Hair loss is a common symptom of aging and menopause. On average, the scalp loses about 100 hairs a day. Vitamins like C and B6 are vital for maintaining healthy hair and promoting hair growth. Many adults are unaware they are vitamin deficient and wonder what is causing symptoms like hair loss. Keep reading to learn about the best vitamins and nutrients for preventing hair loss.
The scalp uses vitamin A to create sebum, which is the oil that lubricates the hair roots and prevents hair from drying out. Spinach, carrots, apricots, and peaches are all rich in vitamin A.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is strong antioxidant and plays an important role in red blood cell and collagen production, which promotes healthy hair.
This is an essential vitamin for stimulating hair growth because it helps promote blood circulation. Many other B-complex vitamins also contribute to healthy hair. Good sources of vitamin B6 are eggs, vegetables, and whole grains.
Vitamin B12 is also important because it helps strengthen hair and prevent hair loss. On the other hand, vitamin B12 deficiency may play a role in hair loss in women. A blood test can determine whether or not you're truly deficient in vitamin B12. Chicken, eggs, milk, and fish are all good sources of it.
Several studies have shown the correlation between vitamin D and calcium levels and hair growth. This is important for hair follicle cycling. Fortified milk is a good source of vitamin D and calcium. Also, vitamin D is beneficial for more than just hair - avoiding deficiency of this essential nutrient could help prevent heart disease and bone fractures.
Menopausal women are susceptible to low levels of iron and protein. Although iron is technically a mineral, it plays a crucial role in preventing hair loss. Iron deficiency often leads to anemia – or decreased red blood cell count – and is one of the leading causes of hair loss in women. Iron also helps transport oxygen to hair, promoting hair growth.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids provide oils that hydrate the hair and scalp and help speed up hair growth by processing the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for healthy hair production. They are important fats the body cannot produce by itself, so they must be obtained through diet. They are found in abundance in walnuts, salmon, and soy.
Vitamin deficiency is one of the leading causes of hair loss, so it is important to include as many vitamins into your daily diet as possible. Eating vitamin-rich foods or taking a multivitamin supplement are good ways to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. Other tips for preventing hair loss include drinking plenty of water, doing frequent head massages, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and eating healthy.
- National Institutes of Health. (2014). Hair Loss. Retrieved September 1, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hairloss.html
- Office on Women's Health. (2008). Skin and Hair Health. In: The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for All Ages. Retrieved from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/the-healthy-woman/skin_hair.pdf
- Park, S.Y. et al. (2013). Iron plays a certain role in patterned hair loss. Journal of Korean medical science, 28(6), 934-938. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2013.28.6.934