Most of us know that each part of our body is nourished by vitamins. In fact, we are often dependent on vitamin supplements to maintain our health. This is because our food choices do not always provide our body with all the vitamins and minerals needed in order to keep it strong and healthy.
What about our hair? There is one problem: it is very difficult to provide our hair with vitamins especially if those vitamins are needed elsewhere. Our body will start pulling away the vitamins and minerals from our hair if we are not providing our body with enough nutrients through our food intake. Thus, what we need in order to provide more vitamins for our hair is a balanced diet. We must be aware of the exact vitamins that our hair needs so that we would know what food we need to eat more of. Here is a list of vitamins that will help combat hair loss:
1. Vitamin A (Retinol)
It is an antioxidant that encourages the production of needed sebum in our scalp. The recommended daily dose is 5,000 IU. Vitamin A is found in apricots, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, peaches, eggs, milk, cheese, meat, and fish liver oil. Note that more than 25,000 IU of Vitamin A per day can be toxic. It can cause serious health problems as well as hair loss.
2. Vitamin B Complex
The B vitamins such as Niacin (B3), Pantothenic acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), and Cobalt (B12) aid in fighting hair loss. Recommended daily doses are 15 mg, 4-7 mg, 1.6 mg, and 2 mg, respectively. Niacin promotes the circulation of blood in the scalp area. It is found in fish, chicken, turkey, pork, beef, and wheat germ. Note that large intake of niacin may have harmful side effects; this is called niacin flush, which is heat sensation brought about by blood cell dilation. Pantothenic acid helps in reducing hair loss and premature graying of the hair. Examples of food that are rich in this vitamin are meat, whole grain cereals, and egg yolks. Pyridoxine aids in the creation of melanin, which gives our hair its color. It also helps prevent hair loss. It is found liver, vegetables, whole grain cereals, and egg yolk. Cobalt also helps prevent hair loss. Cobalt-rich foods are fish, eggs, chicken, and milk.
3. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
It is an antioxidant that maintains the health of our skin and hair. Citrus, kiwi, melons, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers, and green vegetables are rich in this vitamin C. The recommended daily dose is 500 mg.
4. Vitamin E
Like vitamin B3, this vitamin promotes scalp circulation. Soybeans, dried beans, green leafy vegetables, and raw seeds and nuts are rich in this vitamin. The recommended daily dose is not more than 400 IU. Note that this vitamin can heighten blood pressure and decrease blood clotting. Thus, those who are on high blood pressure medication or on anticoagulants should not take vitamin E supplements without consulting their doctor.
5. Vitamin H (Biotin)
This actually belongs to the vitamin B complex group. It is considered as one of the most important hair loss vitamins. Inadequate supply of vitamin H may cause hair thinning and loss. Vitamin H aids in the metabolism of fats, which are essential in hair growth. It also aids in keratin production and helps prevent premature graying. Examples of vitamin H-rich foods are milk, eggs, liver, kidney, and yeast. The recommended daily dose is 300 mcg. It should be taken side-by-side with other B vitamins so that it would be more efficiently absorbed in the body.