate the absorption of biotin or vitamin B12. So don’t hesitate to take both vitamins at the same time to improve their effects.

The vitamin is found in large quantities in almonds, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage, radishes, and avocado.

 Vitamin C

Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant against free radicals that can block the growth and cause your hair to age.

Another benefit of vitamin C is that it increases blood circulation in the scalp, allowing the hair to receive the right nutrients and grow more easily. In addition, your body needs vitamin C to create a protein known as collagen, an important part of the hair structure.

Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, a mineral necessary for hair growth.

Some foods that are high in vitamin C are: Fruits such as orange, lemon, strawberries, kiwi and grapefruit, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, spinach, parsley, and guavas

 Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important nutrient, essential to our health. It boosts immunity, maintains strong bones and healthy skin, stimulates cell growth, and helps create new hair follicles. When there is not enough vitamin D in your system, new hair growth can be delayed. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to alopecia, also known as baldness, and a number of other health problems. Alopecia can affect both men and women.

A 2014 study published showed that hair grew back in mice two weeks after the introduction of vitamin D receptors in zero VDR rodents.

A number of symptoms, such as hair loss, can occur when your body lacks the recommended amount of vitamin D. Another study found that women aged 18 to 45 years who had alopecia or other types of hair loss had low levels of vitamin D.

Reasons for low vitamin D levels include spending more time indoors, wearing lots of sunscreens, and not eating foods containing this nutrient. Most people get most of their vitamin D from the sun. Not spending enough time in the sun or using too much sunscreen limits your exposure, which can lead to vitamin D deficiency.  If you can’t stay in the sun for long periods of time, try spending a little more time near a window where the sunlight passes.

At least 600 IU (International Units) – or 15 micrograms (mcg) – of vitamin D per day is recommended for children from 1 year of age.  For people over 70 years of age, the suggested intake increases to 800 IU (or 20 mcg).

Be sure to take the supplement with meals so that your body can properly absorb the fat-soluble vitamin.

Exposure to sunlight, a healthy diet consisting of foods that naturally contain vitamin D, or are fortified with vitamin D can improve your levels. Foods naturally rich in vitamin D are salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish, fish liver oils and animal fats are good sources. You can also eat foods fortified with vitamin D, such as certain cereals, milk, and orange juice.

However, vegan and vegetarian diets tend to lack vitamin D, so supplements may be necessary if you follow this lifestyle.

But be sure to talk to your doctor first about the best possible treatments for hair loss caused by vitamin D deficiency.

 Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that is available from many dietary sources as well as in supplements. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that can prevent oxidative stress.

Antioxidants are compounds that protect your body from oxidative damage and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or molecules that form when your body is subjected to external aggressions such as sunlight, pollution, tobacco, and aging. Free radicals are wild and are always on the lookout for free electrons. During this hunting process, they cause damage to your body.

The natural antioxidant properties of vitamin E help maintain healthy hair and scalp growth. Vitamin E, in addition to improving blood circulation in the scalp and establishing a favorable environment for the proper development of hair, also has a direct effect on the structure of the hair itself. it stimulates hair growth, prevents the hair aging process, improves shine and combats split ends.

A small study using a total of 38 volunteers suffering from hair loss examined the role of vitamin E in the prevention of hair loss. The study found that one of the components of vitamin E actually improved the volunteers’ hair growth compared to placebo.

Vitamin E is important for creating a protective barrier on the skin surface. This barrier helps retain moisture.

A 2010 study[3]  showed that vitamin E supplementation in capsule form increased the number of hairs in volunteers with hair loss compared to the placebo group.

The study showed that vitamin E, through its powerful antioxidant activity, helps reduce lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress of the scalp, which are known to be associated with alopecia.

As we said there are two types of vitamin E: natural and synthetic. Synthetic vitamin E is manufactured through sophisticated technological and medical processes. It is much cheaper than natural vitamin E but has a lower absorption rate. To be effective, synthetic vitamin E must be administered in much higher doses than natural vitamin E.

Natural Vitamin E is present in several types of foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, and vegetable oil.

Increasing the consumption of foods containing vitamin E is safe. But vitamin E supplements can interfere with other medications.

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), people need about 50% more synthetic vitamin E than natural vitamin E to get the same health benefits.

Many manufacturers of health and beauty products use vitamin E in their cosmetics and hair products to promote healthy skin and hair. Many shampoos and conditioners contain vitamin E.

