If you lack of nutrients, you could benefit from eating foods rich in specific vitamins for fast hair growth and thickness. Vitamins for hair that actually work are vitamins A, C, D, E, and all the B-vitamins. Also, zinc, iron, collagen, and antioxidants are vital for healthy hair, nails and skin.
What causes hair loss?
There are many causes of hair loss. Some of them are nutritional deficiencies, illness, infections, medication, emotional & physiological stress, hormonal imbalances, and even poison!
Do vitamins for your hair really work?
If you lose hair due to nutritional deficiencies, eating foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals can help your hair regrow and thicken!
On the other hand, if your hair falls for another cause, there is no evidence that eating foods high in vitamins and minerals can really help your hair grow thicker and stronger.
Can food be the treatment for hair loss?
Food can really help most people grow thick hair, as most people don’t eat a well-balanced healthy diet. You need to consume lots of foods rich in vitamins A, C, D, E, biotin and other nutrients that promote collagen synthesis, for faster hair growth and thickness.
Vitamin A for hair growth
Vitamin A is important for healthy hair, as it’s a vital nutrient for cell growth. Hence, hair needs vitamin A for growth. After all, hair is the fastest growing tissue in the human body, second only to bone marrow.
Moreover, vitamin A is a key factor for boosting the natural synthesis of collagen! Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Also, collagen is important for thick and healthy hair, as it prevents hair follicle damage and protects the skin near the hair roots.
There are 2 dietary forms of vitamin A. The 1st is called preformed vitamin A. It’s the type of vitamin A that comes from animal sources. The 2nd is called provitamin A and comes from plants. Both vitamin A sources metabolized by the human body to their active forms.
You should take vitamin A supplements only after consulting your doctor. Excessive vitamin A may be dangerous. It can even cause hair loss. On the contrary, eating plant-based foods won’t cause vitamin A toxicity. Furthermore, plants are the best sources of antioxidants, compounds that are beneficial for thick hair.
The best plant-based sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, turnip greens, dandelion greens, moringa powder, spinach, and many more. See the whole list here.
Plant-based sources of vitamin A are important for good eyesight, as well.
B-vitamins for thick hair & preventing hair loss
Studies have shown that vitamins B2, B7, B9 & B12 are important for strong and thick hair. So, we should eat foods rich in:
- riboflavin (or vitamin B2),
- biotin (vitamin B7),
- folate (vitamin B9), and
- vitamin B12, in order, to prevent hair loss.
If you don’t follow a health well-balanced diet, you may have deficiency to any of these vitamins. In this case, your hair may get thinner or even fall.
So, what food should I eat to protect my hair from falling?
- riboflavin is found in cereals, yogurt, milk, mushrooms, almonds, eggs, spinach, apples, beans, oats, and quinoa. Riboflavin deficiency is extremely rare in a healthy diet.
- biotin has gained extremely popularity, as the most important vitamin for thick and healthy hair. Peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, and walnuts are excellent sources of biotin. You can see the whole list of biotin-rich foods here.
- folate is found in spinach, rice, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, spaghetti, lettuce, avocado, broccoli, mustard greens, beans, whole wheat, tomatoes, peanuts, oranges, papayas, bananas and many more. Folate deficiency is uncommon. Bad diet options can cause it, though.
- vitamin B12 is present in trout, salmon, tuna, chlorella, nutritional yeast, and fortified foods. More about vitamin B12 and the importance of vitamin B12 supplementation here.
Vitamin C for hair growth and thickness
Another vital vitamin for strong and thick hair is vitamin C. Firstly, vitamin C is essential for iron absorption. Iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss! Moreover, vitamin C is important for the natural production of collagen. Collagen is simply the most abundant protein in the body. Also, it’s vital for fast growth of healthy hair.
Moreover, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a dangerous state, when the body can’t neutralize free radicals. There is no surprise that oxidative stress has been linked to hair loss. Foods rich in antioxidants can help the body neutralize free radicals. Hence, protect us from hair loss.
Only plants are good sources of vitamin C, though. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, Brussels sprouts are only a few foods high in vitamin C. You can see the whole list here.
Vitamin D prevents hair loss
According studies, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk of hair fall. Moreover, vitamin deficiency is pretty common. Exposure of the skin to the sunlight is a great way to increase vitamin D in your body.
Only a few foods are rich in vitamin D. So, sun exposure and supplements are the only reliable sources of vitamin D. Furthermore, vitamin D supplements are pretty cheap. Compare prices on Amazon.
