Healthy Natural Hair Growth and Vitamin Supplements
by Jacqueline Samarroo
Trying to get natural curly hair to grow full and long can be frustrating! You deep condition, clip your ends, wrap or pineapple your hair at night, wear protective styles and still see little to no hair growth. What gives?
Well, textured natural hair is simply more susceptible to fractures and breakage. Taking a vitamin supplement could help since hair has to be healthy to grow strong, resist breakage, and retain its length. And, just like all the other parts of your body, the health of your hair is directly related to nutrition.
Which Vitamins Promote Natural Hair Growth?
Before we get started, it’s good to remember that while nutrient deficiency can negatively affect natural hair growth, so too can the excess of some nutrients. Plus, you may have a preexisting condition that affects the type of supplement you should take. So, be sure to ask your doctor before taking any supplement.
Here are four vitamins and two minerals often found in natural hair growth supplements aimed at growing strong, healthy hair.
Good whole food sources of each are also included!
Vitamin B (B Complex)
There are eight B vitamins. Supplements usually use the term “B complex” when they contain all eight. Functions of B vitamins include helping with the production of red blood cells. This is important since red blood cells take nutrients and oxygen to the scalp and hair follicles.
Whole grains, dark, leafy greens, almonds, meat, seafood, and fish are good sources of the various B vitamins. Vegetarians and vegans should be aware, however, that vitamin B12 is unavailable from plant sources, so a supplement that contains it is a good choice.
Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and make collagen – a protein found in hair. It also works as an antioxidant to block the production of free radicals which can stop hair growing and cause it to age.
Citrus fruits are famous for their vitamin C content. Other great sources are strawberries, peppers, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes.
Vitamin A promotes cell growth in the hair follicle and in the base of each strand of hair. It also has a role in the production of sebum – the oily substance that lubricates your hair and scalp. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant that helps stop hair from aging.
Eggs, cheese, and oily fish are good direct sources of vitamin A. Leafy greens, as well as yellow and orange veggies, are high in beta-carotene which your body can turn into vitamin A.
Like vitamins C and A, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that prevents the creation of free radicals. It has been proven to slow aging of hair and boost natural hair growth.
Nuts, seeds, and wheat germ are good vitamin E sources. So, too, are avocados and spinach.
Iron helps the blood carry oxygen to all the cells of the body. This is why anemia, or iron deficiency, is a major cause of hair loss. That’s good reason to enjoy your leafy greens, beans, and red meat.
Zinc is involved in growth and repair of hair tissues. It also helps oil glands around hair follicles function properly. Beans, nuts, shellfish, and meat are all good sources.
A balanced diet provides all the nutrients your hair needs but “balanced” isn’t always the reality. We lead hectic lives and it’s so easy to grab something fast, convenient but not necessarily nutritious to satisfy our hunger. This is where a vitamin supplement for natural hair growth can definitely lend a hand.
What natural hair growth vitamins do you take?
CurlyNikki says: I just make sure to keep my iron up. I also take liposomal vitamin c from time to time!