This Essential vitamin Can Prevent and Reverse Hair Loss
The appearance of hair plays an important role in people’s physical appearance and self-perception, so it can be devastating to experience hair loss, especially when there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it. But did you know that there are vitamins for hair growth? In fact, poor nutrition, including vitamin deficiencies, is a major factor of hair loss. These natural hair loss remedies work to fix the root of the problem, like regulating your hormone levels or fighting oxidative stress that increases with age.
Fewer than 45 percent of women go through life with a full head of hair while a majority of men go through some type of hair loss in their lifetimes. The hair care industry knows that consumers have a great desire to look youthful now more than ever so it constantly delivers new products that promise to promote hair growth. Before you spend your money on yet another product that may leave you disappointed, try using these vitamins for hair growth (or hair vitamins as I sometimes call them) first.
Having trouble growing long, luxurious hair? Check out these 6 vitamins that can boost your hair growth!
6 Vitamins for Hair Growth
The truth is that hair loss is a complex process that involves various genetic, hormonal and environmental mechanisms. Just like our skin, the hair follicle is subject to intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic factors include our genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and extrinsic factors include smoking and UV radiation.
Sometimes hair loss is due to a vitamin deficiency too. Luckily, a deficiency can be corrected by adding vitamin-rich foods to your diet or using supplementation. Some vitamins have antioxidant properties that help to fight the extrinsic factors of hair loss, and some vitamins help the body balance hormone levels, another factor that stops hair growth.
Try these healthy hair vitamins if you’re wondering how to thicken hair naturally.
- Fish Oil
Oils rich in different fatty acid species have been used extensively in both animal and human studies to evaluate the effects on skin and hair health. Omega-3 fats nourish the hair, support hair thickening and reduce inflammation that can lead to hair loss, which is why fish oil benefits hair and is one of the top six vitamins for hair growth.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology evaluated the effects of a six-month supplementation with omega-3, omega-6 and antioxidants on hair loss. In the randomized, comparative study, 120 healthy female subjects with female pattern hair loss participated. The primary endpoint was the change in hair density evaluated on standardized photographs, and the secondary endpoint included changes in active hair follicle percentage and diameter distribution of hair growth.
After six months of treatment, photograph assessment demonstrated a superior improvement in the supplemented group.
Oral zinc compounds have been used for decades for treating disorders such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, forms of hair loss because of zinc benefits hair follicle health. Zinc is an essential co-factor for multiple enzymes and is involved with important functional activities in the hair follicle. Zinc is also a potent inhibitor of hair follicle regression, and it accelerates hair follicle recovery. Studies suggest that some alopecia areata patients have zinc deficiency, and oral zinc sulfate therapy serves as an effective treatment.
In a 2013 study, researchers evaluated the role of zinc status in each of the four types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium. In all of the hair loss patients, the mean serum zinc was significantly lower than the control group.
- B-Complex Vitamin (Biotin & B5)
Biotin and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) have been used as alternative treatments for hair loss. Biotin benefits your hair by rebuilding hair shingles that have been damaged from over-shampooing, exposure to the sun, blow-drying and ironing. Vitamin B5 supports the adrenal glands, which helps stimulate hair growth.
To reverse hair loss and increase hair strength, take one B-complex vitamin tablet daily or take biotin and vitamin B5 separately. Eating biotin and vitamin B5 foods, such as eggs, beef, chicken, avocado, legumes, nuts and potatoes, also helps you to avoid a deficiency and aid hair growth.
- Vitamin C
Experimental evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process. Reactive oxygen species or free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can directly damage cellular structural membranes, lipids, proteins and DNA.
With age, the production of free radicals increases and the number of antioxidative enzymes that defend the body decrease, leading to the damage of cellular structures and the aging of hair. By working as an antioxidant, vitamin C fights oxidative stress that contributes to hair graying and hair loss.
To fight free radical damage and protect the hair from aging, fill up on vitamin C foods like oranges, red peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit and kiwi. If you need supplementation, take 500–1,000 milligrams of vitamin C twice daily as an antioxidant.
Several studies have examined the relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss, and some suggest that iron deficiency may be related to alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium and diffuse hair loss.
Researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran studied the relationship between iron body status and different types of hair loss. They conducted an analytical case-control study to assess whether diffuse telogen hair loss in women between the ages of 15 and 45 is associated with iron deficiency — 30 women with documented telogen hair loss were compared with 30 women without hair loss.
- Vitamin D
Hair follicles are highly sensitive to hormones, and vitamin D is a hormone that plays an important role in calcium homeostasis, immune regulation and cell growth differentiation. In the scientific world, it’s well-known that alopecia areata is commonly found in patients with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D-resistant rickets or vitamin D receptor mutation.
Research suggests that insufficient levels of vitamin D have been implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases, including alopecia areata.
Direct sun exposure is the best way to absorb vitamin D, plus you can detox your body with the sun. Sit in the sun for roughly 10–15 minutes to absorb about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. Topical application of vitamin D might also play a role in the restoration of hair cycle dysfunction in patients with alopecia areata. To increase your vitamin D levels with food sources, eat vitamin D-rich foods like halibut, mackerel, eel, salmon, whitefish, swordfish, maitake mushrooms and portabella mushrooms.