Why does hair weaken when we do not take vitamins? The answer lies in the role they play in the structure of the hair.
The problem is that most of the time the deficiency of vitamins is linked to an unhealthy diet. In order to have healthy and shiny hair, you must know how significant vitamins are for healthy hair as well as the dangers linked to vitamin deficiency.
So, here is a brief summary and the consequences of an unbalanced diet on the beauty of hair.
While the lack of lower hair growth is due to a reduction in protein, low hair weakness is due to insufficient amount of keratin which gives protection against the free radicals.
All of this results in lifeless, weak, fragile and dry hair.
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Why are vitamins so important?
Now that we know the possible damage that we can inflict to our hair, let’s dig deeper into how and why vitamins can help us.
Each hair follicle has a bulb as their base and that is formed by a protein formed by keratinocytes.
keratinization, which is the process leading to the formation of keratin and is multi-regulated involving many substances including vitamins, is essential for the proper formation of the structure of the hair.
Follicular activities lead to the multiplication of follicle cells, and the formation of hair and vitamins play an important role in this process.
Protection against aging and oxidative stress through the intake of antioxidant vitamins delays hair aging caused by the free radicals function.
What vitamins do we need if our goal is to have healthy thick hair?
You should try to increase the intake of vitamin B and vitamin E which play a prominent role in hair growth and in particular:
- Promote increased protein synthesis and cell division of hair cells, which will make them grow faster and keep them strong and resistant.
- Offer a bigger supply of blood to the scalp which then receives more nutrients.
- Work as antioxidants, protecting the hair from the effects of free radicals.
Vitamins B and E work synergistically to achieve these effects, because the B vitamins are mostly involved in the processes of protein synthesis, related to the cells of the hair follicles and blood, and therefore improve the oxygenation of the scalp as well as promote the formation of new cells, while vitamin E is mainly antioxidant and protective.
You should remember that these vitamins are important not only to grow hair, but also for those people who have long hair because usually long hair is more fragile and prone to breakdown so naturally it needs more food.
Vitamins suitable for all hair types
We all have different types of hair and each type has specific characteristics. So in some cases, certain vitamins are more suitable than others.
Vitamin B6 against greasy hair
The hair becomes greasy when the scalp produces an excessive amount of sebum, making the hair greasy, opaque and without volume. In order to combat this problem, all the vitamins of group B and in particular B6 are recommended.
Vitamin A for dry hair
When your hair is dry, it is also brittle and prone to breakage. To improve this problem, it is recommended that you increase the amount of vitamin A and vitamin F or essential fatty acids, substances that nourish and restore hair.
Vitamins for other hair issues
So far it’s all very simple, vitamin E to grow hair, vitamins B group for greasy hair and vitamin A for dry hair.
But hair is not only long or short, greasy or dry, so to these basic characteristics we must add some other hair issues that most of the times are caused by poor eating habits or wrong lifestyle habits.
- Fragility is usually genetic and is often related to fine hair having a diameter of less than 60 thousandths of a millimeter.
- Weakness is mainly due to factors such as periods of stress or nutritional deficiencies.
- Damaged hair can be the result of internal or external factors such as the use of aggressive products or treatments for hair and hair styling ways such as hair straightening, harsh brushing, etc.
Vitamins can be of great help against fragile, damaged or weak hair with a tendency to fall but these problematic issues should be further investigated.
The most important hair vitamins are the ones of group B because they participate in the process of protein synthesis and cell division that help to strengthen hair and make it more robust and resistant.
Vitamins of group B must also be combined with vitamins C, E and A due to their antioxidant properties.
Hair can fall for pathological reasons as in the case of alopecia or other issues that affect the scalp and require specific attention as well as for other reasons that are not pathological, such as stress, change of season or lack of nutrients intake.
If the causes are not pathological, then the intake of hair loss vitamins can be very useful to stop the fall. The most recommended in this case are all the ones of group B as well as vitamin C and especially vitamin E for its antioxidant function.
Apart from putting a stop to an existing hair loss condition, these vitamins are also useful for nourishing and strengthening hair.
If the fall is pathological as in the case of alopecia, the vitamins alone are not enough but they provide a great help.
Hair color and vitamins
Can vitamins even affect hair color? Well unfortunately not, these nutrients are vital for the health of the hair, but they do not do magic, although in an indirect way, vitamins are also involved in the hair color. In what way, let´s see!
The appearance of white or gray hair is due to the loss or reduction of hair pigmentation, a physiological phenomenon that normally occurs with age.
