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Reviving Barren Lands: The 7 Best Vitamins and Nutrients for Hair Growth

Dr. Sumbal Lohana

2 min read

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The average person loses approximately 100 hairs a day, and while some recover it with ease, there are others who become victim to excess hair shedding due to regeneration being slower than the breakage cycle.

Although age, hormones, and genetics are uncontrollable factors, most cases of reduced hair growth result from internal deficiencies, which is where the following list of hair-essential vitamins and nutrients comes in. However, we highly recommend going to a dermatologist for a thorough inspection.

1-Vitamin B:

Obtainable via whole grains, leafy greens, almonds, meat, fish, and other seafood, B-vitamins are, undoubtedly, one of the most essential vitamins for optimum hair growth; with some hair-specific B-vitamins being:

  • Biotin aka vitamin H or B7 is naturally produced in the intestines and is a popular supplement for treating hair loss, although the best results are obtained in those near-devoid of the vitamin. However, biotin may also increase bodily hair growth and induce acne in some individuals.
  • B6 is responsible for helping increase red blood cell count, the carriers that supply oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles, and promote blood circulation to produce strong hair fibers.
  • B12 strengthens hair and prevents further hair loss.

2-Vitamin A:

Also known as the vitamin of life, vitamin A promotes full-body growth from small cells to the hair along with regulating retinoic acid production required to maintain overall hair health. It also aids the skin glands in producing sebum or ‘skin oil’ responsible for maintaining scalp moisture and health. Vitamin A can be acquired from sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens, milk, eggs, and yogurt. However, it may cause converse effects if the daily requirement of 25,000 IU is exceeded.

3-Vitamin C:

This water-soluble antioxidant prevents hair loss, shedding, brittleness and splitting by defending against free radical damage. It also boosts collagen production to prevent premature graying and aids iron absorption. Popular sources of vitamin C include strawberries, citrus fruits, guavas and peppers. Similarly, vitamin E obtained from almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados and spinach also helps prevent oxidative stress; although it causes blood thinning if consumed in excess of 400 IUs daily.

4-Vitamin D:

In addition to reversing alopecia, or hair loss, and reducing the effects of balding, vitamin D can also revive dormant hair follicles and help create new ones. Although primarily obtained through direct sunlight absorption, popular food sources include mushrooms, cod liver oil, fatty fish, and vitamin D-fortified foods.

5-Iron:

Predominantly assisting the red blood cells in supplying oxygen to the hair and overall body cells, a deficiency of this vital nutrient can cause anemia, a leading hair loss-inducer in women, particularly menopausal ones. High-iron food sources include red meat, spinach, lentils, clams, oysters, and eggs.

6-Zinc:

Along with helping repair damaged hair tissue, zinc also ensures proper functioning of the sebum glands and hair follicles by preventing them from deteriorating. This vital nutrient also helps prevent dandruff, retains luster, and aids in the creation of new hair follicles by promoting DNA and RNA production. Zinc is best obtained from beef, spinach, wheat germ, lentils, pumpkin seeds, and oysters.

7-Collagen:

Hair is composed almost entirely of protein, making it the driving force behind hair growth and its deficiency a prime factor for hair loss. Of all proteins, collagen is the most important protein pertaining to hair growth as it strengthens and protects the hair from thinning, breakage, and delays graying, while also preventing the absorption and spread of toxins and cancerous cells in the skin.

Moreover, the amino acids proline, alanine, and arginine present in collagen promote early-stage hair growth by increasing nutrient supply to the follicles and inhibit disease or stress-induced hair loss.  The best collagen food sources include eggs, fatty fish, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and berries.

Although natural food sources are the best route to obtaining the above vitamins and nutrients, supplements can be taken in case of food allergies or unfulfillment of nutritional requirements. Also, remember to get properly tested for any deficiencies before starting supplementation or increasing intake of particular foods. You can also book an appointment with a top Dermatologist in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your hair-related concerns

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Sumbal Lohana - Author Dr. sumbal lohana is a qualified dermatologist and cosmetologist. Her mantra is to make people relaize how important it is to feel confident and comfortable within their own skin. She believes that clear skin is achievable and all that is required is awareness and proper guidance.
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