Although the primary cause behind hair loss is typically genetics, there are several other factors that can slow hair growth or even contribute to hair loss. A well-balanced diet providing sufficient vitamins and minerals is one such determinate of hair growth and health. Hair, skin, and nails are seen by the body as being more expendable than vital organs such as the heart and mind. Nutritional deficiencies can therefore result in hair loss as available resources are first routed through other body systems.
Alternatively, nutrients can also play a role in promoting stronger, healthier hair by making sure the hair cycle is functioning at its full potential. In this article we’ll take a look at the key vitamin, nutrient, and food items necessary to ensure that your hair is getting all the ingredients it needs to stay healthy.
How Does Nutrition Impact Hair Health?
The hair cycle has a high turnover rate and the scalp can lose up to 100 hairs per day. The hair cycle needs a consistent supply of nutrients to be able to replenish what is lost. When healthy, each hair follicle is operating at different stages so that some hair is always growing even as others are falling out.
Even though 100 hairs can seem like a high volume, this loss typically isn’t noticeable in a cycle where 90% of hair is in the Anagen, or growing, phase. Hair needs a variety of proteins, vitamins, and minerals to avoid sending more hair than normal into the Telogen, or falling out, stage.
Vitamin A is a vital part of cell health, and helps the skin glands produce sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes the scalp. This impacts both hair growth and the texture of hair by keeping it from becoming too brittle and easily broken.
Although too little Vitamin A can cause hair loss, excessive amounts of Vitamin A can also contribute to negative changes in hair growth and texture.
Food Rich in Vitamin A
- Sweet potatoes
B vitamins are another nutrient that is important for transferring oxygen between cells. Vitamin B helps to create red blood cells which then carry oxygen throughout the body, including to the scalp and hair follicles.
Food Rich in Vitamin B
- Whole grains
- Dark, leafy greens
Vitamin C has three major functions in the hair cycle. The first is that it helps the body absorb the mineral Iron. The second function is that it helps to create Collagen, a protein that is part of the hair structure. The third function involves protection from stressors within the body and the ability to repair damage when it occurs.
Oxidative stress is an imbalance in the body between free radicals, which are molecules that contain oxygen and are prone to reacting with other molecules, and antioxidants. Vitamin C is one such antioxidant which can protect against this type of damage.
Food Rich in Vitamin C
- Citrus fruits
Although Vitamin D’s role in hair growth is not fully understood, studies have shown that a lack of Vitamin D is often accompanied by increased hair loss. It is thought that this vitamin may help create new hair follicles, which encourages hair growth. This vitamin can be received through food, but can also be obtained through direct sun rays.
Food Rich in Vitamin D
- Fatty fish
- Cod liver oil
Like Vitamin C, Vitamin E helps prevent oxidative stress by balancing free radicals and ensuring a balance between oxidants and antioxidants. This vitamin also promotes healthier skin by reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, and creating a protective barrier that locks in moisture. Both inflammation and stress have been linked to hair loss, while moisture and increased blood flow have been shown to protect and promote hair growth.
Food Rich in Vitamin E
- Sunflower seeds
Zinc is a key aspect in the health of hair follicles, the pores on the scalp that allow for new hair growth. This nutrient keeps the oil glands around the follicles functioning for better moisture production and hair growth. A lack of sufficient Zinc levels can therefore disrupt the strength of the follicles and how they react as well as other important processes like cell reproduction and hormone levels.
Food Rich in Zinc
Bodies need sufficient calories to be able to fuel all of the different parts and systems that control how we function and prosper. In the face of calorie deficiency, the body will prioritize using what calories are available to support vital organs and systems before processes it considers less important. This is why nutritional deficiencies will commonly result in changes to the hair, nails, and skin first.
When to Consider a Supplement
Although food is the primary method for intake of each of these nutrients, there are circumstances where taking a vitamin or dietary supplement can be the best course of action. Some voluntary diets or food intolerances, such as the vegan or vegetarian diets, can put you at a greater risk for nutritional deficiencies which will impact hair growth.
Before beginning a nutritional supplement, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure that you aren’t taking in too much of one nutrient, which can also impact hair negatively.
The Revita Nutraceutical Tablets are a natural, balanced supplement that include the nutrients Zinc, Keratin, Iron, and Vitamin D, each of which actively works to slow hair loss while promoting increased hair growth at the same time. These tablets target the strength, texture, and root of hair for better and more consistent results that don’t fluctuate with daily changes in nutrition.