What kinds of hair growth supplements are there?
There are many vitamins, plant extracts and herbal supplements advertised to help healthy hair growth. These supplements will only help hair growth if you are lacking in any of the vitamins or nutrients to begin with.
Supplements or vitamins related to hair growth include:
- vitamin A, B, D and E
- amino acids
- omega acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids)
Iron is very important for hair growth. If your iron levels are too low (anaemia), less iron is supplied to your hair follicles disrupting your hair growth cycle and causing hair loss in some people. Raise your iron count by taking supplements or eating red meat, fish, lentils, spinach, or green vegetables
Vitamin A is needed by the body to create an oil known as sebum, which helps keep the scalp conditioned and healthy. With too little sebum, the scalp can become irritated or itchy, and your hair becomes dry and brittle. A pre-stage of Vitamin A is found in orange or yellow vegetables like carrots or pumpkins.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the body absorb iron and aids the production of collagen. Good sources of Vitamin C are blueberries, kiwis, sweet potato, and oranges.
Vitamin D is a vitamin that helps reduce stress and depression, and is found in healthy hair follicles. Vitamin D is crucial to healthy cell reproduction, which is why it is so important for hair growth. It is found in oily fish, eggs, and mushrooms.
Vitamin E is an important supplement to take in order to protect your hair from sun damage, just as you would for your skin. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E.
Zinc helps regulate the level of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body, which is the hormone that is known to cause hair loss. If your zinc levels are too low, your body will produce more DHT, which can lead to hair loss. You can find zinc in sesame seeds, eggs, nuts, and fish.
Amino acids are also thought to be essential for hair growth, because they help the body to produce keratin and grow hair. Amino acids are found in protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Omega acids, such as omega-3, are important fats that are not produced by the body itself. Omega-3 acids provide the necessary oils that keep your scalp healthy and hydrated. They can be found in oily fish, avocado, and pumpkin seeds.
You should avoid taking more than the recommended daily dose of each of these vitamins or nutrients, because taking too much of something can be as harmful to your hair and skin as taking too little of something.