Hair fall? Before you completely depend on some topical treatments or oral supplements, make sure you know if you are taking these vitamins adequately. Sufficient quantities can prevent hair fall and promote healthy hair growth.
Vitamin C is loaded with anti-oxidant properties, just like vitamin E and zinc. These anti-oxidants reduce the damage that is caused by free radicals. These free radicals can do a lot of damage to your hair, which is one reason why we need to make sure that we have enough of this vitamin in our diets.
Citrus fruits, yellow bell peppers, papaya, strawberries are the rich sources of vitamin C.
Adult men need about 90 mg daily, while women should have 75 mg daily. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need to up their intake by about 35 mg daily.
Vitamin-E is an anti-oxidant powerhouse and works as a shield against free radicals that damage the skin and scalp. This antioxidant action makes Vitamin E essential for regenerative functions in the body where it protects tissues and organs such as the hair from damages. Though it can be applied topically, it is not as effective as taking through food.
Vitamin E is found in spinach, sunflower oil, nuts, pumpkin, sweet potato.
Start with 400 IU supplements and slowly increase he dosage. It is not recommended to take more than 1000 IU.
Vitamin-A is a potent anti-aging weapon, known as retinoid.This vitamin regulates the synthesis of retinoic acid in the hair follicle.
This helps hair to grow and can also be good for the skin. Vitamin A can be taken as a supplement, in foods or rubbed into the scalp and hair in liquid form. For vitamin A, eat foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, squash, apricots and cantaloupe.
Recommended daily dosage is 600 µg.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy hair and scalp. These can prevent alopecia caused due to external factors and can also slow down the progress of alopecia caused due to genetic factors. Dietary sources provide more benefits when compared to supplements.
Experts recommend 1 tablespoon of fish oil or 1 – 2 capsules of fish oil daily to prevent hair loss and promote hair regrowth.
Without adequate iron, hair fall becomes excessive and the hair shaft becomes brittle and broken. This is because of the inadequate oxygen supply to hair and scalp due to lack of iron.Women generally have less iron because of blood loss from their menstrual cycles and increased demand due to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, they have less iron stored up and so can easily become anemic.
Foods rich in iron are kidney beans, oysters, liver, spinach, sesame seeds, lentils.
Recommended iron intake:
- Adult Male (19 years and above) – 8 mg/day
- Adult Female (19 – 50 years) – 18 mg/day; (50 years and above) – 8 mg/day
- Pregnant Women – 27 mg/day
- Lactating Women – 10 mg/day
Inadequate amounts of biotin causes brittleness and shedding of hair. Getting enough biotin through food or supplements makes the hair strands strong and also prevents brittleness. Food sources rich in biotin include peanuts, liver, some vegetables, Swiss chard, cooked eggs and raw egg yolks.
Recommended intake is 100-200 mcg/day. Biotin is available as a supplement with a recommended dosage of 500 – 1000 micrograms daily to treat hair loss.
If you have dry scalp and skin, you may be lacking zinc. Dryness, flaking and dandruff may be due to zinc deficiency, which is medically termed as hypozincemia. Deficiencies of vitamin A and D are the main reasons for zinc deficiency. Both zinc deficiency and high levels of zinc can lead to hair loss.
Zinc assists the body in producing natural oils and to keep the skin moisturized. Foods like oysters, beans, pumpkin seeds, egg yolks, liver, wheat germ, soy products and nuts contain good amounts of zinc.
The recommended daily intake of zinc is 8 – 11 mg. Zinc supplements come in many forms: as sulfate, acetate, gluconate, aspartate, arginate, citrate, picolinate and monomethionine.