6 vitamins to turn your dry, damaged hair into perfectly shiny locks

To keep your hair healthy and beautiful, you need the right nutrition. Certain key vitamins are particularly important.

Does your hair need some love? Healthy, shiny hair is about more than just the shampoo and conditioner you use. What you put in your body is just as important as what you put in your hair, and vitamins and supplements are a crucial hidden weapon in the fight for healthy, shiny hair.

However, when it comes to transforming your hair from damaged to dazzling, not every vitamin is created equal. Here are six of the best vitamins you can take for good hair health from the inside out.

Foods with Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for cell growth and can help your hair grow faster.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is often praised for its role in healthy, glowing skin, but did you know it’s great for hair care too? Vitamin A is essential for cell growth – including hair cells. For fast-growing hair, vitamin A is known to help. In fact, many hair loss treatments contain vitamin A as an ingredient for this very reason!

Vitamin A also helps your skin glands produce sebum, an oily substance that keeps your scalp hydrated and your hair moisturized.[1]

However, there is such a thing as too much vitamin A. Overdoses of vitamin A can actually cause hair loss, so make sure you don’t exceed the recommended dose.

Foods Rich in Biotin Vitamin B7

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is said to be important for thick, healthy hair.

Biotin

If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients on the bottle of a skin, hair, and nail supplement, chances are you’ve seen biotin. This is because biotin is hair’s best friend — and it’s not too shabby when it comes to your nails and your skin, either.

Biotin helps your body convert food into energy and is essential for the production of keratin, the protein that makes up your skin, nails and hair. This makes it the perfect vitamin for promoting thick, healthy hair growth. In fact, studies have shown that women with thinning hair saw a visible increase in the volume and thickness of their hair after taking supplements containing biotin.[2]

Biotin can also help prevent hair loss: Biotin deficiencies have been found in 38% of women who suffer from hair loss.[3] It’s no wonder so many hair supplements rely on this handy little vitamin.

collagen

Known for its skin benefits, collagen is also helpful for healthy hair.

collagen

Another nutrient often celebrated for its role in skin care, collagen can also work wonders for your hair.

As the most abundant protein in your body, collagen — like biotin — helps create the keratin that makes up your hair. This makes it a key ingredient when it comes to growing your hair faster and stronger.

But collagen also helps fight damage by protecting your hair from free radicals — compounds that damage your cells, proteins and hair follicles.[4] Studies have also shown that collagen helps slow down premature graying of hair[5] and hair loss caused by aging.[6] With so many benefits, collagen is a must add to your nutritional routine.

Foods with Vitamin E

Do you want strong, healthy hair? Make sure you get enough vitamin E.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E promotes healthy skin – including the skin on your scalp. Since a healthy scalp is necessary for healthy hair,[7] it pays to keep the skin on your head happy.

As an antioxidant, vitamin E rejuvenates, hydrates and increases blood flow to the scalp, helping your hair grow faster.[8] This is a proven method of increasing hair growth, with drugs such as minoxidil using the same method to stimulate hair growth in patients suffering from hair loss and thinning hair.

Vitamin E also makes your hair stronger and reduces the free radicals and oxidative stress that cause weak, easily broken hair follicles. Since damaged hair often breaks down easily, Vitamin E is the perfect solution as it reduces breakage, split ends and hair loss.

Vitamin C Rich Foods

Studies have shown that vitamin C can help fight hair loss.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C creates the protein known as collagen, so it’s no surprise that, like collagen, it’s great for combating hair loss. But vitamin C also has a host of other hair care benefits.

Vitamin C also fights dandruff by fighting bacteria on your scalp, removing dirt and soothing dry, itchy skin. In addition, a diet rich in vitamin C has been shown to fight hair loss, prevent male pattern baldness and alopecia.[9] One of the main culprits of hair loss is the hormone dihydrotestosterone, which causes miniaturization and shrinkage of the hair follicles. Vitamin C suppresses this hormone and prevents it from causing hair loss.[10]

Foods rich in iron

Iron is an important nutrient for hair growth.

Iron

Like collagen and vitamin C, iron plays an important role in hair growth. Studies have found a link between iron deficiency and hair loss,[11] and iron helps your skin stay thick and strong. Besides, it does the same thing for your nails — after all, both your hair and nails are made of keratin.

Iron works by boosting circulation, allowing oxygen to get to your cells faster. Without it, your scalp won’t get the blood flow it needs to grow your hair.

Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is just the first step: beautiful hair comes from within.

Once the hair is damaged, it can be difficult to turn back time. However, what you put into your body has a powerful effect on the health of your hair – and taking the right vitamins can make a real difference to your hair.

References:

  1. Everts, Helen B: “Endogenous retinoids in the hair follicle and sebaceous gland,” September 3, 2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21914489/
  2. Glynis, Ablon: “A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair,” Nov 5, 2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509882/
  3. Trüeb, Ralph M: “Serum Biotin Levels in Women Complaining of Hair Loss,” June 2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989391/
  4. Trüeb, Ralph M: “The Impact of Oxidative Stress on Hair,” December 2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26574302/
  5. Abedin, Zainul et al: “Biochemical and radical scavenging properties of sea cucumber (Stichopus vastus) collagen hydrolysates,” Mar 27, 2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24670209/
  6. Varani, James et al: “Reduced Collagen Production in Chronologically Aging Skin”, June 2006, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1606623/
  7. Schwartz, JR: “The Role of Oxidative Damage in Poor Scalp Health: Implications for Causality and Associated Hair Growth,” December 2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26574300/
  8. Rossi, Alfredo et al: “Uses of minoxidil in dermatology, side effects and recent patents”, 2012, eurekaselect.com/article/41603
  9. Almohanna, Hind M. et al: “The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: An Overview”, Dec 13, 2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
  10. Kwack, Mi Hee et al: “L-Ascorbic Acid”[{” attribute=””>acid 2-phosphate represses the dihydrotestosterone-induced dickkopf-1 expression in human balding dermal papilla cells”, December 2010, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20701628/
  11. Park, Song Youn et al: “Iron plays a certain role in patterned hair loss”, June 2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23772161/

6 vitamins to turn your dry, damaged hair into perfectly shiny locks

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