There are over 4 million hairs on the average human's head, and these hairs grow over periods of time known as terminal hair growth, or terminal length. The average terminal length of each hair lasts for a 6-7 year period, and then the hair falls out so it can be replaced by a new one. And it's certainly a good thing that these hairs get replaced because they keep your scalp warm – and on other parts of the body – prevent unwanted debris from entering your eyes, ears and nose. With that being said, the hair found on your head is considered to be the most important area of hair on the body!
Unfortunately, many people struggle with hair loss, which robs them of the aforementioned benefits. Thinning hair or going bald is oftentimes a sign of aging, but luckily, hair loss can be slowed or even stopped altogether. If you suffer from hair loss or brittle hair, it may be caused by the improper care of your hair, or a lack of nutrients you are taking in. A person's hair and nails will oftentimes reflect the health of the individual they belong to. Fortunately, there are easier ways of adding the right amount of vitamins and minerals to your diet for healthy hair and nails.
However, before taking any nutritional supplements, it's always best to consult with a physician. This is especially necessary if you are pregnant, or have diseases that could become more serious with improper usage of nutritional supplements. Now that we've established this, here is a list of vitamins you should consider incorporating into your diet for healthier hair, skin and nails.
Vitamins & Minerals That Help Your Hair Grow Faster
Your body uses iron found in red blood cells as a carrier pigeon to bring oxygen to all of the cells found in your body. If the body is deprived of iron, you could become anemic, thus causing you to feel tired or weak. When your body is weak, so is your hair, which leads to damage and breakage; so be sure to increase intake of iron after consulting your physician.
Vitamin H is also known as Biotin or vitaminB7. All of the vitamins found in the B vitamin family are crucial to healthy hair growth, so vitamin H is no different. Biotin is responsible for turning carbohydrates into energy that the body can use. You should also know that Biotin aids in metabolizing the fats and protein crucial to enhancing and strengthening hair; you can find Biotin naturally in nuts and egg yolks. Another satisfying fact about Biotin is that it may ward off grey hair and hair loss.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant important for healthy hair because it contributes to the production of sebum (oil) on your scalp. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that maintains and balances out the synthesis of retinoic acid found in your hair follicles. You'll find vitamin A naturally in meat, cheese, eggs, apricots, spinach, fish, liver oil, milk, broccoli, peaches, carrots and cabbage.
Ascorbic Acid, which is a water-soluble vitamin commonly referred to as vitamin C, is great for hair growth because it's able to build and repair tissue. It’s an antioxidant that smoothes out some of the damage which occurs with inevitable exposure to pollutants that make hair and nails brittle. If you’re not getting enough vitamin C, you may experience hangnails and brittle hair. But as always, it’s important not to take supplements without consulting a doctor beforehand.
Zinc is not a vitamin, however, it is found in each and every cell inside of your body. For centuries we have used zinc for its ability to heal wounds quickly, and it works as an antioxidant to cut down the production of free radicals or molecules produced by everyday pollutants. If a zinc deficiency occurs, you will notice white areas on your fingernails; fortunately, this issue is easily solved with a zinc supplement of 8-11 mg. You can also eat veal liver, toasted wheat germ, sesame seeds, tahini (sesame seed butter) and dark chocolate. Make sure to speak with your doctor before adding a supplement to your diet.
By including vitamin E in your diet, you increase your scalp’s blood circulation. Similar to zinc and vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that can be found naturally in wheat germ oil, raw seeds and nuts, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, cold-pressed vegetable oils or dried beans. For those who have blood pressure problems, it is very important to discuss vitamin E with your doctor since it can increase blood pressure, which causes serious complications.
You’ll be able to find vitamin B5 in a variety of foods including the following: liver, organ meats, egg yolk and vegetables. This particular vitamin is also known as Pantothenic Acid and works in the same manor as vitamin H, and in combination, will create a strong barrier for hair loss. Vitamin B5 fights against grey hair because it contributes to melanin, which is responsible for your hair color.
Again, inositol is not considered a vitamin because it's able to synthesize inside of the body, but it still plays a role in keeping hair healthy. Look for foods like cantaloupe, oranges, and melons to find inositol in its natural habitat. The reason why you want to incorporate these foods into your diet is because inositol helps your hair keep its moisture intact.
Above all, remember that your hair and body go hand-in-hand; both need proper nutrients to function and maintain good health. Keeping this in mind, hair found on the body is mostly made up of protein, which is why protein should always be included in your diet. You can find protein in milk, eggs, soy products, beans and yogurt. Also, find foods rich in lecithin to make hair stronger; some foods with lecithin are wheat germ, yeast and calves liver. Simple changes to your diet such as these can reduce hair loss, and promote hair growth over time.
Read more: Vitamins That Promote Hair Growth: Help Your Hair Grow Faster