We know vitamins play an active role in the health of the body, repairing and restoring. However, how much do you know about the role of vitamins for healthy hair?
In the post, Understanding Hair Anatomy for Healthy Hair Growth I shared how the hair grows; that it’s a complex structure that is intrinsically linked with the blood vessels inside the scalp to stimulate and maintain its growth until the point it is shed. I surmise that, because the hair we see is outside our body and continuously shed, we tend to forget that it is part of us and grow in a similar way to our skin, just on a more micro scale.
It is said the hair is dead and when you think of it based on just science, it is. However, when you look at how hair is able to be manipulated then revert to its original state, it goes without saying that more needs to be learnt about our hair; especially Afro Curly Hair.
To maintain healthy hair, we must have a diet filled with foods that promote wellness and balance in the body, such as fruits, nuts, green leafy vegetables etc. When the body is balanced, it can happily supply the necessary nutrients to areas such as the skin, hair and nails which are usually sacrificed when the body is unhealthy.
We know vitamins help in varying degrees with some having an affinity to certain parts of the body whilst others connect best to others. They are important for normal cell growth and function and may contribute to hair loss when they are deficient. While supplementation is affordable and easily accessible, it is important to know which vitamins and minerals can help in treating hair loss.
The vitamins we are getting into today are ones that help the hair maintain its health and make new growth healthier and stronger.
Vitamin A as Carotenoids
Vitamin A is a fat soluble crystal that can be found pre-formed in animal products such as meat and eggs or plants such as dark green leafy vegetables as carotenoids or Pro-vitamin A. It is important for fighting infections, for eye health, improves the immune system and helps blood capillaries work better. This in turn gives the hair follicle the nutrients it needs to grow strong, healthy hair.
Carotenoids have no upper intake level, however high levels of preformed Vitamin A (animal source) can be toxic as it overworks the liver. Too much Vitamin A can also cause hair loss, therefore, do not take large amounts over an extended period.
Vitamin C is an extremely important antioxidant. It strengthens various immune functions by increasing white blood cell function, antibody responses and increases the absorption of iron.
Iron is necessary for growth, energy production and immune protection. It also helps in the prevention of hair loss and dry, brittle hair. Iron however, cannot be absorbed without a little help from Vitamin C.
Iron should be supplemented especially after menstruation as it depletes the iron levels in the body.
Inositol is more of a pseudovitamin, forming part of the B-Vitamin group. It is found abundantly in lecithin which helps the body digest, absorb and carry fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the bloodstream. It is also essential in the production of phospholipids which have been shown to strengthen hair and stimulate hair growth.
Inositol prevents hair thinning and baldness and helps increase hair growth. An inositol deficiency leads to eczema, eye abnormalities and hair loss.
There are also the B-Vitamins, which not only help with hair health and growth, but are amazing for the nervous system. These Vitamins are well known, however I may do a post on the various types another time as they deserve their own space.
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Until next time,
Be Great x
The Natural Remedies Encyclopedia; Ferrell, V.H.; Cherne, H.M
Phosphatidic Acid Has a Potential to Promote Hair Growth In Vitro and In Vivo, and Activates Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase/Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Kinase in Hair Epithelial Cells – ScienceDirect