Nourishing Nutrients - The Best Vitamins and Minerals to Beat Hair Loss
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Nourishing Nutrients to Beat Hair Loss, The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Hair Loss
Yes, a balanced diet is absolutely vital in maintaining good health and is particularly true when it comes to your hair. It's also a reason that is often overlooked by those experiencing hair loss as you grow older. In this article, we will discuss the best vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for hair loss; that will help you maintain healthy and lustrous hair.
Your hair requires certain nutrients to grow properly. So if you have any deficiencies in these essential vital nutrients or critical minerals, you will likely begin to experience hair thinning and balding, etc. Unlike other known causes of hair loss, nutrient deficiencies often creep up on you. So if you don’t know why, but you’re experiencing hair loss out of the blue, there is a good chance it’s related to a lack of the proper nutrients your body needs.
The correct vitamins and minerals are crucial when it comes to hair growth. Vitamin D and Iron deficiency, for example, are a well-known cause of hair loss. In recent studies, vitamins such as Vitamin A, E, and D, etc. have shown a tremendous impact on your hair. Similarly, minerals like Zinc, Iron and Copper, etc. are essential for hair growth and development.
Next, we will discuss how different vitamins and minerals can contribute to hair growth, how their deficiency affects your hair’s health, and various sources to obtain each of these nutrients.
Essential Vitamins for Hair Growth
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of those critical nutrients you need for a healthy body. It helps with muscle synthesis, bone strength, and boosts immunity. But one of the most important roles of Vitamin D is to stimulate hair growth by promoting the formation of new hair follicles.
As cited in various studies, a lack of Vitamin D can lead to hair loss and Vitamin D deficiency linked directly to hair loss, such as Alopecia.
Sources of Vitamin D
Your skin naturally produces Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. A 15-minute walk daily in the sun should help you get the recommended dose of Vitamin D. If that is not possible, you can use Vitamin D supplements. Apart from this, foods such as fish, dairy, and meat are a good source of Vitamin D.
2. Vitamin A
Vitamin A, as you may already know, plays an essential role in your body. It is necessary for good vision, good immunity, and cellular growth (and, consequently, hair growth). Vitamin A also makes your body produce sebum, an oily substance that keeps your hair healthy by keeping your scalp from drying. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for hair thinning.
Both Vitamin A deficiency and toxicity (too much Vitamin A) leads to hair loss, particularly hair thinning. Hence it is essential to get just enough Vitamin A in you.
Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is abundant in foods like root vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, and yams) and leafy greens (kale and spinach, etc.). You can also find Vitamin A in dairy products and eggs.
B-Vitamins are a family of vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, etc. usually referred to as B-complex vitamins. These vitamins are essential for your metabolism and the functioning of your central nervous systems. B-Vitamins help produces red blood cells, which provide nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles and scalp.
A Vitamin B deficiency can often lead to poor hair health, pale skin, sore tongue, disturbed vision, depression, and mouth ulcers amongst other ailments, so keep this mind and ensure this is part of your diet.
Sources of B-Vitamins
B-Vitamins are water-soluble, so getting your dose from food is more beneficial than supplements. Foods rich in B-Vitamins include whole grains, meat, seafood, leafy greens and nuts like almonds, etc.
Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, is one of the prime vitamins essential for healthy hair, nails, and skin. The primary protein that makes your hair is called Keratin. Biotin helps improve the structure of Keratin of your hair.
Biotin deficiency is directly linked to hair loss, especially hair thinning. Individuals with biotin deficiency, when given biotin supplements to treat hair loss, showed remarkable results. A particularly effective and popular supplement to help address this deficiency is Biotin
Sources of Biotin
Usually, all of us get our biotin requirements from everyday food. Biotin deficiency is very rare. But foods such as egg yolk, organ meats, beans and legumes, bananas and mushrooms, etc. are rich in biotin. Vitamin Supplements such as Biotin can also help.
5. Vitamin C
Free radicals in your body can harm your hair by blocking growth and causing your hair to age. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It prevents any oxidative stress that may be caused by free radicals. Vitamin C also helps your body in the absorption of Iron and produces collagen. All of this, in turn, helps you with hair growth and hair thinning as well.
Vitamin C deficiency causes breakage and drying out of hair, bleeding gums, and poor skin. Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, you can never have excess amounts of it.
Sources of Vitamin C
Good sources of Vitamin C are found in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruit etc. You can also find them in fruits like strawberries, peppers, and guavas.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E, similar to Vitamin C, is also a powerful antioxidant. It also helps prevent oxidative stress. This, in turn, stimulates hair growth. As per a recent study, most people with Alopecia have a Vitamin E deficiency in their blood. Tocotrienol, an antioxidant of Vitamin E, is also known to treat Alopecia.
