It would hardly be far from the truth to say that healthy-looking hair is considered by one and all to be a sign of beauty. However, hair growth, just like other parts of your body, need a variety of nutrients. On the other hand, if you have nutritional deficiency, hair loss can be one of the major consequences. While there are other factors responsible for hair loss too, including age, genetics, hormones, etc., optimal nutrient intake can go a long way in boosting hair growth. The following are some of the vitamins that are intrinsically associated with hair growth:
- Vitamin A- all cells need vitamin A for growth, and hair is no exception, for it is the fastest growing tissue in the human body. Vitamin A also helps skin glands produce an oily substance called sebum, which moisturizes the scalp and keeps hair healthy. If your diet does not have adequate vitamin A content, it can lead to several problems, including hair loss. The major sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, kale, milk, eggs, yoghurt, cod liver oil, etc.
- B-vitamins- also called biotin, this is one of the best known vitamins for hair growth. However, its deficiency is quite rare, since it occurs naturally in a wide range of foods. It is also interesting to note that B-vitamins help create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles. These processes are important for hair growth. B-vitamin rich foods include, whole grains, almond, meat, fish, seafood, and dark, leafy greens.
- Vitamin C- This is a powerful antioxidant that provides protection against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Additionally, your body needs these vitamins for hair to create a protein known as collagen- an important part of hair structure. The best sources of vitamin C are, strawberries, peppers, guavas, and citrus fruits.
- Vitamin D- Low levels of vitamin D are usually linked to alopecia, a medical condition that is characterized by sudden hair loss. Researches have also indicated that vitamin D may have a role to play in creating new follicles, the tiny pores in the scalp where new hair can grow. Vitamin D is believed to boost hair production, but most research focuses on vitamin D receptors. Your body produces vitamin D through direct contact with the sun-rays. Good dietary sources of vitamin D include, fatty fish, cod liver oil, some mushrooms, and fortified foods.
- Vitamin E- Just like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that can prevent oxidative stress. Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, and avocados are all good sources of these vitamins for hair growth.
Vitamin supplements are also easily available for consumption if you are not getting enough of these in your diet. However, before taking any supplements, it is better to consult with a medical practitioner to determine if you have a deficiency or not, or which vitamins for hair will be most effective for a particular individual.