An improper diet can make hair weak, brittle, and can stunt hair growth. How you take care of your body will show through your skin, nails, and hair. The healthier your body is, the more healthy and beautiful your hair will be. Adequate water intake, proper nutrition, and exercise are the three important factors for optimal hair health from within.
Water helps hair growth through hydration of the scalp and regulating the circulatory system. A hydrated scalp will help to regulate sebum production, prevent dryness and excess flaking. Water helps in circulating blood throughout our body and to our scalp in which our hair follicles need to produce hair. An inadequate intake of water can stunt hair growth. Remember, your hair is a reflection of what’s going on internally. Make sure that you drink at least 64 ounces of water daily.
Exercise is one of the least executed sources for hair growth. Mainly because exercise is associated with weight control. In order to optimize hair health, exercise is a critical part in achieving that. Exercise increases blood circulation and in return, supplies the scalp with more nutrients. More nutrients means happy hair follicles and happy hair.
Vitamins for Hair & Food Sources
Taking vitamins are a great way to get nutrients that we lack from our diets. However, if you have a balanced diet, then supplements aren’t necessary. If you do take supplements, do not go overboard with the dosage as too much of anything can do more harm than good. Vitamins are needed for hair growth and retention. The recommended daily dosage for the following vitamins are suggested by the Food and Drug Administration.
Vitamin A (5,000 IU) – is an antioxidant that helps to produce sebum on the scalp.
Sources – Sweet Potatoes, Cantaloupe, Lettuce
Vitamin C, 60 mg – An antioxidant that fights free radicals to strengthen the hair follicles and the hair shaft.
Sources – Papaya, Kale, Oranges
Vitamin D, 400 IU – Contains Omega 3 fatty acids that helps to keep the scalp free of infections, dandruff, and maintaining proper circulation of nutrients to the scalp. Aids in the absorption of calcium.
Sources – Dairy, Cabbage, Oatmeal
Vitamin E, 30 IU – Helps with the growth of capillaries which provide stimulation to the scalp preventing hair loss.
Sources – Spinach, Dried Herbs, Apricots
Calcium, 1,000 mg – Regulates lactic acid, adrenaline, and carbon dioxide which can cause hair loss in high concentrations.
Sources – Strawberries, Milk, Broccoli,
Iron, 18 mg – Improves blood circulation which is essential for hair growth.
Sources – Olives, Sesame Seeds, Turkey
Zinc, 15 mg – Improves the immune system by aiding in cell reproduction, hormonal balance, and the absorption of vitamins and proteins which are necessary for hair growth. It also regulates the oils that our sebaceous glands secretes.
Sources – Dark Chocolate, Pumpkin seeds, Lean Pork
Iodine, 150 mcg – A lack of iodine can cause thyroid issues which can negatively affect our cells metabolic process. This can weaken the hair and can cause excess shedding.
Sources – Yogurt, Eggs, Cod Fish
Manganese, 2 mg – Deficiency of this mineral can impair hair growth and cause loss of hair color.
Sources – Tea, Whole Grains, Pineapple
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), 1.5 mg – Reduces hair loss, increases hair growth, and prevents early graying.
Sources – Tuna, Sunflower Seeds, Pinto Beans
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), 1.7 mg – Plays a key role in hair growth and development. A riboflavin deficiency can gradually cause severe hair loss.
Sources – Almonds, Cheese, Mackerel
Vitamin B3 (Niacin), 20 mg – Increased blood circulation which helps to feed our scalp with more nutrients and increases hair growth rate.
Sources – Red Meat, Peanuts, Sun-dried Tomatoes
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), 10 mg – Contributes to the nourishment and the strength of hair follicles.
Sources – Corn, Avocado, Yogurt
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), 2 mg – Moisturizes and prevents dandruff of the scalp.
Sources – Pistachios, Dried Herbs, Wheat Bran
Vitamin B7 (Biotin), 300 mcg – Stimulates and strengthen hair follicles which promotes stronger hair.
Sources – Carrots, Liver, Strawberries
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), 400 mcg – Aids in cell division and circulation which makes hair thicker. It also prevents premature graying.
Sources – Asparagus, Garbanzo Beans, Avocado
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), 6 mcg – Aids in the creation of red blood cells which provide oxygen to the scalp. A B12 deficiency can cause severe hair loss.
Sources – Beef, Fortified Cereal, Milk
There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the minerals below. However, they are known to be a great benefit for hair and body.
MSM (Sulfur), 1,000-3,000 mcg – Boosts circulation and minimizes inflammation which increases hair growth.
Sources – Raw Vegetables, Flaxseeds, Raspberries
Silica, 30-33 mg – Strengthens the hair. A very essential nutrient, especially since there is a significant reduction of this in our bodies as we age.
Sources – Mangoes, Celery, Green Beans