6 vitamins to transform your dry and damaged hair into perfect shiny locks

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Keeping your hair healthy and beautiful requires proper nutrition. Some key vitamins are particularly important.

Does your hair need some love? Healthy, shiny hair isn’t just about the shampoo and conditioner you use. What you put into your body matters just as much as what you put into 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 damaged hair into stunning, not all vitamins are created equal. Here are six of the best vitamins you can take for healthy hair from the inside out.

Foods Containing 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 include vitamin A as an ingredient for this reason!

Vitamin A also helps your skin glands create sebum, an oily substance that will keep your scalp hydrated and your hair hydrated.[1]

However, there is such a thing as too much vitamin A. In fact, overdoses of vitamin A can actually cause hair loss, so be sure not to 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 listed. That’s because biotin is hair’s best friend – and it’s not too shabby when it comes to your nails and skin, either.

Biotin helps your body turn 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 the growth of thick, healthy hair. In fact, studies have shown that women with thinning hair saw a visible increase in hair volume and thickness after taking supplements containing biotin.[2]

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

collagen

Known for its benefits on the skin, collagen is also useful for hair health.

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 your hair is made of. This makes it an important ingredient in helping your hair grow 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 premature graying of hair.[5] and thinning hair caused by aging.[6] With so many benefits, collagen is a must-have addition to your nutritional routine.

Foods containing vitamin E

Do you want strong and 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 supply to the scalp, which encourages your hair to grow faster.[8] This is a proven method for increasing hair growth, with drugs like 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, reducing free radicals and oxidative stress that cause weak and easily broken hair follicle cells. As damaged hair often breaks easily, vitamin E is the perfect solution, reducing breakage, split ends and hair loss.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C

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 fighting hair loss. But vitamin C has many other hair care benefits as well.

Vitamin C also fights dandruff by fighting bacteria on your scalp, removing debris, and soothing dry, itchy skin. Additionally, a diet high in vitamin C has been shown to combat hair loss, prevent male pattern baldness and alopecia.[9] One of the main culprits of hair loss is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which causes hair follicles to miniaturize and shrink. Vitamin C suppresses this hormone, preventing it from causing hair loss.[10]

Foods rich in iron

Iron is an important nutrient for hair growth.

The iron

Like collagen and vitamin C, iron plays an important role in hair growth. Studies have found a link between iron deficiencies and hair loss,[11] and iron helps your skin stay thick and strong. By the way, the same goes for your nails – your hair and nails are made of keratin, after all.

Iron works by stimulating circulation, helping oxygen 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 go back in 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 for your hair.

References:

  1. Everts, Helen B: “Endogenous Retinoids in the Hair Follicle and Sebaceous Gland”, 3 September 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 thinning hair”, November 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 free radical scavenging properties of sea cucumber (Stichopus vastus) collagen hydrolysates,” March 27, 2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24670209/
  6. Varani, James et al: “Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin,” June 2006, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1606623/
  7. Schwartz, JR: “The role of oxidative damage in poor scalp health: ramifications for causation and associated hair growth,” December 2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26574300/
  8. Rossi, Alfredo et al: “Use 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: A Review,” December 13, 2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
  10. Kwack, Mi Hee et al: “L-ascorbic acid 2-Phosphate Represses Dihydrotestosterone-Induced Dickkopf-1 Expression in Human Bald Dermal Papillary Cells”, December 2010, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20701628/
  11. Park, Song Youn et al: “Iron Plays Some Role in Patterned Hair Loss”, June 2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23772161/

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