 Iron

Iron is vital for the nutrition and oxygenation of the hair’s reproductive cells.  It is therefore an important mineral for many body functions, including hair growth.

Iron deficiency, which causes anemia, is a major cause of hair loss. It is particularly common in women. Pre-menopausal women are at increased risk due to menstrual blood loss, while post-menopausal women and men may experience gastrointestinal blood loss.

Foods rich in iron include clams, oysters, eggs, red meat, spinach, and lentils.

Vegans and vegetarians are also at greater risk of ID, as their dietary iron requirements are higher than those of meat-eaters.  Non-heme iron, found in plants, has a lower bioavailability than heme iron found in meat and fish. Its absorption is modulated by the presence of other nutrients in the diet. Vitamin C, as well as meat, fish, and poultry, promote the absorption of non-heme iron.

 Zinc

Zinc plays an important role in the hair growth and repair of hair tissue. It also contributes to the proper functioning of the sebaceous glands that surround the follicles.

Plant-based diets contain less saturated fat and cholesterol and more folic acid, fiber, and phytochemicals than omnivorous diets.  But some micronutrients, particularly zinc, are poorly bioavailable.

A 2013 study[4] on the effects of plant-based diets on dietary zinc intake and status in humans showed that dietary zinc intakes and serum zinc concentrations were significantly lower in populations that followed a usual vegetarian diet compared to non-vegetarians.

Hair loss is a common symptom of zinc deficiency. Studies show that zinc supplements reduce hair loss caused by zinc deficiency. However, taking too high a dose of supplements can also contribute to hair loss.  supplementation in the absence of known deficiencies is that zinc toxicity can occur with excessive supplementation. Acute adverse effects include pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, while chronic effects include interaction with iron and reduced immune function.

For this reason, it may be preferable to get zinc from whole foods. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and lentils.

An important point when considering supplementation in the absence of known deficiencies is that zinc toxicity can occur with excessive supplementation. In a clinical study[5] of 47 healthy volunteers (26 women and 21 men) subjects were asked to take 50 mg of elemental zinc (as 220 mg of zinc sulfate) or placebo three times daily for six weeks. Symptoms, which included headache, abdominal cramps, nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting, were recorded in 84% of women and 18% of men.

Acute adverse effects include pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, while chronic effects include interaction with iron and reduced immune function.

 Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral that plays a role in protecting against oxidative damage and in the morphogenesis of hair follicles.

– Selenium kills the fungi responsible for dandruff.

– Selenium is essential for the production of thyroid hormones that help regulate hair growth.

Selenium deficiency can occur when the blood is not able to absorb selenium properly. Other reasons for selenium deficiency include alcohol consumption, smoking, and taking birth control pills. Symptoms of selenium deficiency include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and hair loss.

However, selenium deficiency is quite rare. On the other hand, excessive amounts of selenium can also contribute to hair loss in some people.

One way to make sure you get enough selenium for hair growth is to include more selenium-rich foods in your diet. Selenium-rich foods include nuts, beef, tuna, eggs, beans, oatmeal, and spinach. However, you don’t need to eat a lot of these foods to make sure you get enough selenium.

If you think you may be deficient in selenium, ask your doctor what you can do to improve your selenium absorption.

 

  • Before using a dietary supplement, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice, especially to see if it interferes with current treatment.

 

References:

[1] Helen B Everts, Endogenous retinoids in the hair follicle and sebaceous gland  PMID: 21914489,  DOI: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2011.08.017

[2] L A Mejia, R E Hodges, R B Rucker,  Clinical signs of anemia in vitamin A-deficient rats 1979 Jul;32(7):1439-44. DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/32.7.1439

[3] Lim Ai Beoy, Wong Jia Woei, and Yuen Kah Hay effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers 2010 Dec; 21(2): 91–99. PMCID: PMC3819075 PMID: 24575202

[4] Meika Foster, Anna Chu, Peter Petocz, Samir Samman Effect of vegetarian diets on zinc status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies in humans 2013 Aug 15;93(10):2362-71.  DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.6179. Epub 2013 May 29.

[5] S Samman, DC Roberts The effect of zinc supplements on plasma zinc and copper levels and the reported symptoms in healthy volunteers, 1987 Mar 2;146(5):246-9. PMID: 3547053

 

 

 

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