At some point in life, we all have dreamt of having long and shiny hair like our favourite celebrities. Some of us have even gone out of our way to achieving it. Applying homemade masks, trying fancy salon treatments and more, we have done it all. But let's agree, none of these seems quite feasible for a longer span. Besides, some of these treatments can be quite expensive too. What do you do then? If you ask us, we say instead of trying these quick tips, opt for a healthy lifestyle and nutrient-rich foods that can nourish you from within. That's right! You will find multiple food options in your pantry that are enriched with essential nutrients to boost hair health. According to consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta, "Genetics and hormones play a big role behind your hair health and we can't do much about it. However, one can definitely reverse conditions like hair fall with a healthy and nutrient-rich diet." Let's take a look at the vitamins that help promote hair growth.
Why Is Vitamin Essential For Healthy Hair Growth?
You are what you eat. Feeding the body with the right kind of nutrients is of utmost importance. As per health experts, there are around 13 nutrients that are essential for promoting overall health. For hair, vitamins have a major role to play. Elucidating how vitamin helps promote hair health, Rupali Datta explains, "Vitamins play a major role in preventing and alleviating anaemia. This means daily consumption of vitamins can help keep up the flow of nutrients to the hair follicles. This further keeps your hair and scalp healthy and nourished." Besides, vitamins are also known to convert ingested foods into energy that is passed on to hair follicles for healthy growth.
Hair Health Tips: Here're 5 Essential Vitamins To Include In Your Diet:
1. Vitamin A For Hair:
Vitamin A is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins. According to several studies, it plays a major role in the growth of epithelial tissues, which in turn, helps your hair grow. Sufficient vitamin A intake also promotes the production of sebum oil in the skin glands. The sebum further keeps your scalp moisturised and healthy, allowing hair growth. However, a statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reads that an overdose of vitamin A may lead to hair health issues like 'alopecia'. This is why experts suggest including vitamin A in moderation to enjoy overall good health.
How much vitamin A should you take per day?
The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A is 0.9 mg per day for men and 0.7 mg per day for women, as per mayoclinic.org.
Food rich in vitamin A:
Milk and other dairy products like lassi, chaas and paneer are excellent sources of vitamin A. As per USDA data, one cup of whole milk supplies 112 mcg of vitamin A. Here are some milk products that you can include in your everyday diet. Click here to know more.
2. Biotin For Hair:
Biotin is a B-vitamin (vitamin B7) that helps the growth of the cells inside your body. Low levels of biotin may cause hair loss, and other skin and hair-related issues. According to a study, published in the journal Skin Appendage Discord, 18 people (subjects) reported cases of biotin use for hair and nail changes. In all cases, people receiving biotin supplementation showed evidence of clinical improvement after receiving the nutrient. The study further stated that biotin helps in protein synthesis which further boosts keratin production in the body, strengthening the hair strands.
How much biotin should you take per day?
The recommended dietary allowance of biotin intake among adults and teenagers is 30 to 100 mcg per day and for children, it is 25 mcg per day, as per mayoclinic.org.
Food rich in biotin (vitamin B7):
One of the everyday foods that can load you up with biotin is banana. As per USDA, one small banana provides approximately 0.2 mcg of biotin. You can have bananas as is or make a delicious banana shake for breakfast. Click here for the recipe.
3. Vitamin C For Hair:
Vitamin C is an as ascorbic acid, naturally present in many of our everyday foods. Vitamin C is known to be a potent antioxidant that helps flush out toxins and promote the flow of oxygen and blood in the cells, further aiding collagen production. For the unversed, collagen is an important part of your hair structure. It is rich in amino acids that the body needs to build keratin (the protein for hair growth). "In addition, Vitamin C is essential for iron absorption and prevention of anaemia. This further aids the blood flow in our scalp. Studies have also shown that insufficient vitamin C intake can cause scurvy," states Rupali Datta.
How much vitamin C should you take per day?
The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C intake among women is 75 mg per day, while men should take 19 mg of vitamin C per day, as per mayoclinic.org.
Food rich in vitamin C:
Lemon is considered one of the best sources of vitamin C. As per USDA, one lemon provides about 31 mg of vitamin C, which makes for 51% of the recommended daily intake. Squeeze some lemon juice on your salad, dal chawal, sabzi etc. and enjoy the benefits to the fullest. You can also start your day with a glass of lemon water.
4. Vitamin D For Hair:
Another fat-soluble vitamin, it plays a major role in cell growth and stimulating new and old hair follicles. According to a study, published in Dermatology Online Journal, when there isn't enough vitamin D in your system, new hair growth can be stunted. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with alopecia. Another study, published in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, states that low serum ferritin and vitamin D are associated with hair loss, especially in women. Hence, it is important to load up on vitamin D to make up for the deficiency and treat hair-related problems.
How much vitamin D should you take per day?
The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D among men and women is 0.025 mg per day, as per mayoclinic.org.
Food rich in vitamin D:
Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D. Besides, there are a range of foods that can help you get your daily dose of vitamin D. Click here to know about the best food sources of vitamin D.
5. Vitamin E For Hair:
Vitamin E is also one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, enriched with antioxidants. This further helps promote blood and oxygen circulation, leading to hair growth. According to Rupali Datta, vitamin E is also known to increase capillary circulation in the scalp, in turn, promoting hair health. A study, published in the journal Tropical Life Sciences Research, further investigated the effect of tocopherol (a chemical compound in vitamin E) on people with hair loss problems. After an eight-month trial, it was found that there was a significant improvement in the number of hairs on the participants. This is because of the antioxidants (in vitamin E) that helped reduce the oxidative stress in the hair follicle.
How much vitamin E should you take per day?
The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D among men and women is 10 mg per day, as per mayoclinic.org.
Food rich in vitamin E:
Almond is considered as one of the best sources of vitamin E. Experts suggest that around 30 grams (about a handful) of almonds contains 7.7 mg of vitamin E, which makes for 77% of the recommended dietary allowance. Here, we bring you five fun ways to include almonds in your daily diet. Click here to know more.
Include these vitamins in your diet and enjoy long, strong and healthy hair. But always remember to consult an expert before making any change in your lifestyle.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.