When it comes to the subject of improving hair quality, one seemingly hard-to-solve dilemma is always lurking around the corner; do hair vitamins work? This can be a question that can be as dividing as much as it can be stimulating to explore and debate about, especially considering the stratospheric rise in the popularity of hair and nail supplements. Not to mention that there has been no shortage of clinical studies that have linked poor health to glaring nutrient deficiencies. Besides, there are more people than ever willing to do whatever it takes to have fabulous looking locks, even if it means popping a few crucial pills or swallowing a couple of drops every day. But, the elephant in the room remains; do hair vitamins really work? Let's see.
Even before delving into the subject of, "Does hair vitamins really work?" It is imperative to, first of all, appreciate that many cultures the world over recognize hair as the epitome of health and beauty. However, unfortunately, there's a sizable population of people who struggle immensely with growing and maintaining attractive-looking tresses. This ever-present challenge has spiraled the unprecedented rise in the popularity of hair supplements in today's cosmetic market.
What Vitamins are Needed for Hair Growth and Strengthening?
Hair supplements are food additives with purported benefits for hair growth and health. Popular, for instance, will routinely claim that their supplements have an unparalleled ability to boost hair shine, thickness, growth and strength. Truth be told, there's no shortage of products in the open market that is advertised to possess this remarkable ability. A good chunk of them will contain almost the same type of hair vitamins or their closest variants. And this includes the following;
1. B Vitamins
B complex vitamins for hair rank as one of the highly-sought nutrients for hair health and growth. And this is for a plausible reason – there are plenty of studies that have linked biotin deficiency with thinning and unexplained baldness. Nonetheless, as much as taking b complex vitamins for hair growth is thought to be a decent hair loss treatment, people who are deficient in this micronutrient (in the first place) seem to have the best results as far as restoring natural hair growth is concerned. Apparently, b complex vitamins aid in the creation of red blood cells which later go on to carry nutrients and oxygen needed to fuel the flourishing of hair follicles and the eventual strands that sprout from them. In other words, it does not hurt to try supplementing your diet with superbly-formulated B complex drops, particularly if you feel your diet lacks the following options;
- Whole grains
- Leafy, dark-green vegetables
In addition, you may want to consider supplementation if you are a strict vegetarian or practising vegan considering that most of the rich sources of b complex vitamins for hair are extracted from animals.
2. Vitamin A
All factors held constant, all cells require vitamin A to sustain proper growth. And this includes your hair and attached follicles. Actually, considering that hair cells are among the fastest-dividing cells in the body, it is not surprising that they need a considerable supply of vitamin A on a regular basis. Besides, vitamin A also aids the skin with the synthesis of sebum - an oily substance that moisturizes one's scalp and keep the hair shiny, glorious and healthy-looking.
Deficiency in this vitamin is also linked to a number of problems, including but not limited to balding and hair loss. So it is quite critical to get ample vitamin A via a reliable and approved supplement such as Wellabs vitamin A drops.
Otherwise, there is no shortage of foods rich in this important nutrient including pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach. All these are incredibly high in beta-carotene, a naturally-occuring variant of the mineral that the human body turns into vitamin A. Speaking of which, it can also be found in a variety of animal products including eggs, milk, yogurt and cod liver oil.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin is a potent and recognized antioxidant. As such, it can neutralize free radical damage that is typically associated with stunted hair growth and premature greying of hair. This effectively eliminates the external factor e.g, oxidative stress that could be holding you back from sporting great-looking locks. Aside from this, ascorbic acid also aids your body in absorbing iron, one of the vital minerals that are needed for proper hair growth.
Secondly, ascorbic acid is required in the natural synthesis of collagen which later goes on to play a vital role in preventing hair loss especially in people over the age of 40. Now if you are looking for credible sources of vitamin C, then citrus fruits, strawberries, pepper, and guavas are your best bet.
4. Vitamin E
Just like vitamin C, this vitamin is also an antioxidant that aids in tempering oxidative stress which is believed to be behind a myriad of dermatological problems including hair loss. Extended supplementation with this vitamin, for example, has been shown to be responsible for a whopping 35% boost in hair growth and shine.
The best sources of vitamin E include spinach, sunflower seeds, avocados and almonds.
5. Vitamin D
According to specialists, one of the main causes of alopecia (premature baldness) is a deficiency in vitamin D. Seemingly, vitamin D plays a crucial role in the multiplication of hair follicles and their longevity. And considering that a majority of people barely get enough vitamin D via the diet or otherwise, it is easy to see why hair loss is becoming a big problem, especially in the Western World. Quality supplements with vitamin D are always a plausible bet when it comes to this.
Otherwise, you can always up your intake of this vital nutrient by including the following dietary sources in your eating routine.
