Vitamins that Help Hair Growth

| July 1, 2010 | 5 Comments

Most people when first faced with the dreaded predicament of hair loss are often quick to try any product or treatment they happen to come across claiming to improve our hair growth. And it is easy to understand why since hair loss is a devastating personal appearance problem for many people. Loosing our hair not only changes our looks but can affect how we think about ourselves. Thinning hair can hurt our pride and lower self-esteem as well. But hair loss can also cause another unwanted condition, a thinner wallet.

So before spending a ton of money on products and treatments, one thing people rarely consider is improving their nutrition. And this can be easily accomplished by changing our diet to include a supply of foods that provide our body with the good stuff it needs to produce healthy hair or by supplementing our intake with a cheap and available supply of vitamins. Before dropping hundreds of dollars on hair growth miracle cures or expensive treatments that may or may not work, consider addressing your lifestyle. The benefits of making some simple changes to the foods you consume go far beyond simply improving the health of your hair. And for this reason, it is the first step you should take in assessing your hair loss situation.

Why would it be surprising to anyone that our hair would need the same vitamins our body does to stay healthy? But the truth is most people never consider the consequences of a bad diet and the effects it can have. To grow healthy hair, our hair follicles need to be supplied with the nutrients they require to function properly. So what exactly are these vitamins that help hair growth and where are some good sources for them?

B-Complex Vitamins
There are eight different types of Vitamin B that make up the nutritional supplement often refered to as a B-Complex Vitamin. These include Vitamin B1 or Thiamine, Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin, Vitamin B3 or Niacin, Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine, Vitamin B7 or Biotin, Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin. B Vitamins are water-soluble and play an important role in hair growth. Typical sources for B Vitamins include whole grains, bananas, potatoes, beans, lentils, chili peppers, yeast and molasses. Energy drinks like Red Bull contain high amounts of B Vitamins and there are of course many dietary supplements sold on the market as well.

This coenzyme is one of the B-Complex Vitamins but also goes by the name Vitamin H. It is not only suggested for those with diabetes and people who experience nail brittleness, but hair loss is thought to occur as a symptom of a Biotin deficiency. Whole wheat cereal and bread, eggs and other dairy products, nuts, salmon and chicken are all great sources of biotin.

Studies not only show that an intake of Inositol might have great benefits for various mental illnesses but that it can help our hair growth as well. And it makes some sense, after all, it has been used in plenty of hair care products for years like shampoo and conditioner. Want to increase your natural supply of Inositol? Try adding fruits, beans, grains and nuts to your normal diet.

Not every study conducted shows concrete evidence that hair loss can be caused by an Iron deficiency, but growing research supports that not having enough Iron in your system can not only cause hair loss but by boosting your intake of Iron you can actually experience new hair growth. This study published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded that while the jury is technically still out on whether or not an Iron deficiency causes hair loss, that patients who corrected their Iron intake experienced lower rates of hair shedding and even showed signs of new hair growth. Iron rich foods include red meat, liver, egg yolks, oysters, clams, scallops, turkey, spinach, collard greens, raisins, beans, lentils, chick peas, soybeans and artichokes.

Prenatal Vitamins
While mainly intended to be taken by expectant moms, you do not have to be pregnant to experience benefits from taking Prenatal Vitamins. And these same essential nutrients needed by a growing baby are full of compounds needed for healthy hair. According to the Mayo Clinic, Prenatal Vitamins contain plenty of good stuff we need such as Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin C, Zinc, Copper, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin D. But the clinic also warns that just taking Prenatal Vitamins is no substitute for maintaining a health diet. Whether you are pregnant or just interested in improving your hair, you should never rely totally on any dietary supplement to replace a balanced diet.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A also helps our hair grow thanks to its excellent properties as an antioxidant. This particular vitamin is invaluable for enhancing blood circulation throughout our body including the scalp which in turn makes the delivery of nutrients to our hair follicles much more efficient. Excellent sources for Vitamin A include dairy products, vegetables and fish. One important thing to keep in mind though is the fact that excessive intake of this particular vitamin is toxic to the body and can prove detrimental to your health. And that might sound kinda wacky that too much of a good thing can actually be bad for you. But if you are already getting plenty of Vitamin A in your diet, you should not also be taking Vitamin A supplements.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C has many detoxifying properties that help keep our hair and scalp in tip-top condition. And most of us know where to find it cause it comes from sunny Florida. Oranges are a great source for Vitamin C but it is found in many other fruits such as guava, kiwi, grapefruit, strawberries, cantaloupe and tomatoes. Most people probably don’t know that you don’t have to turn to citrus to get Vitamin C. It’s found in green and red peppers and even brussels sprouts.

Vitamin D
People who live in parts of the world where the amount of sunlight is low like the Northern United States often experience lower levels of Vitamin D. This vitamin has not only been used to treat eczema but is an essential component for normal activity that takes place within our hair follicles. Boost your levels of Vitamin D naturally by consuming meats like salmon or liver or with vegetarian options like mushrooms or grain.

Vitamin E
This one is not only good for preventing and potentially reversing hair loss but it’s great for your skin as well. According to the National Institutes of Health, Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Having a regular supply of Vitamin E in your system can not only have great benefits for your skin and hair but also boost your immune system, stimulate blood flow and protect us from damage caused by cigarette smoke and air pollution. Vitamin E is commonly found in vegetables like spinach and broccoli, nuts like hazelnuts, peanuts and almonds and in cooking oils like corn, soybean, sunflower and wheat germ.

People who are incredibly active or tend to sweat excessively often experience trouble keeping a good supply of Zinc in their systems. A Zinc deficiency can cause lots of problems like diarrhea, impotence and hair loss. The easiest fix for this is to consume a Zinc supplement daily. But there are plenty of Zinc rich foods. Many seafood and meats are great suppliers of Zinc, including oysters, beef, lamb, pork and chicken. But vegetarians can get on the act as well by eating beans, mushrooms, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin and squash seeds and some nuts. And believe it or not, eating chocolate is a great source of Zinc and who doesn’t love chocolate?


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Category: Products For Hair Growth

About the Author ()

Kip Shives is the Contributing Editor for and like many of you personally struggles with male pattern baldness. Kip strives to cover quality information on hair growth topics to help you hang on to what you got and find ways to grow new hair. He's a graduate of the University of South Carolina College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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