Who doesn’t love silky, healthy and beautiful hair?
However, just like taking care of anything in life, it needs your conscious attention, care and dedication.
One major attention area is making sure your hair is always healthy; how do you do this?
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Like any other body part, the hair needs nutrients to grow and flourish.
Whichever your hair type, you should not compromise on its health.
I am sure you have heard that several nutritional deficiencies are interlinked with hair loss. That’s right, nutritional. It goes a long way.
However, it’s notable that there are other contributing factors to hair growth, such as hormones, age, and genetics.
I embarked on research to find out the different nutrients and vitamins that your hair needs to grow and stay healthy
#1 Vitamin A
Did you know that hair is the fastest growing tissue in the human body? I didn’t, till now. (I can’t remember that from my Biology)
When it comes to the growth of any cell, Vitamin A is the king.
So how does Vitamin A help your hair?
Vitamin A stimulates the skin glands to produce sebum; which is an oily substance. The produces sebum then moisturizes your scalp, hence keeping your hair healthy.
However, note this; too much Vitamin A can also cause hair loss.
So, where do you get Vitamin A from? Below are some common sources of Vitamin A. anyone can access.
- Vegetables high in beta-carotene which is changed into Vitamin A: kale, carrots, spinach, pumpkins, sweet potatoes
You can easily get these from your local farmers market or even order online.
- Animal products: eggs, milk, cod liver oil, yogurt
- Vitamin A supplements
It is up to you to intake the right amount of Vitamin A if you want your hair to grow healthy.
NB: Always make sure you carry out thorough due diligence and research before taking a given supplement. Better yet, consult your doctor first.
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If you are engrossed in hair care, I am sure you have come across the word ‘biotin’.
Biotin is one of the best-known supplements for hair growth which contains B-Vitamin.
Biotin deficiency is highly linked with hair loss in human beings.
Besides biotin, other B-Vitamins help in the creation of red blood cells that transport nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles and the scalp. This, in turn, induces hair growth.
Where can we get B-Vitamins?
- Foods: meat, leafy greens, almonds, seafood, whole grains, fish
- B-Vitamin Supplements
#3 Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.
The work of an antioxidant is to protect your hair from the free radicals that cause oxidation stress.
Vitamin C also helps in the formation of collagen which is essential for the formation of your hair structure.
Moreover, the absorption of iron, a great mineral for hair growth, is facilitated by Vitamin C.
Sources of Vitamin C: citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, guavas
#4 Vitamin D
Alopecia is highly linked with a lack of Vitamin D.
Alopecia is the technical term for hair loss.
Vitamin D also helps in the formation of hair follicles, from which your hair grows.
You already know one source of Vitamin D; the sun-rays. That’s the excuse we would always give for lazily basking.
Other sources include; cod liver oil, fortified foods, fatty fish, and mushrooms.
#5 Vitamin E
This is another antioxidant, just like Vitamin C.
It aids prevent our hair fr
om undergoing oxidation stress.
Research carried out showed that 34.5% of hair growth was realized by individuals who took Vitamin E supplements for 8 months.
Great sources of Vitamin E include; Avocados, sunflower seeds, spinach, almonds
Supplements are also a great source of Vitamin E.
Iron is a mineral that helps carry oxygen around the cells in your body. This is why it is essential for hair growth, amongst other body functions.
Anemia, as you may already know, is caused by a lack of Iron. Hair loss is one major symptom of anemia. This is most common amongst women.
Great sources of iron include; eggs, spinach, clams, lentils, red meat, and oysters.
Another option is buying iron supplements online. Some examples are; (click on image for details)
When we talk about hair repair and hair growth, we can never leave zinc out of it.
Zinc is a great stimulate to help ensure the oil glands around your hair follicles are working well.
According to NCBI, zinc deficiency is connected to your problem of hair loss.
NB: Always consult your doctor on the required dosage of any supplement.
You don’t want to overdo it and spoil the party.
My personal preference is to get my zinc from natural foods like; spinach, pumpkin seeds, lentils, and beef.
However, if you want you can go for the zinc supplements.
Did you know your hair is almost entirely made of proteins?
Maintaining healthy levels of these proteins will definitely boost the growth and health of your hair.
Luckily foods that contain proteins are everywhere and readily available to us; whether raw or cooked.
On another post, we will also discuss hair growth masks made from natural food of which most of them are proteins.
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Should I take a hair supplement?
After realizing how much you need vitamin supplements and nutrients for hair, I am sure you can help to ask; should I go for the hair supplements or stick to my food diet?
Well, no one can really answer this question for you apart from your doctor and yourself.
We said healthy hair is an investment, right? So, book that doctor’s or specialist’s appointment and discuss your best solutions.
I always believe in asking and consulting. It saves us a lot of trouble and problems!
That said, some sources suggest that supplements work best on individuals who are already deficient and not those who would like to maintain the healthy condition of their hair.
You may ask; how do I know I am deficient?
In addition to visiting a hair specialist, some symptoms are obvious.
For example, if you lose a handful of hair every time you brush it; you are definitely deficient of something, and your hair needs attention ASAP.
When you opt to go for supplements, take not of the required dosage.
DO NOT OVERDOSE.
You may think they are just health supplements and there is no harm in taking more, but trust me there might be consequences.
All said, eat a healthy and balanced diet. Nothing beats healthy eating and healthy living! Don’t argue.
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