However, when we speak about having a good hair day, we mean more than simply having a shampoo-ad-worthy shine. Sure, it feels good to have every hair in place.
A good hair day can bring a sense of confidence, and it can undoubtedly bolster self-esteem. How we look and how we feel are closely related, after all.
Aside from the positive feelings it can bring, a good hair day should mean more — “good hair” should mean healthy hair. When hair is healthy, the ascetics will follow.
But before you reach for the styling products, there are some important considerations you should know when it comes to healthy hair — don’t forget vitamins.
Yes, you read that right. There are some amazing vitamins out there that can help send you on your way to healthier hair.
But before we explore these vitamins, let’s comb through a few things that can contribute to unhealthy hair.
Some Reasons for Unhealthy Hair
Hair can be considered “unhealthy” for many reasons, ranging from poor nutrition to chemical damage.
Genetics and Age
This has a big role to play in hair, from color to thickness. Even the amount of hair is often a result of genetic factors. For example, pattern baldness also called androgenetic alopecia, is often hereditary.
Genetics has a huge role to play in hair quality. However, unhealthy hair can also come as a result of health conditions.
Hair Care and Treatment Products
Chemicals, such as some found in hair care, coloring, and styling products, can also damage otherwise healthy hair when they are used excessively. Believe it or not, high heat, excessive blow-drying can also damage hair. Overwashing can also strip your scalp of the necessary oils that keep follicles healthy.
Inadequate nutrition has a bigger impact on hair health than most people realize, e.g., the role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss. Your hair grows; therefore, it needs proper nutrition to do so. When the body is starved of proper nutrition, systems in your body are affected — your hair health is no different.
5 Vitamins for Healthy Hair
Since poor nutrition can contribute to unhealthy hair, it makes sense to mention some essential nutrients that could help. Surprisingly, many vitamins can contribute to healthy hair, some you may be familiar with, but others may surprise you.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A, a fat-soluble essential vitamin, has long been known for its benefits in regard to eye health. This, of course, is due to its prevalence of beta carotene, found among plant-source vitamin A.
But vitamin A is no one-trick-pony; it also has benefits for immune system support and cellular function.
A lesser-known benefit of vitamin A is its role in hair health. According to research, vitamin A plays a critical role in the development and maintenance of certain epithelial tissues, the covering of body surfaces, and organ tissues. This includes the skin, sebaceous glands, and hair.
Deficiencies in vitamin A can contribute to hair loss, as the production of epithelial tissue is disrupted. But there is a point of warning: Too much vitamin A (toxicity) can also lead to hair loss, among other health risks.
That is why recommended dietary allowances are so important to understand and follow. As a supplement, vitamin A can be found in multivitamins or isolation.
The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A for adults is 900 mcg RAE for men and 700 mcg RAE for women.
2. Vitamin B7 – Biotin
Out of the B-complex vitamins, biotin — an essential water-soluble vitamin — has some of the most promising benefits as it relates to hair health. Though biotin deficiencies are rare, signs of deficiency include hair loss, skin rashes, and brittle nails.
In terms of hair health, scientists believe that biotin interacts with a structural protein known as keratin — the main structural protein for hair.
Although research is limited, one study evaluated the efficacy of biotin supplementation for women with thinning hair. The results were promising. After three months, women reported less shedding and stronger and thicker hair; some even noted a faster hair growth rate.
Adequate Intake for adults: 30 mcg for men and women.
3. Other B-Complex Vitamins
B-complex vitamins refer to a collection of eight water-soluble nutrients. They contribute to many roles within the body: Cellular health, metabolism, hormone and cholesterol regulation, and more. As noted with biotin, some of them have some surprising benefits when it comes to hair health.
In general, B vitamins (like B1, B2, riboflavin B3, vitamins B6, folate, and vitamin B12) can help promote hair health because of the role they play in red blood cell production which carries oxygen to the tissues — including the scalp and hair follicles.
Dosages vary depending on the type of B vitamin. Many can be found in combination with one another in multivitamins and vitamin gummies.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C isn’t just for cold and flu season. It has a role to play in hair health too. This has to do with its role as an antioxidant and its interactions with certain minerals and proteins within the body.
As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps fight against the damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress — this includes damage to the hair during aging.
In addition, vitamin C also interacts with a structural protein known as collagen (important for hair health), acting as a mediator for collagen production. Furthermore, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. It is well known that iron deficiency can contribute to hair loss.
Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults: 90 mg for men, 75 mg for women.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. Good sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, and spinach. Like vitamin C, vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant and plays a big part in immune health. Oxidative stress can lead to hair damage; antioxidants help guard against this.
One study found some surprising results related to hair loss and vitamin E supplementation regarding hair health research. Two groups were utilized, one taking vitamin E and the other a placebo.
At the end of eight months, those taking vitamin E experienced a 34% increase in the number of hairs on their scalp; the placebo noted a decrease.
Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults: 15 mg for men and women.
Other Ingredients To Consider
The following ingredients below can help contribute to healthy hair growth as part of a daily regimen.
- Pantothenic acid
- Folic acid
- Omegas (omega-3 and 6)
- Essential fatty acids
- Saw palmetto
Unhealthy hair can come from many factors, poor nutrition and lifestyle being the most common. Vitamin deficiencies can be a cause of hair loss.
Thankfully, many vitamins can help contribute to hair health. Of course, these vitamins can be found in various foods, but they can also be found as supplements, in multivitamin combinations, or isolation.
Shop Hope knows their importance, both to your health and to your hair. A good hair day is possible, but a healthy hair day is better.