Best Vitamins and Minerals for Hair Growth

Hair loss and thinning hair is a problem that affects many people. By the age of 35, about 66% of men will experience some type of hair loss or thinning. By their mid-50s, about 85% of men will have lost a significant amount of hair.[1]Although it’s talked about less, hair loss affects women as well; about 40% of people who experience hair loss are women. And, because it’s generally considered more acceptable, or at least more common in men, hair loss can be especially distressing for women,[2] causing depression and negatively affecting self-esteem.[3]Although full, shiny hair is viewed by many as an outward characteristic of youth and good genes,[4] hair loss is not purely an issue of vanity. Rather, hair health can actually be a telling indicator of health status. [5]

Vitamins for Hair Growth

Everything your body does is fueled by nutrition. Without enough vitamin B-12, your energy levels will suffer; bone health can be negatively affected if calcium levels are inadequate; your immune system can’t be strong without adequate selenium. Hair growth is no different and, in fact, several nutrients are absolutely critical for normal hair growth–vitamins A, C, biotin (B7), and niacin (B3), and the essential minerals iron, zinc,[5] and iodine. Together, they provide the nutritional foundation for full, thick, shiny looking hair. If you’re short on the essential nutrients that support healthy hair, it won’t look and feel its best.

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Vitamin D

Adequate vitamin D is important for preventing hair loss, especially in women. In one study, females who experienced female pattern hair loss also had low levels of vitamin D.[6]

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Vitamin A deficiency accompanies a host of serious health consequences. Though rare, this deficiency also leads to dry hair, which is one of the first indications that you’re not getting enough vitamin A.[7]

Biotin

Biotin, or vitamin B7, is one of the B-complex vitamins. The relationship between biotin and hair growth is still unclear but it is known that adequate biotin is necessary for healthy hair growth.[8] As with vitamin A deficiency, hair loss is usually one of the first signs of a biotin deficiency.[9] The best way to avoid a biotin deficiency is to simply get enough in your diet. Avocados, bananas, legumes, and leafy greens are some of the best biotin food sources. If you’re coming up short on your daily serving of biotin, Global Healing Center’s Biotin supplement is plant-sourced, highly bioavailable and can help fill the gap.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it helps mitigate free radical damage. Although many people associate free radical damage as some sort of internal-only process, hair follicle cells are also affected by free radical stress and it can start to show in hair strands, especially as you age. The free radical theory of aging (FRTA) holds that a lifetime of cellular damage from free radicals is what actually causes the effects commonly referred to as aging–the diminished cell and organ function associated with advancing years.[10]

Antioxidants like vitamin C can help reduce oxidative damage. In hair follicles, this translates to preventing unnecessary and premature graying of the hair, as well as hair loss.[11] Fortunately, a balanced diet can supply more than enough vitamin C. Some of the best sources are citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that helps fight damage from free radicals. People who suffer from hair loss generally have fewer antioxidants present in the scalp and, thus, more evidence of oxidative damage in the skin. One small study of persons affected by alopecia (a type of hair loss where the immune system attacks hair follicles) found that oral supplementation with tocotrienol, a type of vitamin E, helped reduce oxidative stress in the scalp and encourage more hair growth.[12]

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