Most people know that getting the right amount of vitamin and minerals helps them grow up big and strong. But what about after you’re fully grown? While you don’t need a good dose of vitamins to keep growing once you reach adulthood, you do need a good amount of vitamins to keep your body healthy.
A number of vitamins and minerals also play a big role when it comes to the health of your hair. Even if you suffer from male pattern baldness, making sure you get enough of the following nutrients on a daily basis is important for the overall health of your hair and scalp.
Biotin, or vitamin H (which is also a B complex vitamin), plays a big part when it comes to the overall health and wellbeing of your hair. The vitamin helps your body synthesize the growth factor that produces keratin, the protein that your hair is made of. Getting enough biotin in your system can make hair thicker, shinier and prevent hair loss to some degree.
You can find biotin in a number of foods, such as lentils and eggs. It’s also sold in supplement form. While it’s always a good idea to eat as many healthy foods as you can, it might be best to consult your doctor or a hair restoration specialist before you take biotin supplements. The recommended daily amount of the nutrient is 2.5 mg and getting too much of it can interfere with your blood sugar and insulin levels or cause you to develop a rash.
Like biotin, you need an adequate amount of iron in your body for the proper formation of hair. The mineral helps deliver oxygen to the hair follicles and plays a part in the development of a hair’s proteins. Iron also plays a part in turning testosterone into estrogen.
Some people have a greater risk for being iron deficient than others, namely women and vegetarians. Low iron levels, or anemia, are often a cause of hair loss in women. Some food types are better sources of iron than others, such as meat and egg yolks. You can also get iron from non-meat sources, such as leafy greens and lentils, but it’s a different type of iron that’s not as readily absorbed by the body as the type found in meat.
If you think you aren’t getting enough iron in your diet and have noticed a change in your hair, it’s important to speak with your doctor before doing anything. Your doctor can test your iron levels and let you know if you have anemia. Too much iron in your system can cause its own set of problems, so making sure you’re not going to overdo it with supplements is important.
Not getting enough zinc in your system contributes to hair loss all over the body and can make your scalp flaky. Zinc helps regulate the production of sebum in the hair follicles and plays a part when it comes to cell development and reproduction.
Like iron, zinc is found in a variety of foods, but in different forms. Shellfish and seafood tend to be the best source of zinc for your body. Oysters, for example, have almost 500 percent of the recommended daily amount of zinc for an adult. You can also get the mineral from plant-based foods, such as legumes and whole grains. The form you get from plants, however, isn’t absorbed by the body as well as the form of zinc found in sea creatures.
Some activities, such as exercise that leads to excessive sweating, reduce your body’s levels of zinc. If you’re frequently working up a sweat at the gym, you might want to have your doctor test your zinc levels or consider adding a zinc supplement to your life.
Another vitamin your hair needs for sufficient growth is vitamin D. The vitamin plays a big part in the development and growth of your hair follicles. Not getting enough might interfere with your hair’s cycle, or its movement through growth and resting phases.
While you can get vitamin D from food, a big source of it is the sun. That means that if you live in the northern part of the U.S. or don’t spend enough time outdoors, you might not be getting all of the vitamin D you need for your overall health and for the health of your hair.
Options for getting more vitamin D in your life include taking a supplement, eating foods that are fortified with the vitamin, such as orange juice or milk, and adding more foods that naturally contain the vitamin to your diet, such as salmon, liver and whole grains.
Sometimes, hair loss and hair problems are due to your genes. Other times, they are linked to a dietary or nutrient problem. Dr. Kyle Choe, a hair restoration specialist in Virginia Beach, can help you determine the cause of your hair problems and recommend a solution, whether it’s getting more a specific nutrient or undergoing hair restoration surgery. Bring an end to your hair concerns by calling (757) 389-5859 for an appointment today.