The Role of Vitamin C & D For Healthy Hair

March 16, 2021

The Role of Vitamin C & D For Healthy Hair

In this article:

  • Vitamins for hair growth
  • Dietary sources of multivitamins
  • The best hair growth supplements

Which vitamins you should take for hair growth?

When we don't feed our bodies properly, they react in strange ways. Just like skin, our hair health is very dependent on our overall health. Our hair follicles need a variety of vitamins and nutrients to keep the hair healthy, silky, and strong, and to encourage faster growth in the future. Here are some signs that you're not getting enough:

  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is necessary for healthy hair growth by helping your scalp to produce sebum, the healthy oil that coats each hair follicle. Consuming too much (like by taking too many dietary supplements) can have adverse side effects. So, it's recommended that you get your daily vitamin A through plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C deficiencies, AKA scurvy, can lead to hair loss and even change the texture of your hair. Telltale signs that your hair loss is being caused by scurvy are pinpoint bleeding around hair follicles (sometimes called strawberry legs) and also corkscrew-shaped hair follicles. On top of supporting the immune system, vitamin C supplements may improve the overall texture and shine of your hair and can also make your other supplements more effective. Vit C works hand in hand with collagen to make it more bioavailable, so you get more bang for your buck!
  • Vitamin E: Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects our hair from oxidative stress. Without it, hair can become dry, dull, and brittle. Interestingly, in one study people who supplemented with vitamin E for 8 months, experienced a 34.5% increase in hair growth. Taking too much vitamin E can lead to hair loss, however. So it's best to get a healthy dose through your diet. Look for sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, leafy greens, pumpkin, asparagus, and bell peppers if you want a nice, glossy mane.
  • Vitamin B12: While there are many different types of vitamin B, and the popular hair growth supplement biotin is one of them, vitamin B12 is especially critical for hair growth. Vitamin B12 helps your hair grow by increasing the production of red blood cells, that in turn feed hair follicles and keep the scalp healthy. It also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia.
  • Collagen: Collagen is considered the primary building block of the human body. Collagen promotes hair growth in a number of different ways. It is made up of amino acids which are necessary for the production of keratin (what makes up our hair follicles). Collagen is a key player in our scalp health. It strengthens the dermis in which the hair follicles are rooted, to help prevent the hair from thinning. More specifically, marine collagen has also been found to be a powerful antioxidant. It helps fight off free radicals that can damage your hair and impede hair growth.
  • Iron: Iron deficiencies and anemia are common among premenopausal and menopausal women. This often leads to significant hair thinning and hair loss. Not eating enough iron-rich foods, and significant, menstrual blood loss can also cause iron-deficiency related hair loss.
  • Vitamin D: Low levels of vitamin D can make the hair become thinner or stop growing altogether. Not getting enough exposure to sunlight, obesity, having dark skin, not consuming enough vitamin D through your diet, and diseases like Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease can all increase your risk of vitamin D deficiencies.
  • Zinc: Not only can a zinc deficiency slow your hair growth and cause thinning, it can also make your hair much more dry and brittle. Similar to vitamin D, zinc deficiencies can be caused by not getting enough from your diet. Additionally some may suffer from certain diseases that affect your body's ability to absorb it.
  • Selenium: Selenium is a rarely discussed antioxidant that protects your body, and especially your hair, from oxidative stress. It kills dandruff-causing fungus and is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, which help to regulate hair growth. In addition to not having enough selenium, having too much can lead to fatigue and dramatic hair loss. Although selenium deficiencies are quite rare, they can be triggered by excess alcohol consumption, smoking, and taking certain birth control pills.

If you're not able to deduce what is causing your hair loss, or if you just want to check in on how you're doing with vitamins and minerals, you can try an at-home, micronutrient test. These tests can report on your levels of various vitamins and minerals and reveal where you may be lacking. Additionally, if you're experiencing extreme hair loss or a change in your skin/hair texture, consider visiting a dermatologist. From there, it's just a matter of making better mealtime decisions or enhancing your diet with a dietary supplement.

Source of multivitamins: Diet

All the above vitamins and minerals are important for hair growth. Some can be found in your diet, whereas others can be a bit harder to track down. If you want to make the most of your hair growth supplements, fast track your hair growth, and get healthier hair now and in the future, here's what we recommend eating and supplementing with:

  • Fish: Vitamins B,D, and E, omega-3s, and other essential fatty acids
  • Mushrooms: B Vitamins
  • Egg yolks: Iron, magnesium, and zinc
  • Fortified milk: Vitamins A, B12, D, E, magnesium, selenium and zinc
  • Whole grains: B vitamins, antioxidants, iron, zinc, and magnesium
  • Beef liver: Vitamins A and B, iron, and selenium
  • Beans: Folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc
  • Nuts: B and E vitamins, folate, magnesium, zinc, plant iron, and selenium
  • Avocados: Folate, magnesium, B complex vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E

The Best Hair Loss Supplements

There are great multivitamins on the market packed with your typical hair growth vitamins. These are a great option to ensure that you have a complete diet.

  • Collagen: Collagen is a must for a complete hair and skincare routine. It's what our bodies run on to preserve the strength and health of our hair, skin, and nails. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find in food. Furthermore, our bodies produce less and less of it as we age. Amandean's marine collagen powder is a gluten-free, pescatarian-friendly, and highly bioavailable supplement that you can add to your favorite drinks, smoothies, or snacks. Luckily, because collagen is a protein and biotin is a vitamin, you can safely take them together to support the overall health and appearance of your hair, skin, and nails!
  • Biotin supplements: You can also find many different gummies and capsules that contain biotin and folic acid (the man-made form of folate). Both of these are B complex vitamins that are especially useful for supporting hair, skin, and nails. Biotin has been found to help increase nail thickness and reduce skin rashes. But studies attempting to prove it beneficial for growing the hair and nails have been inconclusive. Biotin is a vitamin that can be found in many different foods, so supplementation isn't necessarily required, but it isn't discouraged either.

Summary Points

  • Our hair follicles need a variety of vitamins and nutrients to keep the hair healthy, silky, and strong, and to encourage faster growth in the future
  • The vitamins and nutrients necessary for optimal hair growth are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12, collagen, iron, vitamin D, zinc, and selenium
  • Low levels of vitamin D can make the hair become thinner or stop growing altogether
  • An at-home micronutrient test can report on your levels of various vitamins and minerals and reveal where you may be lacking




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