Best Vitamins For Hair Growth

Best Vitamins For Hair Growth

Nutritional therapy is an important part of hair care treatment. Nutritional deficiencies of certain vitamins like biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D and certain minerals like iron and zinc have been linked to hair fall. Any recent illness or stress may precipitate a deficiency by using up excess vitamins to restore general body health. In turn there is less supply to hair roots contributing to hair fall.

The top 5 vitamins for hair growth to include in diet or as supplements are

  • Biotin
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B5

Biotin is commonly linked to hair health. Earliest manifestations of biotin deficiency are hair fall and scalp flaking. Biotin always finds its place in hair supplements. Dietary sources include organ meats, egg yolks, mushrooms and nuts. Healthy gut flora is an important source of biotin. Processed foods and frequent antibiotics can damage gut flora leading to low levels and hair fall.

Vitamin B12 and Folic acid are vitamins which are needed in cells which are rapidly dividing. The hair roots especially in the growth phase have cells in active state and hence need an abundant supply of B12 and folic acid to produce cells that make up the hair shaft.

Meat, egg and dairy products are chief sources and vegans should compensate with soy or fortified foods or supplements.

Vitamin D is a sunshine vitamin. Previously known to be abundant in people in our part of the continent due to outdoor work and sun exposure. In recent times due to a shift in lifestyle the vitamin is found to be in very low levels even in otherwise healthy people. It can affect general health in many ways including hair health.

In addition to brisk outdoor walks in sunlight, it can also be taken in the form of supplements.

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid deficiency is rare. But it is not stored in the body and should be supplied regularly to keep blood levels optimal. It helps in keeping skin and hair moisturised and intact. It is included in hair care serums and shampoos as D panthenol for softness and hydration of hair and scalp.

Milk, egg yolk, beef, mushrooms, nuts, seeds and fortified cereals are sources of Vit B5.

Any nutrient therapy works only if taken for a minimum period of six months needed to correct insufficiency and to replenish body stores. Gross deficiencies may require longer duration of treatments until after levels normalise, to increase body reserve. In addition, a good diet rich in natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants goes a long way in maintaining hair growth and hair texture. The key is to keep the fruits and vegetables colourful, varied and cooked appropriately to get the maximum out of it.

Nuts and seeds are rich sources of many minor nutrients which are not available otherwise in regular foods and so should be consumed at regular intervals.