There are many people who spend lots of time nourishing the hair and scalp with a multitude of hair care products. While a healthy scalp can help hair follicles thrive, the health of your hair starts before that. If you want to have luscious locks that are commercial worthy, you have to pay attention to what you feed the body. That’s right, there are specific nutrients that encourage healthier hair, which we’ll discuss in this article.
There is little evidence that suggests that individual hair vitamins can make hair grow faster or thicker. However, being deficient in certain nutrients can increase the risk of hair loss or brittle hair. Researchers have carried out studies about three important nutrients that support hair growth: vitamin D, keratin, and B-complex vitamins. Continue reading to learn more about them and how they can promote healthier hair.
There are eight water-soluble vitamin substances that make up the B-complex family. There is thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, biotin (B7), folate, and vitamin B12. All of these aid in cell metabolism, but several research studies have identified how both biotin and niacin support hair growth. They do this by supporting healthy energy production and fighting free radicals. The body naturally produces biotin, but people with lower levels tend to be more prone to hair loss. Increasing biotin intake works to support keratin production, which is a protein that helps maintain hair structure.
Other B vitamins assist the body with creating red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. Researchers state that increasing oxygen and blood circulation to the scalp helps to encourage hair growth. You can find a variety of B vitamins in whole grains, nuts & seeds, dark leafy greens, wild caught fish, nutritional yeast, and more.
In addition to supporting immune health, vitamin D has a positive impact on hair health. A 2019 review found a link between vitamin D deficiency and alopecia areata, which involves severe hair loss. The review found that people with lower levels had more severe symptoms of the condition. Another study found that people with low vitamin D levels experienced regular hair shedding. Almost all American adults fail to consume 400 internal units (iu) of vitamin D per day, which can lead to clinical vitamin D deficiency.
Ideally, the average adult should consume at least 600 iu of vitamin D per day. Many experts found that fat-soluble nature of vitamin D is necessary for hair follicle support. You can find vitamin D in a few different foods, including shiitake and button mushrooms, sockeye salmon, sardines, eggs, and cod liver oil. Because it isn’t readily available in food, many experts advise that people take a vitamin D supplement.
Keratin is one of the body’s essential building blocks, and it is a protein that forms the structure of epithelial cells. These cells line surfaces both inside and outside the body. In fact, they help to make up the tissues in the hair, skin, and nails. Although keratin aids with the optimal growth and repair of bodily tissues, it helps most with strengthening the cells in the hair, skin, and nails. It also works to make hair more resilient and tends to reduce damage from friction.
Keratin works to smooth down the cells that overlap to form hair strands. The layers of these cells, called hair cuticles, absorb keratin, which can make hair look full and glossy. For people with curly hair, keratin helps to combat excess frizz, giving it a straighter appearance and making it easier to style. You can find keratin in onion, sweet potato, sunflower seeds, mango, garlic, kale, carrots, eggs, and salmon.