Luscious, silky and voluminous hair is every person’s desire. As with all other parts of the body that require nutrients to be healthy, the same goes for our hair as well. While there are certain other factors such as age, genes, hormonal effects etc. that can affect hair growth, taking the right vitamins and minerals goes a long way in keeping them healthy, shiny and growing.
Here, we take a quick look at the vitamins and minerals your body needs for those strong, shiny and voluminous hair:
Vitamins for hair volume
Your hair needs adequate vitamin A aka retinol for growth. It helps the skin glands produce an oily substance called the sebum that moisturizes the scalp, and keeps hair health in check, by also fighting off radicals that make your hair look flat and weighed down. You can include animal products like milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, oily fish, or vegetables like carrots, spinach etc. in your diet as they are good sources of vitamin A.
Biotin is one of the best known vitamins that contribute to hair growth, deficiency of which can lead to hair loss. This can be found in a lot of foods, such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts etc. These help regulate the metabolism and are also useful in maintaining a healthy nervous system. There are other vitamins B which help create red blood cells that are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to the scalp, thereby promoting healthy hair growth.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant. According to a small study, people with hair loss experienced about 34.5% increase in hair growth when their intake of vitamin E was regulated for 8 months. Foods such as spinach, almonds, plant oils such as rapeseed (vegetable oil), sunflower, soya, corn and olive oil and avocados are good sources of vitamin E, and should be eaten regularly to maintain the right amount of nutrients in the body. Tablets and other supplements are also available in the market for vitamin E, but opting for natural ways is a better remedy to prevent hair loss, as these can have adverse effects or can also lead to hair loss.
Collagen protein forms an important part of your hair and this vitamin helps form it. Free radicals can sometimes damage and block hair growth or make your hair look dull and aged, vitamin C comes as a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent the oxidative stress that these free radicals cause, and ensure the hair is growing, strong and healthy. Fruits like guavas, oranges, lemons, strawberries as well as peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts and potatoes etc. are all great sources of vitamin C.
Minerals for hair volume:
A condition called telogen effluvium where there is an excessive amount of hair loss experienced may be related to deficiency in iron. It is essential to make sure they take a diet rich in iron, and have adequate amounts of ferritin i.e. iron storage in the body maintained. Have leafy vegetables, beans such as red kidney beans and chickpeas, seafood etc., to make sure iron levels are sufficient to prevent hair fall and support luscious locks.
The dryness in the hair can also be attributed to lack of zinc in your diet. Without zinc, a hormonal imbalance can happen and result in the hair follicles to shrink. It is not only involved in testosterone metabolism but also helps in regulating oil production in the sebaceous glands in the scalp. Food like meat, legumes, nuts, baked beans, chickpeas, dark chocolate etc. can help with fulfilling zinc requirements.
We are always cautioned about taking the right amount of salt in our food; iodine is an important mineral that is required to make thyroid hormones. Any changes in the hormone can lead to the hair getting thin, losing their shine and ultimately having hair loss due to change in hair quality.
It is another antioxidant that clears toxins that can have an adverse effect on the hair growth and inhibit hair growth. The mineral is involved in hair formation and is needed by the body for regulating and activating thyroid hormones, imbalances in which can lead to hair fall. All these hormones and nutrients are in one way or the other related to each other and are responsible for giving our hair a healthy shine. Liver, fish, eggs, whole grains, meat, fish and nuts etc. can be consumed for selenium.
The blood and other body fluids have minerals that carry an electric charge. These are called electrolytes and perform many important functions in the body. Book electrolytes tests here.
If one is suffering from constant hair fall or hair loss, seeking a dermatological treatment is your best bet; it could be due to some disease, vitamin deficiency, any hormone imbalance, severe infection etc.
Your doctor would suggest going for a blood test or scalp biopsy. Depending on the cause, the doctor can recommend either at-home treatments, such as using minoxidil, laser caps or combs, or can recommend injections, hair transplant, PRP (platelet rich plasma) or laser therapy that truly depends on the degree of hair fall intensity. Many people do not have enough of these vital nutrients in their daily diets, leading to deficiencies or having to take supplements for what can be available naturally.
Ultimately, healthy eating, exercising, living a stress free life can go a long way in helping curtail deficiencies of essential nutrients in the body that in turn reflect on your hair, resulting in their shine, volume and making them strong, promoting growth and reducing hair fall.