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We don’t always get all the nutrients we need from our diets, so we’ve rounded up the best vitamins and supplements to help hair grow to help you make sure you’ve got them all in!
Many of us see our hair as an extension of ourselves. We express our personality through how we style, color, and cut it.
Having a bad hair day can totally ruin your day!
Hair health is a big deal, so when we experience hair loss, unhealthy frizz, or it won’t grow no matter what we do, it’s a real bummer. It’s also an indication that we’re probably not as healthy on the inside as we should be.
We shed dozens of strands of hair a day, which is a normal part of our body replacing old weak cells with new, healthy ones. Most people know what the normal amount of shedding is for them by how much they see on their hairbrush, in the shower, or on their clothes.
There can be plenty of reasons why your hair isn’t as shiny or as full of volume as you’d like.
Fortunately, most of them can be easily fixed by getting the proper nutrients needed to create hair that dazzles.
Hormones Can Affect Hair Growth and Health
Have you ever noticed that pregnant women often have gorgeous hair that won’t stop growing no matter how poorly they treat it? It’s because of the surges of estrogen they get during pregnancy, which causes hair growth.
After they have the baby and hormones start to adjust, they usually shed hair like crazy. Women who start or change birth control can also go through the same thing.
Estrogen makes your hair grow fast and furious, and sometimes in places that shouldn’t have hair. If you’ve ever been on birth control pills and had hair grow in weird places, you know what I mean.
Inflammation, Illness, Toxic Environment, and Poor Diet Contribute to Unhealthy Hair
When your autoimmune system goes wild, sometimes it will see your hair follicles as the enemy and attack them, causing inflammation. Diseases that cause hair loss like alopecia are a result of this, but any autoimmune issue can cause hair trouble.
Emotional, physical, and environmental stressors are also big causes of poor hair quality because the body puts most of its energy toward the stress response instead of growing hair.
Feeling stressed all the time is not going to give you long, flowy tresses. But perhaps the biggest contributor to hair health is diet.
Protein, certain vitamins and minerals, and amino acids all contribute to how long and fast our hair grows, and whether it’s healthy or not.
If you want luscious locks, switch to a healthy diet filled with nutritious vegetables, fruits, and lean meats that are good for the body. If you’re already eating great, but your hair still isn’t meeting your expectations, supplements might be the way to grow.
Biotin is a B complex vitamin that you get when you eat nuts, eggs, cheese, whole wheat, fish, raspberries, and cauliflower. It plays a role in helping the body to produce amino acids, which are important in making keratin.
American researchers wanted to see if biotin had an effect on generally healthy women with thinning hair that was a result of thyroid issues, alopecia, or medications. They found that there was a significant amount of new hair growth after just 90 days of taking an oral supplement twice a day. (2)
They also noticed that the participant’s hair was shinier and less brittle, and their nails and skin also looked better after the study!
If you’re ready for Rapunzel-like hair, try Biotin High Potency Veggie Soft Gel with Coconut Oil from Sports Research. It’s Amazon’s number one hair supplement, with over 6000 five-star reviews.
The World Health Organization says that zinc deficiency is a huge problem worldwide, with over 32% of humans on the planet not getting enough. (3)
Since you get it primarily from meats like beef, chicken, and lamb, vegetarians usually don’t get enough.
It can also be found in pumpkin seeds, cashews, spinach, and mushrooms, but you need to eat a lot of veggies to get your daily requirement. Unless you are a serious carnivore, taking a good quality zinc supplement is important.
Studies show that people who don’t metabolize zinc well or don’t get enough of it in their diet have a greater chance of experiencing hair loss, both men and women. (4) In fact, every participant who had hair loss was zinc deficient.
Many supplement brands use synthetic zinc, so try Peak Performance Raw Organic Whole Food Zinc.
3. Vitamin D
Your body doesn’t produce vitamin D all by itself- it needs the sun for that. If you spend a lot of time catching rays, then you probably don’t have to worry about having a deficiency.
The sad truth is that most of us don’t spend enough time in the sunshine to get the vitamin D we need to keep us healthy, and one of the results of that is hair loss and thinning.
Certain autoimmune diseases that cause hair loss are also linked to vitamin D deficiency, including alopecia areata and vitiligo. One study showed that (5) the majority of participants with these illnesses also had low levels of vitamin D, and supplementing help.
You can also get it by eating foods like fatty fish, portabella mushrooms, egg yolks, cheese, and fortified dairy.
If none of those foods sounds good, try a supplement like Ultrax Labs Hair Rush, which includes vitamin D and keratin for more lustrous locks.
Iron is another substance that many people don’t get enough of, and it can contribute to hair loss. Even if you’re eating enough iron-rich foods like egg yolks, red meat, and dark, leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard, your body might not be absorbing it well.
People who have leaky gut or digestive issues, elderly folks, and pregnant women often have difficulty absorbing iron, and brittle nails and hair are a common symptom. (6) Meat seems to be the easiest source for the body to absorb, so if you’re a vegetarian, you also might be deficient.
If you don’t have enough iron in your body, it can’t produce the hemoglobin it needs to carry the oxygen required to grow hair.
Floradix Liquid Iron has organic iron sourced from nutrient-rich plants and is a safe way to get your daily intake.
A lack of magnesium can make us feel weak, age faster, and contributes to problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, heart conditions, osteoporosis, and chronic fatigue. It’s no surprise it affects how much hair we have.
It helps prevent calcium buildup on the scalp, which clogs hair follicles and can lead to inflammation on the scalp. It does this by making sure that the calcium you take in gets to the bones where it should be.
It also helps with protein synthesis, and since your hair is mostly protein, it’s going to make your hair healthier and keep it from going gray.
Natural Calm Magnesium is one of Amazon’s top-rated supplements. It’s organic and comes in three delicious flavors!
Not only is it going to help your hair, but it will chill you out. Magnesium works amazingly when you’re stressed.
6. Fish Oil
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for being incredible antioxidants, and there’s plenty of research that proves their effects on hair and skin health.
One study showed that, after six months of taking omega-3 supplements, participants had an 89.9% reduction in hair loss and an 87% increase in hair growth. (7)
The reason that it works so well is due to its inflammation-busting properties. Inflammation is one of the primary problems with conditions like alopecia and dermatitis, which can cause hair loss and stunted growth.
The nutrients and protein in fish oil also nourish hair follicles and strengthen the roots, giving you longer, shinier, stronger hair.
Omega 3 from plant sources like flaxseed are also good for the hair, but they have short-chained fatty acids instead of long-chained like fish oil, so they are less effective. Still, if you’re vegan and you want a veggie option, try flaxseed oil instead.
Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil supplement is one of the best on the market and what we personally use (fish burps not included!).
There are also plenty of vegan supplement options for Omega-3s as well.
7. Vitamin E
You can find the well-known free-radical fighter vitamin E in foods like sunflower seeds, broccoli, and spinach. When taken internally, it can regulate cholesterol and hormones, fight cancer, slow the aging process, and improve heart health.
Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are also great for the skin and hair. Getting enough in your diet is going to help your hair growth, but you can also use it topically for an added bonus.
Rub vitamin E into your scalp and on the ends of your hair, then let it sit for at least an hour. After you wash it off, your hair with feel silky and your scalp will be nice and hydrated.
E NOW 400 Soft Gels have 400 IU of natural vitamin E in a gel cap that you can either take internally or break open and use topically on the scalp and hair.
If you enjoyed this article on the best vitamins and supplements to help hair grow or have any questions, please leave a comment below!