What vitamin is good for hair? After all, vitamins are all the same, right? Wrong! Different vitamins have different effects on hair. Read on to learn which ones you should incorporate into your routine.
Best Vitamins for Your Hair
If you’re after strong, healthy, luscious-looking hair, there’s a likely chance you’ve pondered which (if any) vitamins are good for your locks.
Although several factors impact hair quality, including age and genetics, nutrients are equally essential.
If you’re not eating enough of the right vitamins, you may find that your hair starts to look lackluster and even dry. Yes, hot oil treatments, haircuts, hair masks, and deep conditioners can help with this. But the benefits will only be short-term.
Instead, suppose you want to enjoy healthy hair over the long run. In that case, you’ll either need to make some dietary tweaks or take the necessary supplements.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the best vitamins for your hair:
Vitamin B is pretty complex. In fact, it actually comprises eight different water-soluble vitamins. Due to the vitamin’s water-soluble nature, our bodies can’t store it. Instead, we get rid of whatever we don’t use, and it comes out in our urine.
Consequently, we need to ingest enough B-vitamins every day to feel our best.
Vitamin B7 (also known as biotin) is one of the most well-renowned vitamins for healthy hair. In fact, it’s often used as an alternative hair-loss treatment. Fortunately, biotin is found in lots of foods, so upping your intake shouldn’t be too tricky.
If you’re not getting enough B7, you may find that your hair gets quite brittle. What’s worse, it may even begin to break off and fall out.
That said, people who can expect the most benefit from incorporating B7 into their vitamin regimen are those suffering from biotin deficiency. However, the jury is still out about the benefits for those without a B7 deficit.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women and those taking particular antibiotics or epilepsy drugs are more likely to suffer a biotin deficiency.
If you’re looking to increase your B7 intake, try eating more:
- Egg yolks
- Whole grains
Generally speaking, other B-vitamins are also good for your hair. Vitamin B is imperative for red blood cell creation. These cells carry oxygen and other nutrients to your scalp and hair follicles. Great circulation and a nutrient-packed, oxygen-rich blood supply is integral for hair growth.
More specifically, vitamin B5 supports your adrenal glands, which can help to stimulate hair growth. If you’re looking to increase your B-vitamin consumption, try adding the following foods to your diet:
- Whole grains
- Dark, leafy greens
Of course, you also have the option of taking B-vitamin supplements.
Please note: If you’re specifically looking to boost your vitamin B12, it’s only found in animal products. So if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it might be worth taking supplements.
If you’re looking to promote hair growth, Vitamin A is a good starting point. Also known as retinol, Vitamin A is vital for cell growth. And hair, well, it relies on cell production to grow.
Vitamin A also helps skin glands create an oily matter known as ‘sebum,’ which moisturizes the scalp and helps to prevent hair breakage.
Needless to say, this process is imperative for a healthy scalp and hair. If you’re looking to add extra Vitamin A to your diet, try eating things like:
- Sweet potato
All the above foods are high in beta-carotene, which our bodies turn into vitamin A. Vitamin A is also found in milk, eggs, and yogurt. Alternatively, you can purchase and take vitamin A supplements as per the directions found on the label.
A word of warning: Don’t overdo your vitamin A intake; overdosing on this vitamin can actually be quite dangerous. Unfortunately, in some instances, it can even lead to hair loss!
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. For the uninitiated, antioxidants help protect our body’s from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Unfortunately, damage caused by free radicals can prevent cell growth, which can cause hair to appear ‘aged.’
On top of that, vitamin C is integral for creating a protein called collagen. Collagen is a critical part of our hair’s structure.
It also helps us absorb iron, another mineral needed for salubrious hair growth. This mineral assists red blood cells in transporting oxygen to your cells (including hair cells), which of course, is imperative for hair growth.
In addition to supplements, you can further boost your vitamin C intake by eating the following foods:
- Citrus fruits
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is also an antioxidant. Interestingly one study found that those with hair loss enjoyed a 34.5% increase in hair growth after taking vitamin E supplements for eight months.
Vitamin E is also said to be especially helpful for protecting your hair against sun damage. In addition to taking vitamin E supplements, you’ll also find vitamin E in the following foods:
- Sunflower seeds
Although technically not a vitamin, rather a mineral, Zinc is essential for the growth and repair of hair tissue. It also supports the oil glands surrounding your hair follicles, and it’s said to reduce dandruff buildup!
Like all of the vitamins listed above, you can take supplements to enhance your Zinc intake. Fortunately, you can also find Zinc in a variety of protein foods, notably:
- Red meat
Should You Take Vitamin Supplements for Your Hair?
Of course, the best way to increase vitamin intake is to alter your diet. However, if this isn’t possible, or if it might be tricky for you, vitamin supplements can come in handy.
We caveat that by saying that massive doses of vitamins and minerals can be dangerous – especially if you don’t have a deficiency.
If you suspect that you lack any of the above vitamins, it’s worth contacting your doctor or a medical professional who can determine if you have a deficiency. Often, this just requires a simple blood test.
That said, you can’t go wrong with taking a multivitamin once a day. This can go a long way to bridging any nutritional gaps you might be facing.
While shopping around for multivitamins, double-check that it includes B-vitamins, zinc, and at least 2,000 international units of vitamin D.