To prevent hair from being white and to prolong the pigmentation, recommended vitamins are folic acid or B9, vitamin B5, biotin and all antioxidants such as vitamin E, lipoic acid and vitamin C.
This is because there is a likely relationship between free radicals damage and the early appearance of white hair in which case the vitamins mentioned above can help, slowing down the aging process.
Hair is subject to rough treatment coming from the products that are used for dyeing. For this reason, such products are often enriched with vitamins, in particular with vitamin E which has an antioxidant function and protects hair from damage as well as helps to maintain coloration for longer, resulting in a longer time interval between one application and another. Vitamin C, provitamin A and provitamin B5 are also added.
Food: the natural weapon against vitamin deficiencies
Given above are the vitamins needed to have long, healthy hair and combat the damage that make the hair look weak. But we should also consider other instruments at our disposal to overcome this battle.
In fact, the most effective weapon that we have at our disposal to avoid vitamin deficiencies is simply the food!
So, is it enough to eat well to meet the daily need for vitamins in our hair?
But what does ” eat well ” mean?
What are the foods that contain the most vitamins and which should be part of our daily diet?
Let’s see it practically:
Fruit: The fruit contains many vitamins, in particular orange / yellow fruits contain vitamin A, while kiwi, strawberries and citrus fruits contain vitamin C. Ideally, you should eat fruit at least twice a day.
Vegetables: Vegetables contain many vitamins, green leafy vegetables and carrots are rich in vitamin A, green leafy vegetables and spinach contain vitamin C, some vegetables such as beans and broccoli contain vitamin B2 while broccoli and the fungi contain vitamin B5.
To meet daily needs you should consume at least three servings of vegetables a day.
Cereals: Cereals, especially whole grains, are a good source of vitamin E and should be consumed at least three times a day.
Fish: Contains vitamin F, i.e essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6. Fish should be consumed 3 to 4 times a week.
Seeds and dried fruits: They contain a good amount of vitamin E but do not exaggerate their consumption because they are rich in calories.
Meat and eggs: They contain large amounts of vitamin B12 and a modest amount of biotin but generally contain all the vitamins in group B. The eggs also contain vitamin A. It is recommended to eat meat and eggs at least twice a week.
Simple, right? Simply eat a beautiful orange or a kiwi rich in vitamin C to prevent hair loss and weakening, while to make it grow you just need to consume many whole grains and dry fruits rich in vitamin E, but do not exaggerate.
The Allies of Vitamins for Hair Health
We now know that the vitamins are essential, but they work better if combined with other nutrients. In fact, teaming with vitamins and other micronutrients such as minerals, and macronutrients such as proteins, dramatically improves hair health.
Let’s look at the major allies of vitamins.
Antioxidants: Antioxidant substances, like antioxidant vitamins, help to combat the aging and damage caused by free radicals. Among these substances are flavonoids, lycopene, coenzyme Q10, carotenoids and selenium.
Proteins: Proteins and amino acids are important for hair as they are an essential component of keratin. Sulfuric amino acids, i.e sulfur-containing amino acids are important. Among the important amino acids for hair are cysteine, methionine and arginine.
Minerals: They are part of the micronutrients and are important in numerous metabolic processes and for the maintenance of water-salt balance.
- Iron, which contributes to the oxygenation of tissues.
- Copper, which contributes to a more intense and uniform hair color.
- Zinc, which helps make hair softer.
In some cases, enemies of hair health may be particularly harsh, such as periods of severe stress, particularly aggressive external factors can condition hair metabolism in such a way that simply having a balanced diet may not be enough to meet daily needs.
So how do you give your hair the necessary vitamins to regain shape and health?
This is where the reserve weapon comes in: the vitamins supplements for hair. These products are normally sold in the form of capsules and fall into the category of food supplements. They may be:
Specific supplements: Specific supplements are those that contain the vitamins needed to solve a specific hair problem. For fine and frayed hair, for example, the supplements contain vitamin B5, biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E and betacarotenes, all substances that strengthen the hair, whereas, for example, people that want to delay the aging process will have to consume vitamins such as vitamin E and vitamin C.
Generic supplements: These are hair supplements which can be used even when there is no particular requirement of hair, simply as a preventive measure. They contain all the B vitamins and antioxidant vitamins.
Hair vitamin supplements are available in pharmacies and herbalists. They do not require a prescription and their price varies according to the manufacturer of the product.