Hair health sometimes slips through the cracks while other more pressing matters take center stage. Few realize just how reflective hair health can be to overall health. Nutrients that make your hair shine have a way of making your health shine as well. The hair supplements discussed here can all help keep you ahead of the curve.
Understanding Hair Health
Everyone has experienced a few bad hair days during their life. We try to look for the best products to keep our hair healthy and protected, but sometimes putting product on top of product does nothing.
You might have even tried something even stronger, like PRP for hair loss. You probably already know that hair dye, heat styling, and age play a role in your hair health, but that’s not all. Hair damage and loss could actually be the result of your body not getting all the nutrients it needs.
Supplements for Hair Health
Understanding the nutrients that go into keeping your hair healthy is a noble endeavor. The state of your hair is, largely, reflective of overall health as well. Taking supplements willy-nilly is a fool’s game however and should always be done with some guided advice.
If you think your hair is suffering from your diet or a deficiency, your doctor is the only one who can really tell you what you need to take. Any number of health problems can be impacting your hair, but there are a few common supplements that can help.
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that’s commonly recommended to help regrow and strengthen hair (R). Having a biotin deficiency is uncommon in countries where people eat a healthy amount of food, but adding more into your diet could help you repair brittle hair. You can often find biotin included in shampoo and conditioner, but it’s not as effective externally when compared to being ingested. Biotin is sold in tablets and capsules, but you can also get Biotin through foods like eggs, salmon, and avocados.
Every cell needs vitamin A to grow, and hair cells are no different. If you suffer from a dry scalp that’s affecting your hair growth, vitamin A can help your body produce sebum. Sebum is the oil that the skin uses to help keep it moisturized. A well-moisturized scalp will do a better job at keeping your hair healthy (R). Vitamin A also contains antioxidants to further help your skin and hair. While vitamin A can be one of the best supplements to help your hair thrive, it’s fat-soluble and difficult for your body to process and taking too much can actually lead to hair loss.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is like the lesser known cousin of Biotin that helps metabolize the food we eat, like fats and carbohydrates. Vitamin B5 helps give your hair the nutrients it needs to be able to grow and protect itself (R). If your hair were to not get nutrients broken down from food, follicles would stop working and hair would quickly become dry and brittle.
Your body also produces collagen, a protein, on its own, but it’s not uncommon for your body to not have enough due to other lifestyle choices and age. Collagen is a common topic right now for what it can do for your skin and hair. It’s essential in holding the skin together and helping with its elasticity. Taking collagen supplements can help build proteins in hair, repair follicle damage, and prevent future damage by strengthening hair. Collagen can be bought as a powder to add to drinks so that it can easily be added to your routine.
The fishy aftertaste associated with fish oil capsules might be worth it for its hair benefits. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are perfect for strengthening hair. Omega 3s are commonly recommended to help improve skin and repair damaged hair. You can also get omega 3 from eating fish rather than taking a supplement. Research shows that these types of fatty acids, namely those found in fish oil, help promote healthy hair growth (R).
Zinc can help improve your follicle health and treat some disorder that could lead to hair loss and damage. Taking zinc supplements if you need them can prevent hair from falling out and encourages new hair to grow. It can also help to make sure that oil glands on the scalp will grow correctly. Like vitamin A, taking too much zinc can lead to potential hair loss. Research suggests that those with insufficient zinc levels are the ones that stand to reap the most hair-growth stimulation from supplementation (R).
Free radical damage and aging can cause hair to become weak and fall out. A good way to protect your hair from these stressors is by getting enough vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help repair and prevent damage caused by oxidative stress. Collagen and vitamin C also go hand in hand, so make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin C can help your body produce more collagen to help hair. Research shows that compounds such as ascorbic acid (common Vitamin C ingredient) help repair damaged hair follicles and stimulate new growth (R).
Hair loss is an issue for millions around the globe. As we age, our bodies become less able to provide the nutrients to our hair that’s needed to sustain healthy growth. The exact causes of hair loss aren’t known—but many are genetic. While taking the above supplements may not prevent eventual baldness they are likely to postpone it. As with all supplements, it’s extremely important to ensure you’re buying quality products. Check out our guide to supplement brands for some help there!