Vitamin E deficiency has some severe effects on your hair, such as Alopecia. But the lack of it also affects the nerves and muscles.
Sources of Vitamin E
Vitamin E can be found in capsule form as a supplement. But foods rich in Vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, fortified breakfast cereals, and green leafy vegetables.
An all-encompassing supplement that you may also want to try is SugarBear Hair Vitamins which packs a number of essential ingredients vitamins in one chewy gummy tablet, yum!
Vital Minerals for Hair Growth
Iron is a core component of hemoglobin, which is present in your red blood cells and helps carry oxygen throughout your body. Your hair needs nutrients and oxygen. Iron helps deliver blood to your scalp and hair follicles and hence provides your hair with all the necessary ingredients to grow.
Iron deficiency causes anemia, which inhibits your red blood cells from delivering oxygen around your body. This, in turn, leads to hair loss, brittle nails, and pale skin, etc.
Sources of Iron
Iron deficiency is usually treated by supplements, but some foods are rich in Iron as well. These include Salmon, leafy greens, nuts, peas, and dried fruits.
Magnesium plays a crucial role in cell division, functioning, and the growth of cells. Magnesium is an essential constituent of many enzymes, hence plays a crucial part in metabolism. Because of this, it affects the metabolic reactions that support hair growth. It also helps your immune system, muscles, and nervous system.
Magnesium deficiency can lead to hair loss, muscle contractions, nausea, weakness, and vomiting.
Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium is abundant in plant and animal-based food. Foods such as legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, and leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium.
Zinc is vital for hair tissue growth and repair, protein synthesis, cellular metabolism, and the overall immune system. Zinc is associated with hair follicle growth and removes oxidative radicals, which helps promote the structure and integrity of your hair follicles. Zinc also regulates our hormones. However, both Zinc deficiency and toxicity cause hair loss. Too much of Zinc can produce Dihydrotestosterone, which causes hair loss.
Zinc deficiency is directly related to Telogen Effluvium, and people suffering from pattern baldness all show low levels of Zinc.
Sources of Zinc
Your zinc requirements can be met without the use of supplements. Red meats, Poultry, Liver, Wheat, Pumpkin seeds and seafood, all contain Zinc.
Copper is necessary for iron absorption and proper metabolism. Both of these processes help deliver oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles. Copper also helps in the functioning of your immune system. Copper is an essential component in the production of melanin. Melanin gives your hair, skin, and eyes their color.
Copper deficiency leads to hair loss due to prevention in the supply of nutrients to your hair cells. It also leads to premature greying of your hair due to a lack of melanin.
Sources of Copper
Foods that are rich in copper include dark chocolate, shellfish, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and organ meats.
Other Nutrients for Healthy Hair
11. Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are necessary to maintain good health. These are not synthesized by your body and hence must come from your diet alone. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for your cell health. They keep your scalp and hair healthy. They trigger hair growth, promote hair strength, and nourish your hair follicles.
Omega 3 deficiency can lead to a dry, flaky scalp and weak hair follicles. This diminishes your scalp and hair health and ultimately leads to hair loss. However, this type of hair loss is usually only temporary.
Sources of Omega 3
Since your body cannot produce Omega 3 fatty acids, it is essential to consume omega three rich foods for good hair health. These foods include fish, nuts, plant oils (for example, flaxseed and canola), and fortified foods.
Selenium is another nutrient that your body does not produce. Selenium has antioxidant characteristics and hence helps reverse any damage caused by free radicals to your tissue. Selenium works in combination with Zinc to maintain proper hormone levels and promote hair growth.
Selenium deficiency is uncommon, but it is associated with hair loss. Too much selenium also leads to hair loss, brittle nails, and irritability.
Sources of Selenium
Your body’s selenium requirements need to be fulfilled through your diet. Selenium can be found in foods like tuna, chicken, spinach, and eggs.
As we can see, a poor diet often directly leads to hair loss, and this can really put you off your game. But the good news is that by attaining the right vitamins & minerals, it can make all the difference. So with a well-rounded diet, and the inclusion of the aforementioned vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, you can see dramatic results right before your own eyes.
By providing yourself with proper nutrition and meeting your body’s vitamin and mineral requirements, you can not only improve the health of your hair but also prevent any hair loss and even reverse it moving forward. So, maintain a balanced nutritious diet and let that mane be happy and healthy!
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