Vitamin E stimulates hair growth
According to many studies, oxidative stress can cause hair loss! Oxidative stress is a state in which the body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are produced continuously in the cells of our bodies. They’re natural byproducts of the metabolism.
So, we need to consume lots of foods rich in antioxidants, in order, to deal with free radicals and protect our hair from falling. Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants! Moreover, vitamin E can stimulate hair growth. People suffering from hair loss, started growing back hair, after the application of vitamin E.
Foods high in vitamin E are wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach, broccoli, kiwis, mango, and tomatoes.
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, adults need only 15 mg of vitamin E daily. Moreover, adults can safely consume vitamin E doses up to 1,000 mg a day, from supplements. If you’re vitamin-E deficient you could benefit from taking supplements. Compare prices on Amazon.
Omega-3s promote hair growth
According to studies, eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids is good for your hair. Participants had thicker hair after 6 months, after taking omega-3 supplements! Whenever possible, eat ground flaxseeds or use flaxseed oil for healthy hair. Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are the best sources of omega-3s.
See the whole list of foods high in omega-3s here.
Iron deficiency causes hair loss & thinning!
The most common nutritional deficiency in the world is iron deficiency. Especially, for women. Many studies have shown that iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss. In many cases, iron supplementation is recommended. Moreover, people who have iron deficiency should increase their vitamin C intake. Vitamin C helps on iron absorption.
Men need 8 mg of iron daily. On the other hand, women need 18 mg, due to menstrual bleeding!
Common foods rich in iron are white beans, kidney beans, green peas, dark chocolate, lentils, spinach, tofu, potatoes, sardines, beef liver, cashews, goji berries, raisins, broccoli, rice, and many more.
Goji berries are particularly high in iron. They’re the fruit with the higher amount of iron. They have about 6.43 mg of iron per 100g!
If your physician recommends you to take iron supplements, you can compare prices on Amazon. Up to 45 mg of iron, from supplements, daily, is considered safe.
Zinc is another vital nutrient for hair growth
Hair fall can be a sign of zinc deficiency! In this case, zinc supplementation can help hair regrow! Researchers showed that zinc supplementation can be an inexpensive way to stimulate hair growth, even when other traditional therapeutic methods had failed.
Men need about 11 mg of zinc daily. Women need only 8 mg.
The main sources of zinc in the standard American diet are red meat and poultry. Certainly, eating plant-based can provide high amounts of zinc, as well. Lentils, black beans soybeans, chickpeas, green peas, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, and oats are only a few plant-based sources of zinc. See the whole list here.
If you don’t consume lots of zinc-rich foods, you could benefit from taking a zinc supplement. You can buy them here. Keep in mind, that scientists gave people with hair problems a daily dose of 50 mg of zinc gluconate.
Collagen for hair growth and thickness
Collagen is important for fast hair growth, as it surrounds, protects and supports hair follicles, promoting the growth of healthy thick hair. As the natural collagen synthesis declines with age, this ongoing cycle of hair growth may decline, as well.
Besides protein, our bodies need vitamins A & C, zinc, iron, and copper for boosting collagen production! More about boosting natural collagen synthesis here.
Antioxidants prevent hair fall
Above all, eat foods rich in antioxidants. It’s the simplest way to protect your hair from falling. Antioxidants protect from oxidative stress which has been linked to hair loss! Vegetables, fruits, and herbs are the best natural sources of antioxidants. Meat and dairy have little to none!
For instance, well-known antioxidants are vitamins A, C, E and minerals, such as zinc and selenium.
Follow a whole food plant-based diet to boost your daily antioxidant intake. Antioxidants from foods are considered a better and safer option than antioxidants from supplements.
Have you heard about amla powder? It’s the richest food in antioxidants. By far…
Do hair regrowth products really work?
Most hair regrowth products may help people. Certainly, before starting a hair treatment you should consult your doctor. It’s vital to know what’s the problem. Does hair loss come from any nutrient deficiencies or is it another case?
A healthy diet high in certain nutrients may help you, as well. Supplements can also help, if you have any nutrient deficiencies. But, you may need another hair treatment. Other causes of hair loss are diseases, infections, disorders, physiological or emotional stress, hormonal imbalances etc.
Can vitamins cause hair loss?
Actually, extremely high amounts of certain vitamins can cause hair loss! High amounts of vitamin A & E and high amounts of selenium can cause hair loss.
Certainly, only supplements can provide such extreme doses, not food. Most noteworthy, prefer to take all the nutrients you need for healthy hair from food. If you decide to take supplements, check your blood levels regularly and consult your physician.