This is something that keenly interests me, because believe it or not I actually have fine hair and it’s quite fragile. Being a girl doesn’t help either when the desire is to have long luscious locks, but I always try to think of things that could be worse ;p
Maintaining healthy hair is important no matter what your diet – if you don’t get enough of the key hair building vitamins you just won’t have that healthy shiny hair your aspiring for. Since it is a great concern of mine to keep my hair as healthy as possible I make it a key point to eat foods that support hair health and when I feel like I could use a boost, I incorporate some vitamin supplements.
I want to focus on only a few main vitamins you should consider adding to your daily diet as it can be overwhelming trying to incorporate all different kinds of specific vitamins on a daily basis.
Vitamins For Healthy Hair
This is a B-Complex vitamin that has been proven to improve hair and nail growth (and strength). Biotin also plays a key role in metabolizing fats and sugars. There are quite a few plant foods that supply good amounts and of course there is also a vitamin supplement you can take for an added boost.
Foods Rich in Biotin: Peanuts, Almonds, Sweet Potatoes, Eggs (non-vegan), Onions and Oats
This is one of the more challenging vitamins to get in your daily diet, especially since it has to compete with copper for absorption. Zinc can be boosted from several food sources but for maximum absorption try a supplement that also includes copper and a binder so both are absorbed equally.
Foods Rich in Zinc: Beef & Lamb (non-vegan), Sesame Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Lentils, Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) and Cashews
Iron carries oxygen to hair and promotes growth. Many North American woman are actually iron deficient, so this is important to ensure you are getting enough of this vitamin. Iron supplements are a good idea as you can usually get higher doses and it can be absorbed in a quicker period of time when consumed with foods high in Vitamin C (Orange Juice), however Iron has been known to cause stomach discomfort so try speaking with your physician to ensure you take the right kind and the right dose.
Foods Rich in Iron: Beans, Peas, Lentils and Oats
This is important for hair follicle cycling, especially for those of us who live in the North as we tend to get less Vitamin D absorption through out the colder (winter) months. The even more unfortunate part is that the foods highest in Vitamin D are animal products. It is probably best to look into getting a supplement, especially through the winter, to ensure you are getting enough.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D: Meats, Fortified Dairy, Fortified Juices & Cereals
If you’re interested in maintaining healthy hair or undoing some damage already done these are all good vitamins to start with. As always, everyone is different so do some research to see what will work best for you and if you’d like consult a professional (physician, naturopath, etc).