A head full of healthy hair is what we all desire. When it comes to looks, we are all aware that however expensive clothes you wear or accessories you adorn, nothing can make up for hair loss including thinning and unhealthy hair. Taking care of your hair from early on helps prevent issues later. But what is the right way to take care of your hair? Does the right solution lie in expensive oils and shampoos? Well, actually the part of your hair which is most important and which you cannot see, is your hair follicles. Thus more than what you apply, what you eat, helps nourish the same, making them stronger and healthier. So here is a list of 9 essential vitamins and nutrients, which you must not miss out on, if you want your hair to be healthy, from its roots!
- Vitamin A:
Vitamin A, found in orange and yellow vegetables, eggs and cod liver oil, helps in the production of sebum, which in turn keeps your scalp nourished and moisturized. It also promotes the circulation of oxygen which fortifies hair follicles, thereby leading to healthy hair growth.
2. Vitamin Bs:
Amongst vitamin Bs, vitamin B6, B12 and Folate, play an important role in carrying oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in your body, including the cells of your hair follicle. In case you're low on vitamin Bs, then the cells don't get enough nutrition, thereby slowing your hair growth, subsequently leading to breakage and shedding. Good natural food sources of Vitamin B would be, dark leafy greens, almonds, meat, fish and seafoods.
3. Vitamin C:
As per the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin C plays a vital role in protein metabolism. Our body needs vitamin C to create the protein collagen, which is an integral part of our hair structure. It also plays a vital role in helping the body absorb iron, which again plays a vital role in hair growth. A review which was published in the journal Dermatological Therapy has linked vitamin C deficiency to hair loss. So including sufficient quantities of Vitamin C in your diet ensures good hair quality.
Also known as vitamin B7, this plays an important role in the growth of healthy and thick hair. It is not only known to stimulate hair growth, but is also known to reverse hair loss. As per experts, if you don't have enough biotin, your body cannot produce the healthy hair protein, keratin. Foods rich in biotin are eggs, almonds, cheese, cauliflower and mushrooms.
5. Vitamin D:
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, this helps stimulate hair follicles and and activates cells within the hair shaft which leads to healthy hair. Further research has shown that vitamin D can help create new hair follicles, that is tiny pores on the scalp, from which new hair grows. If you have less of this vitamin, then it can lead to hair loss. The best natural source of vitamin D is the natural sunshine, apart from food sources like egg yolk, cheese, fatty fish, soy milk and cereals.
6. Vitamin E :
This vitamin plays an important role in expanding blood vessels that carry blood, thus promoting better blood circulation. This leads to a healthier scalp, which is essential for long and supple hair. Also it is an antioxidant which helps prevent oxidative stress and free radicals, which otherwise breakdowns the cells of the hair follicles. Rich sources of vitamin E would be almonds, kiwi, papaya and sunflower seeds.
Iron not only helps boost blood circulation but also helps carry oxygen to the roots of your hair, which helps the hair grow faster and longer. As per experts, an iron deficiency which is also known as anemia can lead to hair loss. Foods rich in iron would be eggs, tofu, legumes, Iron-rich cereals and liver.
8. Protein :
Our hair structure is mainly made up of protein. Therefore protein in our diet helps the body to produce keratin, which is the protein our hair is made up of. To promote proper hair growth, experts advise a protein-rich diet like eggs, berries, fatty fish and sweet potatoes.
Zinc plays an important role in repairing damaged hair and strengthening hair follicles. Also, it helps stimulate oil glands around the follicles, thereby ensuring your scalp stays nourished and healthy. Studies have shown zinc supplements to reduce hair loss associated with zinc deficiency. For healthy and supple hair, zinc-rich foods to incorporate in your diet would be mushroom, spinach, broccoli, meat and poultry legumes, nuts and pumpkin seeds.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP