Hair loss problem is so common these days that even children are starting to experience hair fall. Age is no longer a bar. There are many reasons for hair loss occurring at an early age such as pollution, stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep.
In many cases, hair loss occurs due to vitamins deficiency known as telogen effluvium, which temporarily shoves hairs from growth phase of the hair growth cycle to the resting phase, triggering hair loss. Telogen effluvium is temporary and the remedy is to include in your diet more of the key vitamins that promote healthy hair growth. You can stop hair loss caused by vitamins deficiency or other nutritional deficiencies of vital minerals and proteins, by having a good hair care regimen and eating a well-balanced diet comprising of hair loss foods.
In this article, we will discuss importance of vitamins for preventing and controlling hair loss. Vitamins are essential for our well-being. These days people are so busy that often they skip meals or just eat junk foods on the run. Their diet include insufficient amount of fruits and vegetables, which causes various health related disorders due to vitamin deficiencies affecting hair and skin health – leading to premature hair loss and even baldness.
According to a top nutritionist: “What you eat has a strong co-relation with the health of your skin and hair. Adequate calories, healthy fats, proteins and vitamins are vital for healthy hair. Vitamins that are especially vital for the hair include Vitamins A, E and D. Include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds in your daily diet instead of depending on supplements. Natural forms of nutrients are much healthier any day.”
To quote a Dermatologist of a reputed hospital: “Vitamins such as biotin help produce glucose and break down proteins into amino acids. Since hair itself contains keratin, which is a type of protein, these vitamins help in providing healthy locks.”
What Vitamins Are Good For Hair Loss Control?
Dermatologists claim that Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E directly affect and improve our skin, body, and especially hair.
1. Biotin: This vitamin is also known as B7 or H. It’s a water-soluble vitamin for hair loss. Biotin has been shown to promote hair growth, thicken the hair strand, and prevent hair loss. If your diet lacks B vitamins like Biotin, it may lead to hair loss. So for longer, healthier hair biotin is a vital requirement. This is widely becoming one of the most commonly used supplements for faster hair growth. Biotin is a B vitamin, and it is one of best vitamins for keeping the hair healthy. That is why many hair care products contain biotin these days. Whereas one normally gets a good amount of biotin from the food one generally eats every day, but as it is a water-soluble vitamin – meaning our body cannot retain it and flushes out what it doesn’t use. So we need to get enough of it every day.
Food sources of biotin:Mushrooms, avocados, eggs, peanut butter, salmon, etc.
2. Vitamin A: This vitamin regulates the synthesis of retinoic acid in the hair follicle. It helps in producing sebum (oil on the scalp), which moisturizes your hair so as to keep your hair from drying out and breaking.
It also helps in neutralizing free radicals that weigh your hair down.
Whereas Vitamin A is necessary for healthy hair, but excess of it can cause toxicity and can actually lead to hair loss. So, exercise caution while taking any vitamin A supplement.
Food sources for vitamin-A: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, dark leafy green vegetables, lettuce, peaches, mango, cod liver oil, tuna, etc.
3. Vitamin C: This vitamin helps the body to absorb iron from food, which not only strengthens hair but is also necessary for hair growth. It also helps to promote the production of collagen, a vital protein that is essential for maintaining the structure of your hair and repairing hair damage. Moreover, a recent research paper published in the British Journal of Dermatology says that vitamin C works as an antioxidant, which fights free radicals that damage body tissue.
Food sources for Vitamin C: Oranges, guavas, strawberries, grapefruit, kiwi, sweet limes, lemons, spinach, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, yellow bell peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli,peas, papaya, etc.
4. Vitamin D: This hair loss vitamin stimulates the hair follicle and cells that help in forming new hair shafts. One natural way to enhance your vitamin D levels is to spend some time out in the sun. Just spend approximately 15-20 minutes every day in the sun to get your vitamin D daily dose. If you are deficient in vitamin D, you should include in your diet foods that are rich in vitamin D or consider having supplements.
Food sources for Vitamin D: Halibut, mackerel, eel, salmon, cod liver oil, soymilk, eggs, tofu, etc.
5. Vitamin E: It stimulates capillaries, thereby improves blood circulation on the scalp. It stimulates capillaries and this improves blood circulation on the scalp. This further helps hair growth because of its potent antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only eating it helps, but its topical application also reduces inflammation, increases blood circulation, boosts oxygen supply, and repairs damaged hair follicles.
Food sources for vitamin E: Almonds, sunflower seeds, avocado, tofu, extra virgin olive oil, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin etc.
In addition to the hair loss vitamins, your body also needs certain minerals to keep your hair healthy and prevent hair loss. Minerals for hair loss such as Zinc and Iron provide essential hair nutrients to nourish healthy and longer hair. You can prevent hair fall and promote natural hair growth by eating a good hair loss diet. Here are five of the top foods for hair growth:
(i) Nuts (which contain omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, vitamin E and copper)
(ii) Oysters (rich in zinc)
(iii) Sweet potatoes (omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, K and E)
(iv) Eggs (a good source of protein, plus biotin, other B vitamins, zinc, selenium, sulfur and iron)
(v) Spinach (iron, beta-carotene, folate, vitamin A and vitamin C).
Whereas hair loss conditions caused by chemotherapy, illness and medication, may improve slightly by having a good diet comprising of the above foods, but in many other cases men and women can see great results after only 3-4 months eating more vitamins and minerals for hair growth.
Natural Beauty Tips
(i) If your diet lacks adequate proteins and include more of carbohydrates and fat often than you are more likely to suffer from hair loss, hair thinning and early graying of hair.
(ii) To have healthy hair growth, eat a protein-rich diet, which comes in the form of fish, chicken, some different forms of lentils, dried beans (rajma), tofu, cottage cheese (paneer), and of course, milk.
(iii) Also eat Vitamin A and C in the form of a citrus-based fruits, tomato-based curry or lime juice once each day to make sure your quota of this specific vitamin to prevent thinning of hair is met.
(iv) Over-styling and using heat tools can harm hair and cause hair loss. Try to avoid or at least reduce the use of heat tools like flat irons, blow-dryers and curling irons to every other day or less.
(v) Everyday stress can cause hair to dull, thin and even cause hair loss. Make lifestyle changes to reduce your stress, like doing regular exercise, meditation and deep breathing to stay calm and centered.
If your diet is deficient in hair loss vitamins and minerals, you may consider having supplements. The choice of supplements varies in accordance with the specific deficiency and can differ from person to person. Another important factor is that the supplements should be used in appropriate amounts and not excessively. Always consult a health care professional before you start taking any supplements so that you don’t end up aggravating the problem further.