Men aren’t the only people who worry about their hair thinning. In fact, 40% of women have visible hair loss by the time they’re 40.
Are you included in that percentage? Or perhaps you aren’t there yet, but you want to prevent that from happening by keeping your hair thick and luscious for as long as possible.
The best thing you can do for your hair is to eat a well-balanced diet rich in protein and nutrients.
However, if you want to supplement your diet to give your luscious locks a fighting chance, keep reading. We’re going over the top supplements and vitamins for hair growth and health.
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is probably the most popular hair growth vitamin/supplement available. While the specific role of biotin and hair health is unclear, research shows that biotin helps to improve and strengthen keratin (the molecule that makes up hair and nails) structure.
Multiple studies show that when people took a biotin supplement every day, they saw significant improvement in hair health and hair growth, even in areas that experienced hair loss.
If you’d like to get your biotin from your food, be sure to consume some of these biotin-rich foods on a regular basis:
- Sweet potatoes
You can find biotin only supplements, but most hair supplements do contain biotin as well.
Other B Vitamins
The family of B vitamins is important for improving blood flow as well as maintaining skin, hair, and nail health. Blood flow and circulation are important for hair health: blood brings oxygen, nutrients, and amino acids to the hair follicles, all of which work together to maintain hair growth and health.
You can get B vitamins from leafy green vegetables, almonds, whole grains, and various meats and fish. They can also be found in B vitamin pills and multivitamins.
B supplements are essential for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet since vitamin B12 can’t be found in anything except animal products (and nutritional yeast).
Vitamin A could be nicknamed the “growth vitamin.” Everything in your body needs vitamin A to maintain proper growth: hair, skin, nails, internal cells, immune system components, etc. So it makes sense that supplementing your diet with vitamin A would help with hair growth.
Studies also show that deficiencies in vitamin A can lead to dry skin, dry eyes, infertility, and hair loss.
These are common when deficient in vitamin A since this vitamin is also responsible for inducing the production of sebum. Sebum is the oily substance that your skin secretes in order to keep it moisturized and healthy.
Without sebum, your skin and scalp will become too dry and can lead to issues like hair loss. Be sure to eat foods high in beta-carotene (the precursor molecule of vitamin A) and vitamin A, like:
- Sweet potatoes
- Dairy products
- Collard greens
Vitamin A can also be found in pill supplements and multivitamins.
You might be more familiar with how vitamin D can help build strong bones, but did you know that it can also help grow hair? Studies show that vitamin D can help hair follicles “wake up” and even create new hair follicles, which can help your hair grow thicker and healthier even if you’ve experienced hair thinning/hair loss.
Deficiencies in vitamin D could lead to hair loss, and over 1 billion people are deficient in this vitamin. Get the proper amount of vitamin D by consuming some of the following on a regular basis:
- Dairy products
- Fortified products
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, etc)
- Vitamin D supplements
You should be getting around 600 IU of vitamin D (from any source) every day.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to help increase hair growth in people who have experienced hair loss by almost 35% (compared to a group not supplementing with vitamin E that saw next to no increase in hair growth).
Vitamin E also has other great benefits for your body, including:
- Strengthened immune health
- Improved eye health
- Ability to fight oxidative stress
You can get high concentrations of vitamin E by eating spinach, nuts, seeds, broccoli, and avocados. You can find oils, pills, lotions, and serums containing vitamin E as well.
Similar to vitamin E, vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant. Oxidative stress can cause significant damage to your hair follicles and the skin of your scalp, which can lead to significant hair loss, damage, and thinning.
Consuming vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin C can protect you from oxidative damage, which can, in turn, protect your hair. Vitamin C is also a key component of the molecule “collagen” which is essential for hair growth.
The good news is that getting vitamin C into your diet is easy and delicious. Simply load up on citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits. If you’re trying to cut back on fruit consumption, you can find plenty of vitamin C in foods like broccoli, kale, parsley, and yellow bell peppers.
The Best Vitamins for Hair: Wrapping Up
Having a gorgeous, thick head of hair is something most people desire: it can make you feel glamorous, young, and sexy.
Try supplementing your diet with the foods and vitamins for hair we went over in this article. These foods are nutrient-dense, not to mention rich with flavor and other health benefits as well!
If you need some recipes in order to incorporate these nutrient-dense foods into your diet, we’ve got you covered. Check out the recipe section of our blog for our favorites.