Wow! A vitamin that can grow hair and cure baldness. Sign us up!
Not so fast. Some vitamins and supplements might stimulate hair growth. But read that again. The key word is “might”.
If you’re among the 90% of men who lose their locks from androgenic alopecia, better known as male pattern baldness, there’s no magic cure. You can address balding in men with medical treatments like Rogaine and Profollica, and with hair transplants if you’ve got the cash, but vitamins won’t fix baldness, in men or women.
Having said that, it’s not all doom and gloom. Vitamins might reduce hair loss when it’s not genetic. And the answer you really want, yes, there is evidence that some vitamins can influence how your hair grows.
The logic is simple. The vitamins we get in our diet nourish our body. A balanced diet, high in fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, nuts and low-fat dairy, and low in sugar, saturated fats and processed food gives us the nutrients needed for health and vitality. And, notably, for hair growth and maintenance.
This makes sense. Lack of nutrients can trigger hair loss in both sexes. Hair requires a variety of vitamins, including E, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, C and H. You can can most of these vitamins in your diet.
Try these foods. They’re high in the above-mentioned vitamins, and have numerous health benefits, not the least of which being good for hair growth:
- berries, apples, bananas and oranges
- cabbage, spinach and broccoli
- milk, eggs and cheese
- lean red meats
- chicken and turkey
- salmon and oily fish
- nuts and seeds
In addition, the following nutrients may encourage hair growth, and might reduce hair loss when not genetic:
Inositol – For cell health and membrane preservation. Inositol may stimulate hair growth.
Biotin – Cell development and absorption of nutrients within the body requires biotin, and it may prevent premature greying. Deficiency of biotin is known to cause hair loss.
Pantothenic acid – A water-soluble vitamin that’s vital to metabolism, pantothenic acid is an ingredient in some hair and skin care products, and like B vitamins, is required for healthy hair.
Folic acid – Good for more than just pregnancy, folic acid performs numerous beneficial functions to the body and is essential for healthy red blood cells. What’s more, folic acid may increase blood circulation to the scalp, and encourage hair growth.
Magnesium – Healthy bones need magnesium. And when combined with vitamin B12, magnesium might reduce stress-related hair loss.
Iron – For good function of the immune system and healthy red blood cells, iron performs many essential chemical reactions within the body. Iron deficiency can cause hair loss.
You can get these nutrients in your diet, or as supplements. That said, remember that while supplements can fill nutritional gaps missed in your diet, it’s advisable to watch your intake. High doses of iron, for example, are believed to cause heart disease. Stick to the recommended dosage, and always consult a doctor when in doubt.
It’s important to be realistic about vitamins and supplements related to hair. They won’t cure baldness, in men or women. But they might at least reduce hair loss, in some situations, and can keep your mane healthy and vibrant. Knowing that, you might try the vitamins and nutrients listed here, and watch the results.