- Cod liver oil
- Fatty fish
- Foods fortified with vitamin D
You may already be aware that iron aids one's red blood cells in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. This puts it at the top step in the ranking of minerals needed to keep your follicles in good condition and fuel optimum hair growth. Actually, iron deficiency has been routinely linked to hair loss which is one of the unmistakable signs of anemia. The good thing, however, is there is no shortage of foods that are high in iron such as eggs, oysters, clams, red meat, lentils or spinach.
It is impossible to discuss hair vitamins that work without mentioning zinc at some point. You see, zinc plays a crucial mantle in hair tissue and growth. It also aids in keeping the sebaceous glands around one's follicles functioning as they should. In fact, one of the glaring deficiencies of zinc is unexplained hair loss. As a matter of fact, studies show that supplementation with zinc is capable of reducing and preventing deficiency-connected hair loss.
Apart from supplements, you can also extract zinc from whole foods. Dietary sources that are considered to be high in zinc include; beef, oysters, spinach, pumpkin seeds, lentils and wheat germ.
Although not technically a vitamin, it is important to recognize that at the very basic, hair is virtually made of protein. And consuming enough of this building block is one of the open secrets to sporting a glorious mane. Speaking of protein, not eating enough of it is widely believed to lessen the rate of hair growth which ultimately culminates in hair loss.
How Long Does it Take for Hair Vitamins to Work?
While hair supplements and vitamins are typically advertised as being the ultimate secret to long, flowing and lustrous locks, there are skeptics who doubt the ability of these food additives to support hair growth. This could leave you wondering how long does it take for hair vitamins to work if they even work in the first place. Luckily for you, this excerpt discusses the full breadth of hair vitamins, their relevance, effectiveness and how long do hair vitamins take to work.
First things first — hair growth supplements and vitamins are not designed or fashioned to produce results instantly. So, if you are looking for overnight regrowth or growth, then there are chances of being massively disappointed. Nonetheless, this does not necessarily mean that they don't work. Only that it takes a while before one sees impressive results, mostly this could be anywhere between 1 to 5 years.
The reason behind this seeming slow rate of results stems from the fact that human hair grows at an agonizing snail pace of half an inch every month. In other words, even after the hair supplements have done their magic, it will take at least six years before a new strand has reached shoulder length. That being said, there are a couple of changes that you are likely to experience a few months after starting to take hair growth supplements. Here's a quick primer to that.
- The sebaceous glands that secrete the natural moisturizing and nourishing oil that makes hair shiny get re-invigorated.
- Your hair starts to look naturally shinier and full of life.
- The tresses may not be as brittle or lifeless as before. Instead, they appear healthier and breakages or split ends are minimized.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of how long does it take for hair vitamins to work will mostly depend on what was causing the hair breakage in the first place. If the balding was a result of a serious deficiency, then you should be able to see a remarkable improvement just a few months after starting to take the supplements. Otherwise, if the hair fall was motivated by other external medical conditions such as an autoimmune disorder, taking hair supplements for growth will hardly help until the root health-related condition has been solved.
Investigating the Relevance of B Vitamins for Hair: External Use Only
The relevance and importance of biotin in boosting hair growth are not limited to oral intake only, contrary to what most skeptics think. Evidently, topical application of this B-group of vitamins can strengthen existing hair, minimize breakage, and hold off split ends. Trichologists also believe that by applying biotin directly onto your hair, you can effectively nourish your hair follicles nestled within the scalp thereby improving the elasticity, strength and durability of any strands that grow out of them.
Speaking of topical application of liquid hair vitamins, the general recommendation is to let the biotin solution sit on your scalp for some time (say between twenty to thirty minutes) before rinsing it off. This should allow it plenty of time to seep in the scalp and kickstart the process of making your hair longer, more vibrant and stronger in the long run. Also, it may also be able to solve the problem of dullness, excessive shedding, having fragile or weakened strands if used religiously.
Notwithstanding, as much as topical use of liquid vitamins for hair growth appears to have a number of beneficial upsides, the priority ought to be making sure that your hair does not deteriorate to that point. You can do this by integrating foods that are naturally rich in biotin into your dietary regimen. Easily available options include; nuts, egg yolks, bananas, mushrooms, cauliflower, legumes, soybean, whole grains and mushrooms.
The Bottom Line
The relationship between healthy, vibrant or strong hair and vitamins is unmistakable. One cannot truly discount the role that minerals and nutrients have to play in the development and maintenance of flowing mane or neat hair. As far as this goes, food should be your primary source of the vitamins needed for proper hair growth. Nonetheless, should you fail to get an ample and consistent supply from your diet, then supplements should be able to come in handy in filling in this deficit.
Zempleni, J., et al, (2008). Biotin and biotinidase deficiency. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19727438/
Beoy, L.A., et al., (2010). Effects of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in human volunteers. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24575202/
Karashima, T., et al., (2012). Oral zinc therapy for zinc deficiency-related telogen effluvium. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22741940/
Patel D. P, et al., (2017). A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28879195/
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